WEBSITES WE LIKE: "Baen Free Library"

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Now if you’re like me the first thing you noticed was the word “free”. Then you proceed to wonder what the heck the Baen Free Library is. Baen’s Free Library started off as an experiment when someone suggested Eric Flint put his money where his mouth is during some rather belligerent virtual exchanges regarding the piracy of books.

Located at http://www.baen.com/library/ it is what it sounds like, basically a library of ebooks from mostly Baen authors that anyone can download. Furthermore these books are released in a variety of formats including Microsoft Reader, Palm, Rocket, Rich Text and HTML and all without any DRM whatsoever.

In addition to the books, there are also several newsletters by Flint regarding the piracy, digital media and the like, that go by the name of Prime Palaver. However Prime Palaver appears to be defunct with much of Flint’s writing on this subject appearing in the online magazine “Jim Baen’s Universe” under the column title “Salvos Against Big Brother”.

I must warn you however that this site is very dangerous, leading to both the loss of time and money. I’ve literally lost count of the hours I’ve lost reading books either on the site or after downloading them and I can’t tell you how much money I’ve spent on the later books in a series that this website has gotten me hooked on (damn you David Weber). But these things are made clear in Flint’s introduction to the site when he states the main goals of the site. One to prove that free electronic copies of books will invariably make more money for authors and two to make that money for himself, his publisher, and other authors listed on the site.

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