BitLit App Will Get You Ebook Versions Of Your Print Books For Free

Aric Mitchell - Author

Dec. 24 2014, Updated 5:24 a.m. ET

BitLit is a new app that allows you to get the eBook versions of all the books that you already own for free.

By now, you’re probably well aware of the benefits of eReading – less shelf space, being able to take all your books with you wherever you go, etc. – and you’ve probably got a few favorites laying around that you wish you had access to in electronic form.

I know I do. But the possibility of converting these books to a clean, readable eBook format was something I considered a pipe dream until hearing about how this thing works.

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BitLit asks that you start by taking a “shelfie” of all your books. The app will then use a recognition software to identify each book and check for an eBook version. Once it finds one, it will email it to the address you specify, and you in turn can load it onto your Kindle, Nook, or other eReader device.

How do they do this without getting in trouble for piracy?

Well, surprisingly, they’ve managed to forge relationships with publishers who allow them to do it. The only caveat to the system? In order to get your BitLit eBook, you have to write your name on the cover of the actual book you own and then take a picture that you will submit to the application.

The reason for this?

“When we first envisioned BitLit, it was with the idea that readers would be able to bundle any book — whether they bought it yesterday or ten years ago,” explains the website. “This meant finding a way to prove ownership without a receipt or point-of-purchase system. Since a book can only be validated once, we need you to write your name in pen so that the book is always tied to you.”

The system uses the camera of your phone like an eye to read the image of the cover page and the name you’ve written on the copyright page.

Publishers hoping to partner with BitLit but afraid of having their intellectual property stolen can request one of two DRM systems be applied to the file.

The app is currently available for free on both iTunes and the Google Play store. If you don’t have an eReader, you can still read the PDF formatted books on smartphone or computer.

What say you, readers? Do you have any books that you’d like the electronic versions of? Will you be giving BitLit a try?


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