BitLit adds Springer to bundling publisher-partners

BitLit adds Springer to bundling publisher-partners

Springer has become the latest publisher to offer ebook bundles to readers through Vancouver's BitLit.

In an announcement made today (7th December), BitLit personnel tell The Bookseller that the new arrangement will add more than 100,000 titles to BitLit's "Shelfie" app.

Some 1,200 publishers now offer some degree of bundling through BitLit, according to the company's statement today. Past reports of such partnerships have included Ingram's Lightning Source; Wiley; Macmillan (US); Elsevier; and HarperCollins.

Publishing partners of BitLit offer ebook editions of previously bought print copies of books through BitLit's "Shelfie" app, which BitLit has made its consumer-facing identity. 

Free to download, the Shelfie app "reads" a photo of a bookshelf, parsing the titles on a consumer's book spines and then notifying that reader of available ebook editions. Publishers decide what to charge print-edition owners for their ebooks—some opt to make them free—and they also decide whether to have BitLit provide DRM. One of the most attractive elements of BitLit's Shelfie operation is that publishers who have no record of print-copy purchases in the past can begin to collect data on such readers as they make new requests for ebook editions.

In a prepared statement, BitLit c.e.o. Peter Hudson said that new Springer titles "exponentially increase Shelfie's catalog" with additions to the many technical and professional books offered through BitLit by publishers including O'Reilly Media.

Speaking for Springer, vice-president of e-commerce Tim Moepert is quoted as saying, “As an e-first company, Springer’s goal is to provide quality content and make it easier for readers to find and use what they are looking for."

On Friday (4th December), the opening keynote address at The Bookseller's FutureBook Conference in London was given by Springer Nature's chief scientific officer Annette Thomas. As reported by Benedicte Page, Thomas' comments align with the kind of ready access to digital editions represented by BitLit's Shelfie as a service to consumers.

Thomas said, "Putting the customer at the centre of what we do is not a 'nice to have'—that person drives everything."