For those who think neither of us understands possible objections, all three of us talk about some reasons we think it may not be a good idea to give stuff away. Scalzi’s point about needing to have an existing web presence is one.
You can see Paolo Bacigalupi wondering aloud about the negatives as well here.
I haven’t listened to the podcast yet (I was there yesterday, right), so I can’t tell if you can hear Bill Schafer of Subterranean Press pointing out how on the ground experience of giving away books as a publisher have upturned one of the negative scenarios that Stross spun.
The most interesting thing in that panel was finding out that another major publisher might be pricing an ebook at a proper price point soon. Other than Baen’s rational approaches, no ebook program has made sense to me, and as an author, looking over the money made by ebooks by Baen authors, my opinion is that the inability of publishers to price ebooks properly and utilize them is probably costing me money that could be being made.
And at my stage and income level, every little bit helps.