HOMELAND audiobook, read by Wil Wheaton, DRM-free, in the new Humble Bundle!


Ah, fuddle. I went through some effort to procure a paper copy of Mogworld already. It… probably could have used a better editor, but if you’re already a fan of Mr. Croshaw’s fine work on Zero Punctuation, that’s probably all the endorsement you need.

Here’s hoping they add Jam next. Or maybe This Is How You Die, the second Machine of Death compilation.

And the novel of Jumper, it should be emphasized, is by all accounts vastly superior to the movie of the same name.

I would point out Uglies in particular as a great book–really a great series–which genuinely surprised me with the depth of subject matter and wonderful storytelling.

My 11 year old son and I are currently reading it and he’s enchanted. The only problem I had with it was getting him to start on it, as the title sort of turned him off. Once he started hearing about hoverboards, though, he was fully hooked.

Does Wil Wheaton only read books in which he is mentioned? That’s some meta-level nerdery.

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OMFG! Been waiting for that audio book for way too long now. Thank you!

The end-run around DRM requirements is cool, but the mandatory $15 pricetag is a weird departure from the “humble bundle” philosophy.

I always thought the humble bundle was about helping creators share their work and giving people an easy and satisfying way to voluntarily contribute back. This is pretty much just a sale.

Not that I begrudge an author selling their work, it’s just unexpected seeing it come from Humble and Cory.

The last few bundles have had items at the $15 level too. The wikipedia page doesn’t seem to list them separately, but going through the list of Humble Bundles and my memory, it started with the Sid Meier Bundle and continued in some of the weekly sales. I think a couple of these might have been $10 instead of $15.

Sid Meier’s Civilization V: Brave New World DLC
Spacebase DF-9
The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief
Professional Farmer 2014
Total War: Shogun 2
and now the Homeland audiobook

All of which are very recent. I think the idea is to put a new item in the different bundles. Some people will buy it just for the new item, others will stick to the lower price levels. It does seem to boost the average price up as well.

That’s pretty common in the Humble Bundle. It’s intended to encourage people to donate more generously. Usually it’s for items that are newer or more popular, so there might be licensing fees to consider as well. I see it as an extension of the “beat the average” extras they always have as well, although you can’t game them by buying hundreds of bundles at $0.01 just to drop the average.

Sort of like when you donate $100 to NPR and they throw in a coffee mug, right. You’re obviously not paying $100 to get a mug, it’s just a nice bonus they throw in to thank you for your voluntary contribution. If all you wanted was a coffee mug, you could get that some other way without paying $100.

But this bundle isn’t really a “bonus”. $15 to get the best item in a bundle - the one that, to be honest, is the most exciting for many people - that’s not really an “encouragement to donate”, it’s a sale. The deal is not “pay what you want”, it’s “pay $15”.

Again, I’m not saying it’s a terrible thing to offer that deal, but the innovative thing about the humble bundle was “pay what you want”. The idea of empowering and respecting the consumer, rather than trying to manipulate them. Because we all know that ultimately, if someone can’t (or won’t) afford $15, they’re going to skip the sale and grab the audiobook off piratebay. So why hold the information hostage at that price? Why not allow people to pay what they want for it, in a way that makes them feel good and generous, rather than like they’re being forced to take a deal they don’t like? This kind of bundle feels like it’s using the trappings of gift economy and free information as bait, but then switching up to a conventional business model when it comes time to reel them in.

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