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The first ‘free’ online commercial book publisher?

The Baen Free Library is a bold experiment in publishing. It’s basically an online location where authors may make their books available for free download by anyone.

It’s not a huge venture at the moment, just around 30 books from 20 or so science fiction authors (including Pournelle, Niven and James C Glass), but it is important because it shows that at least ONE set of the world’s creative and commercial minds are focusing their thoughts on how to work with the new technologies as opposed to against them. And yes they do intend to make money (through – gasp – encouraging new customers!) which is explained very eloquently in Eric Flint’s excellent introduction to the service on the home page..

With a bit of luck these folks will win big, encourage others and we can all start to move on instead of fighting uselessly over restrictive and outmoded commercial habits.

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