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Showing posts from 2008

This Weds: Come see us at Providence Geeks!

Later this week, Tizra's presenting at the Providence Geek Dinner: Wed., Dec 17
5:30-9pm
AS220, 115 Empire St., Providence, RI We'll be demoing new features of Tizra Publisher, and discussing some of the mindblowing work our CTO Francisco Rosa has been doing behind the scenes. We've been big fans of the Geek Dinner since its early days (we gave a sneak preview of our software at one of the very first ones) and hope we'll see you there.PS: We also hope you'll bring something for the Geeks for Good canned food drive!

AppGap: Tizra more than just a "great tool for content sellers"

Bill Ives has been writing about knowledge management since the days when for most people that meant color coding your files, so we were really pleased when he agreed to evaluate Tizra Publisher in The AppGap, a blog on the future of work. We were even more pleased when he said "I see this service as a great tool for content sellers." But we thought his keenest insight was into applications beyond traditional publishing... [Tizra Publisher] can also be a useful content distribution system for enterprises that need to manage the presentation of their information. This will be especially useful for verticals with a lot of internal content such as legal firms, pharma, and other research oriented enterprises. Ives saw Tizra's combination of easy and yet precisely controlled content distribution as key for these users, and others needing to share marketing and technical information. Read the full review.

"How to deliver content digitally without going out of business"

That's how The Chronicle of Higher Education described the quandary many publishers face. We think it's apt, particularly since they also said Tizra Publisher offers "a cost effective new model to try out." A key reason? We start with the "dreaded PDF" files publishers already have, which means… Tizra doesn't require an investment in high-priced technology or legions of IT helpers. Presses don't have to convert files to a more flexible XML format or invest scarce resources in custom-designed software. Read the full article here.

Slater Reinvests in Tizra

In business there's only one thing more meaningful than having someone trust you to make good use of their money, and that's having them do it again! That's exactly what Rhode Island's Slater Technology Fund has done by announcing they'll increase their investment in Tizra.Slater's been involved in Tizra from the days when we were just a few guys with an idea--initially with advice, and then with investment. They've been a great partner, always pushing us to dig deeper, think harder, do better and ultimately to believe in the potential of what we're doing. Now that that potential is bearing fruit, we're thrilled to see them increasing their involvement.

An AAUP Ebook Partnership, AND, Free, at last!

On October 1st, Tizra will hold the first of a series of joint Tizra/Association of American University Presses (AAUP) webinars, webinars whose purpose is to put our platform directly in the hands of the AAUP membership as quickly as possible.We’re honored to be the first e-publishing service the AAUP has chosen to sponsor (press release).We are, after all, a software as a service platform, so we’re also really excited to be previewing our new self-service offerings and plans (yes, including FREE), and giving  hands-on access to a group known for innovation in electronic publishing. You’ll be hearing more as we begin to open up access group by group, or let us know if you want to try out the service for yourself. So,thank you AAUP, and we can’t wait to get started.

It's so cool!

I'm a real fan of MIT Press books, and have been for years. Lots of interesting stuff for me in Computer Science, New Media, Electronic Music, and all are well designed, beautiful books, which also matters to me. I have a bunch on my shelves, and more on my "buy someday" list. And this week, we have the public announcement of the Tizra-hosted MIT Press CISnet site.This makes me feel really good because it's very much something that came from a daydream I had last year. I was up at MIT to talk with the (excellent) Venture Mentoring Service, and stopped in at the MIT Press bookstore after the meeting. As I was looking around, but not quite able to find one volume to buy, I thought that I'd pay right then to have access online, like the ACM digital library. I'd happily pay to browse around, search and use books for reference, and then later I might buy volumes that I really wanted to dive into.So we approached MIT Press with the idea, and now there's a great…

TidBITS Signs with Tizra

We honestly didn't intend for this blog to degenerate into a rah-rah series of signing announcements, but gosh, there's been an awful lot of that lately! The latest is TidBITS, a truly pioneering publisher of books for Mac users (and, yes, we described them that way before they became a customer). Even if you're not a Mac user, you have to appreciate a company that's been publishing online continuously since 1990. For TidBITS, online distribution is the core of their business, not some new add-on. The Take Control ebooks, which they'll be publishing via Agile PDF, were written, edited and designed from the outset as digital products. They're a great example of information packaged and priced based purely on what readers want and will buy, regardless of traditional print constraints like what size clump of physical pages it's economical to manufacture and distribute. We think this approach makes TidBITS a great partner for us…they're already thinking…

The Satisfactions of Matchmaking

As a company with a newly launched service we're naturally looking for partners whose services complement ours, and who can recommend us to their customers. At least that's how we assumed it would work. But recently we were in the fortunate position of being able to turn the tables by playing the matchmaker between Bibliovault, a leading provider of highly complementary digital conversion and archiving services, and one of our newest customers, New York Botanical Garden Press. Founded in 1896, The New York Botanical Garden Press has one of the largest publishing programs of any botanical garden in the world, and, as you can imagine, unique print titles waiting for online exposure. Tizra had already been accepting bulk transfers of book content from Bibliovault on behalf of Duke University Press, making the uploading and data management process seamless. So when The NYBG Press talked to us about their need for a reliable partner to facilitate print and digital distributio…

The New York Botanical Garden Press Signs with Tizra

Famed for its plant collections, architecture and setting, The New York Botanical Garden is not only an exceptionally beautiful place, but a place for cutting edge research. The New York Botanical Garden Press communicates discoveries made there and elsewhere, and with three journals, five book series and more than 200 books, it is one of the largest publishers at any botanical garden in the world. We're thrilled to announce that this renowned institution has chosen to begin making its publications available online with Tizra's Agile PDF. It's pretty exciting when an organization that's been around since 1896 decides to work with one that's been around since 2006. But consistent with their forward thinking spirit, we get the sense they're pretty excited, too. "I am convinced that online publishing is a key part of our future," said Nate Smith, associate director of the press. "We've wanted to make our books available online for years, bu…

Yum! Tizra Eats Its Dogfood

We keep talking about how Agile PDF makes it easy for nontechnical users to do sophisticated online publishing. Well, tell a story like that long enough and people start to wonder why you're not doing it yourself. Besides, any product benefits when its designers and builders are also users. Software developers call it eating your own dogfood. So a few nontechnical members of the Tizra team dug in (with Joya, pictured above, as menu advisor). We did it just they way any publisher would, applying our company branding with the Agile PDF control panel and basic CSS skills, then uploading PDFs. The only difference is we're not actually publishers, so we used files freely available on the web, and of course, we're giving them away rather than selling them. Voila! The New Agile PDF Demo SiteTake a look. Then drop us a note, and we'll show how you can do the same—and a lot more—with your content. All of us, except maybe Joya, found it quite the best dogfood we'd ever t…

The Federation Press Chooses Agile PDF

We're happy to announce that The Federation Press, one of Australia's leading publishers of legal, social and academic journals and books, is now a Tizra customer and partner. It's especially validating because Federation clearly went out of their way, conducting an international search before settling on us, a new company on more or less the opposite side of the globe. The decision seems typical of the independent, entrepreneurial, and yet pragmatic spirit Federation brings to publishing. With more than 400 books in print and twenty years in business, they're hardly upstarts, but they still place an emphasis on basics like efficient manuscript turnaround and quick order fulfillment. They're also a great fit with Tizra's innovative online publishing approach because of their international audience, and their focus on broadening access to traditionally esoteric topics through clear writing and creative marketing. We look forward to helping Federation add an e…

Behind the Screens, Pt. 2--Customizing Site Design in Tizra Publisher

If you’ve seen some of the sites created with Tizra Publisher, you know how different they can look. But how does this happen? In this second in our series on the Tizra Publisher web based control panel (first post here), we’ll show how easy it is to completely re-skin and restructure an Tizra Publisher site in a matter of hours. First, a little slideshow of some recent results: As in the first post, we’ll use the eat.shop guides from Cabazon Books as our example. Founded by a graphic designer, Cabazon has a strong visual identity and has done a great job reinforcing it across its print and online properties. Step 1: Pick a design
While Tizra Publisher does provide pre-made templates for publishers to customize, Cabazon already had a site design they were happy with, and wanted to carry it over to the new online books site they were building on Tizra Publisher. Screens from the preexisting design they wanted to match: Cabazon’s original eat.shop homepage.Original purchase page f…

Behind the Screens, Pt. 1--Creating a Site With the New Tizra Publisher Control Panel

Now that it's public, we're excited to show the new Tizra Publisher web control panel in a bit more detail. To provide a real-world example, we'll show it in use building the eat.shop guides site for Cabazon Books, which went live a few weeks ago. While in practice the process is quick—with initial online selling capability available in a matter of minutes—there's a lot to the software, so we'll break it up over a few posts. 1. Upload a Document When you open your Tizra Publisher account, you're presented with the control panel homepage in your web browser. The cog dropdown provides quick access to key tasks from anywhere in the system. Start by using it to upload a PDF. In this case, it's the full 132 illustrated spreads for eat.shop nyc.


Note how the progress bar informs you as the system imports the file, extracts metadata, breaks the PDF into individual pages, and indexes it for full-text searchability. Apart from the upload, which of course is ban…

The Demo That Wasn't and The Conference That Was

You may have noticed we were pretty excited about O'Reilly's Tools of Change conference, which is still going on through the end of today in New York. This is really the place for people who love books, digital technology and the things they can do for each other. Apparently the ranks of people like this are growing. Eight hundred attended this year's conference, compared with 200 last year, when our CEO David Durand gave his Tutorial on Digitizing your Backlist. Overall, the show was all we could have hoped for. Underlying the rapid attendance growth is a general feeling that 2008 is the breakout year…the year books start to move online in the way other media have over the past dozen years. David Rothman, an influential blogger at Publishers Weekly had just written us up, and interest in our proposition was high.We were especially excited because this year we were on the program to give a Lightning Demo of Agile PDF, including the first showing of a new control panel t…

FEB 11: Catch our Lightning Demo at Tools of Change

When the first Agile PDF sites launched recently, we promised we'd be saying more soon about how the sites were built. Well, the first public demo is coming up at the O'Reilly Tools of Change Conference in NYC:The Five-minute Publication Site—Part of the TOC Lightning Demos Series, February 11, 7:30-8:30pm, Broadway Ballroom As the name suggests, we'll be showing just how quickly a publisher can move from PDF files to a flexible, customizable website selling digital content. And of course, if you've got a bit more than five minutes, we'd be happy to answer any questions. We'll be exhibiting immediately after the demos at the TOC Faire, and happy to talk at any point during the rest of the conference. Drop us a note at info@tizra.com.

Live demonstrations in Washington DC

We’ll be in WashingtonDC next week, attending the Professional and Scholarly Publishers annual trade show and meeting with local D.C Publishers.So come find me in the hallways, or I'll come to you in D.C. Better still, contact me (anne.orens@tizra.com) and bring a PDF with you to the meeting.I can provide an interactive showing of how Agile PDF manages your PDF and delivers online content.

For Those Unimpressed By Marketing

This personal blog post by Tizra CTO Francisco Rosa gives the hardcore technologist's view of why Agile PDF is different. He may not be in the marketing department, but it's safe to say he knows our software. He also knows how it matches up against expensive custom systems now in use elsewhere (he built a few for clients like Oxford University Press, McGraw-Hill and the World Bank before coming to Tizra).

We're Live

Congratulations to two publishing organizations that over the past couple of days became the first to go live with sites built using Tizra's Agile PDF:eat.shop guidesGreen Building 101 from Rate It GreenThe first is a fast-growing publisher of printed city guides with an emphasis on creative design and local flavor. The second is a web startup aiming to facilitate information sharing and growth in the burgeoning business of green construction.As one look at the sites will tell you, they're two very different organizations. But both have taken an exciting first step toward new online publishing revenue.Better yet, both are doing it their way, with complete control over their own products, brands and strategies. And they are doing it with none of the technology investment or lead time that traditional custom information commerce projects have required.How? We'll begin taking the wraps off of that part in the next few weeks.Meanwhile, drop a note to info@tizra.com if you'…