Question for Mr. Brust

Maximilian Wilson wilson.max at gmail.com
Sun Mar 12 17:19:28 PST 2006

For anyone who's not signed into the bar, here's the deal from someone
who appears to be a company representative for Tor. I believe this is
Fair Use of Mr. Bailey's post...

-Max Wilson

Subject: RE: How do I buy one
Author: Arnold Bailey
Date: 11 Mar 2006 08:49 AM
Originally Posted: 11 Mar 2006 10:06 AM

I think this is the way it's falling out.

1. New HC would be sold only as an eARC. $25 book at $19. Seems to me the
only advantage we have here is early release before the paper HC. No bundle.

2. New MM (paperback) as individual eARCs more of the normal $15 price since
they are cheaper.

3. We can bundle MM, but the bundle will be expensive. 5 books times $6 =
$30. Effectively there is no advantage to the bundle if we release
individuals other than early release as the individual price would be the
same as the bundle price. Individuals wouldn't be released until the paper

4. As the MM version of a previously released HC eARC comes around about a
year later the price drops to the ~$6 price like an MM. In the meantime it
will be releases of Backlist.

Now it seems to me that they've forgone many of the advantages of the Baen
scheme. Bundles were good because they got the customer to read books they
may not have purchased individually because the price was right. This
introduced them to new authors they might not try otherwise. With this
pricing restriction they don't get their new Hardcovers into bundles and
bundles have minimal advantage over individual books. Just early release. I
have the suspicion that bundles won't sell worth diddly.

I also have questions as to why Amazon et al can sell a new Hardcover at $17
dollar when we have to sell the ebook at $19. Except for early release we
have real disadvantage.

So it seems to me what will really end up selling are eARCs of established
authors whose fans will go for it, and individual books after they go MM.

But at least we're getting ebooks out in a format people like, no DRM and
establishing a track record. We can always change their minds.