Unglue.it

[Insert profuse apologies here regarding my limited posting over the past four months.]

It is finally warm outside after an unusually brutal Michigan winter; warm weather brings the promise of many things, and one of those is more time to write and catch up on some projects.  Some updates to Active Calculus and some responses to various AC-related emails have been too long deferred.  Ditto posting here.

I recently got a kind email from Eric Hellman of Unglue.it telling me that Active Calculus was their “Creative Commons ebook of the day“.  In his words about their project,

Unglue.it is a website dedicated to the development of sustainable funding and distribution models for Creative Commons licensed books. We are compiling a comprehensive catalog of CC licensed books while offering authors and publishers new ways to make ends meet. Last week, we launched “Thanks for Ungluing” which lets creators ask readers for support on our download pages.

In an article about the goals of unglue.it, TechCrunch explains that unglue.it is trying to build a model where authors get paid first, and then their work becomes free to use by the public.  It’s the sort of “now-that-you’ve-made-your-money, please-give-your-book-away” model that Robert Talbert once advocated for a famous calculus text.  This approach also has some of the interesting options that folks in the music industry have employed:  letting users choose how much they want to pay for a text, setting a floor to be reached before work becomes free, and allowing donations to still be made to authors whose work has become free.

Active Calculus will always be available in electronic form for free.  I’ve started to work towards setting up a print-on-demand option that will enable users to easily acquire a printed copy for a small price that is essentially the cost of production.  More on that in the near future — by early August, for sure.

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