Former Harper Collins CEO, Jane Friedman, launched Open Road Integrated Media with the intention to create a new kind of publishing company. The e-book marketing and publishing startup’s main area of expertise was marketing. As part of its innovative business strategy, the company made a deliberate decision to outsource product development and manufacturing activities which included all editorial and production activities.
Initially, the company released 21 titles authored by Pulitzer Prize winner William Styron as e-books. The works included best-sellers Sophie’s Choice, The Confessions of Nat Turner and Darkness Visible. In addition to re-introducing the work of well-known authors, Open Road also brought new authors and new titles to market, nesting layers of original textual materials in richly linked multimedia products.
To kick-start its effort, Open Road Integrated Media asked Innodata to augment classic fiction from well-known authors (initially the works of William Styron) with collections of value-added original text, audio and video. These included author profiles, behind-the-scenes features and mini-documentaries.
Innodata handled the entire editorial and production cycle for both previously published and newly acquired titles. This meant everything from composition to XML data conversion to copy editing and print-on-demand services. Additionally, Innodata was charged with producing and delivering files for e-book readers, such as Apple’s iPad, Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook and the Sony Reader.
Each of the initial 21 titles had different requirements. Some needed to be converted to XML for print-ready publications, others needed to be viewed on e-book readers in EPUB format. Once the titles were ready for distribution, e-books would be marketed through a proprietary platform designed to reach consumers where they shop online.
Innodata enabled Open Road Integrated Media to realize a new business and organizational model which benefited their new business tremendously. Innodata’s production tream helped the company develop and manufacture new products without direct investment in new staff, facilities or technology.