Well this news gives me a rather impressive sad:
“Old” bundles containing books that have already been published will no longer be available for bundle-priced purchase. (Already-purchased ones should still be available for download, though it is possible some books may need to be removed. Some books may need to be removed from the Baen Free Library as well; Toni hopes to get advance notice when such removals are necessary, but recommends backing them up while you can.)
Toni also writes it is unlikely there will be further Baen CD releases bound into hardcover books. “The CDs were in part to train people up to use ebooks. Mission accomplished, there.” Furthermore, the Fifth Imperium Baen CD archive has removed the directly-browseable versions of the Baen CD files it used to offer, breaking many inbound links (including those from my Honor Harrington reviews here), though it continues (at the moment) to make the contents available as zipped and ISO files (though may remove those at some future time as well).
I will not lie; I have read probably half of what is floating around inside that Fifth Imperium link… But I have also purchased more than a few Baen books precisely because they got me hooked by way of their "gateway" books made freely available to the public.
Now… now we will be back in a world where e-books regularly cost more than hardcopies of the same, which has never made a whit of sense to me. Apparently the Baen Free Library is going to stick around – with modifications to its titles so as to not conflict with the Kindle contract – but given how infrequently it has been added to recently, I would go ahead and count on it being back-burnered for the foreseeable future.
In the end, Baen’s authors getting better exposure and royalties is a good thing, but I have to wonder what the cost is going to be. Me, I am going to go ahead and download those ISOs while I can…
(Also, copying DRM-free, not-from-Amazon files over to Kindles is "hard"? Give me a frakking break.)
(Found by way of Larry Correia, who is understandably happy at the news.)