Case Study: Orca Book Publishers Unifies its Digital Offerings Using the Tizra Platform


"We needed to find a way to keep all our of customers together on the same site,"
--Melanie Jeffs, Director of Digital Products, Orca Book Publishers

Download the Case Study

Orca, a Canadian-based publisher of award-winning books for children, teens and reluctant readers, used to maintain separate websites and e-commerce platforms for its various digital offerings. The company had its free teaching resources under its own domain, separate e-commerce stores for the U.S. and Candian booklists, and a third site supporting paid subscriptions to its Text2Reader language arts resources. Maintaining these disparate platforms was a headache and didn't provide a smooth customer experience.
"We needed to find a way to keep all our of customers together on the same site," said Melanie Jeffs, Director of Digital Products at Orca.
After closely examining a number of different e-commerce solutions, Orca selected the Tizra Digital Publishing Platform because it offered:
  • The ability to mix paid and free content within the same platform
  • Support for partitioning off subscriber-only content
  • Remixing capabilities to support creation of new product offerings from existing content
  • Simple management for updating publications and web pages
"The Tizra Platform was the best solution for our needs, providing all the features we needed -- making it possible to keep the same branding and site design across our online properties," continued Jeffs.
Orca was able to implement the Tizra-hosted teacher resource site and easily update it once their new overall site design was finalized. Since implementing the Tizra platform, Orca's digital revenues are already growing and they are enjoying the simplicity and flexibility of the Tizra platform including:
  • Support for multiple content formats including MP3 audiobooks, Text2Reader subscription content, PDF ebooks, and free teacher resources
  • Mobile responsive design templates to ensure the site looks beautiful on desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones
  • Opportunities to segment and remix content allowing for sampling and free content delivery
  • Promotional capabilities enable Orca to create special offer codes for subscribers
  • Fast and easy content uploading
  • Simple in-house management of content and commerce capabilities
Learn more about Orca's implementation of the Tizra Publishing Platform and what they are doing next by downloading the case study today!

AAOS & IASP: A Bit More Than the Obligatory Launch Announcement

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the International Association for the Study of Pain launched eBook sites on Tizra almost simultaneously.











Site launch announcements tend to be a bit like high school football coverage in small-town papers: The only people who pay attention are the players and their families. We think today's news is a little different, though. It involves two very prestigious organizations with similar goals going live on Tizra almost simultaneously, and as a result, serves to emphatically highlight some trends of broad interest in professional publishing.

Why did both the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the International Association for the Study of Pain choose now to go-live with eBook portals on Tizra? Each had their reasons, but a few common threads...

  • Both view delivering value to, and building relationships with, members as mission critical, and therefore wanted a digital publishing platform that would help them understand and optimize every facet of those relationships.
  • Both view their digital publications as an integral part of the value they provide, and therefore want them to be an integral part of the websites through which they connect with their communities.  Tizra made the experience seamless.
  • Both had prior investments in different association management software packages, and needed a publication platform that would integrate with them to provide easy single sign-on access, and a personalized experience for their members.
  • Both wanted solutions that would make their publications discoverable by a wider audience, helping to expand their communities.
  • Both know it's crucial to keep up with rapid change in the ways their communities are consuming information...and needed a solution that could evolve along with them. 
So yes, this is a launch announcement.  But we hope you agree, it's also a sign of some bigger things that bear watching!

New Text-to-Speech Options Offer Access to a Broader Market

ReadSpeaker Logo
While the opportunities in digital publishing keep growing, so do the challenges. It's no longer enough to get your content online and figure out how to market and sell it. The digital audience is getting broader and more diverse, which means you need to adapt to new ways of consuming content. Helping publishers meet these challenges is Tizra's mission, as demonstrated in recent enhancements like improved mobile supportenhanced online reading, and better ways to deliver digital first-content.

Now we're going a step farther, and adding text-to-speech capabilities through a partnership with ReadSpeaker, the worldwide leader in this area since 1999. Soon, you'll not only be able to reach users across a wide range of devices and platforms through Tizra, but will also be able to reach all levels of reading ability, different learning styles, and users with visual and other disabilities.

This partnership is a great fit not only because ReadSpeaker's commitment to technical excellence and user-centered design matches our own, but because both companies share the belief that the best way to reach the widest audience is through the the web. The web's open standards mean our systems work together easily and smoothly, and offer the best possible compatibility with popular reading devices and platforms.

How it Works
Readers will start the text-to-speech feature by clicking on a Listen button within the Tizra-hosted content, launching the ReadSpeaker keyboard-controlled audio player. ReadSpeaker's natural-sounding text-to-speech is offered in 32 different languages to address all your audiences, and highlights text as it is read to promote better understanding — especially critical for educational and medical publishers.

Text-to-speech features include:
  • Multiple languages and multiple voices per language
  • Customizable reading area, order and speed
  • Text highlighting with customizable colors and segmenting by sentence or word
  • Pronunciation dictionary
  • WCAG 2.0 compliance
By offering text-to-speech capabilities, you'll be able to extend the reach of your online content to audience segments that are otherwise underserved, including those with visual impairments, learning disabilities including dyslexia, as well as reluctant readers and those who simply prefer audio consumption.

Get Text-to-Speech
Text-to-speech is rolling out to current customers over the next two months and will be an available option for all new Tizra customers. Existing Tizra customers can upgrade to incorporate text-to-speech capabilities for their content. Contact Tizra to learn more.

Case Study: ARL Walks the Walk on Accessible Content

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) provides leadership in public and information policy to 125 research and academic libraries in the U.S. and Canada. A few years ago, in an effort to increase community engagement and reduce costs, ARL made the move from print to digital publications using the Tizra platform.

"Our goal was not just to go e-only, but to get there with enhanced functionality," said Publications Program Officer Lee Anne George.

When evaluating digital publishing platforms, ARL had some critical requirements including:
  • Support for existing publication formats
  • A full e-commerce platform supporting both free and paid content, as well as password- and IP-authenticated access for individual users or entire organizations
  • Mobile responsive design support
  • Full-text searching including relevancy ranking and linking to specific pages in search and social sharing
  • Support for ARL's digital accessibility mandates
After extensive testing, including an extended public beta, ARL Tizra best met their requirements and moved into production starting with its flagship newsletter Research Library Issues.
An important part of the project was to provide open and equitable access to information for those with print disabilities.  "We needed to 'walk the walk' when it came to the accessibility practices we recommend to our members. Tizra's ability and willingness to support our initiatives were an important part of our decision making process," said George.
ARL is strongly committed to providing access to its own web content to people with print disabilities and is currently working to comply with the requirements of W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA (WCAG 2.0 AA). Tizra has worked with ARL to create accessible landing pages for its digital content and is working with ARL in taking additional steps to improve screen reader interpretation, including adding alt text to images, captioning videos, using style settings to define text types, assigning languages and completing metadata.
To learn more about ARL's accessibility initiatives and digital success, download the case study.