The Baen Free Library is the brainchild of Jim Baen, the publisher and editor of Baen Publishing. It was started about a decade ago, late 1999, and they were (to my mind) the pioneers of the ebook and online publishing worlds. Dedicated to sci-fiction and fantasy, these guys revolutionized the nascent, piracy-fearing ebook industry.
Not only did they create a convival atmosphere for authors to chat, meet online, share stories, they also brought a whole new audience to these great authors. Where else could you have gotten a free book from a new author? Now, of course, amazon offers this as an incentive - giving the first book in a series away for free. Now you know where it began!
Baen also has an internet publishing venture at http://baens-universe.com/, which just recently called it quits. They still have a huge collection of short stories and articles.
Authors I discovered, and later bought books from, via this free-book strategy from www.baen.com are:
- Mercedes Lackey
- David Weber
- Lois McMaster Bujold
It is funny how even Sharon Lee is one of the authors in Jim's fold, but I only discovered her Liaden books recently, thanks to her giveaway. There are still authors in that list that I am sure I will read, eventually. Sadly, the site doesn't seem to be super active, since Jim Baen's passing. Eric Flint does a stand-up job of his role as First Librarian, as always.
Most authors have a number of books available for easy download here, in html, epub, .lit and many other formats. You can browse The Baen Free Library by author, books or even by Series.
This is your chance to discover new scifi/fantasy authors!