Received an email from Tizra:

Now, with the introduction of a fully self-service version of the Tizra Publisher web application, this online publishing upside is within reach of whole new categories of content owners–both inside and outside the traditional publishing industry.

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The new self-serve signup means that anyone can have access to the same highly flexible content management and online commerce capabilities MIT Press uses in its CISnet collection of online computer science books ( Recently MIT Press has been joined by new Tizra customers including Indiana University Press, University of Tennessee Press, the Association of Research Libraries and Bloomsbury Academic.

The service runs from free to $4995/month, and allows you to self-create an impressive website for the sale of documents. I was very impressed with its capabilities, even in the free version, and they have a 9 minute tour which is fascinating to watch. I didn’t realize that you could self-create sites like this.

Have some fun and take a look at the tour, it might give you some ideas about setting up your own site for free. This looks like an ideal way for an author to sell their e-books. Certainly it could be set up in a way, using Tizra’s pre-built templates, that look a lot more professional than a lot of author’s sites I’ve seen.


  1. Hi, David from Tizra here,

    Definitely a relevant comment.

    Yes, we have been very careful targeting and limiting our data formats. One reason is that we know most publishers have only PDF or mostly PDF. I think the self-pub folks are a bit ahead of the game here, because they don’t have huge backlists or production pipelines to change.

    We have also seen that devices are moving more and more to full web access, and PDF support is a big issue with people buying devices. It really came home one day when we discovered that we had iPhone support without building it.

    We also have very high standards about content functionality. We did PDF with much of the power of the XML systems we used to build as consultants, and so we want to make sure that any efforts in other formats will enhance the system, and especially meet our hard requirement to keep it usable by non-coders.

    So keep an eye on us, and remember that anyone can make a PDF, and we can deliver its content to any browser.

  2. Hi, Francis. Tizra tells me it is anticipating the introduction of other formats such as ePub. But, yes, it would help if this happened sooner rather than later. I’d encourage customers and prospects to provide Tizra with friendly, constructive feedback. My impression from afar is that Tizra is a good company and will be responsive within the limits of its resources. ePub capability, when possible, would certainly broaden the market for Tizra’s products. Thanks. David

  3. There are several things you need to add.

    ePub support, Palm support, and Sony support.

    Once those are added, you really need to put in some kind of “central repository” which would allow publishers and authors to upload their books for sale under contract and subscribers of your service to retail those books. You will find a lot of smaller publishers don’t want to, or cannot be in retail business due to other business dealings. A repository supporting the above formats and allowing subscribers of your service to retail those books for a standard cut would be a major boost to your business.

    In the eBook business, typically a 45% cut goes into the retail end and 55% returns to the publisher/author side. If you supported all of those formats and structured the business correctly, you would find some publishing houses would allow you to be exclusive source for some of their titles. This would boost your subscriber base.

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