Giving away your books is easy for fancy guys like Cory Doctorow, but what about the rest of us poor hacks? While the impetus to release books into the Creative Commons is noble, a writer needs to get paid. That's what unglue.it does. It's a service that allows authors to post ebooks and then give them out for free after a certain amount is reached. The books can be sold for any price and you can donate any amount to each book. Once they hit a certain level, the book becomes free. The service just added a new feature, called Thanks-for-Ungluing, that allows people to donate to a book author even after it's "unglued." Author John Sundman has made his latest book, Biodigital, available on the service alongside a book for kids that teaches math to preschoolers. The premise of adding work to the Creative Commons is, arguably, quite compelling. There is a certain expectation that all digital content should be free (and, thanks to piracy, it usually is) and there's no reason to fight it but, instead, route around the damage by enabling micro payments. I, personally, would love to get my titles out there for free. However, the prospect of getting money is also quite compelling. This, in the end, is the problem Unglue.it is trying to solve and, barring a few issues with title quality and design, it could be a very interesting tool for indie writers.
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