For some reason I'm much more leery of buying an unknown book than of buying an unknown game. I've purchased every humble bundle to date except this one. I'm still trying to work out the reasons, but there is definitely a psychological barrier to this business model for books.
EDIT: I've thought about it a bit. A large part of my motivation for buying is that, out of a collection of four or five games, there is at least one "hit" that responds to my tastes: a critically-acclaimed, high-quality title in a genre I appreciate. That one, by itself, justifies the purchase of the bundle... the others are often gravy.
I'm not a big fan of contemporary sci fi, so the presence of a big name like Cory Doctorow didn't appeal to me, but if the collection had been more literary—say, with a Zadie Smith or Michael Chabon title as a headliner—I'd have jumped all over it.
So maybe there isn't anything intrinsic to books, after all. It's just a question of targeting the right niche. As it happens, sci fi is very popular with a large part of the same demographic that buys and enjoys indie video games. That makes it a good business decision by Humble, though not one that appealed to me.
Last edited by holymadness; 10-30-2012 at 05:33 PM.