What is The Free Bundle?
We are newsletter magazine committed to promote and diffuse the science fiction genre in all its forms. With a community of +16,000 active readers across the globe, we help writers, small publishers and artists reach new audiences.
Active World Subscribers
The Magazine branding needed an extra push from our friend the Cacodemon. We are letting it roam free all over the website now in preparation for this year’s Halloween party.
We rolled out a proprietary technology that checks recent subscription numbers with our newsletter provider by programmatically making an inquiry for the past 24 hours. There is an ongoing plan to release this tool and its technology with a General Open Source License sometime in the near future.
Though there are many solutions in the market, we decided to code our own and call it LinkProof
Reading us just got easier than ever! We rolled out a bookmarking functionality that lets you save, read, and manage any story of our Magazine.
The best of this upgrade is that it doesn’t requires an account. Unlike other bookmark services, ours is browser-based, which means it works right out of the box by just visiting our Magazine’s web site.
Writers. Online. Getting Coffee.
The Free Bundle’s exclusive interview series featuring the most relevant upcoming writers of the Sci-fi & Fantasy genre launches with Effie Seiberg, a San Francisco Sci-Fi author.
Newsletters Logo Redesign
We felt the design of the previous logos was a little outdated, especially (and paradoxically) the one for the Retro-Fridays newsletter. We redesigned the entire logo.
Branding is consistent across all newsletters now.
Reading Bar Added
To improve the way short stories on the Fantastic Horizons section we add a customized options bar that changes text size, background color, and text layout.
10,000 Subscribers Party
Only a few months after the magazine launched we reach our first milestone: 10,000 active subscribers now enjoy reading The Free Bundle from every corner of the planet. To conmemorate the event, we delight ourselves with pounds and pounds of pizza.
Single-Page Layout Dropped
Reading switches from the old school magazine-look to a multi-page format. The single-page format, though original, was simply too slow for some mobile devices.
We Summoned a Demon
In the tradition of old-school publications, the now famous Cacodemon (from the Greek κακοδαίμων - kakodaimon) by co-founder and artist Carlos Cabrera, gets summoned to become the magazine’s official pet. It now overs the logo and all of our social media channels, guarding our readers.
The Free Bundle moves its infrastructure to Amazon.
Free Bundle Magazine Launches
The Free Bundle Magazine is born. The design goes through several iterations during launch day before the brand gets its final look. For the first issue, we feature articles on James Cameron’s new movie Alita, a list of Top Ten Christmas Movies everyone should watch during for the holiday season, a miniature painting station done from amazon scrap boxes, the best independent games of 2018, a pen and paper RolePlaying game titled “The Tower of the Beholder” and a weird fiction short story in no other than our own pulp magazine-like section, Fantastic Horizons.
The Magazine single-page format quickly divides our audience between those who love it and those urging us to change it. Despite that, the magazine reaches around +3000 new subscribers on the first couple of days after launch.
The redesign of the new Free Bundle begins. We drop Wordpress and move to Hugo, a static website generator.
After almost twenty-five successful bundles, we decide to shift our focus from featuring only independent game creators to serve a broader audience. Read more about the decision here.
The Ho-Ho-Ho Bundle Launches
The free bundle offers a series of short adventure games themed around the Holiday season for both, desktop and mobile devices.
After eight successful numbers and more than half a million downloads, the site architecture becomes too large to handle with our in-house CMS. We move the entire backend to Wordpress.
Indie Talk Launches
The Free Bundle hosts a series of interviews with independent creators and game journalists.
The First eBook Bundle
The Free Bundle, eBook edition successfully launches featuring Javier Cabrera’s episodic novella MYTHOS: A Silicon Valley Thriller. The eBook edition reaches over six thousand downloads within the first 72hs of being published online with virtually zero advertising.
Private Server Migration
The visits and downloads pile up so fast after a second “Reddit effect” that our hosting provider collapses a whole cluster of their servers. Thanks to pressure by the independent game community and developers alike, the free bundle gets restored with an upgraded plan.
Mobile Games Added
The Free Bundle begins featuring android and iOs games. A whole bundle edition of “freemium” games gets added to the collection with direct links to their Apple and Google Play store pages.
The logo gets its first redesign, going from its arcade-neon look to a more polished and professional style while keeping its characteristic yellowish-orange tone.
Free Bundle Launches
Born to help independent game creators to promote their games, The Free Bundle became an overnight success, quickly raising among gamers and the gaming press as the place to look for new games to play. CNET, PC GAMER and even Reddit’s homepage (with over 1000 upvotes!) were talking about The Free Bundle and the creators we featured.
The games featured in the first edition of the Free Bundle reached over 150,000 downloads from every point of the planet.