News about Jim Baen’s Universe

While Eric's still in the South Pacific, we'll point out that his latest column in the just-relased first issue of Jim Baen's Universe second year is about the relationship between drm-free ebooks and the opacity of the book market. 

It starts: 

In my last essay, I approached the question of so-called online piracy from what I called a "negative" standpoint—by which I meant that I was content with knocking down the arguments advanced in favor of DRM. In this essay, I want to turn the problem around and approach it from a positive standpoint, by examining the many ways in which a non-DRM approach to electronic publishing can help the situation of authors and publishers."

 Read the rest of it (and the new issue of Universe) here.

 (The article is free, the rest of the magazine requires subscription to read more than the first half.  You know the principle,  "Hey Kid!  Come'ere!  Try this! The first-half's free!) 

–Loyal Minions 

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6 Responses to News about Jim Baen’s Universe

  1. Greg says:

    On the subject of Fair Use, Eric might want to check out this story where the NCAA kicked a reporter out of the championship baseball game for live-blogging it.

  2. fcsuper says:

    Just would like to point out that it would be nice to have more books following the Course of Empire universe…not necessarily a series per se (new time frames and charactors are more than welcome)…maybe jump ahead a couple hundred years

  3. john so says:

    After reading your article I decided to post a comment for once. I thought it was pretty interesting. First off, i like how you specifically mentioned how you were talking about authors, because in the example of baseball, where everyone already knows about it, I don’t think the same reasoning applies.
    Nevertheless, i agree with your argument. If you ignore best-sellers, who would have pirated copies of their book out regardless of DRM, pirated ebooks are beneficial to most unknown authors.
    The truth is, just like on the bookshelves, people have to know the author first before they even search for the pirated ebook. That is also suggesting that the person in question knows how to find pirated ebooks. Or that the author has had some books pirated. This would all really narrow down the number of downloaded books for most authors. My impression is that the people who download ebooks are the ones who just want to see if it’s any good, are downloading unknown books to burn time, or are too cheap to buy the book, so they probably all wouldn’t have bought the books anyway. However, in all cases they might tell friends, who might actually buy the books, or buy the sequels.
    Another thing I’d like to mention is that since it takes a while for pirated books to get out, the hard core fans would probably buy the books instead of waiting.
    There is also the simple truth that most people like reading books on paper anyway.
    As for checking to see how pirated books affect sales, if you have two spare drafts lying around, I’d recommend you publish two similar books under separate aliases, one with an ebook format and one without. Then contact the two major IRC channels, rapishare, and a torrent tracker, and give them copies of the ebook to distribute (would be interesting to ask them how many downloads they get). Next thing you know your comparing sales.

  4. Dan says:

    Question, if a person downloaded illegal copies of your books and enjoyed them enough to be willing to pay for the experience, how would you suggest going about paying for them?

    • Brandie says:

      I accept bribes if you want to fix the coeoititmpn. I actually enjoyed doing the cross-stitch I just finished and I’m playing with the idea of opening an Etsy store, but I’d have to convince myself to actually sell the pieces and not keep them all for myself.

  5. Keith Cofield says:

    Eric. I have enjoyed your alternate universe stories for years. I had thought to try writing at one time, but suffer from 100% PTSD. It’s more of a monster than I thought it could be. When trying to write, my mind gets lost in trivia and other items not involved in writing my book. Maybe a week, or month later, I remember the book and dongood for a few days, then wander off again. For this reason I would like to give you a brief description of each. 1.) when King Philippe of France pulled his treachery against the Templers, apparently Templer intelligence was aware of the plans. They never found the treasure, nor artifacts the Templers supposedly had, nor 34 ships owned by them. The men, nor ships were never accounted for. There is supposition they may have sailed west, to the new world. Being the elite warriors they were, it would be reasonable to think they set up somewhere along the eastern seaboard. With their tremendous network of spies and allies, what could stop them from becoming a new superpower. That’s as far as my feeble brain let me get, but with your talent, you would have no problem fleshing out a great story about the “Rise of the New Templers”. If you think it’s a plausible idea, worth trying, then I give the entire idea over to you. Thanks for your time and patience. I’ll tell you about the other idea if you think you can use it.

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