With integrity and vision as its publishing cornerstones since 1984, Baen Books, the second largest publisher of science fiction and fantasy and #1 in space opera and military science fiction, is pleased to be celebrating its 30th anniversary with special events, author signings, and giveaways at BEA.

The company was founded by Jim Baen, editor of Galaxy and If magazines before expanding his talents into book publishing. Says Toni Weisskopf, publisher of the press since Baen died in 2006, “From early on, Jim and I tried to build Baen as a brand, which is a way of saying we were a publisher that could be relied on to deliver a good story.” “Whether the book was urban fantasy, military science fiction, or sword and sorcery, you knew they would all be satisfying.” Readers believe in this confident guarantee, and Baen has sold more than 60 million copies of its books and has over 500 backlist titles in print.

Corinda Carfora, Baen’s director of sales and marketing, has been with the Wake Forest, N.C., company for 13 years. “It’s important to remember that Jim Baen was the first to create and sell digital books, in 1999,” Carfora says. “This was years before the word ‘e-book’ had become part of the publishing lexicon. Jim named it the ‘Webscription’ program. He was also an advocate of non-DRM (digital rights management), which almost all publishers have adopted today.” E-book sales have been significant for Baen, although they’ve leveled off in the last year or so. “Fans of our genres want real books. They’re tried and true, die-hard fans.” Three years ago Baen launched its original trade paperback line, priced at $15, which became a customer favorite almost immediately. “We’ve found that people are willing to try something new, and the series has broadened our audience for new authors,” Carfora says.

Bestselling writers like David Weber, John Ringo, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Larry Correia have long been published by Baen, and to great success. This year Hugo Award nominees for best novel include Correia for Warbound; Brad Torgerson’s The Chaplain’s Legacy (available from Baen in e-edition) is nominated for best novella. Since 1984, Baen Books has had 40 New York Times bestsellers.

To celebrate its 30 years, Baen is hosting a meet and greet today, 4–6 p.m., on the fourth floor, at 4B Terrace, where there will be anniversary tote bags. Among the authors attending will be Eric Flint and Charles E. Gannon, who have collaborated on the novel 1636: Commander Cantrell in the West Indies, the latest in their alternate history Ring of Fire series. They sign today at 10:30 a.m. at the Simon & Schuster booth (2639).