Digitizing Beyond E-books / New Midas client, Jouve

Digitizing Beyond E-books: Optimizing Content Brings New Opportunities says France’s Jouve. From Publishing Perspectives:

“Many publishers today are still trying to focus on traditional e-books,” said Emmanuel Benoit, Executive VP of Marketing and Corporate Strategy for Jouve. But what is the next step? One of Jouve’s goals for the publishing industry is to help publishers move beyond simply converting their print content into e-books. “We work on systems so that upstream, publishers can really create the right content from the beginning,” Benoit explained.

Jouve is one of Europe’s leading e-book conversion services, and they also create backend systems that allow publishers to create enriched, granular content that can then be delivered to various digital content platforms automatically. The Paris-based company evolved ten years ago, transitioning from printing and typesetting to digital content conversion, POD, and content mining, among other things.

“The goal is to create new content, not to produce facsimiles of paper books,” said Benoit. Jouve’s strategy is to help publishers identify new opportunities for their content and then provide the production technology to take advantage of these opportunities. This includes semantic tagging, metadata services, and XML-based enriched media.

These new tools and processes bring new and varying opportunities to each sector of the publishing industry, explained Benoit.

In professional publishing, Jouve works “much more up front on the content” to create semantic tagging and enriched metadata, which allows for new ways of navigating the content rather than relying on search engines.

For “educational publishing, the goal is to leave the concept of the textbook and really work much more on the content itself,” said Benoit. In Europe, this means providing chunks of content that teachers can collect themselves to create a unique course. In the United States, that means giving publishers tools to create complete supplemental materials using interactive templates and digital distribution.

Jouve has a video on their website which demonstrates how educational publishers can use Jouve’s backend tools to create a full range of interactive content. The design process syncs with InDesign, and the content can be displayed on whiteboards, computers and other devices.

Trade publishing presents a different type of challenge. Benoit explained that creating enriched content for trade publishers is more “to optimize the promotion of the book. For example, you would create an audio version to be used in broadcast promotion.” Jouve’s goal here to optimize the content creation backend so publishers can focus on how to use this content most effectively.

But there are challenges with this kind of radical transition. Benoit believes of the biggest challenges facing publishers is creating new business models “because you have to sell the content differently” and manage rights attached to various chunks of content.

“The next issue is really the organization. When you look at the actual situation of each [company], the silos still exist.” In addition to providing content creation tools, Jouve believes it can help publishers manage the transition to digital by working directly with each organization and making sure sure the backend technology is appropriate for the company and its content.

With over 3,000 employees around the world working in all the major European languages as well as Chinese and Japanese, Jouve’s strategy is an international one. Their clients include Hachette Livre, Barnes & Noble, Penguin Group USA, Scholastic, Wiley, Merriam-Webster and Verlagsgruppe Random House. In addition, Jouve provides all the POD in continental Europe for Lulu.com.

Find out more about Jouve’s publishing services on their website or visit their stand at the London Book Fair. If you are looking for a professional excuse to go to Paris, you can attend the Jouve conference on 9th March 2011.

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