Jason Chen, formerly of Gizmodo (the stolen iPhone guy), is bout to launch a new ebook startup called StoryBundle. This new ebook seller was inspired by the pay what you want Humble Indie Bundles, and he plans to do for ebooks what Humble Indie did for apps.
Update: Jason says that he's already talking to authors. The first bundle should be out this spring, and more bundles should follow about once every other month.
The company is just launching now, and about all there is to it right now is the website, Twitter, and Facebook account
. I'm waiting to hear back from them, but in the meantime here is what the website says:
We give you a handful of ebooks (about five or so) for a low price that you choose, all DRM-free, delivered to your ereader.
We only choose quality independent authors so you can be sure what you're buying is good. Plus, you decide how much these books are worth. Great reads delivered cheaply without killing a single tree? That's something everybody can feel good about.
This might not look like such great deal for authors, but the app bundles suggest that it might be worthwhile. I've bought a couple, and they usually included older games (like an author's backlist) with the occasional newer game thrown in.
The current Humble Indie bundle has earned $578 thousand in less than a week, and it includes 4 titles. Iif we assume that everyone went with the default split then the app developers ended up with over $300 thousand to split between them.It's not a whole lot per copy sold, but the possibility of making $70 thousand or more from a single tile in a short period of time should make this option very attractive.
On a related note, authors will need to be careful about the ebooks they offer via StoryBundle. If the same title is available via Amazon when it goes on sale at StoryBundle, Amazon will send their death squads after you.They take ebook prices seriously, and they will not let you undersell them elsewhere.
Kidding aside, in the past Amazon has matched sale prices found elsewhere, but I don't know quite what they will do here (it's complicated). They might even drop the price of your ebook to nothing. I'd still go for this, but do be careful.