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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few days ago I got an email from someone named "Matt" with athina.com. I went to check out the website and it looks like you pay a subscription to be able to borrow ebooks. It basically looks like a concept right now, no books to borrow and no way to sign up.

What do you guys think of this? Anyone contact these people to see what they offer authors?

Vicki
 

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This is the first time I've heard of this site.  I didn't get an email probably because I'm not on Victorine's level.  ;D

Athina sounds like an interesting concept, but why rent ebooks when they're already cheap enough to just buy?  Maybe I'm slow.  I hope someone can enlighten me.
 

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Victorine said:
A few days ago I got an email from someone named "Matt" with athina.com. I went to check out the website and it looks like you pay a subscription to be able to borrow ebooks. It basically looks like a concept right now, no books to borrow and no way to sign up.

What do you guys think of this? Anyone contact these people to see what they offer authors?

Vicki
The domain was only registered on 18th May 2011. The contact for the domain is Robert Rhinehart. It appears from places his email address shows up that he is possibly a programmer. So he may not be the main person behind it.

It looks like a website in hope of a business model, honestly.
 
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Victorine said:
A few days ago I got an email from someone named "Matt" with athina.com. I went to check out the website and it looks like you pay a subscription to be able to borrow ebooks. It basically looks like a concept right now, no books to borrow and no way to sign up.

What do you guys think of this? Anyone contact these people to see what they offer authors?

Vicki
ooo, let me guess...authors can add their books "for free" and allow readers to download them. The website collects the money from the subscriptions and the author gets...er...exposure. Do I have that right?
 

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Hmmm. THis is from their "Publishers & Authors" page:

"Athina opens up your back catalog and allows you to capitalize on your full range of titles. Access extensive data on what people are reading and track your revenues. Our revenue model ensures you get the return you want. Choose the books you want to feature and we take care of the rest."

So apparently they offer some type of compensation for authors and publishers. They offer a copy of their contract via email upon request. I'm not going to request a copy, but there is that option if anyone is so inclined.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, everyone!

Yeah, looks like a concept rather than anything else. I actually like the idea, kind of like Netflix for books. It really only would be good if they got traditional publishers on board, as indies and public domain titles are cheap enough just to buy.

I guess if you read fast, it would be good if the monthly fee was small enough. But that would mean less for the authors. I don't know. I'm guessing this won't work, but it's an interesting concept.

Vicki
 

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Victorine said:
I actually like the idea, kind of like Netflix for books. It really only would be good if they got traditional publishers on board, as indies and public domain titles are cheap enough just to buy.

I guess if you read fast, it would be good if the monthly fee was small enough. But that would mean less for the authors.
Vicki
Yeah, maybe that's the idea--like for a $10/mo fee, read all you want, or something like that? That would be appealing to some of the book-a-day folks I've seen on these boards, but I don't see how it would work from a technical perspective, and as Vicki said, just how much would it compensate the authors? Hard to say...
 

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I wrote to them for a copy of their contract and got this back which describes their business model: http://www.slideshare.net/MatThewCauble/athina-publishers-presentation-8339422

Here is the text of the presentation if you don't feel like going through the slideshow:

Athina Subscription Service - Presentation Transcript

Who we areMatt Cauble - Co-founder,Georgia Tech BS 2011Speros Kokenes - Co-founder,Georgia Tech BS 2011Robert Rhinehart - Co-founder,Georgia Tech BS 2011Josh Roberts - Advisor,Director of Piedmont Hospital
The easy way to read as many eBooks as you want for a monthly subscription.
Read as much as you want means...
Read as much as you want means...More readers reading more
Read as much as you want means...More readers reading moreReaders exploring more
Read as much as you want means...More readers reading moreReaders exploring moreAuthors getting more
Read as much as you want means...More readers reading moreReaders exploring moreAuthors getting moreConvenience eliminates piracy (Netflix)
You know that feeling you get when you discovera new read?
Something no one helped you find.
A book that just caught your eye.
Then that new find turns out to be a great read.
Athina is more than reading
Athina is more than readingWe help readers discover new books
Athina is more than readingWe help readers discover new booksOur unique algorithm accounts for interests aswell as the beauty of randomness
Athina is more than readingWe help readers discover new booksOur unique algorithm accounts for interests aswell as the beauty of randomnessThe subscription model is the best way forreaders to try undiscovered books
The best book forum
The best book forumReaders and authors come together totalk about all things books
The best book forumReaders and authors come together totalk about all things books "What are some of the best books of the past 5 years? "Whats the worst book by a good writer that youve ever read?"
The best book forumReaders and authors come together totalk about all things booksWe make sure content is wellformatted and relevant "What are some of the best books of the past 5 years? "Whats the worst book by a good writer that youve every read?"
We keep you informed
We keep you informed How many readers are reading your books
We keep you informed How many readers are reading your books How many readers finish your books
We keep you informed How many readers are reading your books How many readers finish your books Where readers stop reading
We keep you informed How many readers are reading your books How many readers finish your books Where readers stop reading How many readers enjoy your books
We keep you informed How many readers are reading your books How many readers finish your books Where readers stop reading How many readers enjoy your books Who is reading your books
We keep you informed How many readers are reading your books How many readers finish your books Where readers stop reading How many readers enjoy your books Who is reading your books How much you are earning
So what will you earn?
So what will you earn?Receive a flat rate of $.01 per page read onAthina
So what will you earn?Receive a flat rate of $.01 per page read onAthinaA page is set at 400 words and we areresponsible for making sure access is actualreading
So what will you earn?Receive a flat rate of $.01 per page read onAthinaA page is set at 400 words and we areresponsible for making sure access is actualreadingWhen you reach 10,000 reads (90% completion)you will earn $.015 per page for the remainder ofthe contract
The Hunger GamesApproximate words = 100,000
The Hunger GamesApproximate words = 100,000100,000/400 is 250 pages
The Hunger GamesApproximate words = 100,000100,000/400 is 250 pagesThe Hunger Games reaches 10,000 reads in thefirst month
The Hunger GamesApproximate words = 100,000100,000/400 is 250 pagesThe Hunger Games reaches 10,000 reads in thefirst monthThe Hunger Games earns $.015 per page for thenext 23 months
Athina is for everyoneOur monthly fee will be $7-$10Each months revenue is dispersed in 60 daysafter the end of that monthThe contract life is 2 yearsEvery new book enters a new 2 year agreement
The choice is yours
The choice is yoursChoose which books you want to feature
The choice is yoursChoose which books you want to featureRemove content with a 90 day notice
The choice is yoursChoose which books you want to featureRemove content with a 90 day noticeContract life of 2 years
Lets make reading more exciting
Lets make reading more excitingWe are looking for eBooks for closed testing(under 1000 users)
Lets make reading more excitingWe are looking for eBooks for closed testing(under 1000 users)New users are signing up daily
Get involved
 
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That math seems dependent on people NOT reading a lot.

They base a page at 400 words. So in their example Hunger Games works out to 250 pages. They pay 1 cent a page read, so if someone reads the entire book you earn $2.50. (I'm ignoring the at 90% read payout goes up part just to keep the math simple.)

The high end monthly subscription fee is $10 a month.

If someone reads one book a week, then 100% of the reading fee goes to authors. The site makes nothing.
If someone reads FIVE books in a month, they start to lose money.

The only way they make money is if subscribers read LESS than four books a month. But for those sort of readers, why would they pay $10 a month to read three books or less when they can buy AND OWN anywhere from three to ten indie books a month at that price to read when and where they want?

And the site owners are essentially a bunch of college grads with no actual background in publishing, let alone understanding of the reading community. They are techno-geeks with no clue how much reading ebook readers actually do.

The only other way I see them making money is if they are going to sell customer data. From what the slideshow says, it does appear the software tracks the reading habits of individual readers (down to what page you stop reading on) and feeds it to publishers.
 
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