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Humble eBook Bundle Lets You Pay What You Want For eBooks 103

Posted by Soulskill
from the everybody-needs-books dept.
Following on the success of the various Humble Bundles for DRM-free video games, the organization has just launched its first Humble eBook Bundle. It includes Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow, Pump Six by Paolo Bacigalupi, Zoo City by Lauren Beukes, Invasion by Mercedes Lackey, Stranger Things Happen, and Magic for Beginners, both by Kelly Link. If you choose to pay more than the average (about $11 at this writing), you also get Old Man's War by John Scalzi, and Signal to Noise, by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean. The books are available in PDF, MOBI, and ePub formats, without DRM. As with all the Humble Bundles, you can choose how much you'd like to pay, and how the proceeds are split between any of the authors and/or among three charities.
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Humble eBook Bundle Lets You Pay What You Want For eBooks

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  • by Gerinych (1393861) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @03:09PM (#41599541)
    Throw in some Steam achievements and you got yourself a deal.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Achievement Unlocked: Completionist! Got to the end of the book without skipping the boring bit in the middle.

  • Sure, why not (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sparton (1358159) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @03:16PM (#41599609)

    I've been needing some good locally-saved reading material in between reading new 40K rules and my fantasy author of choice. I'm willing to back this on spec and hopefully it'll take off (maybe with certain bundles focused on certain types of books, such as sci-fi, or psychology).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @03:23PM (#41599665)

    Seems that book bundles are valued 50% higher than game bundles... nowhere near the same quantity sold yet, though :(

    • by thorist (1859732)
      There's an extra charity to give money to, maybe that's why. Plus probably quite a lot of people want to beat the average to get Signal To Noise. I read it a few years ago, it's pretty good but a bit weird (which could probably describe anything NG's done except for the cannabilism porn).
    • As of right now, something else is going on that's strange. Here's the OS breakdown:

      Average Windows: $10.07

      Average Mac: $13.09

      Average Linux: $13.84

      In every Humble Game Bundle that I recall, the spread was much wider, especially for Linux users. While I suppose part of it is that we're so happy to support games that support Linux, I wonder what else might be at work here.

      • by ZeroMS (2725031)
        Leftover cash from not investing $$$$ in an OS, maybe?
        • by Desler (1608317)

          Who actually buys Wjndows separately? The cost of Winnows when bought with an OEM system is effectively free due to the discounts and money made by installing crapware in the system.

          • by Jaysyn (203771)

            I bought Windows 7 OEM, since I build my own PCs. Don't worry, it dual-boots Linux Mint 12.

      • As of right now, something else is going on that's strange. Here's the OS breakdown:

        Average Windows: $10.07
        Average Mac: $13.09
        Average Linux: $13.84

        In every Humble Game Bundle that I recall, the spread was much wider, especially for Linux users. While I suppose part of it is that we're so happy to support games that support Linux, I wonder what else might be at work here.

        Some of us Linux users already have John Scalzi's Old Man's War[*] and some edition of Neil Gaiman's Signal to Noise. So what's the point of spending extra to get something you've already got?

        [*] And the other stuff by Scalzi set in the same story-line: Zoe's Tale and The Ghost Brigades. I also have three other Scalzi books, and one in the shopping basket at Amazon. This humble ebook bundle is a matter of too little or too late for bibliophiles.

        • by IRGlover (1096317)
          Probably due to most people not being interested in any of the authors or genres on offer here, and paying more just gets you more of the same. At least with the games budles there is usually a variety of different genres so there is typically something for everyone in the bundle. Here, unless your preferences are strongly waited towards Science Fiction and Fantasy there is no interest - why not throw in a geeky non-fiction book?

          This humble ebook bundle is a matter of too little or too late for bibliophiles.

          Really? So any book-lover will have got/read most of the things here? I conside

          • Agreed on the variety issue also.

            I checked your profile at shelfari, and you appear to read a lot of the science fiction that I also like. So I suspect you might enjoy Scalzi's Old Man's War and its offshoots. I was also unaware of that book until I came across this image [coolinfographics.com] of the alleged top 100 books in Fantasy (ugh) and Science Fiction (yea). I already had nearly all of the science fiction side of the chart, so Scalzi was quite an unexpected find.

      • It's probably due to the much larger library of games available for Windows. Mac and Linux users will pay more because they don't have much of a selection to begin with.

        With these books, there is no such OS limitation.
      • by citizenr (871508)

        Average is statistically meaningless. What is the median? SD? skew?

        • by Desler (1608317)

          You'll never see those because it would destroy the Humble Bundle people's propaganda. I bet with the outliers removed that the Linux average would be much lower.

          • It's possible, but I'm not so sure. Every time I've participated in a Humble Bundle I've given more than the average for four reasons: 1) an admittedly pathetic and irrational but nonetheless real desire to see Linux users beat out the other categories (IOW, I would not have anyone think anti-DRM, FOSS faithful are just cheap--we have money and we're willing to give it, just not on locked-down terms); 2) Humble Bundle Inc. wisely sweetens the deal for those who go above the average to drive up the average b
            • by Desler (1608317)

              Yes, them releasing better info would answer all. They won't do so since the current average serves their agenda. Anything that would serve to downplay that would be hidden.

            • by citizenr (871508)

              there's likely a $.01 out there

              isn't $.01 more like -$5 when you accept credit cards?

              • Not really. There are two pay scales on which credit card companies charge fees to merchants, either a flat fee per transaction or a percentage. (Very rarely both.)

                The flat fee is usually on the order of 50 cents per transaction. Possibly closer to 30 cents, I'm not exactly sure. Percentage is usually something like 5%. Both are higher for Amex and Discover. (One of a few reasons they're less often accepted.)

                The reason gas stations and convenience stores often don't accept credit cards for sales less

      • by Quirkz (1206400) <ross @ q u i r k z.com> on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @04:35PM (#41600587) Homepage
        Linux gamers intentionally pay more to skew the average, in order to encourage more developers to make more Linux games. (Including, I understand, a few five-figure donators who *really* pushed up the average.) There's no such incentive to encourage Linux-friendly eBooks.
    • Books? These are some readable computer files, not books.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        They are ebooks, which is a book in an electronic form. Saying they are "some readable computer files, not books" is like saying MP3s are "some readable computer files, not music".

    • Of course not, videogames in English language appeal worldwide gamers out there, but ebook in English language appeal very few people outside US, Canada and UK. :(
  • by bheerssen (534014) <bheerssen@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @03:31PM (#41599783)

    I bought Kelly Link's Stranger Things Happen on dead tree media a while back, and I thought it was fantastic. This bundle is worth it for that title alone.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      No it isn't. That book is freely available under a Creative Commons license here [smallbeerpress.com].
      • by k2r (255754)

        And that the book is available under CC somehow makes the bundle worth less?

  • by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @03:41PM (#41599911)
    Pay what you want, support charity, get your product built!

    Pay what you want! If you paid for web development separately, it could cost thousands or even millions of dollars for larger corporate sites!

    You choose how your purchase is divided: Developers, Charities, or even Us!

    Can't wait for the upcoming "Humble Education Bundle" and "Humble Grocery Bundle". This is the future.
  • Losing the roots (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Applekid (993327) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @03:43PM (#41599929)

    As far as I can tell, these are all popular and published authors and books. Shouldn't a Humble eBook Bundle consist of new and unknown authors, in the same spirit of Humble Indie Bundle?

    Except for one of those Humble Indie Bundles that included Psychonauts. Great game? Sure, but hardly Indie.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Take a look at http://storybundle.com/ if that's what you're interested in.

    • It's been just "Humble Bundle" for a while now, they dropped the 'Indie' part... somewhere around bundle number 4 I think? Personally, I buy them to support the charities first, the developers second, and the business plan third. For some reason, Child's Play has captured my attention in a way no other charity has, perhaps because playing video games was such a huge part of how I dealt with difficulties in my own childhood. Give the kids some games to play, help them be happy for a few hours that might o

      • by jandrese (485)
        Plus, some of the games were getting kind of borderline on the "Indie" part. Torchlight may not come from a AAA developer, but it's not exactly Indie either by some definitions.
    • Re:Losing the roots (Score:4, Informative)

      by NonUniqueNickname (1459477) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @04:30PM (#41600515)
      I'm not going to fault them for including successful games/music/software/authors. Quality drm-free content at a discount and supporting respectable charities is good enough for me. For you, there's a slider you can use to send all your money to the charities.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      If anything they should include 2 well known authors and then 4-5 others that are relatively unknown that would be of a similar style or in the same genre. That would make the package more interesting and better expose talented but unknown authors.

    • by humanrev (2606607)

      I thought I was the only one who noticed that (Psychonauts being a publisher-backed game on an indie bundle). Not that I was complaining since it was DRM-free and ported to Linux. In fact, I'd actually be quite happy if we had more big titles from publishers appear on the Humble Indie Bundles. You'd have to rename the title though, but imagine Deus Ex - Human Revolution appearing as a Steam-free DRM-free download with a Linux version as well...

  • Kelly Link (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @04:15PM (#41600349) Homepage

    Just to say Kelly Link's are more then just DRM free, they are CC BY-NC-SA:

    http://smallbeerpress.com/wp-content/uploads/Kelly_Link_Magic_for.htm [smallbeerpress.com]
    http://smallbeerpress.com/wp-content/uploads/Kelly_Link_Stranger_Things.htm [smallbeerpress.com]

    And Cory Doctorow's is at least CC BY-NC-ND:
    http://craphound.com/pc/Cory_Doctorow_-_Pirate_Cinema.html [craphound.com]

  • donate higher amounts.

Prediction is very difficult, especially of the future. - Niels Bohr

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