Last month, I was approached by the folks at Vodo, a pay-what-you-want site that offers mixed bundles of movies, games, books, etc. They wanted to know if I’d be interested in offering Clarkesworld Magazine as part of an upcoming science fiction-themed bundle. I was initially skeptical about the idea, but they eventually won me over.

Given that we place all our content online for free, allow people to make PayPal or Patreon donations, you’d think that this might be a no-brainer for us. The problem is that we’ve established a price for our subscriptions and didn’t want to alienate our existing subscribers by offering a much cheaper alternative. Fortunately, Vodo was receptive to our concerns and worked with me to come up with something that felt more respectful of our existing subscribers.

While Vodo is pay-what-you-want, some content isn’t included in your bundle if you don’t pay more than the average payment or spring for the premium package. We placed a four-issue subscription (nice length for a trial) in the 2nd tier. Given the subscription’s length and average payment for that tier, it feels fair to everyone.

For our part in this, we get a share of the payments and the opportunity to reach a large audience of people who probably haven’t heard of us before. So far, over seven-hundred people have purchased the bundle (launched Friday night) and it’s still available for another eighteen days. I’ll consider this a success if even a small percentage of those people convert into regular subscribers. That’s the best you can expect from any marketing these days and if we want to build our subscriber base, we’re going to have to experiment with our approach to marketing. This seemed like a good place to start. As an added bonus, five-percent of Vodo’s sales go to charity… in this case, the EFF.

The basic Otherworlds Bundle includes the following movies, games, comics, books and music:

  • Cory Doctorow’s Futuristic Tales Of The Here And Now [Book] – Graphic novel of six stories by Cory Doctorow.
  • Bientôt L’été [Game] – Heavily atmospheric game for two players.\
  • 2145 [Audio] – Dark Ambient music from Sabled Sun
  • The Surrogates [Book] – Acclaimed five-part comic series. NY Times Bestseller.
  • Blink [Film] – 4 tightly-crafted visions of beyond in 1 short film.

If you beat the average price, you’ll unlock these:

  • Ghosts With Shit Jobs [Film] – Macro-satire on a micro-budget
  • Future My Love [Film] -A documentary meditation on financial collapse, utopia and love.
  • Ai Wars: Fleet Command [Game] – Space-based RTS game and expansion pack.
  • Clarkesworld Subscription [Book] – Clarkesworld Sci Fi Magazine, 4-month subscription.
  • Apex Book of World Sf [Book] – 16 sci-fi short stories from Asia, Middle East, Eastern Europe and more.
  • 2146 [Audio] – AudioThe Dark Ambient sequel to 2145
  • Out There Ep [Audio] – Bespoke compilation of haunted space-pop from Not Not Fun records

If you beat the premium price, you’ll also unlock:

  • The Surrogates: Flesh And Bone [Book] – Prequel to The Surrogates. Sci-Five!
  • Drones [Film] – A trip of an office comedy.
  • The Surrogates: Case Files 1 & 2 [Book] – 2 great graphic novellas set between Volumes 1 and 2.
  • Signals [Audio] – Triple-album spin-off to Sabled Sun’s Dark Ambient odyssey.

You can find all the details on Vodo’s Otherworlds Bundle page. Head on over now and grab yourself a bargain!