Joe Hill fans, do you own a copy of Heart-Shaped Box? Then listen up. Bit.Lit is giving away a Joe Hill prize package to folks that use their app. And to get you to use their app, they are giving you a free ebook copy of Hill's Heart-Shaped Box. And the prizes are print copies of 20th Century Ghosts, Horns and NOS4A2.
You enter by going here, downloading their app on your iOS or Android device and download the free ebook copy of Heart-Shaped Box (You must own a print copy of Heart-Shaped Box to do this). Then you go back to the site and fill out the entry form.
This is part of an experiment between Harper Collins, Hill and Bit.Lit to provide digital copies of books to the people who buy print copies. Hill himself wrote a blog post about why he is supporting this initiative.
You may or may not know that for the last few months there has been an intense, sometimes nasty debate about what eBooks should cost and (maybe more importantly) who should get to set the price. Millions of dollars ride on the outcome, and the enormous corporations involved have been throwing sharp elbows. It's a Big Deal.
For myself, I know – and believe we can still have – a thriving, healthy literary ecosystem, with big publishers and little ones, big bookstore chains and cozy indies, the convenience of online shopping and the pleasures of visiting your local brick-and-mortar place. And the BitLit software feels like technology in the service of supporting the whole ecosystem, instead of undercutting any one part of it. If you can go to your local indie, and get the eBook free for your Kindle (or iPad or Nook or whatever) when you buy the hardcover, you don't have to choose between the big guy and the little guy, or between paper and digital. It doesn't have to be a zero sum game where someone's win is someone else's loss.
Hill is an advocate of the concept of bundling, selling the print and digital book together something folks in the comic industry have started doing as well. It will be interesting to see the results of the experiment.