HarperCollins is partnering with BitLit, a Canadian venture that offers e-book editions of print titles at discounted prices, to offer a selection of its titles in a pilot program that bundles print with e-books. HarperCollins, the first of the Big Five publishers to partner with BitLit, will launch the program with a small number of titles priced from $1.99 to $2.99.

BitLit offers an app that gives consumers a simple process to claim free or discounted e-book editions of print titles that they already own. Once a consumer has downloaded the BitLit app, they can use it to take a photo/scan of the cover of the print book they own. Then they must write their name clearly on the book’s copyright page and take a photo/scan of the page with the app. Once the copyright page is scanned, the e-book is registered to that consumer and they will receive an email with a link to download the e-book in e-Pub or PDF formats.

The BitLit app is supported by the iOS and Android platforms and offers access to about 20,000 titles, mostly from indie publishers. Among the publishers and distributors partnering with BitLit are IPG, Chicago Review Press, O’Reilly Media, Other Press, and Kids Can Press.

HarperCollins is launching the pilot program with six titles, among them Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon, 15 Seconds by Andrew Gross and Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison. The publisher plans to offer a new title each week, and will promote the bundling program via its newsletter and its recently relaunched wesbite, HarperCollins.com.

Chief-Digital Officer at HarperCollins, Chantal Restivo-Alessi, said BitLit “offers readers another way to engage with the books they’ve purchased so they can read in various formats as they choose. It provides added value to consumers at a discounted price, and additional sales for our authors.”