eBooks suffered the same initial criticism that happens whenever a new movie format is launched: do I have to buy all of my favorite books over again, just to enjoy them in digital? Thanks to BitLit and its latest round of funding, that answer is no.
BitLit bundles ebooks and print by having readers “prove” they own the print edition. Users simply write their names on the copyright pages of the books they wish to also own as ebooks and then upload those pictures through BitLit. It’s then up to the publishers to determine how much the ebook will cost, and in many cases, the ebook is made available free for having purchased the print title.
The concept is pretty innovative, and now has the backing of 3 Angels, the 2014 startup that was founded by former Kobo CEO and founder Michael Serbinis, who said of BitLit, “3 Angels was founded in 2014 to invest in world class teams looking to disrupt markets and change the world. BitLit supports both sides of the reading experience and allows you to enjoy the convenience of an ebook on any reading device, with the pleasure of reading the print edition at home and displaying your books on your bookshelf.”
BitLit currently has around eighty-five publishers on board to offer this service to readers, with more than 10,000 titles already available for bundling. Of those titles, around thirty percent are already available free to readers who prove they’ve purchased the print edition.
“We are thrilled to have raised our seed financing from investors with backgrounds in both technology and publishing,” says Peter Hudson, BitLit’s co-founder and CEO. The seed financing also includes investments from BDC Venture Capital, Mike Volker (WUTIF fund) and Jim Fletcher, a Vancouver super angel.