Vancouver’s BitLit Scores Partnership with Harper Collins

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Since it’s launch earlier this year Vancouver’s BitLit has been on a roll.

With nearly 20,000 titles currently available for bundling, this week they’ve announced the start of a pilot program with HarperCollins Publishers, offering readers a physical and e-book bundle through its platform.

BitLit cofounder Peter Hudson said the team was “tremendously excited to be working with HarperCollins, one of the most forward thinking publishers today.”

BitLit is a free app that allows readers to purchase the e-book edition at a discounted price if they already own the print book.  To claim the e-book, readers write their name in ink on the copyright page and snap a photo using their smartphone. Readers are allowed to retroactively bundle their books. BitLit uses computer vision technology to verify authenticity and avoid the need for receipts or point-of-sale records.

According to HarperCollins chief digital officer, Chantal Restivo-Alessi, “BitLit offers readers another way to engage with the books they’ve purchased so they can read in various formats as they choose. It provides added value to consumers at a discounted price, and additional sales for our authors.”

“One of our challenges will no doubt be how readers will find out about BitLit,” said Hudson. The startup is working to connect with readers in the places they’re already going: bookstores. “We’ve partnered with 13 indie booksellers across Canada to build in-store displays featuring books which are eligible for a free eBook through BitLit. The value for the bookstores is a reduction in ‘show-rooming’ and a way to engage with customers who want the memento of a print book and the convenience of an e-book,” he added.

The first titles in the pilot will be Halfway to the Grave, by Jeaniene Frost, Black Magic Sanction, by Kim Harrison, Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson, Wicked, by Gregory Maguire, The Success Principles by Jack Canfield, and 15 Seconds by Andrew Gross. Titles will promoted through the HarperCollins Bookperk newsletter and on HC.com for a month, with one new title each week ranging in price from $1.99- $2.99

Hudson said that for the readers, it’s simple: “you get more book for your dollar. Fundamentally I believe that readers should choose what they want to read, not how they want to read it.” BitLit can be downloaded for iPhone and Android.

John Gray

John Gray

John jumped into the start-up world in early 2009. He was co-founder of Mentionmapp, a visual analytics company that was acquired in October 2011. John is Launch Academy's Program Facilitator, and is leading their Lean Entrepreneur Program. He's a freelance writer, focusing on keeping the humanity in our conversations about technology. John has a B.Ap.Sc. in Communications and a B.A. in English, both from Simon Fraser University.