Talking about Jumper et al made me think about Humble Bundle, which is where I originally got the first book. Humble Bundle is a company that offers, you guessed it, bundles of various electronic media for whatever price the buyer cares to offer. They started out with games, but now do bundles of ebooks and comics as well. Most of the packages are themed – adventure games, zombie fiction, particular publishers or game studios, etc. What’s on offer changes regularly. Usually, bundles will include some items that a buyer gets only if they pay more than the average up until that point and some that unlock if they buyer pays more than $15 or $20. It seems like a novel way to drive up profits over time. After all, you can literally pay only a penny if you want to, and plenty of people toss in just a dollar or five. Despite the thousands – or even millions, for popular products – they sell, however, I’ve never seen the average price rise above $15*, for products worth considerably more than that in total. So you can pick up some great stuff for cheap. Best of all, part of the profits go to charity. Which charity changes regularly, just like the bundles themselves. And unlike most companies that donate to charity when you buy their products, Humble Bundle will actually tell you how much. More than that, they’ll let you adjust it. They have a standard split** between themselves, the creators/owners of the products, and the chosen charities, but you can reset the split however you choose.
The one downside, of course, is that since you can’t pick exactly what you’re buying, you might wind up with something(s) you don’t much care for. That’s mitigated by the fact that you can dictate what you pay, though, because you just pay what the package is worth to you. I’ve bought half a dozen book bundles, most of them without even having heard of over half the books. While I’ve occasionally been disappointed in one particular book or another, I don’t regret a single bundle so far.
The point is, I’m a fan of Humble Bundle – they give me lots of stuff I like for cheap and encourage me to donate to good causes at the same time. So I thought I would give them a plug, for anyone reading this who hasn’t heard of them before. Go forth and enjoy.
* I don’t exactly keep careful track, however, so the fact that I haven’t seen it isn’t to say that it doesn’t happen.
** 20% for Humble Bundle, 65% for content owners, 15% for charity.