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Pay What You Want eBooks – Story Bundle

by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Love it or hate it, The Pay-What-You-Want philosophy has revolutionized marketing and sale for video games and music for a while. And now Story Bundle is seeking to do the same for e-books by grouping together works from indie authors into one pay-what-you-want package.  On top of that, you can donate part of what you do pay to charity. That’s right.

With The Humble Bundle, you can customize not only what you pay for but where what you pay goes, choosing between developers/artists/writers, charities, and the site’s administration costs. You can give everything to one of these or split it between two or three in various percentages. That may ease the concern of some buyers who feel guilty for giving money to people who support things they disagree with or might spend it on things they object to.

With a little bit of research, you can be sure your money goes to things and people you’d approve of in the percentages you feel they deserve. And, as Story Bundle explains, “our books have no DRM. None. That means you can read them on just about all the devices you own, no matter who makes it.”

The site claims their average total donation per bundle has averaged $10 for independent games, a fraction of the typical $80 one would pay retail. Without DRM, of course, piracy is still an issue, but game developers continue to site sales spikes coming for games offered this way after the  bundle’s availability ends.

It remains to be seen whether authors will accept this as an opportunity or reject it as lowering their income but given Humble Bundle’s success with games and music, Story Bundle (unaffiliated) seems to be employing a concept that’s here to stay for a while at least.

For more about Story Bundle, check out their first bundle and site:

For more thoughts on bundling and pay-what-you-want, here’s an article from The Digital Reader:

Bryan Thomas Schmidt is an author and editor of adult and children’s science fiction, fantasy and humor books, short stories and articles. A frequent contributor to blogs like SFSignal, Adventures In SF Publishing, Grasping For The Wind and To Be Read, he also hosts Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Chat under the hashtag #sffwrtcht on Twitter and blogs about writing and creativity on his own blog at Connect With Bryan On Google+

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