Humble eBooks

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#1 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Humble eBooks

Posted 10 October 2012 - 07:55 AM

We've talked about the Humble Bundle games previously. I've even grabbed a couple. Well, now it's books!

The Humble eBook Bundle

They're scifi and fantasy books, which usually speak to a programmer's heart. Neil Gaiman, probably one of my favorite authors ever, is in there. Cory Doctorow, tech geek, evangelist, etc, also there. I'm currently reading "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom" from Doctorow, which he released under the Creative Commons licence. It is therefor available at Project Gutenberg, another great site to support.

( If anyone is interested, I wrote an ePub renamer in Python, mostly because Gutenberg's naming convention is close to useless. )

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#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Humble eBooks

Posted 10 October 2012 - 08:22 AM

Old Man's War is pretty solid. It wouldn't be a bad investment assuming I believed this "ereader fad" will stick around. :D
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#3 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Humble eBooks

Posted 10 October 2012 - 08:50 AM

eReader, tablet, maxiPad, whatever... The nice thing about the format is that you can read it on the device you like.

I find reading books a computer monitor rather draining. However, my Nook is surprising reader friendly. I wouldn't have believed how enjoyable it is to read a book on the thing if you'd told me. I've read dozens of books on it at this point. I even got a digital copy of a dead tree book I was half way through to read on it.
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#4 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: Humble eBooks

Posted 10 October 2012 - 02:34 PM

i've been paying attention to this for the last day, it's kind of impressive how the average price actually keeps going up.
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#5 CharlieMay  Icon User is offline

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Re: Humble eBooks

Posted 12 October 2012 - 02:44 PM

People must really want those two books you get if you pay more than the average price.
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#6 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Humble eBooks

Posted 12 October 2012 - 05:58 PM

Well, the two locked ones are Neil Fucking Gaiman ( with all due respect to Amanda Fucking Palmer ) and John Scalzi. They are the big ticket.

But its more than that. There are a number of ideologies at work here. The more money that's amassed from this, the more clearly it shows the viability of a "name your price" model. It also emphasizes that people will pay to be free of DRM.

More than that, you get to put your money where you want it. I picked a price and then added some more for the authors. They are the producers of the content. They deserve the lion's share, not the middle men, IMHO.
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#7 CharlieMay  Icon User is offline

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Re: Humble eBooks

Posted 16 October 2012 - 12:28 PM

They added 5 bonus books to this so if you purchased the original bundle, you should be able to immediately download the other 5.
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#8 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Humble eBooks

Posted 16 October 2012 - 12:51 PM

Yep, they fired me out an email.

Sadly, they all seem to be PDF only. PDF on an eReader can be... unfortunate. You can covert em, but it's never quite right.
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#9 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Humble eBooks

Posted 16 October 2012 - 01:17 PM

View Postbaavgai, on 12 October 2012 - 07:58 PM, said:

Well, the two locked ones are Neil Fucking Gaiman ( with all due respect to Amanda Fucking Palmer ) and John Scalzi. They are the big ticket.

But its more than that. There are a number of ideologies at work here. The more money that's amassed from this, the more clearly it shows the viability of a "name your price" model. It also emphasizes that people will pay to be free of DRM.

More than that, you get to put your money where you want it. I picked a price and then added some more for the authors. They are the producers of the content. They deserve the lion's share, not the middle men, IMHO.


I'm sticking with paper. Ideology's nice, but there's no electronic platform that I've tried yet that I actually enjoy reading. Free isn't interesting to me, since my time is the real investment that I'm making in the book. I'll let the author (or their representative) name a price, and if I want to read it, I'll pay that price.


Tangent: Speaking as a musician and a former AFM organizer, fuck Amanda Palmer.
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#10 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Humble eBooks

Posted 16 October 2012 - 01:25 PM

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Tangent: Speaking as a musician and a former AFM organizer, fuck Amanda Palmer.

Who and why?
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#11 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Humble eBooks

Posted 16 October 2012 - 01:33 PM

AFM - American Federation of Musicians.

Amanda Palmer - on her current tour, she asked musicians to play for beer. That's kind of like asking Teamsters to drive for free, except you don't get your knees broken for it. You just get a lot of bad press. She ended up doing the world's least graceful backstep and offering to pay something. (I don't know how much)
Anyone who gets up on stage for Occupy and then screws over the members of her own profession can, in my opinion, get stuffed.

She's also married to Neil Gaiman, who as far as I know is not involved in fucking over the working class, but that's how she got brought up in this thread.
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#12 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Humble eBooks

Posted 16 October 2012 - 01:47 PM

Ah.. gotcha.
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#13 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Humble eBooks

Posted 17 October 2012 - 05:44 AM

Well, I mentioned Amanda mostly because I was riffing on her silly moniker for Neil. I was unaware of those bizarre allegations against the artist and decided it required more research and less hysteria.

So... Her announcement:

Quote

we’re looking for professional-ish horns and strings for EVERY CITY to hop up on stage with us for a couple of tunes.
...
the deal:
you’d need to show up for a quickie rehearsal (the parts are pretty simple) in the afternoon, then come back around for the show!
we will feed you beer, hug/high-five you up and down (pick your poison), give you merch, and thank you mightily for adding to the big noise we are planning to make.
-- http://www.amandapal.../blog/20120821/


Sounds like a combination of promotion and audience participation. This is a call to fans, not a the band proper. And yet, it's been labeled "backup band" in news outlets. She calls them "crowd-sourced musicians." I not sure this got spun to say she's shafting her band, because it just doesn't sound like that to me.

Rather than rely on second hand rumor and FUD, let's go to the source:

Quote

i’m sad to realize that our creative intentions of crowd-sourcing – something that i’ve done for years, and which has always been an in-house collaboration between the musicians and the fans, never a matter of public debate or attack – are getting lost in the noise of this controversy.
an editor tweeted me last night to PAY MY BAND. good lord.
to be clear, i have ALWAYS paid my band, who are on SALARY for the entire year (and will be next year too), even during the weeks/months we’re not touring.
-- http://www.amandapal.../blog/20120919/


Um, so, yeah. What's the problem again?

This post has been edited by baavgai: 17 October 2012 - 05:44 AM

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#14 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Humble eBooks

Posted 17 October 2012 - 06:10 AM

The problem is that musicians are asked far too often to play for free for "exposure" or for "good causes", to the point where it's an expected rite of passage for musicians. If Palmer wants a horn section or strings, she should pay for them. She should certainly not expect her bassist to pay them out of his personal pocket - which was her original plan, if you read her blog.

So not only is she screwing the musicians - who you might blame for their participation - but she's taking money from her bassist's salary to pay for a service she requires. This is sort of like your boss telling you that it's your responsibility to pay minimum wage to the intern who mostly just brings him coffee. Oh, and if you don't, you're fired.

Sure, you'd be sensible to quit, but this is certainly unacceptable behavior on your boss's part. And Palmer's behavior is disgusting, especially given her prattling on about and to the Occupy people.

EDIT: this is of course a tangent, but hypocrites piss me off somewhat

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 17 October 2012 - 06:21 AM

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#15 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Humble eBooks

Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:44 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 17 October 2012 - 09:10 AM, said:

this is of course a tangent, but hypocrites piss me off somewhat


That's ok, it is a sadly slow thread. Also, this is strangely apropos: DRM free books, dead tree books, the flow of cash, who gets paid, the value of a thing...

You clearly see this as "asking, no expecting, musicians to offer their sevices free of charge." Yep, that's a piss off, no doubt.

There is another force working here that you don't seem to fully understand: fandom.

There are people, clearly not you, who would offer their left nut to be part of the show. These aren't professionals. Professionals work for cold hard cash. These are people who would be at the venue anyway. Perhaps the kind of people who would have to be thrown off stage. People who will tweet and gush to everyone who can stand it about being on stage with Amanda "Fucking" Palmer.

This is not about employment but participation. No about being a musician so much as being a fan. People who consider themselves part of a "fandom" and that association as part of their identity. If you don't know how earnest or "fanatic" such people can be, you just don't get the mindset.

It's the outsiders who are screaming. People who sound like union bosses and lawyers, rallying forces against a slight to their perceived fiefdom and business model. The participants in the exercise never complained about their compensation. Indeed, the are being demonized by those who might lay "blame for their participation" and yet none have reneged on their commitment.

Who is being hurt? More importantly, who is taking offence? Those who don't understand the dynamic seem enraged for their own reasons. The fans look on in confusion, perhaps fearing the mob that would ruin their seemingly innocent fun.

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 17 October 2012 - 09:10 AM, said:

She should certainly not expect her bassist to pay them out of his personal pocket


I find no reference to this. Please cite.
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