Tor Books to publish through Webscriptions

Tor Books, a respected SF publisher, will publish a number of titles through Jim Baen’s Webscriptions service. Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Tor’s senior editor and SF manager, has reportedly said:

We’ve tested a lot of e-book waters, including various cockamamie schemes involving overpriced e-books laden with DRM.

Oddly enough, a lot of those “books” didn’t even sell enough copies to pay for their file-conversion costs. Meanwhile, it hasn’t escaped our notice that Jim Baen has been doing something that works, that people like, and that makes money. I’m delighted to be doing this pilot program; I think Jim has been clueful on this issue for a long time, while almost everyone else in publishing has been staggering around on stage hitting one another over the head with inflated pig bladders.

Most e-book schemes involve expensive reader gadgetry, and files tricked out with cumbersome digital restrictions. So, as Nielsen Hayden observes, e-books generally haven’t caught on — even among likely early adopters. Titles distributed through Baen’s service, on the other hand, are “both unencrypted and reasonably-priced.”

But some mainstream publishers are still looking to Sony for salvation. Of course they are; that approach has worked out so well for music…. (Last two links via these guys.)


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