Innovation That Matters

Buy a physical book, get the ebook for free


BitLit offers consumers companion digital versions of the physical books they've already bought.

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Digital literature has disrupted the publishing industry for good and book companies are still looking for ways to stay relevant. While there have been options such as Total BooX, which lets readers pay for ebooks by the page, Canada’s BitLit is now offering another way – giving consumers companion digital versions of the physical books they’ve already bought.

While some may view consumers as either for or against ebooks, the reality is that many like the different qualities of both. BitLit takes its cue from the music industry, which has offered digital download codes inside the physical product. Rather than target new sales however, the BitLit platform wants publishers to be able to offer ebooks for every book they’ve ever sold in retrospect. Consumers download the app and use its recognition technology to ‘scan’ their book’s front cover and copyright page, which needs to have a unique mark such as a written name. It then detects the title and stores the marked copyright page as having been used. The consumer can then access a digital version of the book for free, although sellers can also charge a small percentage of the ebook retail price if they wish.

This allows book owners to get ebook versions of their entire collection without having to pay full price, engaging them with the content by offering it on multiple platforms and gaining booksellers extra revenue on print copies. Considering experiments where physical books were bundled with ebooks have seen sales increase by up to 300 percent in bookstores, could this be a viable option for both consumers and publishers?

Spotted by: Murray Orange

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