Have a copy of Neil Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon, but don’t want to haul a 900 page book around with you? Publisher HarperCollins now lets you buy an eBook edition for just a few bucks if you can prove that you already own a print copy of the book.
BitLit lets you write your name on the copyright page of books you own, snap a photo with your smartphone camera, and upload the image to unlock the opportunity to pick up a digital copy for around $2 to $3, depending on the title. BitLit uses image recognition technology to verify your information automatically.
The service already offers over 20,000 books, but most are from small or independent publishers. HarperCollins is the first of the major publishers to partner with the service.
Right now only a handful of HaperCollins titles are available through BitLit, including Cryptonomicon, Wicked by Gregory Maguire, Halfway to the Grave, by Jeaniene Frost, Black Magic Sanction, by Kim Harrison, and a few more. Every week the publisher plans to offer another title as part of the pilot program.
BitLit isn’t the only company to offer cheap eBooks to folks who’ve already paid for a print edition. Amazon’s Kindle MatchBook program also lets you purchase eBooks for $2.99 when you’ve already purchased a print edition. But in order for a book to qualify for MatchBook you need to have bought that title from Amazon.
There are iOS and Android versions of the BitLit app. Some books are DRM-free, but publishers who request DRM offer books using Adobe’s digital rights management software.
via Boing Boing