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The Big Yellow Book

Seeing the World from Both Oculars-- a Bananaslug's Journal

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Webscriptions 10th Anniversary
In the era of the Kindle, too many people don't know who started it, who proved it would work, and who continues to show that ebooks without DRM are not only profitable but create whole new sets of customers.

That would be Baen, Jim Baen, and Baen Books (Toni Weisskopf, prop.) and Arnold Bailey the Evil Henchman who started and runs Webscriptions.

This month is the 10th Anniversary of Jim Baen's greatest experiment.

I hope Jim's shade is pleased that it worked. He listened to us all the way...he even asked us to vote on whether he could raise prices-- we said, "Of course," what else?

He showed great perspicacity when he and Eric Flint established the Baen Free Library. More than one author has reported that their sales increased dramatically when they permitted their backlist books to be posted in the free library. The most recent to say so was K. D. Wentworth, in an email to me a couple of weeks ago.

Congratulations to Arnold Bailey, for having the idea and selling it to Jim. Congratulations to Toni Weisskopf for carrying it on, and staying behind the idea. And where ever you are, Jim, thanks again for my daughter's ability to read.

One of the things I'm happiest about is that a year or so before he died, Jim went out to dinner with some friends, including Kathy Wentworth, me and my daughter. She sat next to him and told him that the reason she had beaten severe dyslexia was that he had made Webscriptions available in .rtf format without encryption, and that Arnold Bailey had found a text to speech program to read the books to her (TextAloud MP3).

Jim, of course, didn't know what to say.

Well, I do.

Thank you, Jim. Thank you, Baen. Thank you, Arnold.

Happy anniversary!

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Hear, hear!

I found out about Webscriptions in the spring of 2000. Though I'd been a Baen reader from the first, I had never heard of David Weber until I read On Balisk Station for free on that service.

What a great testimonial, Walt. Thanks for posting this.

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