I remember Baen’s first push into Ebooks and it looks like I bought my first bundle in 2001. Three David Weber books for $10.00. Of course I already owned two of them and bought the third later, but this showed the potential of ebooks. Jim could price the books like this because the printing sunk costs weren’t there and he never had to worry about returns on ebooks. As time went on how Jim and Toni have handled the ebook sales has evolved, but it’s always been a money maker and demonstration that how the Big Five think about ebooks is just plain wrong. I remember wondering why the other publishers never figured out what was going on. Now, according to Larry Corriea his latest monster hunter book is going to earn out the advance just due to Earc sales. That is the book will have enough sales before the official publishing to make money and then create even more buzz later. That’s how Ebooks are changing the market.
The other day, I sat down and tried to figure out how long I had actively been watching the publishing industry and how it responded to the digital revolution. I was surprised when I did. It’s been ten years, give or take a couple of months. That was long before my first foray into indie/small press publishing. It was when I first started buying e-books from Baen and wondering why I couldn’t buy similar offerings from other publishers, especially at a realistic price point and without DRM added.
Back then, and for some years prior to that, traditional publishing had looked down on Jim Baen for rocking the boat. Traditional publishing didn’t understand that their customer base was changing. It was getting younger, more technologically sophisticated and more on the go. Back then, traditional publishing was the only road open to writers who wanted to be considered “legitimate” authors. Oh…
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