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Frequently Asked Questions

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Basics

How It Works

What is Unglue.it?
Unglue.it is a place for individuals and institutions to join together to make ebooks free to the world. We work together to support authors, publishers, or other rights holders who want their ebooks to be free. We support Creative Commons licensing as an enabling tool to "unglue" the ebooks.
What are Ungluing Campaigns?
We have three types of Ungluing Campaigns: Pledge Campaigns, Buy-to-Unglue Campaigns and Thanks-for-Ungluing campaigns.
  • In a Pledge Campaign, book lovers pledge their support for ungluing a book. If enough support is found to reach the goal (and only then), the supporter's credit cards are charged, and an unglued ebook is released.
  • In a Buy-to-Unglue Campaign, every ebook copy sold moves the book's ungluing date closer to the present. And you can donate ebooks to your local library- that's something you can't do in the Kindle or Apple Stores!
  • In a Thanks-for-Ungluing Campaign, the ebook is already released with a Creative Commons license. Supporters can express their thanks by paying what they wish for the license and the ebook.
We also support distribution and preservation of free ebooks through our growing catalog of free-licensed ebooks.
What is Crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is collectively pooling contributions (or pledges) to support some cause. Using the internet for coordination means that complete strangers can work together, drawn by a common cause. This also means the number of supporters can be vast, so individual contributions can be as large or as small as people are comfortable with, and still add up to enough to do something amazing.

Want to see some examples? Kickstarter lets artists and inventors solicit funds to make their projects a reality. For instance, webcomic artist Rich Burlew sought $57,750 to reprint his comics in paper form -- and raised close to a million.

In other words, crowdfunding is working together to support something you love. By pooling resources, big and small, from all over the world, we can make huge things happen.
What does it cost?
Unglue.it is free to join. Many of the things you can do here -- discovering books, adding them to your ebook list, downloading unglued books, commenting, sharing -- are free too.

If you choose to support a Campaign, please do so!.

If you choose to buy or download an unglue.it ebook, you can read it anywhere you like - there's no restrictive DRM.

If you hold the electronic rights to a book, starting campaigns or listing your ebooks is free, too. You only pay Unglue.it a fraction of your revenue. For the basics on campaigns, see the FAQ on Campaigns; for more details, see the FAQ for Rights Holders.
Who can use Unglue.it?
Anyone! We're located in the United States, but we welcome participants from all over the world.

To fund a campaign, or buy an ebook, you'll need a valid credit card. To start a campaign, you'll need to establish yourself with us as a rights holder, including demonstrating that you have the rights to the content you want to unglue. See the FAQs for Rights Holders for more.
Why should I support a book at Unglue.it when I can just buy it somewhere else?
When you buy a book, you get a copy for yourself. When you unglue it, you give a copy to yourself, reward its creators and contribute towards making it free to everyone.
What do I get when I help unglue a book?
You get a better ebook. Your unglued ebook has no restrictive DRM: you can put it on any device you want, in any format you want. You can read it on the network or off, with no one tracking your reading.

You may get premiums as part of a Pledge Campaign, depending on the amount you pledge.
Does Unglue.it own the copyright of unglued books?
No. When you unglue a book, the copyright stays with its current owner. Unglue.it does not buy copyrights. A Creative Commons license is a licensing agreement. As with other licensing agreements, it grants certain rights to others but does not affect the status of the copyright.

Just like many traditional publishing transactions, ungluing is about licensing rights. We use Creative Commons licenses which allow creators to choose the ways in which their works can be copied, shared and re-used.

If you are a copyright holder, you retain your copyright when you unglue a book. Creative Commons licenses are non-exclusive, so you also retain the right to enter into separate licensing agreements. You can read more about these licenses at the Creative Commons FAQ.
If I'm a rights holder and my book is unglued, does that mean I can never make money from it again?
No! You are free to enter into additional licensing agreements for other, non-unglued, editions of the work, including translation and film rights. You may continue to sell both print and ebook editions. You may use your unglued books as free samples to market your other works -- for instance, later works in the same series. You can use them to attract fans who may be interested in your speaking engagements, merchandise, or other materials. You absolutely may continue to profit from ungluing books -- and we hope you do!
Why do authors, publishers, and other rights holders want their books unglued?
Lots of reasons:
  • To publicize their other books, gain new fans, or otherwise increase the value of an author's brand.
  • To get income from books that are no longer in print.
  • To have a digital strategy that pays for itself, even if they don't have expertise in producing ebooks.
  • To advance a cause, add to the public conversation, or increase human knowledge.
  • To leave a legacy that enriches everyone, now and in the future.
Does Unglue.it publish books? Can I self-publish here?
Unglue.it is not a publisher. If you self-publish, Unglue.it can help you distribute your ebooks, if they meet our technical quality standards.
What's a rights holder? How can I tell if I'm one?
A rights holder is the person (or entity) that holds the legal right to copy, distribute, or sell a book in some way. There may be one entity with all the rights to a work, or the rights may be split up among different entities: for example, one who publishes the print edition in the United States, another who publishes the print edition in the EU, another who holds electronic rights, et cetera. For ungluing purposes, the rights holder is the entity who has uncontested worldwide commercial rights to a work.

If you have written a book and not signed any contracts about it, you hold all the rights. If you have signed a contract with a publisher to produce, distribute, publish, or sell your work in a particular format or a particular territory, whether or not you still hold rights depends on the language of that contract. We encourage you to check your contracts. It may be in your interest to explore launching an Unglue.it campaign jointly with your publisher.

If you haven't written a book but you have had business or family relationships with someone who has, it's possible that you are a rights holder (for instance, you may have inherited rights from the author's estate, or your company may have acquired them during a merger). Again, this all depends on the specific language of your contracts. We encourage you to read them closely. Unglue.it cannot provide legal advice.

If you believe you are a rights holder and would like to your works to be unglued, please contact us at rights@gluejar.com.
I know a book that should be unglued.
Great! Find it in our database (using the search box above) and add it to your favorites, so we know it should be on our list, too. And encourage your friends to add it to their favorites. The more people that fave a book on Unglue.it, the more attractive it will be for authors and publishers to launch an ungluing campaign. You can also contact us at rights@gluejar.com.
I know a book that should be unglued, and I own the commercial rights.
Fabulous! Please refer to the FAQ for Rights Holders and then contact us at rights@gluejar.com. Let's talk.
Is there a widget that can be put on my own site to share my favorite books or campaigns?
Yes! Every book page has an "Embed" option. Click that and copy/paste the HTML code wherever you like.

Your Account

I forgot my password. What do I do?
Click on this forgot your password link (you can also find it at the bottom of the sign in page). Enter the email address you use for your account and we'll send you an email to help you reset your password.
I never received an activation email after I signed up, or my activation email isn't working. What do I do?
Check your spam folder for mail from notices@gluejar.com. If that doesn't work, Let us know!
How do I connect my Twitter, Facebook, GoodReads, and/or LibraryThing accounts? How can I link to my personal web site?
Click on the edit icon: Edit Your Profileat the top right of your user page. (If you're logged in, your profile page is here.) Some new options will appear. You can enter your personal URL and your LibraryThing username here. There are one-click options to connect your Twitter, Facebook, and GoodReads accounts. (You'll be asked to log in to those accounts, if you aren't logged in already.) Make sure to click "Save Settings".
Why should I connect those accounts?
If you connect your Facebook or Twitter accounts, we'll use your user pics from those sites for your avatar here. If you connect to LibraryThing or GoodReads, you can import your books there onto your favorites list here, using the My Profile area. And we'll display book-specific and you-specific links to those sites for you.
I don't want to connect my accounts. Do I have to?
Nope.
How can I change my profile name or password, or the email address associated with my account?
At the bottom of every page there's a link to an account editing page where you can change your profile name, password, and email.
How do I subscribe to, or unsubscribe from, emails I receive from Unglue.it?
Make sure you're logged in and go to the Notification Settings page.

If you receive our newsletter, there's a link at the bottom of every message to manage your preferences. If you don't and would like to, you can sign up here.
Is my personal information shared?
Short version: no, except as absolutely required to deliver services you have opted into. If you have pledged to a campaign and are owed a premium, we will share your email with campaign managers so that they can deliver premiums to you; you are not required to share any further information and they are required to comply with our privacy policy in handling your information. We do use third-party providers to support some of our business functions, but they are only allowed to use your information in order to enable your use of the service. For the long version, please read our privacy policy.

The Company

How can I contact Unglue.it?
For support requests, use our feedback form. For general inquiries, use our Ask Questions Frequently account, aqf@gluejar.com. For rights inquiries, rights@gluejar.com. Media requests, press@gluejar.com
Who is Unglue.it?
We are a small group that believes strongly that ebooks can make the world richer in new and diverse ways, and that we all benefit from the hard work of their creators. We come from the worlds of entrepreneurship, linked data, physics, publishing, education, and library science, to name a few. You can learn more about us at our about page or our Unglue.it supporter profiles: Eric Hellman, Amanda Mecke and Raymond Yee. Our alumni include Luc Lewitanski and Andromeda Yelton.
Are you a non-profit company?
Yes. Unglue.it is a program of the Free Ebook Foundation, which is a not-for-profit corporation. We work with both non-profit and commercial partners.
Why does Unglue.it exist?
Because legal stickiness means you can't reliably lend or share your ebooks, borrow them from the library, or read them on the device of your choice. Because -- like public radio -- ebooks are expensive to create but cheap to distribute, so covering their fixed costs and reasonable profit up front can be an appealing system for authors, publishers, readers, and libraries. Because we all have books we love so much we want to give them to the world.