I think unglue.it is a great idea, but after seeing their first selections I must admit that I’m a bit skeptical about their success. The thing that will make unglue.it work is selecting books that readers want to read and that are unavailable in any form. Let’s take a look at their initial selections:
Riverwatch, by Joseph Nassis: this book is available from Amazon in hardback for $19.95 and in Kindle format for $3.99. Why on earth would I pledge money to get an unglued copy when I can buy it for only $4?
6-321, by Michael Laser: again, this is available new on Amazon for $13 and used for $0.01. No ebook version is available, but is is obscure enough that I couldn’t really care.
Love Like Gumbo, by Nancy Rawles: available in new paperback for $4.75 from Amazon and used for $0.01. Must admit I’ve never heard of it.
Budding Reader Book Set 1: Cat, by Melinda Thompson: this is available from Amazon in Kindle format for $9.99 and has been optimized, so the blurb says, for larger screens. No reason to pledge on this one.
Oral Literature in Africa, by Ruth H. Finnegan: this is perhaps the most interesting of the lot. Available from Amazon, used, for $20 in paperback and $36 in hardback. I’d probably buy the paperback before I pledged any money.
Unglue.it’s initial selections are, to me, rather quirky and are all available for Amazon at reasonable prices. Two of them are even in Kindle editions! Admitedly some of these books are from used book dealers, but if I want one of these I can get it with one click of my mouse – and at a reasonable price, even including shipping. Why should I pledge money for something like this? Maybe I’m missing something about the concept as a whole, but it doesn’t seem to me that unglue.it is bringing much to the table as yet.