Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Kudos to Tor on Their E-book Move

There have been rumblings and leaks for about a week now, but yesterday Tor officially announced that they will be joining Baen Books' WebScription model, and this Tor titles will begin being available in inexpensive, non-crippleware e-book editions starting in April. Baen is widely regarded as the only one doing e-books correctly -- since they have a large and growing audience and actually seem to be making money as well (even with their counter-intuitive plan of giving away many books for free) -- so this is another indication that they are doing something right.

Professionally, I'm of two minds about this. Having more people read more SFF, and having SFF be more available, is of course A Good Thing. But, since my parent company doesn't sell e-books in any way, shape, or form, there's a part of me that would prefer to see e-books stay a small, secluded backwater. (Being a cynic, I do think that e-books won't transform the universe and be the coolest thing since sliced bread -- I remember the precisely identical claims made about "enhanced" books on CD-ROM a decade ago -- but there's still plenty of room for the format to grow and possibly cannibalize the sale of real books.)

I also notice that the link above (which I got from Locus Online), seems to be only excerpts from a longer press release. After a bit of poking around (since the quote from Patrick sounded very familiar), I now think that the "press release" is a couple of quotes from this post on John Scalzi's blog Whatever, taken out of context and reposted elsewhere. So this may not be the officially official announcement, but it's still clear that Tor and Baen have a deal, and this project is moving forward.

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