Science Fiction Books Free! Sci-Fi Geeks Rejoice

Free books!  Ahh — a bibliophile’s dream come true.  And for us science fiction geeks, the dream has become a reality in the form of the Baen Free Library.

This sci-fi online bookstore, ready for the raiding, is based on the concept that if authors make their work available for free online, it will increase book sales.  How? 

  • Most people, after getting a risk-free peek at a book, will go out and by the book anyway since they prefer to read print (I know I do). 
  • Even if someone reads the entire free book online, the publisher has created a fan, and that person will not only buy books from that author in the future, but generate more book sales via word-of-mouth advertising.

What’s so cool about this is that the Baen Free Library offers published current sci-fi books (yes, newly published books — not that centuries old stuff that is already in the public domain and that everyone is pimping).  It’s like walking into a candy store and having the proprieter hand you a bucket and say, “Here; take what you want.”

Sweet.

It all started when Eric Flint, well-known author of the extremely popular sci-fi/alternate history book series starting with 1632, got into what he describes as a virtual brawl with some other science fiction authors regarding online piracy.

There was a school of thought, which seemed to be picking up steam, that the way to handle the problem was with handcuffs and brass knucks. Enforcement! Regulation! New regulations! Tighter regulations! All out for the campaign against piracy! No quarter! Build more prisons! Harsher sentences!

 

Alles in ordnung!

 

I, ah, disagreed. Rather vociferously and belligerently, in fact.

Amidst the resulting fall-out, he and his publisher, Jim Baen, came up with a publicity campaign to give away sci-fi books online, and the Baen Free Library was born.  Few publishers show a true understanding of the profit potential of intelligent marketing to the vast sea of people surfing the web.  Thank you, Jim Baen, for leading the way.

More cool stuff you can do now:

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