Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s Liaden series, now homed with Baen and producing new books, has experienced a number of fits and starts over the years, the first one being after the series’ original publisher decided it wasn’t interested in a fourth book. Upon joining the Internet and discovering a Liaden fandom had developed there, Lee and Miller began to issue a yearly chapbook publication as a gift to those fans. The chapbooks cost around $10 each, and contained one or two new Liaden stories or novellas.
The first 16 of these chapbooks, along with one or two other stories, were collected in the Liaden Universe Companion story collections in print, and, with slightly different selections owing to rights issues, the Baen e-book collection “Liaden Universe Big Bang: Liaden Unibus I and II”. But fans have since been clamoring for a way to obtain the more recent stories electronically as well.
In a recent post to her livejournal, Sharon Lee has reported that she and Steve Miller will be slowly converting and uploading the chapbooks to the Amazon and Barnes & Noble e-book stores under the imprint of Pinbeam Books. The e-chapbooks will cost $2.99 each, and according to further discussion on the Friends of Liad mailing list will be DRM-free on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, meaning that they will be also readable on MobiPocket-compatible devices and in iBooks. She also notes they will be available worldwide.
Hopefully this also means that future chapbooks will be available electronically simultaneously with their print release. Granted, $2.99 might seem like a lot for a novella-length e-book, but it’s a bargain compared to $10 plus shipping for a novella-length chapbook—and it’s $2.10 per book that Lee & Miller get free and clear without worrying about printing or shipping costs.