Since I originally posted about Baen’s deal with Amazon, a couple more details of about the deal have come to light. First of all, the deadline for buying any of the old Baen bundles is Saturday, December 15th. That’s when the deal with Amazon goes live, and the old $10, $15, and $18 monthly bundles vanish, replaced by the higher-priced single books only. If there are any old bundles you might want, better look at and snap them up now. They’ll soon be gone.
Second, there has been some discussion over what is to happen with the monthly serialized bundles of new books that are issued before the books’ official publication and release to Amazon. Toni Weisskopf had been talking about changing them to a more serialized format than the current 50%/75%/100% months, with each chunk containing only its own 1/3 of the e-book and end users having to stitch them together. The early chapters would be the less-proofed EARC version, and would not be updated.
However, after a number of people objected, Toni said, “It looks like for now, at least, the bundles stay the way they always have been, complete with final text in the last installment. But it may be in the future we’ll have to adjust.” This came as a relief to everyone, myself included, who wanted to be able to get the final versions of the e-books and not have to figure out how to compile them ourselves.
Of course, the bundles will now only be available until the books are officially published—which seems fair, given that most of the people who would be interested enough to read them serialized to begin with and take a chance on all the unfamiliar titles would probably buy them in advance anyway. And with the trade paper and hardcover releases’ e-books costing $9 and $10, they’ll be a better bargain than ever.
Finally, the Baen Free Library has had to be pruned back prior to the deal, but Toni says Baen will be adding as many titles back as possible, though there will still be some reductions. Baen will also be trying to get around the pricematch issue by creating “second editions” of as many Free Library titles as possible, incorporating additional material to differentiate them from the Free Library versions, and selling those.
Here’s hoping this distribution deal proves as successful for Baen as its editor and authors hope it will. As annoying as some of the necessary changes are to long-time readers, availability through Amazon is nothing to sneeze at.