Jim Baen passed away from a stroke last night. For those in the reader world who don’t know Jim Baen, he’s responsible for discovering authors like Lois McMasters Bujold. Would we be the beneficiaries of Miles Vorkosigan if not for Jim Baen? Who knows.
Baen Books was a visionary in the ebook market. Jim offered DRM free ebooks, Advanced Readers Copies of books for a premium price ($15.00 for Wen Spencer’s The Wolf Who Rules), and free books. He had ebook subscriptions whereby you paid $10 per month and could download all of the books released that month. It is said that the books offered free of charge saw an increase in book sales.
David Drake eulogizes Baen beautifully. It’s a huge loss to the publishing community and a huge loss to the ebook community.