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User Account Agreement
(Revised 31 August, 2015)

This User Account Agreement incorporates all terms, conditions, policies, agreements and guidelines on www.bookgarage.com (hereinafter referred to as the “Site”), including the Terms of Service.

The User Account Agreement consists of four sub-agreements: (1) the Membership Account Agreement; (2) the BookGarage Independent Contractor Service Agreement; (3) the Payment Settlement Agreement; and (4) the Dispute Resolution Agreement.

Membership Account Agreement

This Membership Account Agreement (“MAA”) is a contract between you (Author, Freelancer and/or Reader; hereinafter collectively referred to as “Members”) and BookGarage. The MAA governs your membership account, and related Site services, and incorporates by definition all terms, conditions, policies, agreements, and guidelines on the Site.

By electronically registering as a Member on the Site, you are deemed to have applied for membership. BookGarage is committed to providing specialized, targeted and high quality services in its field of operation, and is therefore vetting all membership applications, based on internal screening policies. BookGarage therefore reserves the right to refuse, decline, and terminate membership at its own discretion. You expressly acknowledge and accept the fact that BookGarage can and will use internal screening. You further acknowledge and accept that BookGarage has no legal obligation to justify its screening decisions. BookGarage will, however, never refuse membership based on race, color, religion, creed, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, military or veteran status, age, and disability among other personal characteristics.

Once your application for membership has been vetted and approved, your continued use of the Site constitutes your acknowledgement that you are a registered Member, and that you accept and agree with the MAA and the Terms of Service in general.

Membership is free for all private Members, i.e., for Authors, Freelancers, and Readers.

By registering as a Member on the Site, you consent to electronically receive and access, via email or the Site, all records, notices, and contractual agreements for the services provided to you under the Terms of Service that we would otherwise be required to provide to you in paper form. Your consent to receive such records and notices electronically will remain in effect until you withdraw it. You may withdraw your consent to receive further records and notices electronically at any time by contacting BookGarage. If you withdraw your consent to receive such records and notices electronically, we will terminate your membership and you will no longer be able to use the Site services. Any withdrawal of your consent to receive records and notices electronically will be effective only after we have a reasonable period of time to process your request for withdrawal. In order to ensure that we are able to provide records and notices to you electronically, you must notify us of any change in your email address by updating your profile information on the Site or by contacting BookGarage.

To access and retain the records and notices we provide to you electronically, you must have: (1) a valid email address; (2) a computer system that operates on a platform that runs a Supported Internet Browser (Safari, Chrome, FireFox [from v. 40 included], Internet Explorer [from v. 11 included]) with javascript enabled; (3) a connection to the Internet.

Illegal and/or sensitive material is not permitted on the Site (please refer to our Terms of Service). Also, as a registered Member you need to be aware of cultural differences and sensitivities. Some material may be acceptable in one country, but unacceptable in another. BookGarage reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of all the content on the Site.

Members understand and acknowledge that BookGarage displays personal testimonials of satisfied customers on our site in addition to other endorsements. With your consent we may post your testimonial along with your name. If you wish to update or delete your testimonial, please contact BookGarage.

In consideration of BookGarage making the Site available to you, for 12 months from the time you identify or are identified by any Member through the Site, you must use the Site as your exclusive method to request, make, and receive all payments for any services directly or indirectly provided to or received from that Member or arising out of your relationship with that Member. You may opt-out of this obligation by paying a fee to BookGarage. To do so, please contact BookGarage.

In addition, you agree not to circumvent the payment methods offered by the Site. By way of illustration and not in limitation of the foregoing, you must not:

  • Submit proposals or solicit parties identified through the Site to contact, engage, or pay outside the Site.
  • Accept proposals or solicit parties identified through the Site to contact, deliver services, invoice, or receive payment outside the Site.
  • Invoice or report on the Site an invoice or payment amount lower than that actually agreed between Author (or prospective Author) and Freelancer.

You further agree to notify BookGarage immediately if another Member improperly contacts you or suggests making or receiving payments outside of the Site. If you are aware of a breach or potential breach of this non-circumvention principle, please report the incident to BookGarage.

Members may, from time to time, be interested in submitting ideas and suggestions for services and features to be used by BookGarage, either independently of, or in conjunction with, our internally developed concepts. We appreciate our Members' interest in improving the Site; however, please note that ideas or suggestions you submit will be owned by BookGarage, and you hereby irrevocably assign any intellectual property rights in such ideas and suggestions to BookGarage.

You may terminate your membership by following the “Cancel My Membership” link on your personal dashboard on the Site, or by contacting support with a specific request to do so. Your request to terminate will become effective within 30 days after the acknowledgement by BookGarage of the receipt of your request. All our Terms of Service continue to be applicable.

BookGarage Independent Contractor Service Agreement

Members may use the Site and its features to advertise, locate, introduce themselves to each other, screen and select each other, negotiate service engagement terms, and enter into BookGarage Independent Contractor Service Agreements (“BICSA”) between each other. Once two Members intend to enter, or enter, into a service engagement, they by definition enter into a BICSA and are thereby and simultaneously obliged, amongst other things, to use the Site and specifically the Project Collaboration Tool (accessed from the Author’s dashboard button “Start a book project”) to collaborate, communicate about, and pay for the service engagement.

As a registered Member on the Site, you expressly agree and understand that the relationship between you and any other Member (Author, Freelancer, Reader) created by this BICSA is that of independent contractor and does not constitute a hiring by either party, nor by BookGarage. Member does not have any BookGarage title and shall not be an employee, partner or joint venture of BookGarage, unless otherwise specifically stated. Member represents to BookGarage that Member holds himself/herself out as an independent individual, and will continue to do so during the term of this BICSA and thereafter.

Author is responsible for specifying his or her engaging, accepting, and paying for freelancer services in accordance with the BICSA and Project Collaboration Tool in a timely and professional manner. Freelancer is responsible for the performance and quality of the freelancer services in accordance with the BICSA and Project Collaboration Tool and for providing the freelancer’s services in a timely and professional manner, consistent with industry practice, at a time and meeting the terms agreed upon. Author and Freelancer each agree to act in good faith and deal fairly in the performance of the BICSA.

Member is not an agent of BookGarage and member shall have no authority to bind BookGarage to any contract or agreement, unless expressly agreed in writing by BookGarage in advance. Member shall not be treated as an employee of BookGarage for any tax purposes, unemployment or disability benefits, or for any other withholding tax or insurance purposes or any other BookGarage benefits. Member is responsible for his or her own worker’s compensation coverage and waives any right to make a claim under BookGarage’s worker’s compensation policy. Member shall file all tax returns, forms and filings as may be required for payment of any income, sales or value-added tax as an independent contractor and not as an employee of BookGarage.

Member is responsible for any taxes, fees, and penalties associated with his or her receipt of revenue or sale of his or her content. Member is also responsible to any third party for payment of royalties, commissions, etc., that may be owed to them based upon agreements Member has made with a third party.

Author and Freelancer acknowledge and agree that when Freelancer offers a service engagement, i.e., a Book Project as defined and documented in the Project Collaboration Tool, and accepted by Author, then Author and Freelancer will be deemed to have entered into a BICSA. Regardless, all service engagements and requests for service engagements, including clarifications and agreements around scope, deliverables, milestones, timeframes, price and currency, feedback on deliverables, requests for revisions, acceptance of deliverables and completion of milestones, between an Author and a Freelancer must always be recorded as a Book Project in the Project Collaboration Tool on the Site in accordance with the Terms of Service.

BookGarage is not a direct party to the dealings between Author and Freelancer, including posts, contracting, and provisions. BookGarage may, however, independently introduce Freelancers to Authors or help Freelancers find service engagements, including sorting service engagement proposals to enable Authors to easily navigate and choose Freelancers. BookGarage does not direct, has no control over, makes no representations, and does not guarantee the quality, or legality of Freelancer services, unless explicitly stated; the ability of Authors to pay for Freelancer services; or that an Author or Freelancer can or will complete a transaction. You hereby acknowledge and agree that BookGarage may provide information about an Author or Freelancer, such as strength or risk score, geographical location, and/or credentials. However, such information is based solely on data that Authors and Freelancers submit to BookGarage, and BookGarage provides such information solely for the convenience of Members and is not an endorsement in itself.

Author and Freelancer appoint BookGarage as a third-party beneficiary of their service engagement for purposes of enforcing any obligations owed, and any benefits conferred by the service engagement. Author and Freelancer further agree that BookGarage has the right to take such actions with respect to their Membership Account Agreement, including, without limitation, suspension, closure, or legal action.

Members understand and acknowledge that BookGarage, in addition to and in accordance with the Terms of Service, can and will use information and data recorded in the Project Collaboration Tool to resolve any potential dispute, or to deem the service inappropriate for a BICSA.

Author and Freelancer will each create and maintain records to document their respective obligations under this BICSA, including, without limitation, their respective payment obligations and compliance with tax laws.

Membership is free for all private Members, i.e., for Authors, Freelancers, and Readers. However, you acknowledge and agree that BookGarage is entitled to add a service fee to the Freelancer’s price quote for any service engagement as compensation for making the Site available and for acting as a third-party beneficiary of the service engagement for purposes of enforcing any obligations owed, and any benefits conferred by the service engagement. BookGarage only collects this service fee when a Freelancer receives payment through the Site. The service fee that BookGarage collects on total settlement of the final invoice is currently 8.5%. This service fee can be changed under the sole discretionary decision of BookGarage. Any change will be promptly communicated to the Members via electronic means and/or on this Site. The continued use of the Site by a Member will be deemed the explicit acceptance of any such service fee change.

The conduct and control of the services to be performed by Freelancer under this BICSA shall lie with Freelancer. BookGarage is interested only in the results obtained under this BICSA and, if otherwise in compliance with the provisions of this BICSA, the manner and means of performing the services shall be under the sole control of Freelancer. Freelancer shall indemnify, defend and hold harmless BookGarage, its agents and employees from any and all claims, demands, damages, judgments, losses, liabilities and costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees arising from or in connection with any claims caused by the acts or omissions of Freelancer, or from any breach of this BICSA by Freelancer. Freelancer acknowledges that time is an element of essence in construing each and every provision of this BICSA.

We recommend you keep backup copies of your own content on your hard drive or other personal system, as the Site is not intended to be a backup solution for storing your content. You understand and acknowledge that BookGarage is under no circumstances obliged to maintain Book Project content files beyond completion, full payment, and acceptable dispute periods.

Payment Settlement Agreement

As per the Terms of Service, and the User Account Agreement in particular, BookGarage is acting as a third-party beneficiary of all service engagements in view of the BookGarage Independent Contractor Service Agreement for purposes of enforcing any obligations owed, and any benefits conferred by the service engagement.

Nevertheless, as a registered Member, you understand and acknowledge that BookGarage is not a direct party to, nor an agent of, the dealings between contracting Authors and Freelancers, including posts and provisions. BookGarage is acting merely as a mediator between Author and Freelancer.

In order to secure the interests of both Author and Freelancer of all and any BICSA in the best possible way, BookGarage has outsourced its payment services, including the transmission of all financial data and /or fund transfers, to PayPal. However, BookGarage reserves the right to add, change, or delete accepted methods of payment at any time in the future. In such a case, any and all pending Book Projects and payments at that time will still be settled using the original method of payment, in accordance with the Terms of Service.

With reference to the BICSA, and in view of the fact that the residences of Author and Freelancer may be in different countries, Author and Freelancer must agree in which currency they want to fix the price of any service engagement of a Book Project. For final settlement purposes, Author and Freelancer may choose currency independently and separately, in which case a possible currency conversion between the contract currency and the currency of respective choice will be done according to PayPal policy, see www.paypal.com. Contract currencies accepted by BookGarage are largely based on PayPal, and they are:

  • Australian Dollar (AUD)
  • British Pound (GBP)
  • Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  • Czech Koruna (CZK)
  • Danish Krone (DKK)
  • Euro (EUR)
  • Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  • Hungarian Forint (HUF)
  • Israeli New Shekel (ILS)
  • Japanese Yen (JPY)
  • Mexican Peso (MXN)
  • New Taiwan Dollar (TWD)
  • New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
  • Norwegian Krone (NOK)
  • Philippine Peso (PHP)
  • Polish Zloty (PLN)
  • Russian Ruble (RUB)
  • Singapore Dollar (SGD)
  • Swedish Krona (SEK)
  • Swiss Franc (CHF)
  • Thai Baht (THB)
  • U.S. Dollar (USD)

As a means to further secure the interests of both Author and Freelancer, all payments in relation to a Book Project must, and will be, settled through the Site in the following manner:

Upon Author’s acceptance of a Freelancer’s offer for service engagement of a Book Project in the Project Collaboration Tool, BookGarage in its capacity of business facilitator acknowledges to Author the financial conditions for entering into a BICSA with Freelancer. Author funds the BookGarage Intermediary Account by paying the full invoice (including BookGarage’s service fee) using the PayPal interface on the Site. To do this, Author can use his or her PayPal account, or any credit card accepted by PayPal. BookGarage confirms the availability of the funds and sends the BICSA to Freelancer, who can now start the service engagement. BookGarage will not release the funds from the BookGarage Intermediary Account, in full or in part, to the Freelancer until the Book Project, or a milestone of a Book Project as specifically recorded in the Project Collaboration Tool, has been completed, and approved by Author. Once the Book Project, or a milestone as specifically recorded in the Project Collaboration Tool, has been completed, Freelancer will ask Author to accept the work and approve immediate release of funds from the BookGarage Intermediary Account. Author has a total of 14 days to review the work and authorize the payment (or file a dispute with BookGarage). If Author takes no action within 30 days, then BookGarage will automatically release the funds from the BookGarage Intermediary Account to the Freelancer’s PayPal account. In order for BookGarage to do this, Freelancer needs to hold a PayPal account.

By receiving payments through PayPal, you appoint PayPal as your agent to cause the released funds to be deposited on your behalf in their Pooled Accounts until you further instruct PayPal with respect to the transmission of your funds. Please refer to www.paypal.com regarding their Security and Privacy Policy.

BookGarage will at all times hold Member funds processed through its PayPal account separate from its corporate funds, will not use Member funds for its operating expenses or any other corporate purposes, and will not voluntarily make Member funds available to its creditors in the event of bankruptcy or for any other purpose. You acknowledge, however, that (1) BookGarage is not a bank, and (2) BookGarage is not acting as an escrow of financial intermediary with respect to your funds, but is acting only as a business facilitator. You agree that you will not receive interest or other earnings on the funds you may keep in the BookGarage Intermediary Account.

Dispute Resolution Agreement

Author and Freelancer appoint BookGarage as a third-party beneficiary of their service engagement for purposes of enforcing any obligations owed, and any benefits conferred by the BICSA. Author and Freelancer further agree that BookGarage has the right to take actions with respect to their MAA, including, without limitation, suspension, closure, or legal action.

BookGarage offers dispute resolution service to all registered Members who are engaged in a dispute over a Book Project properly recorded in the Project Collaboration Tool. Members understand and acknowledge that BookGarage, in addition to and in accordance with these Terms of Service, can and will use information and data recorded in the Project Collaboration Tool to resolve any dispute.

If an Author or Freelancer reasonably disputes the quality or completion of a provided service (as described in the BICSA), both Author and Freelancer agree that BookGarage shall have no payment obligations to the parties related to relevant service engagement until such dispute is resolved in accordance with the Terms of Service.

BookGarage uses negotiation in order to find a resolution to any dispute between Author and Freelancer. You agree to negotiate such dispute in good faith. If the result of such negotiation is acceptable to both parties in a dispute, you agree to indicate your approval of such negotiation through the Site, and BookGarage will disburse funds in accordance with the results of such negotiation.

  • (a) You acknowledge and agree that BookGarage will construe any resolution based on the transaction’s course of dealing and common industry practices.
  • (b) BookGarage shall render its decision within 30 business days of escalation. During this time, Author and Freelancer are encouraged to continue to negotiate a settlement.
  • (c) You agree that the decision of BookGarage, acting as a business facilitator, shall be final, and not subject to appeal. Accordingly, within a reasonable time after we have rendered a decision, we will transfer funds in accordance with the decision.

You agree and acknowledge that 1) BookGarage will use the e-mail address corresponding with your User Account registered at the time a dispute arises to notify and communicate with you with regard to any dispute, and 2) you are solely responsible for the receipt of any notification or communication sent by BookGarage using the e-mail address corresponding with your User Account registered at the time a dispute arises.

You further agree and acknowledge that 1) BookGarage is not providing legal services to you, and 2) if you desire to have legal counsel, you will seek independent legal counsel licensed to practice law and not rely on BookGarage for any such counsel. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless BookGarage against any damages or liability you may suffer as a result of using such dispute resolution service.

Finally, you understand and acknowledge that BookGarage is not a direct party to, nor an agent of, the dealings between contracting Authors and Freelancers, including posts and provisions. BookGarage is acting merely as a business facilitator and mediator between Author and Freelancer.