It’s essentially a crowdsource-funded campaign that attempts to purchase the copyrights to various books, which it then releases free-of-charge—and DRM-free—to literally anyone on earth who wants a copy. (You can read the project’s FAQ section by clicking here.)
It’s been a little while since the site “unglued” its first title, Ruth H. Finnegan’s Oral Literature in Africa, but word came my way this morning that the team had finally succeeded in releasing two new books: There’s Lauren Pressley’s So You Want To Be A Librarian (Library Juice Press, 2009), which I suspect will be a huge Unglued hit. (Scroll down to watch a talking-head video featuring the author.)
Also on offer is Dennis Weiser’s The Third Awakening (2012), which is described as “a macabre, eco-friendly, erotic sci-fi fantasy satire about corporate culture and the superior beings who have come to save Earth from itself and human beings from their dark side.” (Yikes.) At any rate, you’ll find a video featuring Weiser underneath the Pressley video.
It’s probably worth pointing out that, for reasons I haven’t yet been able to deduce (but that I suspect might have something to do with pending litigation), neither of the two new Unglued titles are available as MOBI files. This seems particularly odd to me, since the first Unglued book was available in the MOBI format. This time around, though, it’s EPUB or nothing.
Which isn’t really that big of a deal; the download page that appears on the Unglue.it site after you click on either of the two book covers, after all, does walk readers through the process of downloading Calibre and converting the file into a Kindle-ready read. Still, I’m curious to know why the change was made; I’ll do some digging, and I’ll be sure to update here if I learn more.
In the meantime, get to downloading. The project’s Active Campaigns page, which features titles that may become Unglued in the future (assuming enough readers donate to the individual campaigns) is here.
Update: Well, it turns out my fears of a MOBI file conspiracy were entirely unfounded. I got an email earlier this evening from Unglue.it founder Eric Hellman, who had this to say:
The lack of Mobi files in mostly just an oversight. Just noticed it last night, actually. Today we’re all in transit to Seattle for our regular company get together before the American Library Association meeting.
So there you have it: Kindle-ready files for both new unglued books are (presumably) on the way. Safe travels to Seattle, Eric, and best of luck to you and your team at the ALA event.