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Humble eBook Bundle Lets You Pay What You Want For eBooks

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the everybody-needs-books dept.

Books 103

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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103 comments

I'm a gamer at heart (4, Funny)

Gerinych (1393861) | about 2 years ago | (#41599541)

Throw in some Steam achievements and you got yourself a deal.

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41599575)

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

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41599677)

Throw in some real authors and you got yourself a deal.

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41599715)

Like Neil Gaiman and John Scalzi?

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41599773)

No like Tom Clancy and James Patterson.

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | about 2 years ago | (#41600437)

Because obviously Paolo Bacigalupi sucks sooooo sooo badly....
Ah, slashdot cowards making me use the keyboard...

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600893)

I see that you're using "real" as short for "really stupid".

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 2 years ago | (#41603441)

Both Clancy and Gaiman know their shit. It's a matter of taste at best if you think higher of Clancy. I'd tend to think Gaiman is a wee bit more flexible than either Clancy or Patterson.

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | about 2 years ago | (#41604351)

I'd tend to think Gaiman is a wee bit more flexible than either Clancy or Patterson.

So does Amanda Palmer. /rimshot

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 2 years ago | (#41606049)

:O Hero of the day post, indeed. That's a rimshot and a fanfare, in quick succession. With a big honking slam on a tam-tam (it's not a gong!).

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41599827)

Like Stephen King and Orson Scott Card.

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (3, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#41599955)

Baen already has a DRM free digital library and has since before the whole eBook thing ever caught on.

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600685)

Baen already has a DRM free digital library and has since before the whole eBook thing ever caught on.

Indeed it does. Shame about the titles!

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41600157)

Like Stephen King and Orson Scott Card.

He said real, not lame crap.

Bet you think Michael Bay is the greatest director ever, don't you?

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600223)

Bet you think Kevin J. Anderson is the best author ever, don't you?

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (1)

harrkev (623093) | about 2 years ago | (#41601707)

Michael Bay? Pfffff. Uwe Boll is and always will be the best!

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41604839)

who the fuck are they? nobody knows those names.

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 years ago | (#41610865)

as long as they aren't the idiots that cried piracy over the lendlink BS [slashdot.org] I'm willing to give them a look.

Just remember, almost any famous author had to start out as an unknown. The terms associated with this adventure seems to be right for checking them out.

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (2)

ZeroMS (2725031) | about 2 years ago | (#41600043)

Did you just diss Gaiman??? Stay Anonymous, Coward.

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (0)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 2 years ago | (#41600097)

Well, I'll diss him. His writing sucks. Its brittney spears for nerds in book form.

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 2 years ago | (#41602981)

Like every writer I've seen listed so far, they put out some good and they put out some crap.

Except that Salinger guy. Every word is pure shit.

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 2 years ago | (#41603115)

Its[sic] brittney[sic] spears[sic] for nerds in book form.

Mr. Pot, meet Mr. Kettle.

(I have never read any of his work, by the way.)

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41603221)

Is "Bill, Shooter of Bul" an author or even an aspiring author? If not, then the same standards cannot be held to him.

Besides, "Britney" is already an incorrect spelling of "Brittany". His spelling is actually slightly more correct.

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 2 years ago | (#41603355)

He said "His writing sucks." Since I am reading his writing, for consistency's sake, it should be held to the same standards.

He used the wrong spelling for "it's," spelled the singer's first name wrong, and didn't capitalize either name.

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 2 years ago | (#41611309)

maybe I should be. I speell things with as much respect as they deserve. Its a slight nod to my Joycean tendencies.

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 2 years ago | (#41611277)

Awesome. With a single comment I've equaled the litterary output of Gaimen. MIssion Completed. Now to retire ot Splain.

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600777)

lol...Gayman.

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41602717)

From reading the previews, Old Man's War is the only title there that seems decently written.

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41599747)

Achievements are fucking retarded.

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41599847)

And your first-hand experience in being retarded makes you the authority.

Re:I'm a gamer at heart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41601425)

Please, the proper term, as pointed out here on Slashdot a few weeks ago, is differently-tarded.

Now: Humble eBook Bundle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41599543)

Next: Humble Movie Bundle
After that: Humble Media Bundle

See a pattern?

Re:Now: Humble eBook Bundle (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41599653)

I want the Humble Hooker Bundle.

Re:Now: Humble eBook Bundle (1)

guruevi (827432) | about 2 years ago | (#41599933)

Cheap hookers from foreign countries whom Notch already paid $10k for and about 250,000 people before you have had for a buck?

Re:Now: Humble eBook Bundle (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | about 2 years ago | (#41606715)

Hey bro, don't talk about our mom like that.

Re:Now: Humble eBook Bundle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41602119)

yep...humility?

Sure, why not (3, Interesting)

Sparton (1358159) | about 2 years ago | (#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).

Pay what you want? Not quite. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41599615)

It doesn't accept negative numbers. Or imaginary/complex numbers. It didn't even accept my offer of $10.

Re:Pay what you want? Not quite. (3, Informative)

guises (2423402) | about 2 years ago | (#41599657)

Did you type it out: ten dollars? It will definitely accept a $10 payment as long as you use numbers like a normal person. Perhaps you're complaining that they don't accept the payment option of your preference? It would be nice, I admit, if they could set up a system to accept credit cards directly instead of going through payment processors, but they do give you a choice of processors. They're really pretty flexible.

Re:Pay what you want? Not quite. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41599697)

Actually what I typed was 10*pi. Seems /. doesn't support the pi character. Weird.

Re:Pay what you want? Not quite. (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | about 2 years ago | (#41600497)

IMO they should, as a nerd backed enterprise, have build at least a basic parser for simple formulas into the payment system. nothing fancy obviously you need to get a float to the payment op but doing some simple parsing and supporting predefined constants (pi,fi, e) can be easily done even from the frontend.

Re:Pay what you want? Not quite. (1)

Quirkz (1206400) | about 2 years ago | (#41600547)

While kind of cute, it's dangerous to play games where customer money is involved. Much safer to just assume anything non-numeric is a typo than to build in a minor calculator for people to play with and then deal with a bunch of chargebacks from people who made math mistakes or actually did have a typo.

Re:Pay what you want? Not quite. (4, Funny)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 2 years ago | (#41600945)

Let's see, I like Arthur C. Clarke, so I'll pay $20.01: "2 0 . 0 !" (accidental shift+1)

Oops, now my account is overdrawn by $2.3 * 10 ^ 18...

Re:Pay what you want? Not quite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41601837)

My calculator reckons 20 factorial is approximately 2.43 * 10^18, which means you would have had to have $1.3 * 10^17 to start with to end up being only $2.3 * 10^18 overdrawn. Which would make you the richest person on the planet by some margin, now if you could spare me $10^7 which I'm sure you wouldn't even notice, I won't tell everyone how rich you are. ;)

Re:Pay what you want? Not quite. (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about 2 years ago | (#41601297)

You should be able to see a handful of reasons why that would be a very bad idea. Aside from the extremely momentary novelty that you can do it, there are so many potential problems with that which would make it nothing more than a flat danger.

Re:Pay what you want? Not quite. (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | about 2 years ago | (#41613283)

No I don't. Sorry to burst your bubble there but what were you thinking about?
Obviously you aren't dealing with that sort of data on the payment framework, everything is frontend. So where exactly lies the trouble?

Re:Pay what you want? Not quite. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41599823)

1. EVERYBODY goes through a payment processor.
2. Performing the "checkout" yourself is not cheap. Storing and processing credit card data requires not-cheap security measures.
3. Going directly through a first-party processor is not cheap. There are rather large minimum cash flow requirements, which are simply infeasible for "pay what you want", especially when you're only selling something periodically.

Re:Pay what you want? Not quite. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41599775)

I paid $0.01 and chose to give that as a Humble Tip with nothing going to the authors or charity. I'm fucking awesome.

Re:Pay what you want? Not quite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41599807)

+1 badass. High 5!!!!

Books worth more than games (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41599665)

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

Re:Books worth more than games (2)

thorist (1859732) | about 2 years ago | (#41599971)

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).

Re:Books worth more than games (1)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about 2 years ago | (#41600011)

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.

Re:Books worth more than games (2)

ZeroMS (2725031) | about 2 years ago | (#41600065)

Leftover cash from not investing $$$$ in an OS, maybe?

Re:Books worth more than games (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41600263)

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.

Re:Books worth more than games (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 2 years ago | (#41601493)

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

Re:Books worth more than games (2)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 2 years ago | (#41600257)

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.

Re:Books worth more than games (1)

IRGlover (1096317) | about 2 years ago | (#41605501)

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 consider myself a reasonably avid reader and have no interest in any of these books - and I read a fairly varied range of genres and subjects (see my profile at http://www.shelfari.com/irglover [shelfari.com] ). I realise that one data point isn't statistically significant, but niether is a sweeping generalisation.

Re:Books worth more than games (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 2 years ago | (#41611171)

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.

Re:Books worth more than games (2)

Black LED (1957016) | about 2 years ago | (#41600309)

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.

Re:Books worth more than games (1)

citizenr (871508) | about 2 years ago | (#41600335)

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

Re:Books worth more than games (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41600503)

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.

Re:Books worth more than games (2)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about 2 years ago | (#41600749)

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 bid; 3) when I do participate (which isn't always) it's because I actually think the product worth it; 4) rather than just complaining about the way things are going, I rather like to give money to the EFF because I think they're doing good work.

It goes without saying that this is purely my own experience but since we're speculating I have to imagine that some share these reasons. After all, for every $242.01 outlier (the current high bid) there's likely a $.01 out there. We'll never know, as citizenr points out, without better information.

Re:Books worth more than games (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41601063)

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.

Re:Books worth more than games (3, Insightful)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about 2 years ago | (#41601317)

True enough, true enough. But let's not speak of their agenda as though there were something nefarious going on. You can't get much more straightforward than the arrangement they offer.

Re:Books worth more than games (2)

citizenr (871508) | about 2 years ago | (#41601159)

there's likely a $.01 out there

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

Re:Books worth more than games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41604819)

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.

What ever lets you sleep at night tightarse.

Re:Books worth more than games (4, Interesting)

Quirkz (1206400) | about 2 years ago | (#41600587)

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.

Re:Books worth more than games (1)

ElusiveJoe (1716808) | about 2 years ago | (#41600367)

Books? These are some readable computer files, not books.

Re:Books worth more than games (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41601887)

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".

Re:Books worth more than games (1)

asweetbluesky (1654901) | about 2 years ago | (#41605065)

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. :(

Re:Books worth more than games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41606017)

You missed Australia and New Zealand (and I think a few other countries may also have English as a first language). I'd also like to point out that more people speak English a a 2nd language than any other, of course these people may prefer books in their own language, but they may be willing to read books written in English.

Stranger Things Happen (4, Informative)

bheerssen (534014) | about 2 years ago | (#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:Stranger Things Happen (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41599923)

No it isn't. That book is freely available under a Creative Commons license here [smallbeerpress.com] .

Re:Stranger Things Happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600345)

Troll? Did the mods even check the link? It's legit.

Re:Stranger Things Happen (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41603173)

The downmod is probably more a matter of your suggesting a book isn't worth money just because you can get it for free.

Re:Stranger Things Happen (2)

k2r (255754) | about 2 years ago | (#41601345)

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

Re:Stranger Things Happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41601695)

Who said that? The OP stated that the bundle was worth it for that book alone. I said it wasn't because the book is free. The bundle may be worth it for any number of reasons, but not for the reason given by the OP.

You really should read more carefully and stop putting words into others' mouths.

Re:Stranger Things Happen (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41604721)

The OP stated that the bundle was worth it for that book alone. I said it wasn't because the book is free.

  • Just because something is free, does not mean that it is worthless, or not worth buying. That's the whole business phylosophy of Small Beer.

Re:Stranger Things Happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41608781)

"Worth" to you is money and only money. Got it.

Re:Stranger Things Happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41604879)

For the GP (and me as well), the value of something isn't solely determined by the price tag in dollars to be paid.
Not everything needs to be expressed in dollars to be worthwhile - and not everything needs to be price-optimised.
Which is kind of the point of the humble indie bundle.

Next: Humble Development Bundle (2, Funny)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 2 years ago | (#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 (3, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | about 2 years ago | (#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:Losing the roots (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600395)

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

Re:Losing the roots (1)

neminem (561346) | about 2 years ago | (#41600979)

Neat! I will! Wish I'd learned about that site for their first bundle now...

Re:Losing the roots (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 2 years ago | (#41600413)

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 otherwise be spent being miserable.

Re:Losing the roots (1)

jandrese (485) | about 2 years ago | (#41600489)

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 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41605601)

They didn't drop it. They reserve the "Humble Indie Bundle" naming for the big bundles consisting of games (of which there have been 5 or 6) and launch an increasing amount of smaller "Humble Whatever Bundles" consisting of, well, whatever, in between the big ones.

Re:Losing the roots (3, Informative)

NonUniqueNickname (1459477) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Losing the roots (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600743)

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.

Re:Losing the roots (2)

humanrev (2606607) | about 2 years ago | (#41602369)

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...

Re:Losing the roots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41604197)

The fact that they are able to get publishers to wake up and actually consider supplying content in this method is a huge win to the concept. Of course it is low risk stuff, but it reinforces that the model as doable either way.

They're doing their best to hide the fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41605007)

To compensate, they're doing their best to not give out any information about the books. I watched the video hoping it'd have a short description of each book (like there is with indie game bundles) but it didn't. I clicked the books hoping to see the back cover text but wasn't able to find such. Sure, they provide you the first chapter as a preview... but I don't want to read a whole chapter of each book just to find out the basic premise (Fantasy? Scifi? Steampunk? Alternative history? World torn by war? Are they thrillers or what? Are they meant to be light read or intended to make you think?)! I'm sure I could google with the name of the each book to find out but I won't bother. The next time they want me to spend my money on products, they should be prepared to put some very basic information about those products on the site.

Someone linked StoryBundle in a sibling post and it seems to do things right... I'll have to look into it and perhaps buy that one.

Kelly Link (3, Interesting)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | about 2 years ago | (#41600349)

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]

Once again Linux users (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 years ago | (#41601767)

donate higher amounts.

No dead tree, no deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41602397)

Sorry, I don't have and won't have one of the little crappy e-reader devices where I can't even read a fucking book as intended.

It's sad that dead tree books are on the verge of death these days, and it happened extremely fast. I don't get people's fascination with these crappy little things that won't even let you leaf through a book or do any of the number of things that make dead trees so much more valuable than digital ink. "But I can carry around hundreds of books in my purse/backpack!" Good for you. Now read all those books at once. You can't? Oh, then what's the point of doing so? Are you homeless and unable to store books anywhere? No?

Then where's the advantage?

Re:No dead tree, no deal (3, Insightful)

Black LED (1957016) | about 2 years ago | (#41603191)

I don't get people's fascination with these crappy little things that won't even let you leaf through a book

Why would I want to leaf through a book when I can perform an instantaneous search, jump directly to any bookmark or instantly open a book at any page?

or do any of the number of things that make dead trees so much more valuable than digital ink.

Such as?

"But I can carry around hundreds of books in my purse/backpack!" Good for you. Now read all those books at once. You can't? Oh, then what's the point of doing so?

The same point as being able to carry around more music than you can listen to in one sitting. Choice and convenience. If I get an urge to read something, I can pop it right up. If I need to reference something, I can pop that right up too.

Are you homeless and unable to store books anywhere? No?

No, but some of us live in apartments, studios or houses that are not large enough to fit an entire library and some of us have room but want to use that space for better purposes. Also, as stated above, there is the issue of convenience. If I am going on a trip somewhere, I don't have to spend time picking out the books I want to take, I can just grab my reader and have everything available when I want it and if it's not on my reader, I can easily download it.

eBooks have many benefits over paper books aside from what I've already said. You never have to worry about yellowing pages, faded ink or annotations/writing/highlighting on pages. eBooks allow you to change font sizes, font styles and zoom pages. eBooks never disintegrate with age and you can easily keep backups if anything happens to your reader. eBooks can be lent or given to other people, anywhere in the world, at any time without any concern about them damaging or returning your property.

The only "benefit" of paper books is that they are human powered instead of battery powered, which is a dubious advantage when you have battery life measured in weeks or months.

Re:No dead tree, no deal (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | about 2 years ago | (#41604411)

Sorry, I don't have and won't have one of the little crappy e-reader devices where I can't even read a fucking book as intended.

You mean a computer? Because they read eBooks as well.

Oh, then what's the point of doing so? Are you homeless and unable to store books anywhere? No?

Then where's the advantage?

Clearly you've never moved your books out of your mother's basement. Once is all it will take to make you appreciate not having to haul seven bookcases-worth to a new home (or even just move them because of a backed-up drain [fbcdn.net] ).

Now that the tech is finally usable, and certain readers have backlights (so you can read in bed with someone cuddled up against you asleep), they really are nifty little devices. Especially since I'm out of space for more bookshelves.

Re:No dead tree, no deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41610391)

I love how nu-technology advocates create advantages where there are none.

From both responses:

>Why would I want to leaf through a book when I can perform an instantaneous search
An index/ToC.
>jump directly to any bookmark
Physical bookmarks
>or instantly open a book at any page
Pages are numbered, you know.

>The same point as being able to carry around more music than you can listen to in one sitting
Music isn't as consuming as a book. You can jump around a bunch of music at random, listening to different artists and songs, and thus the "music library" makes more sense. A single book is more linear and even if you read several books at once, it takes time and you don't need more than a handful of books.

That said, I don't take a whole lot of music on my PMP and I change what it holds a LOT.

>use that space for better purposes.
Like what, a fucking hugeass television? I'd rather line my walls with books, thanks.

>If I am going on a trip somewhere, I don't have to spend time picking out the books I want to take, I can just grab my reader and have everything available when I want it and if it's not on my reader, I can easily download it.
You would need to go on one longass trip to need to carry enough books for it to be an inconvenience.

>You never have to worry about yellowing pages, faded ink or annotations/writing/highlighting on pages.
I don't either because I can take care of my books. I have ancient fucking books that look almost as good as the day they were printed, and they are well read.

>Once is all it will take to make you appreciate not having to haul seven bookcases-worth to a new home
I've hauled a ton of bookcases to new apartments. I don't mind because one of the simple joys is sitting back and having all my books there with me, not virtually in some tiny little fragile goddamn device in digital ink.

Books are too important to entrust them in fragile little devices controlled by others.

Re:No dead tree, no deal (1)

Black LED (1957016) | about 2 years ago | (#41611359)

An index/ToC.

eBooks have those too, you know. Even better, eBook ToC and indexes can be linked directly to the material that they reference.

Physical bookmarks

How many physical bookmarks can you realistically stuff into a paper book though? With an eBook, I can create as many as I need.

Pages are numbered, you know.

Pick up a book and instantly open it to, say, page 392 without having to flip through a bunch of pages looking for the right one. With an eBook, I can type in "392" and have the page up right away.

Music isn't as consuming as a book. You can jump around a bunch of music at random, listening to different artists and songs, and thus the "music library" makes more sense. A single book is more linear and even if you read several books at once, it takes time and you don't need more than a handful of books.

That is only true if you're reading novels and only if you still haven't finished it. It takes me only a couple of hours to read most novels, so spontaneously deciding what to read next is that much more convenient. And what about reference books like a dictionary or programming manual? Do you read those cover to cover or do you use them to find specific information on demand?

Also, those handful of books are still going to take up more space and weigh a lot more than my thin and light eBook reader.

Like what, a fucking hugeass television? I'd rather line my walls with books, thanks.

That is one possibility. Or perhaps furniture. Or exercise space. Or paintings. Or computers. Or a piano. Or plants. Or an aquarium. Or storage. Or your kid's stuff. Or any number of things that one might want to use the space for.

You also conveniently skipped over those who may not have the space in the first place.

You would need to go on one longass trip to need to carry enough books for it to be an inconvenience.

Again, it is a matter of choice and convenience. Spend time selecting the few books I can physically carry with me or just grab my reader and be able to read and reference what I want, when I want. In addition, every paper book that I pack means that much less space and weight for other things. I travel frequently, often times internationally, and love being able to have my books with me.

I don't either because I can take care of my books. I have ancient fucking books that look almost as good as the day they were printed, and they are well read.

Unless you have every one of your books encased in mylar or something, there is little you can do to prevent page yellowing. With paper books you have to make a decision as to whether or not you want to keep them in pristine condition or if you want to be able to highlight passages and jot down notes. With an eBook, none of those are issues.

Books are too important to entrust them in fragile little devices controlled by others.

Book are important, which is one reason I prefer eBooks. With paper books, even a spilled drink or dirty hands can destroy them. If anything ever happens to my reader, no problem. I've all of my books backed up on my PC and online.

And I don't know which readers you've seen, but I've used a number of different brands/models and none of them are controlled by anyone other than the owner of the device. My nook handles both DRM and non-DRM books in multiple formats. I can even root it if I want to customize it, but I haven't felt a need nor urge to do that because it handles everything so well.

epub of Signal to Noise is shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41604189)

The epub of Signal to Noise, by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean is shit, and not worth the diskspace. Totally unreadable.

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