The Humble Bundle and what it could mean to the eBook business model

Robert Martinez writing in The Huffington Post has an intriguing article on a business model for online bookselling called Humble Bundle. (Martinez is involved in this effort himself.) Humble Bundle’s motto reads “Pay what you want. Support charity. Read.”

The website is selling the work of 13 authors during a 24 hour period, allowing buyers to pay what they want for this collection. In a move that will make readers happy the authors forgo Digital rights management (DRM), the issue that drives ALL digital media consumers crazy.

Check out the details from the website:

The Humble eBook Bundle

Thirteen works of literary genius. Humble eBook Bundle features thirteen masterful works from a prodigious league of award-winning authors and artists. Name your price and receive Pirate Cinema, Pump Six and Other Stories, Zoo City, Invasion: The Secret World Chronicle, Stranger Things Happen, and Magic for Beginners. Customers who beat the average price will also get Old Man’s War, comic collections Attack of the Bacon Robots, Epic Legends of the Magic Sword Kings, Save Yourself, Mammal!, The Most Dangerous Game, xkcd: volume 0, and graphic novel Signal to Noise!

Pay what you want. Separately, this collection of fantastic novels and comics would cost around $157. But we’re letting you set the price!

Compatible with computers and mobile devices. These eBooks are available in multiple formats including PDF, MOBI, and ePub so they work great on your computer, eBook readers, and a wide array of mobile devices! Please note that this is the digital debut for many of these great titles, and if you’re having any viewing or usability issues, please let us know!

Support charities and authors. Choose how your purchase is divided: to the authors, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Child’s Play Charity, and/or the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. And if you like this promotion, a tip to the Humble Bundle would be greatly appreciated!

Since 1995 the web has been challenging and pushing every form of product distribution that has come before it. Content creators want to be able to offer their original material for sale to consumers at a fair price in a space that gives them more of the profit at the expense of a middle person. So be prepared for more experiments in digital media distribution like Humble Bundle.

It’s a great time not to be dead.