As a soon-to-be unemployed again person, finding economic ways to buy books for my kindle is a priority at the moment and I have found a fabulous way to do this. Today, I paid $15 (approx £10) for 8 DRM free science fiction, fantasy and graphic novel ebooks. Not only could I choose my price – I could have paid less, one day I hope to be able to pay a lot more – I could also choose how the money was distributed between the authors, the site and various charities being supported. The default settings seemed reasonable to me so the bulk of my $15 went to the authors, some to charity and some to Humblebundle, the people responsible for putting this whole venture together. Though there are also options to have all the money go to authors or to charity.
It turns out humblebundle have been doing this sort of thing for a while now, but with games which, despite my geeky ways, I’ve never really got the hang of. The closest I came to being any sort of gamer was my short lived reign as queen of crash bandicoot when I was 9 and an abiding love of the sims but that is a story for another day. On further investigation however I admit I fell in love a bit. The commitment to DRM free and to giving money to charities is the kind of thing that gives me warm fuzzies. Especially when a run down of their charities includes geek/tech/gamer friendly charities like Child’s Play and Electronic Frontier Foundation as well as more traditional charities like Red Cross and the international Charity:Water.
Given that I’m not a gamer I stumbled across humblebundle by happy accident when it was mentioned on two blogs belonging to Neil Gaiman and John Scalzi who both have books in the bundle. I have at some point or another read and loved almost everything Neil Gaiman has to offer so I was surprised to find that the graphic novel on offer: Signal to Noise was not one I’d read before. John Scalzi on the other hand is someone whose blog I read on a regular basis since someone linked me to his post Things I Don’t Have to Think About Today but I have never actually read any of this books despite Old Man’s War and Redshirts having come out since then. Both these books are only included if you pay more than the average contribution for the bundle.
Of all of the books on offer II had only read one: Lauren Beukes’s contribution Zoo City which I read when it was shortlisted for the Arthur C Clark award. Three authors were people I’d been meaning to try but never quite managed: Paolo Bacigalupi, Cory Doctrow and Mercedes Lackey and the final contributor, Kelly Link, I had never heard of but I’m excited to discover her work.
When I brought mine the average price of the bundle was $12.43, 37816 bundles had been brought and there are 12 days to go if you want them. Support good causes and get new books – what more could you want?