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

In Digital by Hannah Johnson

By Hannah Johnson

Just having e-books won’t cut it anymore.

“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 Emmanuel Benoit

Emmanuel Benoit, Executive VP of Jouve

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.

To future-proof their business, publishers need to be sure their content is ready for a multitude of digital formats — both known and unknown — argues one of Europe’s leading e-book conversion companies.

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.

Click the image below to watch the video:

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.

You can 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 March 9.

DISCUSS: How Do You Use Enhanced Content?

About the Author

Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.