If you are too impatient to read about FlatLeaf you can jump straight to the video.
As is the case for many startups FlatLeaf was created to solve a problem encountered by its founder. My wife is an avid reader and I have been known to pick up a book or two myself but as we transitioned to digital books we started to run into a problem – Sharing.
Most of our prior reads came from recommendations from coworkers, friends and family and we would often be passed a good book to read or both read a book either of us found interesting. However with eBooks that stopped. DRM prevented us from sharing the file and sharing the device was not practical.
Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble had tried with a sharing model on eBooks, but because publishers were not on board – nothing in it for them – it failed.
The solution was FlatLeaf an eBook Subscription Service with social network encouraging content exploration and discovery through sharing, reviews, discussions and personalized social recommendations.
Readers would get access to huge catalog of books through a familiar subscription model, where they could engage and discuss their favorite reads with people they know and trust just like with physical books.
Authors and publishers would get paid royalties for every book read, making it a very attractive supplement to a struggling industry.
Unfortunately things doesn’t always go as planned and so was it with FlatLeaf. It was not possible to get enough traction to make it a viable project.
However you can still take a tour of all the great features in the video below. (maximize for better view)