The HarperCollins pilot is going to bear watching. If (and it’s a really big if) BitLit pulls it off and the program is expanded it is the first real challenge Amazon and iBooks may face. From the sounds of things, it will be a very good thing for readers. Unspoken is the effect it will have on authors who are increasing pressured to signing away all or most of their rights to publishers already anyway. Sad that what’s good for authors isn’t the same as what’s good for readers more often. Does anyone have a title available through BitLit or Amazon’s MatchBook service? Share your experience with us in the comments section!
The idea behind BitLit is pretty simple: scan the title page of a book you already own, write your name on the copyright page and scan that, too, and within a few seconds, you have access to the e-book version of your book.
In an ideal world, this would work for any book. But the current state of digital publishing isn’t exactly perfect, so while the number of publishers that support BitLit is growing, it remains limited. Some publishers make those e-books available for free, but most charge a fee for the service (most of the time, that’s somewhere between $2 and $6). Others already sell readers a bundle that includes the physical book and a free copy of the e-book through BitLit.
What was mostly missing from BitLit, however, was support from a large mainstream publisher, but it looks like those are slowly coming on board now, too. Starting today, BitLit…
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