Must-Read: A very worthy endeavor.
However, I feel like a gotta say here that Google Books was the best vehicle for them to realize their dreams.
What is the current state of Google Books, anyway?
About Us | Authors Alliance: “Authors Alliance promotes authorship for the public good…:
… by supporting authors who write to be read. We embrace the unprecedented potential digital networks have for the creation and distribution of knowledge and culture. We represent the interests of authors who want to harness this potential to share their creations more broadly in order to serve the public good. Unfortunately, authors face many barriers that prevent the full realization of this potential to enhance public access to knowledge and creativity. Authors who are eager to share their existing works may discover that those works are out of print, un-digitized, and subject to copyrights signed away long before the digital age. Authors who are eager to share new works may feel torn between publication outlets that maximize public access and others that restrict access but provide important value in terms of peer review, prestige, or monetary reward. Authors may also struggle to understand how to navigate fair use and the rights clearance process in order to lawfully build on existing works.
The mission of Authors Alliance is to further the public interest in facilitating widespread access to works of authorship by assisting and representing authors who want to disseminate knowledge and products of the imagination broadly. We provide information and tools designed to help authors better understand and manage key legal, technological, and institutional aspects of authorship in the digital age. We are also a voice for authors in discussions about public and institutional policies that might promote or inhibit the broad dissemination they seek.