I’m sure you have heard the news today about Humble Bundle.
This site pioneered a certain model for selling games and apps, and today they launched their first bundle of ebooks. The bundle includes 8 titles from well-known authors like Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, and Mercedes Lackey, and like past bundles you can pay what you want.
I almost didn’t cover this story today because content bundles aren’t that novel anymore, and even ebook bundles aren’t all that new of a idea. Baen Books was selling bundles over a decade ago, and StoryBundle launched a Humble Bundle clone a few months back.
But then I started thinking about what this move means and I realized something. Content bundles, whether apps, ebooks, or even music, are about to become the next great marketing hype. They will be hailed by all and sundry as a brilliant new way to sell stuff. I could describe what is going to be said in detail, but basically content bundles are about to go through the same hype cycle which Groupon and their competition just exited.
That might not seem like a problem, but I have been watching the deals and group buying sites long enough to have gotten burned out on the entire idea – and I would bet I am not alone.
Remember 2 years ago, when group buying sites were still a cool new idea and you signed up for every deal? That’s where the content bundles are right now. For most people the bundles are cool simply because they are new, but after about the 500th bundle not very many people will care anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the current Humble Bundle is a very nice offer. I am planning to go buy it as soon as I finish this post I’m feeling jaded today because I’m looking ahead to when Groupon jumps in. Based on the numerous daily emails I get from them I would bet that their content bundles will prove Ted Sturgeon was an optimist when he invented Sturgeon’s Law.
On the other hand, I might be the only one who feels burned out. For a lot of people (both authors and readers) this could turn out to be a very good thing; it’s an easy way to find your next read and if properly handled authors could come out ahead.
And to be fair, I bet Amazon’s bundles will be quite attractive. While I don’t have any inside info I personally give them 2 months before they start offering several type of bundles. I foresee bundles of titles they publish as well as bundles of ebooks published via KDP. The bundles might even end up being free for Prime members.
But I do think the hype cycle is coming. I, for one, plan to get out of the way before it arrives.
Update: Yet another app bundle site graced my inbox this morning. It’s called Bundle Hunt, and it proves my point.