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Humble eBook Bundle (humblebundle.com)
245 points by josso 1421 days ago | hide | past | web | 123 comments | favorite

Also, links to reviews on Goodreads:

Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow – http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13539171-pirate-cinema (rating: 3.82)

Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo Bacigalupi – http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8503271-pump-six-and-othe... (rating: 4.11)

Zoo City by Lauren Beukes – http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11351953-zoo-city (rating: 3.68)

Invasion: Book One of the Secret World Chronicle by Mercedes Lackey – http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10824696-invasion (rating: 3.73)

Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link – http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/66659.Stranger_Things_Hap... (rating: 4.00)

Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link – http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/66657.Magic_for_Beginners (rating: 4.01)

bonus books:

Signal to Noise by Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean – http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/957373.Signal_to_Noise (rating: 3.88)

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi – http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51964.Old_Man_s_War (rating: 4.18)

You know what would be great if adapted by Goodreads?

Standard Deviation for ratings. I have a hunch that with the standard-deviation, all ratings for all books even out at 4/5. Not sure why, but I think that goodreads-users are too nice due to using real names.

Edit: Just played around with the "rating details" tab and numpy:

Magic for Beginners has a mean rating of 4.01 and a stddev of 0.99, Pirate Cinema has a mean rating of 3.85 and a stddev of 0.89, Pump Six has a mean rating of 4.11 and a stddev of 0.81, so looking at only the standard deviations, all books have a very similar rating. Interesting, but that doesn't tell me much, except that the standard-deviation is massive in this context.

edit: 2 minutes too slow. Going to just leave this up as it has the ratings;)

And because I think goodreads review are way above amazon in quality (usually, not always) here are the links for GoodReads (ratings in brackets):

Pump Six and Other Stories http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2819368-pump-six-and-othe... (4.11)

Zoo City http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7163862-zoo-city (3.68)

Invasion: The Secret World Chronicle http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1986356.Invasion (3.73)

Stranger Things Happen http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/66659.Stranger_Things_Hap... (4.00)

Magic for Beginners. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/66657.Magic_for_Beginners (4.01)

Pirate Cinema http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13539171-pirate-cinema (3.82)


Old Man's War http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51964.Old_Man_s_War (4.18)

Signal to Noise! http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/166570.Signal_to_Noise (3.88)

As someone who has never visited good reads, you have the ratings in parenthesis, but, what are they out of?

(4.11) doesn't really tell me much, is that 4.11 out of 5, or 4.11 out of 10? (To pick a random rating).

Yes, I can not be lazy and visit the site to find out, but if you are leaving the comment up to be helpful, it would be appreciated to clarify their rating scheme for those of us who aren't familiar.

The ratings at goodreads.com are whole stars, from 1 to 5.

Yeah, didn't think about that. Thanks:)

There's also a Story Bundle (http://storybundle.com/) that is happening right now.

I think they also did the first eBook bundle some months ago, before Humble Bundle.

I found the tone of that website a bit offensive. After I bought it, it said something like "if your family or friends would like to read these books, tell them to buy them".

Wtf?! After I just paid, you're telling me to not do what I'd to with a physical book? (lend it)

You don't have a physical book. You bought a license to legally own a duplicate of information. You didn't buy a physical product, or you would have the legal capacity to modify or recreate your product for non-commercial reasons. You don't have the right to redistribute it or duplicate it, so they are complaining about it.

It isn't that much their fault either, since it is inherent human nature and culture to share, and having grotesque IP laws that conflict with what your perceived normalcy is can potentially damage profits!

[edited away] Edit: I lied about the 30% fixed. I had JavaScript disabled and the sliders didn't show up.

They have this on their page: "Zero DRM. There's no DRM on any of our books. None. Why? For one, we don't believe DRM actually stops people from sharing what they want to share."

I actually find storybundle a much more intriguing project, whereas Humble is it's usual "Hipster" self - e.g. stuff I've already heard about, stuff that has a fair amount of promotion behind it in there first place.

With books, mostly unlike with video games, curation is an actual value-add: there's absolutely no way any one person could keep on top of all the new book releases.

The Humble stuff is largely from a certain clique of writers, a little monoculture in a way. I like the stuff, but I'd also like to see a little more diversity. Even if it's all contemporary sci-fi there's a lot more to choose from than the small group represented here.

If you want diversity, Leanpub authors can create their own bundles of Leanpub books (both their own and of other authors). Here's an example of what one of these looks like: https://leanpub.com/b/node

Of course, we're currently a bit of a monoculture too: mostly programming books, since our early adopters are largely programmers. But that will change as we grow, hopefully...

The Humble stuff is also their first book offering, so maybe in the future they will choose book bundles more broadly.

So it's hipster because you've heard of it? That's some self incrimination right there.

Hipster in the reddit groupthinky sense.

The Scalzi and Bacigalupi books are so worth it.

Bacigalupi is a great author. I really liked the Wind Up Girl, and about 80% of the short stories in Pump 6 were good.

Old Man's War is a recent classic. I've read all the books in the series, and the first is the best.

I've read all the Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean collaborations, and honestly I don't care for McKean's artwork. It took me a while of looking at the preview to realize I'd already read Signal-to-Noise. Forgettable.

I haven't read:

   Cory Doctorow: Pirate Cinema 
   Lauren Beukes: Zoo City 
   Mercedes Lackey: Invasion 
   Kelly Link: Stranger Things Happen 
   Kelly Link: Magic for Beginners
Although I own the Kelly Link books. Never got around to them. My wife liked Magic for Beginners.

Invasion sounds a bit like Wild Cards and Bitter Seeds, both of which I loved.

I hadn't realize that Wild Cards is finally back in print!



I loved the McKean artwork after I've read the Magic of Reality, from Richard Dawkins. Amazing illustrations.

I find it interesting that they still provide payment breakdowns by platform... and that Linux and Mac OS are still so much higher than Windows.

When those two were paying for games it was obvious why that should be, since games on Linux are so comparatively scare, but it doesn't make so much sense with eBooks.

My theory is that Linux is used by experts, usually people with high-paying programming jobs, who can afford to drop a little more money. Macs are more expensive, so they'll also belong to people with higher income. Windows machines are cheap, so they're bought by everyone else, and (on average) they can't afford to drop as much money on the various bundles.

Also, since Windows machines are cheaper, they're more likely to be bought by cheapskates.

Windows user here.

On Linux the humble bundle was almost always the first chance to get a hold of the games, while on Windows they'd often all already been out for 6-12 month. I'd almost always already bought and played at least 3 of games in the bundle for $10-20 each and often the games that I hadn't bought where games that I wasn't interested in. So for me 'buying' the Humble bundle was a straight up donation to support a concept I liked, rather than a way to get games. I suspect many windows users where in the same position.

For the Games bundles, I always figured it was Linux users showing that they're willing to buy games if people will make them for Linux.

People repeat that for every Humble Bundle and I'm still dubious.

I'm a developer using Linux at work but it's sure not a high-paying job.

I'm usually around average Linux when I buy a Humble Bundle and I'm making under $50k a year.

That's still a lot more than many people getting the bundle are on. Students, for example, won't usually be earning anything close to that. Besides, we're talking about averages, not outliers.

I noticed that too, but I do not think it is very surprising, since the percentage of Linux users who think about copy-left related issues is higher than for Windows or Mac users. ( At least this is my guess, if you just care about a free as in beer OS you can just pirate Windows.) So the percentage of Linux users who pay a 'political' price is higher than in the case of Mac or Windows.

On the first humble bundle, the speculation was that Linux users are happy to pay a little extra for something they normally do not have access to. Game developers often do not target Linux, so a bundle of indie games with explicit Linux support was fairly novel. Many who commented said they wanted to show the market potential for Linux support, and by keeping the platform average higher than other, more supported platforms, they would achieve this goal.

I don't have any hard evidence on the success of that, nor do I necessarily feel it is relevant to expand this out to an ebook or music bundle, but the information is there as presented.

Perhaps Mac users are wealthier than the average Windows user? I am not so sure about the Linux differential. It would be interesting to see the differences conditional on income.

I would say it's less likely that Mac users are wealthier, and more likely that Mac users are willing to pay for things that they want to have.

I think a more accurate way to say this is, for people that it makes more sense to buy a budget laptop/desktop ($300-500), Apple does not have an offering.

The Mac Mini is in that price range -- or at least has been traditionally. It does what most people need in a desktop machine.

By now, Windows has around 50-60% of the total share, with Linux being at only around 20% and Mac around 30%.

I find 20% to be fairly substantial actually. If a certain market would be 20% of your income, would you ignore it?

(Given that it is not that hard to develop cross-platform especially since OS X is usually targeted as well.)

It is large (much larger than the market-share of Linux on the Desktop) but it makes the previous discussions on "Linux-users are more willing to spend money than Windows-users" moot, as the percentages have shifted so much since start of the discussion.

It would be cool if they could offer "kindle keys" just like they do with steam keys.

That was my initial thought as well, but it wouldn't surprise me if there are layers of Amazon bureaucracy that would make that difficult.

I'd settle for a simple way to enter my Kindle's email address and have them email the mobi file right to my device.

I purchased the bundle and they will email the files to your kindle. You have to go to your Amazon account settings and whitelist kindle@humblebundle.com, however, in order to receive it.

Oh, awesome! I purchased it as well, but somehow missed the gigantic bold link offering to do that.

I'm still missing it... any help for us blind bats?

The option "send to Kindle" appears on the page https://www.humblebundle.com/downloads?key=YOURUNIQUEKEY after you purchase the bundle.

Ah! Twas looking under my account, has no such link... Thanks for your help!

They're DRM free ebooks so you can just load them. shrug

One of the big drawcards of buying a book on Amazon et al is that it's delivered automatically. I suppose these few clicks make it a hindrance for the lazy and having an automated process might make a few more sales.

Maybe they could add the feature to email to your kindle email which downloads automatically.

You can do that, its on the download page after you purchase.

Would be cool if there was a kind of wholesale organization for books and music, so that third parties could create cool music and book stores.

This is my area of Domain knowledge, there will be one that should be up and running sometime q2 2013.

I hope with all of my being you are being serious. I also hope it's worldwide and not limited to the US.

Most startups related to trying to shake up the media publishing biz pretty much exclusively say "US only for now, we're working on worldwide" and it never happens. :(

Looking forward to it! Any domains to watch?

A few things really upset me with that:

First, books are a special kind of products, they do not obey the same rules as commercial products, they are culture. To explain a little, I am french and we have a law for the unique price of books: the price you will pay for a book will be the same on amazon, at fnac, in your local bookshop or in a supermarket.

Second, the word e-reader is nowhere to be found, ePub is also not prominently featured, contrary to iPad and Kindle. For a no-DRM ebook offer, I would have thought that the standard format for ebooks would be more important than the name of the most DRM-filled devices.

Third, Pirate Cinema, Stranger Things Happen and Magic for Beginners are CC licensed (some NC-ND, some only NC), I would be happy to know the license of the books that are here sold (included the other ones) and in the case of Magic for Beginners if it includes the non CC licensed short stories. For the first humble indie bundle, there was a promise that some games would be opensourced, a similar promise would be great here.

Wait a second, you consider price-fixing of (e)books in France a good thing?

Where I live it's cheaper to buy books online in the UK and have them shipped over than to buy them in the local bookstore. So that's what people do. And local bookstores are dying. No surprise, given that it's illegal for them to drop their prices to a competitive level.

Yes I do consider fixed prices for books a good thing.

If it were not for this "prix unique" law, there would be as many local bookstores as there are local disc stores out of Paris: 0, and apart from amazon and fnac, there would be no big bookstores. But we have quite a number of them (chapitre, le furet, cultura, decitre...). Don't forget that Amazon Europe is located in Luxembourg where the tax on books is one of the lowest in Europe (3%).

So I am happy to be able to buy my ebooks from independent french bookstores for the same price as it would be from amazon.

There is pretty much no way on earth that Humble Bundle, by allowing French citizens to pay what they think is fair, for an absurdly limited selection, is going to choke out local bookstores in Paris.

He is not suggesting that, please don't argue against strawmen.

I don't see why it should 'really upset' him, if he isn't suggesting that...

Upset may be too strong a word. It really disturbs me because it is for me unthinkable to sell books as if they had no value.

I have nothing against humble bundle, but it makes me unwell that they treat books this way. I don't care for games for no other good reason that it is only ingrained in my brain that books are not merely commercial products.

I don't know about the other authors, but I know the Cory Doctorow makes his books available as e-books for free. So, while you may feel that allowing people to pay what they want is disturbing, I know at least one of the authors feels that price fixing as equally disturbing. So if it comes down to your feelings and the feelings of the author, I'm going to side with the author.

Also, it's not that they have "no value." It's that they have a different value to different people. To me, this is inherit with the idea of "culture." I completely disagree with the idea that you can put a fixed price on a piece of culture. I'd say it's offensive to even talk about culture in relation to money - like you can put a price on it.

I don't see this as paying for the culture of the book, myself - I never have (when buying books). I see this as paying the author for the effort they put into their creation - but not paying for the creation itself (because paying for the creation assumes that it is now mine, and it isn't).

They are not treating books as though they have no value; quite the opposite. The way they sell things allows each individual to acknowledge the value the item has for them, and to pay as much for that value as they can afford.

It allows people from every economic status to have access to the piece of culture represented by these books, and to contribute what they can afford to the authors.

Humble Bundle recognizes that culture restricted to segments of the population capable of paying an arbitrarily set price is not shared culture. The value of something is not set by a pricetag.

(Also, I am even more confused now how you can simultaneously think they are treating books poorly by allowing consumers to pay what they can, and also be disappointed that the books do not have more permissive licensing...)

Aren't movies and music culture the same way books are? Are prices fixed for them as well?

I didn't know there was such a law in place in France, so I'm curious now.

Last question: who fix the prices of books? Who has the power/authority to decide how much a book is worth?

who fix the prices of books?

The publishers. If you look at the back of most books, you'll see a price printed in the bottom corner. In most countries that generally seen as a general guideline and an upper limit, in France it's legally binding.

> First, books are a special kind of products, they do not obey the same rules as commercial products, they are culture. To explain a little, I am french and we have a law for the unique price of books: the price you will pay for a book will be the same on amazon, at fnac, in your local bookshop or in a supermarket.

And that idea itself is a cultural thing. Most Americans (even liberals) would literally barf at the idea of having "a law for the unique price of books" as being European-style socialism.

> And that idea itself is a cultural thing. Most Americans (even liberals) would literally barf at the idea of having "a law for the unique price of books" as being European-style socialism.

And there's another meta-cultural observation: European-style liberals barf at that idea, too.

They don’t really, no.

As an American, I find this distinction interesting. Can the two of you (Eru and arrrg), or some other Europeans, weigh in on this?

Personally, I don't understand why books shouldn't fall under the same regulations as other goods. Sure, a book has intrinsic value not found in a bottle of shampoo, but so do movies, video games, paintings, and all other art. Are those categories also regulated?

Apparently the general idea is that because publishers and retailers compete less on price, the price for bestsellers can stay high, the income of which is supposed to be used by publishers to fund the publishing of less profitable books.

So, the goal of the fixed price is to ensure a variety and diversity of published books which do not all necessarily have to be profitable.

Personally I think the system is completely insane, and that we shouldn't treat books different from other cultural works (music, video games, movies, etc..).

EDIT: The Netherlands also has a fixed-price for books system, and that is what I was talking about above. Presumably the goal in France is similar, but I am not familiar with their implementation of this idea.

It used to be sensible, when having a profusion of publishers was the only way to guarantee the plurality of opinions. Nowadays however, with internet, this necessity disapeared. And just like un music and movies, people who benefit from the statu quo refuse to acknowledge that...

Seems like a better system might involve placing large taxes on books (or ideally, all forms of media. Don't want to drive people away from books..), the proceeds of which would go towards a patronage system that would support French artists.

Trying to drive up profits of publishing corporations to enact the change you want to see seems oddly... American.

I’m not sure what I think about the regulation (I’m most certainly a liberal but I know too little about it to have a coherent opinion, I also think it’s not all that important to care much about it), I just wanted to make clear that many European liberals are in fact in favor of that regulation.

I don't really understand the distinction, either. But Europeans also (in the countries that I know about) pay less value added tax on books (and food) than on other goods.

Just keep in mind, that liberal on the old continent, basically means libertarian in the US (or perhaps Britain).

What about those who barf at the use of the word "literally" to mean "not literally"?

>First, books are a special kind of products, they do not obey the same rules as commercial products, they are culture.

Following the logic that books are not "commercial products" and instead culture, then shouldn't they be free?

In Sweden, while books aren't free, they have a much lower sales tax than most products and services.

They do mention e-readers and formats.

"Compatible with computers and mobile devices. These books are available in multiple formats including PDF, MOBI, and ePub so they work great on your computer, eBook readers, and a wide array of mobile devices!"

Indeed "ebook readers" is written deep in the page. I thought e-reader was the most used term, apparently I was wrong. but the one that really surprised me was "ebook reading device". What sort of periphrase is this?

I think they're trying to convey that anything you use to read ebooks can read these books. If they said e-reader, I'd assume an e-ink device. (I guess some people might assume it's incompatible with their obscure, but pdf-supporting tablet.)

Your first point is confusing to me. How are games, movies, tv shows, music, etc any less culture than books?

First: He didn't say that.

But it's a typical european intellectual view, especially in Germany and probably it's the same in France. Here we have the state support for the higher arts, like subventions for museums, to have them let a positive effect on the population. That is to counteract the evil influence of the pop-culture, especially of american movies and music. And all pc-games are garbage, responsible for kids killing people and the brutalization of the youth.

That view is deeply routed here and equally present in right-conservative circles as in left anti-imperialistic circles, who even in the 80s and 90s commonly didn't had a tv (or at least claimed to not watch it, if they had one, apart from watching the news and arte).

I hope that the following generations will change that, but just talk to a non-gamer about his view of pc-games. It will take years for a normal development here, though movies are much more accepted now (still censored, of course, and only the removal of the censorship will show me that this society here has accepted them fully)

Of course there are already intellectuals not fitting into that scheme, an example is Wolfram Knorr who wrote the book "Weil sie wissen, was sie tun" ("Because they know what they do") about the quality of the american influence on the german culture, showing the beginning of intellectual german anti-americanism in the 20s and more so in the 50s and the following development.

Anyway, that thought of a good german/european high-culture being in a fight with the american low-culture leads to a lot of state-intervention here, a process in which not only museums and theatres are given money so they can focus on not popular higher arts, but also books are bound to have the same high price so they aren't devalued as mere products.

Something like that bundle couldn't exist here, which is a shame (and which maybe explains the high average price).

> First: He didn't say that.

You are technically correct, but it was heavily implied but having a problem with this Bundle in particular when HB's usual is games & music. It could have been a bad assumption, but one that would have been easily cleared and one that I was not attempting to argue with so I feel I was intellectually in the clear in making such an assumption, as well.

As for the rest of your post: thank you for the information. The "European intellectual view" is very much a different way of thinking than I am used to encountering. Follow-up question: your post seems to indicate that the primary villain being fought is American pop culture so what of American books? It seems from this thread that they are given the same protection as European books so are they just not considered "evil" or is it that it's worth overreaching to include them if it means saving "real" culture or is there some other mindset at work?

Well, with books it is something different. Authors like Philip Roth or Begley are just too good to be dismissed like that. And the view is always heavily dependent on the medium, so a book is always worth more, has to be really trashy to be counted to be a part of the evil american influence - all the resentments are mixed with the technic fear common in those circles. Which is heavily noticeable when those people talk about pc-games or the internet, the root of societies downfall.

"First, books are a special kind of products, they do not obey the same rules as commercial products, they are culture. To explain a little, I am french and we have a law for the unique price of books: the price you will pay for a book will be the same on amazon, at fnac, in your local bookshop or in a supermarket."

You can pay as much or as little as you wish. They are not gouging you, how could it possibly be objectionable that they are not forcing you to spend more money?

The "Lang Law" [0][1] (Lang is in reference to Jack Lang who proposed it, as opposed to language) isn't meant to stop price gouging. It's to stop larger book sellers from being able to make special deals with publishers for bulk purchase discounts.

It stipulates that the publisher's book price on the back may only be discounted up to a further 5% by the retail store.

There are also other fixed book price laws [2] around the world.

[0] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lang_Law - English version [1] http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loi_Lang - French and more information [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixed_Book_Price_Law

I see. I suppose I understand that, even if I don't agree it is good.

However I can't wrap my mind around why he would simultaneously want Humble Bundle to raise their price to "protect" local bookstores and want them to license the books with permissive licenses that permit free redistribution.

Would he presumably be okay with the Humble Bundle if they were non-commercially distributing the books for only free with permissive licenses? Wouldn't that cause even more harm than merely allowing people to pay what they want?

Or does he want the privileges granted by permissive licenses, but doesn't want Humble Bundle to have the same?

I am french too, and books are not special kind of things different from games or me writing a report at work. They are all intellectual creations and this idea that somehow they should have a different status is an aberration. The Law should not be made for securing the rights of the merchants (in your case the bookshops) but for benefiting the greater good, i.e. widespread access to books for everyone. Having a fixed price goes against that, just like blocking the price of apartment rents, blocking the price of anything: it results in killing free markets and make things more expensive for everyone in the end.

The idea that culture is a different kind of business is born from Ancient Regime roots and it's about time these ideas die for good.

Hey ernesth. I can understand where you're coming from with the concern about the culture of books, speaking as a novel writer.

Speaking from that side of the keyboard, though, and as a hobbyist game developer, I see the exact same cultural experience with games.

When I witness people building their own Mass Effect Shepherd armor (or, heck, my own cosplay) standing alongside Harry Potter costumes at DragonCon, the dividing line disappears for me.

I would love to see this new bundle follow the same product rules that provided crazy exposure and crazy sales* for game developers.

Are we reading the same page? Doesn't it mention ebook readers ( thought not e-reader if that is what you CTRL+Fing or something )

On an unrelated note, that site uses SPDY (looks like it's on app engine or apps for your domain).

This bundle has some fantastic books. They did a really good job putting it together.

On to more interesting thoughts, I wonder if future ebook bundles will be filled with serial titles. In other words, you pay the nominal Humble fee to sample the first novel of several series; publishers will bite hoping you'll get hooked at full price. I don't recall seeing an appeal to episodic content in other Humble Bundles, but ebooks are a different market with different publishers looking at different trends. Interesting times.

The next John Scalzi book is going to be episodic. I'd far rather buy it from Humble Bundle than from Amazon...

I'm working on a serialized novel "bundle" of my own, one that mixes multiple media with each monthly module.

the baen free library has plenty of "first novel in series" books. the amazon sub-$2 daily sale does it a lot too. both have successfully got me to buy the next several books in the series.

Oh, they made an illustration for "hungry author" too: http://cdn.humblebundle.com/1/hbb1/sad_author.jpg

If anyone cares, my two cents so far. Disclaimer: I love scifi and fantasy stuff in general and think that I have a rather high bullshit tolerance.

Started with Old Man's War and finished it in one go. Liked it a lot, although it was really simple. It was a great start for this bundle and set some high expectations.

I started Magic for beginners, a collection of short stories. The first one was.. weird. But fun and a good read. The second was unreadable. I tried multiple times, restarted.. No luck. Checked the third and it's a freak story in a q/a format.. Tried, failed. Last chance, story four. Maybe that one isn't bad, I was annoyed by now. The beginning is.. totally off though. I stopped, deleted the book.

How about Invasion? Deleted it after 10 minutes. I'll keep it in an index of reference books for crap that is impossibly bad. Its like a C-movie, but without the special effects and with a worse plot. Granted, Hitler/Nazi plots have a hard time with this German reader. If an author thinks that it makes sense to drop German-except-not-really quotes on every other page I'm deeply disgusted. Don't. Oh my god is it bad.

So.. I'm now disillusioned. I love the Humble Bundle stuff, but so far this particular one was exceptional in only one way, a bad way.

Obviously this is a matter of taste and maybe everything else is good anyway, but I cannot recommend this Bundle to friends.

Fantastic extension of the Humble Bundle concept. Good titles too, Old Man's War, Pump Six and Zoo City are all great books I've read recently.

Might be worth mentioning that the two Kelly Link collections are licensed Creative Commons and available here free: http://smallbeerpress.com/creative-commons/ Well worth checking out if you enjoy contemporary 'weird' fiction.

Humble Bundle has such a great website design.

The instructions for Android seem needlessly complicated. Here's easier ones.

- install FBReader - click on the EPUB link

Depending on whether you've done this before, you may get a dialog asking whether you want to make FBReader the default for epub.

What's more surprising is that neither Aldiko nor Kobo work this simply.

Here's the post from Humble bundle blog, with a very short synopses for each book on one page.


Wow.. ok, now i bought it but i didn't think it would be so much trouble reading the books on my iPad.. itunes? syncing? Bahh, i don't even know when i last used itunes :(

boots into windows to update some crappy buggy software to read an ebook on his tablet

We are working on updating our instructions in favor of a direct download approach, which seems to be way better. Sorry about the iTunes favoritism!

-Jeff from Humble Bundle

You might want to consider adding "Add to Readmill" buttons to the post-checkout page: https://readmill.com/developers/send-to-readmill

(and no, I'm not affiliated with them, I just think they've built a great platform)

YESSSS Please do this, I'm really liking Readmill integration for the DRM free eBooks lately.

Awesome, jeff! Love Humble Bundle!

p.s.: i just saw that kindle is also on the appstore. So i may sync without itunes AND have it on my smartphone (android) and the ipad. yay!

Jeff, when I try to download PDF, my browser (Chrome) downloads "viewer.html" instead of the PDF.

I think this is a chrome PDF viewer issue. You may want to fix this.

Why not open the ePub links from Safari and say "Open With..." iBooks? Worked fine for me. They will sync over to iTunes and your computer or the cloud when you next sync up.

Oh ok, sounds better, so i can use the links on the ipad and skip itunes? Then ignore my comment, i'm happy again ;)

You shouldn't need to-- you can load a PDF or ePub into iBooks straight from Safari or email.

They should mention that on the instructions page, thanks

you should check out Readmill: http://readmill.com

It's quickly become my favorite book-reading app on the iPad, and their webapp is pretty awesome too. You can load any unprotected EPUB.

Can you just email yourself the ebook and open it that way?

I saved it to my Dropbox, then I can open it on my iPad directly.

FWIW, Cory Doctorow's Pirate Cinema is CC licensed and is [legally] available for free from his personal website: http://craphound.com/pc/download/

Is really hard for my wallet to resist bundles like this. When the price and process get together, is easy to give your money.

Just bought a bundle for myself and one for my girlfriend.

I had two of the books there on my Reading List. Instant buy!

"Pump 6" is a fantastic book. I find the genre of Science Fiction short stories is very hit-and-miss. Pump 6 is a hit.

Try donating $0.01 and see what happens ;)

Some good books here. Well worth the buy.

Why is Neil Gaimen in the humble bundle? I thought this was to help under-exposed artists, not writers who are already a massive success.

I say make room for talented writers who could use the money.

Gaiman's book is actually a graphic novel -

you could say this showcases more the work of the illustrator Dave McKean than Gaiman's work, with two more stories written and illustrated by McKean. So you could say Gaiman's name is for the pull, while the majority of the work was done by McKean, who'll probably get most of the money, too.

Could be a strategy to help people pull the trigger on a sale. When you do not recognize any writers in the bundle besides Gaiman, you can think "At least I get one book from someone I know to be talented." Then the indie writers you wish to receive money also end up with more for being grouped with a superstar "non-indie".

Neil Gaimen was likely included to drive people to the bundle. You get a work that you know will be good (if you like Neil) and a bunch of works that are possibly risky to you. Plus, think of the valuable marketing you get from Neil blogging/tweeting/etc about it.

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