Jim Baen has always been on the bleeding edge by SF publishing standards -- he runs a successful imprint (targeted at LCD tastes, for the most part) from the wilds of Riverdale NY, instead of from the more civilized, publisher-friendly canyons of Manhattan. By all accounts, he deals with authors consistently and doesn't attempt to screw over the ignorant, although he doesn't like agents (who are usually needed to protect eager authors from themselves...).
And if anyone would be comfortable with the paradox of trying to make money by giving away content, he would. His SF tends to glorify "masculine" things like the military and combat and many have a conservative or libertarian slant, but he publishes a number of books by strongly feminist authors with strikingly powerful women as protagonists. And hidden among the usual juvenile male power fantasies are books that question traditional gender roles and assumptions -- apparently, not as a political statement, but because the author can also tell a good story.
Interesting guy, and if you had asked me which SF publisher would be willing to do this first, Jim Baen would have been at the top of the list. You'll know it's a trend that will continue if Tom Doherty -- publisher of Tor and Forge books, which are among the most intelligent and well-written (and edited) in the field, and who often has the sharpest business sense in publishing -- picks it up next.
From: Tom Whore [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2001 10:11 AM
Cc: Fork (E-mail)
Subject: Bean Books give away somes tastes.
Some authors get it, that treating unfetered file sharing as a possible
entry into the consumers mindspace could boost sales of tangible objects.
The book publisher Bean has opened its web site up to its authors who
would like to make thier works avialble for free to the nets populace. The
Bean Free Library has only a few authors now, but I expect it will grow
over time. Its good to see a publisher make a move like this in a market
full of other companys falling over each other to make proprietary fee
based system and over priced reader devices to peddle thier books.
"The only "restrictions" we'll be placing is simply that we will encourage
authors to put up the first novel or novels in an ongoing popular series,
where possible. And we will ask authors who are interested not to
volunteer more than, at most, five or six novels or collections at any one
/"\ [---=== WSMF ----http://wsmf.doesntexist.com===---]
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