In a potentially major gain for the ebook-bundling concept, BitLit today is announcing its first deal with a Big Five publisher. HarperCollins US has entered what is being described as a pilot programme with the Vancouver-based BitLit to offer discounted ebook editions of print books that readers already own.
By way of demonstrating this bookshop-friendly stance, BitLit has teamed up with 13 prominent Canadian bookstores between Vancouver and Toronto in a Summer Reads programme that offers a selection of ebooks free to readers who buy the print editions. The applicable books are marked in participating bookstores with stickers that offer a “BitLit.com Free eBook with purchase of print book.”
In a prepared statement, HarperCollins’ chief digital officer, Chantal Restivo-Alessi, lays out the logic of the arrangement for the publisher in this pilot programme: “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.”
And when asked if we’ll see the day when the buyer of an ebook can then apply to BitLit for a discounted print edition of that book? Hudson: “Stay tuned.”