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Lauren Beukes

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Last chance to get the Humble Bundle: Pay what you want for 15 books, support charities, authors, read!

It’s been insanely cool to be part of the very first Humble Ebook Bundle along with Neil Gaiman, John Scalzi, Cory Doctorow, Kelly Link, Mercedes Lackey, Paolo Bacigalupi and fabulous cartoonists including xkcd, Zach Weiner and Penny Arcade.

In two weeks, the bundle has sold to over 80 000 people and raised over a million dollars to be split between several worthy charities and the participating authors.

I’m going to say that again: A million dollars in two weeks.

Who says reading is dead?

It’s a very exciting experiment with new distribution models that, as Humble co-founder Robert Martinez says over on Huffington Post, “respects readers”.

Alison Flood wrote a great piece on the grand, mad experiment over at The Guardian, which looks at why it’s been such a surprising success.

You pay what you want, decide how to divide the money (between the authors, charity and a tip for Humble for putting it together) and the files are available in a variety of formats, DRM-free, which means no-one is going to remotely erase it from your e-reader.

Pay more than the average (currently sitting at $14.18) and you get bonus books, up to f $160 worth of kick-ass novels and comic collections.

The response has been terrific, in part because many of the contributing authors have super-high Internet geek cred of note, but also because people feel like they’re getting a great deal on high calibre books, and they’re being trusted and respected as consumers.

It’s been freaking awesome.

But it ends in 12 hours! So if you haven’t got one yet, you might want to buy it right now at before it’s gone forever.

(And while we’re on the subject of Bundles, I also just bought the MacHeist app bundle for $29 which includes the world’s best writing software Scrivener (worth $45), which totally saved my ass managing a twisty time travel novel with three different intersecting timelines – plus some games and things. Totally worth it.)