Monday, November 18, 2013

eRheatah - Is it Worth it?

Note: eReatah has been rebranded as Entitle

Finally, it seems that publishers are loosening up and are venturing into the world of online book subscription services. Some services, such as Oyster and Scribd, are taking a more Netflix-like approach to the business. For a low monthly rate (Oyster is $9.95 a month while Scribd is $8.99), you can download and read as many books as you want as many times as you want. Some, however, are mixing up the game. This is where eRheatah comes in.

eRheatah, despite whatever its weird and slightly embarrassing name might suggest, is an interesting concept. Instead of offering unlimited access, eRhetah presents users with tiered packages with the following monthly rates:
Package 1 – Cub Plan: $14.99 (Select 2 books a month)
Package 2 – Cheetah Plan: $22.50 ( Select 3 books a month)
Package 3 – King Cheetah Plan: $29.99 (Select 4 books a month)

Every book you select is yours to keep for as long as you keep the eReatah app, even if you cancel your subscription. The app is available on Android devices (Kindle Fire included) and iOS.

eRheatah currently offers a $5 account credit for every friend you refer to the service, which is a neat incentive. I imagine, in these early days of book subscription, it would be pretty easy to rack up some credit this way.

There also seems to be some buzz concerning eReatah’s book discovery platform: Recommendation Station (again with the embarrassing names… This service also appears to be called “Picks of the Month” elsewhere on the site. I’m confused). Based on the Netflix algorithm for movie recommendations, the Recommendation Station promises to find titles that you will enjoy based on your past preferences. It is crucial with eReatah that you do not waste your book selections per month, so Recommendation Station is, apparently, there to help. What if, on the Cub Plan, I pick two books and it turns out I absolutely hate them? Assuming I have nothing unread from previous months’ selections, I have to wait a whole thirty days (that comes out to $.50 of regret a day) until I can pick two more books. This is enough to turn me off of the service completely, but I’m sure there are people out there who are more in-tune with what they would like to read than I.

Though the service is currently in beta testing mode, there are 90,000 titles available for selection from big name publishers such as Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. With the higher price tag and monthly selection limitations, it is no surprise that more of the “big name” publishers are comfortable with eRheatah. It is important to note that Oyster and Scribd both offer books from HarperCollins, though the general consensus has been that these books are “a few months old.” With that in mind, it is not difficult to find two older eBooks on Amazon for less than $15 – the starting price for an eRheatah plan.

It seems that eRheatah would be most advantageous for someone who is more interested in expensive (read: new) bestselling novels. So, if staying on top of the bestselling lists is important to you, eRheatah might be your service.

To request a beta account, visit

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