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Old 12-10-2012, 11:46 AM   #1
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Baen Deal with Amazon and new pricing

This may already be available on the forums somewhere; feel free to delete or move. This article basically lays out the new prices Baen will be charging and also the fact they'll be sold at Amazon and hopefully B&N:

http://www.teleread.com/ebooks/baen-...omment-1222940

That 9.99 is sticker shock for me.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:07 PM   #2
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Since Baen gives away so many free books, I can't really complain about a minor price increase. Especially if making them available on other stores means more sales for the authors.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:02 PM   #3
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Since Baen gives away so many free books, I can't really complain about a minor price increase. Especially if making them available on other stores means more sales for the authors.

I certainly am not complaining because I completely understand why they are doing it.

I think the article did say that some of the freebies would go away. They don't have the rights and/or can't offer them for free and at Amazon at the same time.

That webscription thing that gets gifted around will be cancelled. I think the article said it would only be available for 3 months from now on.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:07 PM   #4
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You can read more about some of the various changes in this thread...

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=198220
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:35 PM   #5
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Looking at the new prices, I think that's the end of me buying from Baen unless they run some special sales via amazon now and then.

I wasn't bothered about the move to using Amazon, nor that the webscription would be limited time offers, it makes sense that Baen and their authors want to be on the main ebook stores that we're all using. Path of least resistance and all that But, I didn't expect a price hike, that's blown it for me.

Still, I expect the few people they may lose due to the move will be made up many many times over in new customers from Amazon and increased profits. Can't blame them, even if it makes me an unhappy reader.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:01 PM   #6
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Looking at the new prices, I think that's the end of me buying from Baen unless they run some special sales via amazon now and then.

I wasn't bothered about the move to using Amazon, nor that the webscription would be limited time offers, it makes sense that Baen and their authors want to be on the main ebook stores that we're all using. Path of least resistance and all that But, I didn't expect a price hike, that's blown it for me.

Still, I expect the few people they may lose due to the move will be made up many many times over in new customers from Amazon and increased profits. Can't blame them, even if it makes me an unhappy reader.
Well, now they have to pay Amazon a cut. That money has to come from somewhere and at 6 dollars (or less) per book, it would be hard to be profitable. There are a lot of long-term expenses with any business (healthcare costs, 401k or retirement, ongoing salaries, etc). Some books break even and never sell much past that. Other books carry that load.

I don't sell an even amount of every book *I* put out. I'm sure they don't either. And Amazon (or B&N or Apple) is there to make a profit too. I don't see any way a publisher can list books at 6 dollars on an ongoing basis and stay profitable. A few very small outfits seem to (Angry Robot, Samhain some books, Carina Press--but all are smaller than Baen and haven't been around as long. And some of the books are only in ebook if I recall correctly.) but they started later so may have been able to avoid some expenses (they may only hire part time or contractors so maybe they don't have healthcare? Or retirement? Or building rentals?) Who knows.

I think they did say their mass market books (which automatically means they expect to make up some money in volume) will be a lower cost.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:17 PM   #7
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This will be the second price increase in a little over a year.
When Arnold retired (owner of Webscription.net), the price went from $5 to $6 (and the Webscription went up a few), Now this BIG jump

Funny, my hourly wages have not change one penny in the same time period.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:31 PM   #8
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This will be the second price increase in a little over a year.
When Arnold retired (owner of Webscription.net), the price went from $5 to $6 (and the Webscription went up a few), Now this BIG jump

Funny, my hourly wages have not change one penny in the same time period.
I remember the bundles going up a few bucks fairly recently, but I've got individual books I paid $6 for back in 2007.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:38 PM   #9
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Funny, my hourly wages have not change one penny in the same time period.
How true. Even though inflation has always been a factor, one has to wonder how long it can keep up when people's incomes are nearly stagnant.

One of the reasons why Baen has always stuck in the back of my mind are the lower prices, classic titles, and DRM free status. It sounds like the first advantage is being diminished, the second sounds a bit uncertain, which leaves the third.

While the move will probably be in the best interests of the publisher and the author, simply because the books will have a higher profile among people who were not aware of Baen's offerings, I'm left wondering how much it will affect their relations with existing customers?
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:56 PM   #10
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How true. Even though inflation has always been a factor, one has to wonder how long it can keep up when people's incomes are nearly stagnant.

One of the reasons why Baen has always stuck in the back of my mind are the lower prices, classic titles, and DRM free status. It sounds like the first advantage is being diminished, the second sounds a bit uncertain, which leaves the third.

While the move will probably be in the best interests of the publisher and the author, simply because the books will have a higher profile among people who were not aware of Baen's offerings, I'm left wondering how much it will affect their relations with existing customers?
A problem to be sure. But apparently they didn't have ENOUGH existing customers to continue the way things were going. Visibility is very tough in the book market and if the eyeballs have moved to Amazon, what can you do? They have good word-of-mouth advertising, but I admit there are times when I put off buying a book just because it meant a few extra steps (doesn't mean I don't go ahead and buy it, but it isn't one-click. That's entirely lazy of me and knowing what I know now, I wish I had bought more quickly rather than put it off although I doubt my measly few purchases a year were going to keep anyone afloat.)

I think the economy has really hurt book buying all over (no matter the vendor) in the past couple of years so eyeballs become even more important. My income has gone down this year and that means less book buying from all sources. Lower prices help me buy books, but I simply can't buy as many as I used to just based on my own lower income. And I can't find a way to blame Baen for that...
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:36 PM   #11
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Could it be the price increase is designed to allow Amazon to "discount by xx%" and still allow the author to collect approximately the same for the ebooks. I know of other independent epublishers that more than double the price when listing books on 3rd-party sites.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:49 PM   #12
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Well, now they have to pay Amazon a cut. That money has to come from somewhere and at 6 dollars (or less) per book, it would be hard to be profitable. There are a lot of long-term expenses with any business (healthcare costs, 401k or retirement, ongoing salaries, etc). Some books break even and never sell much past that. Other books carry that load.
They're backlist titles. It's essentially found money thanks to being able to offer them in e-book form as opposed to them simply being out of print.

And let's not forget, some of the books they are offering are by long dead people.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:19 AM   #13
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That 9.99 is sticker shock for me.
It's only $9.99 while the paper book is hardback only. When the paperback is released it drops to $6.99, compared to the current $6.

Not a major increase.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:26 AM   #14
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I remember the bundles going up a few bucks fairly recently, but I've got individual books I paid $6 for back in 2007.
And now you'll pay $6.99, provided you're willing to wait for the paperback release. This still seems like a pretty reasonable price to me. It's less than most of the ebooks I buy elsewhere.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:56 AM   #15
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And now you'll pay $6.99, provided you're willing to wait for the paperback release. This still seems like a pretty reasonable price to me. It's less than most of the ebooks I buy elsewhere.
It is less than the typical BPH release, it is still less than current paperbacks, and it is about 3 cents lower than the average of all Kindle book sales, if I recall correctly.
The pricing is going up from "decent" to "average".
And they explicitly stated the authors are getting a 25% boost to their royalty. This isn't Amazon and Baen conspiring to squeeze readers but rather Baen moving to mainstream distribution and pricing and higher royalties to *keep* their authors from going self-pub.

We all talk about the self-publishing options for established authors and how the publishers need to adapt to ebook disruption; well, this is Baen adapting.

Disruption impacts everybody, good guys along with the...rest.
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