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Old 10-20-2012, 01:03 AM   #16
Andrew H.
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As Bujold is about to discover, once those things are out on the net they never go away.
She won't care; it won't affect her sales in any measurable way.
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:32 AM   #17
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No, it is not.
For that matter, BAEN tends to have pretty fixed prices in their bookstore.
Most are a flat $6 with no sales or freebies.
The re-evaluation might be to move freebies from the Library to the ebookstore, as you suggest, or to price them at $0.99 or another nominal loss-leader price.
And then, the re-evaluation could result in no changes for some or even most authors...
$6 is kind of already a sale price...

They do also provide bundles, and they often seem to combine older books into omnibuses for the same price, or less.
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:24 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by DrNefario View Post
$6 is kind of already a sale price...

They do also provide bundles, and they often seem to combine older books into omnibuses for the same price, or less.
I wouldn't say $6 is a sale price unless you are used to Tor's Agency Pricing scam. Rather $6 is a fair price for an SF genre mass-market ebook.
Baen's monthly bundles are their "sales" as you can get your average ebook price down to as low as $3 if you didn't already have anything in the bundle. ($4.50 if you only consider the new releases.)
Those are all good prices but their model is a lot like no-haggle auto dealers: the price is fixed and your only concern is wheher you like the product enough to buy it or not. Price is not a discriminator. A high-seller like Weber costs the same as a slow seller. In that they are a lot like the PriceFix Six who don't allow for lower prices for mid-listers and expect newcomers' books to sell at prices similar to those of established authors. Honestly? Sub-optimal for everybody involved.

Nate has an article on his web site right now highlighting how times have changed in the ebook business since the Library was first launched:
http://www.the-digital-reader.com/20...in-in-the-ass/

And his point there is something that bears some thought: segregating free ebooks into a separate purely promotional site with minimal ties to the main BAEN ebooks site is something that bears re-evaluation in view of the way the major ebookstores commingle free ebooks with the paid books from the same author. When the primary goal of the free ebooks was to drive print sales aggregating the freebies made sense because the expected next move was to go get the print book from a B&M or online bookstore.
Now, the expected next move is the go to BAEN eBooks site for other eboks from the author.
The Library has in fact changed its organization in recent times but it still isn't as effective as it could be. For example, it and the BAEN website let you sort their catalogs by author but all you get is a listing of titles instead of an Amazon-style author page. In the main site you can get a listing of the various series but no promotional overview of those series. They have social media sites for the various series but they're run separately, over in the BAR website.
Those may be good moves.
Or they may be dated.

BAEN has always been open to experimentation and reevaluating what they're doing in terms of whether it best serves the authors and the consumers is not a bad thing.
Well-run companies constanty question what they are doing instead of just doing what they've always done simply because it is what they've always done.
It may result in changes we don't exactly like or it could result in a more modern and effective approach. We'll just have to wait and see.

Last edited by fjtorres; 10-20-2012 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:44 AM   #19
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$6.00 is a very good price when the book is a first release. Baen does not charge more for first release books.
1635: Papal Stakes was just released October 15. The ebook from Baen is $6.00. The hard cover is $14.94 online and $25.00 in a store.
I would say the $6.00 is a very good price for the ebook. Most first release are only a couple of dollars less than the online hardcover price.
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:14 AM   #20
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As an author with a book in the Baen Free Library, maybe I can add a little information. I got a query from them, asking if I wanted to keep my book free, or pull it, or move it to the paid store. Here's the reason:

Baen is going to be making more of their books available in places like Amazon. Amazon has a price-matching policy. If a book is in the Free Library, and also on sale at Amazon, Amazon may make their edition of the book free also (regardless of whether that's what the author or publisher intended). Baen is giving the library authors a heads up on this, and letting them make up their own minds what to do.

In my case, the book in question is free everywhere (first book in a series), and it's working nicely as a loss-leader to encourage purchase of the following books. So I said I wanted to keep it in the library.

Regarding the Donate button in the library, as far as I know donations through that button go to support the library as a whole, and are not passed on to individual authors. I have no problem with that, as I think the Free Library is a fine thing, and I hope it continues to thrive. (However, there have been a couple of occasions when readers have told me they've tried to pay for my free book by making a donation there. I had to gently tell them that they were supporting the library, not me personally.)

Generally the way readers thank me is by buying some of my other books, which is cool.

Last edited by starrigger; 10-21-2012 at 03:19 AM.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:27 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by starrigger View Post
As an author with a book in the Baen Free Library, maybe I can add a little information. I got a query from them, asking if I wanted to keep my book free, or pull it, or move it to the paid store. Here's the reason:

Baen is going to be making more of their books available in places like Amazon. Amazon has a price-matching policy. If a book is in the Free Library, and also on sale at Amazon, Amazon may make their edition of the book free also (regardless of whether that's what the author or publisher intended). Baen is giving the library authors a heads up on this, and letting them make up their own minds what to do.

In my case, the book in question is free everywhere (first book in a series), and it's working nicely as a loss-leader to encourage purchase of the following books. So I said I wanted to keep it in the library.

Regarding the Donate button in the library, as far as I know donations through that button go to support the library as a whole, and are not passed on to individual authors. I have no problem with that, as I think the Free Library is a fine thing, and I hope it continues to thrive. (However, there have been a couple of occasions when readers have told me they've tried to pay for my free book by making a donation there. I had to gently tell them that they were supporting the library, not me personally.)

Generally the way readers thank me is by buying some of my other books, which is cool.
Ah, so this was more complicated than simply authors not understanding the value of free ebooks. Baen is reevaluating their place in the ebook market, which is exactly what they should be doing given how much has changed in the past 5 years.

Good to know.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:36 AM   #22
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Ah, so this was more complicated than simply authors not understanding the value of free ebooks. Baen is reevaluating their place in the ebook market, which is exactly what they should be doing given how much has changed in the past 5 years.

Good to know.
Yup! Wise folks. They know they're running a red queen's race.
Good for them.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:10 AM   #23
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Ah, so this was more complicated than simply authors not understanding the value of free ebooks. Baen is reevaluating their place in the ebook market, which is exactly what they should be doing given how much has changed in the past 5 years.

Good to know.
Which is EXACTLY what the original article said.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:07 AM   #24
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Baen is going to be making more of their books available in places like Amazon. Amazon has a price-matching policy. ...
Oh, good. Maybe people will stop giving one-star "reviews" to those Baen books because "There's no Kindle edition." Aaargh!
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:17 AM   #25
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Baen's free books have sold me a lot of authors, and I have spent serious money with them. Far far more than with Amazon. I'll continue to buy their DRM free multi format books but I hope they continue to suck me in with freebies!
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:27 AM   #26
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Regarding the Donate button in the library, as far as I know donations through that button go to support the library as a whole, and are not passed on to individual authors. I have no problem with that, as I think the Free Library is a fine thing, and I hope it continues to thrive. (However, there have been a couple of occasions when readers have told me they've tried to pay for my free book by making a donation there. I had to gently tell them that they were supporting the library, not me personally.)
I was not aware that my 'donation' was not being shared with the author.
I was in the habit of making a donation to Authors that I did not already have a Dead tree version in my Library (sorry JC, there are quite a few that meet those conditions ) .
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:39 PM   #27
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Baen's free books have sold me a lot of authors, and I have spent serious money with them. Far far more than with Amazon. I'll continue to buy their DRM free multi format books but I hope they continue to suck me in with freebies!
I fit this catagory also.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:57 PM   #28
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Did anyone notice but they have also changed they way it states the book price. It used to be just $6.00 and that was it. Now it states Regular price: $8.99 Sale price: $6.00. I wonder if this means they are getting ready to raise prices? Which would not surprise me if they are looking to allow their ebooks on Amazon and B&N they have to make up that 30% they are going to loose doing this somehow.
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:05 PM   #29
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Did anyone notice but they have also changed they way it states the book price. It used to be just $6.00 and that was it. Now it states Regular price: $8.99 Sale price: $6.00. I wonder if this means they are getting ready to raise prices? Which would not surprise me if they are looking to allow their ebooks on Amazon and B&N they have to make up that 30% they are going to loose doing this somehow.
Could be that they are going to offer them to Amazon under the wholesale model and setting the list price so that Amazon can discount to $6 if they choose to.
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:31 PM   #30
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Did anyone notice but they have also changed they way it states the book price. It used to be just $6.00 and that was it. Now it states Regular price: $8.99 Sale price: $6.00. I wonder if this means they are getting ready to raise prices? Which would not surprise me if they are looking to allow their ebooks on Amazon and B&N they have to make up that 30% they are going to loose doing this somehow.
The only ebooks with that are priced like that are from E-Reads, and they have always been that way

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