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Baen Books Adds Multiple Book Download Option

baen multiple book downloadThe SF/Fantasy publisher Baen Books reminded us again this week why they are the only decent ebook retailer outside of Amazon.

Baen has added a new download option to its ebookstore, We have long had the option of downloading an entire order’s worth of ebooks as a single ZIP file of DRM-free ebooks, and now Baen is letting customers organize a volume download of any of the ebooks in a customer’s account.

Want to download just the 14 ebooks from a certain author? You can do that, and in fact Baen will let you download up to 100 titles at a time, in your choice of DRM-free formats.

And here’s a nifty feature: after you’ve downloaded the ebooks, they are rotated to the end of the list of ebooks in your account.This saves the top of the list for ebooks you have yet to download.

Here’s the download page:

baen multiple book download

This is a nice contrast to B&N, which took the download option away in September 2014, and Kobo, which had to be shamed into letting you download the ebooks you bought.


And yes, this feature is one of the reasons why many ebook buyers say Baen is the only decent ebook retailer. The only other ebook retailer with this feature is StoryBundle, the ebook bundle site. Fictionwise also used to have this feature, but that was before Barnes & Noble killed it.

Baen eBooks via MobileRead

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Chris Meadows April 16, 2016 um 1:32 am

They can’t be that great, given that it took them 18 years of operation to get around to adding that feature. (I kid, I kid… 🙂 )

fjtorres April 16, 2016 um 7:01 am

It should be noted that they still support Rocketbook/ebookwise format.
For owners of those readers they are probably the only source of new commercial ebooks. (I have one and it still works.) Ditto for Sony’s abandoned LRF and Microsoft’s abandoned LIT.
They also offer downloads in HTML and RTF.

Point being: they really want their stories read.
They earn their brand loyalty.

Feda April 16, 2016 um 8:20 am

If they have the book I want, they are the only place I would ever buy from.

Peter April 16, 2016 um 9:37 am

I hadn’t actually thought about it until i read this post, but Baen’s morphed from "a publisher with a storefront" to a full-blown retailer at this point – I actually just checked my account, and was bemused to discover that I’ve now purchased more non-Baen-published books from them than I have Baen-published ones.

fjtorres April 16, 2016 um 3:44 pm

They always were.
Back in the day they carried titles from, nightshade, DelRey, and for a very brief time before the germans put an end to it, Tor.
That is why, until recently, the retail site was called Webscriptions and separate from
They were always willing to carry books from other publishers, usually when the author retained the ebook rights.

Peter April 16, 2016 um 10:15 pm

Back in the day they just carried Baen’s books (I’ve been shopping there pretty much since the site opened for business), and I can remember when they first started carrying non-Baen titles (and the brief flirtation with Tor before the corporate octopus decided that "no DRM is bad" before the octopus decided "no DRM is a selling point").

I just still had them mentally filed as a publisher, rather than a retailer, despite, as I said, now having bought more books from other publishers from them than Baen books.

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Alexander Inglis April 16, 2016 um 1:42 pm

Just as a point of order, Kobo, Google Play and B&N Nook have download options. I periodically buy epubs from each of them. I have "backed up" everything I have bought from them. Kobo and Google Play have a button on the library page; Nook requires firing up Nook PC on my desktop (which is the same strategy I need to employ for Amazon Kindle).

Nate Hoffelder April 16, 2016 um 2:26 pm

There’s a difference between downloading to the app and downloading the ebook file.

Kobo has the app, yes, but it obscured the ebooks in a non-Epub format in a database with unique DRM. They had to be bullied into letting us download all of the ebooks. And B&N took away the file download option. Heck, they don’t even support the Nook PC app anymore.

So yes, there are reasons to complain about Kobo and B&N.

Alexander Inglis April 16, 2016 um 7:53 pm

Nate, what are you talking about? I have been buying Amazon Kindle books since 2009 and Kobo and Nook since 2010 and since whenever Google Play got into the game. (We won’t discuss Fictionwise or Sony.) Kobo, Google and Nook have allowed downloads of epubs direct from your account page from the beginning (and, except for Nook), still do. For Kindle and Nook you need to download a PC reader app and then download ebooks to that. Kindle for PC works just fine as does Nook for PC. Nook for PC was designed for Windows 7, a platform even Microsoft no longer supports. B&N suggests the Nook for PC app designed for Windows 8 (and they are working on a Windows 10 edition). Meanwhile the older Nook for PC 2.5.6 is available online — just not from B&N.

fjtorres April 16, 2016 um 8:17 pm

Kindle lets you download ebook files from their website if you own a Kindle reader. You only *need* to use an app if you don’t own a Kindle.

Nate Hoffelder April 16, 2016 um 8:45 pm

Correction: Amazon will _only_ let you download ebooks from their site if you own a Kindle (or so I’ve been told by those without Kindles).

Thanks for reminding me of that limitation.

fjtorres April 17, 2016 um 12:45 am

Well, considering the (majority of the) ebooks the website delivers are encrypted and tied to the specific device, their system *can’t* deliver ebooks without a Kindle to tie them to. They could offer to deliver the drm-free ebooks but then they’d have two sets of rules and their customer support costs would go up from people calling in to complain.

This way they have one clear set of rules for all ebooks and there is less moaning. 😉

Nate Hoffelder April 17, 2016 um 7:03 am

That has less to do with DRM than with Amazon’s design decision to make it impossible to download an ebook from the site and authorize it to, for example, the Kindle for PC app. It’s less DRM than an architectural decision on how the whole structure of the DRM was set up.

fjtorres April 17, 2016 um 7:25 am

An architectural decision, yes.
The Kindle is all about lowest common denominator and keeping things as simple as possible.
That is why they don’t "overburden" Kindles with features. Their designers seem to be acolytes of the KISS principle. 🙂

Fahirsch April 17, 2016 um 9:35 am

O’Reilly lets you down their books (epub, mobi,daisy and html) directly or to your Dropbox account. They are drm-free.

Nate Hoffelder April 17, 2016 um 9:54 am

Yes, but there’s no bulk download option. (TBF, I’m not sure anyone would want that option for O’Reilly’s technical books).

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