Reciprocal, the digital rights management and distribution services provider, and Texterity Inc., which specializes in automated file conversion, have announced a program to offer a package of conversion, DRM protection and distribution services to small and mid-size publishers as an easy path to produce e-books.

The new program combines Reciprocal's Digital Clearing Service, which lets publishers integrate DRM software from Adobe, InterTrust and Microsoft into their products, with Texterity's new TextCafe Open eBook (OEB) conversion service. TextCafe automates the conversion of publishers' Quark, Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF files into XML/OEB files. The cost of converting files, especially PDF, into e-book formats is one of the principal stumbling blocks for the 50,000 small and medium-size publishers the new service is aimed at, according to Texterity spokesman Cimarron Buser. "Taking PDF to XML format is difficult," Buser told PW. "Most publishers end up either re-keying the entire text or marking up the file with XML tags by hand. Larger publishers often have whole digital production departments, with special investments in hardware and software, and can cover this with their economies of scale. Publishers with fewer than 100 titles just don't have the resources for it. TextCafe makes the hardest part easy and affordable."

Reciprocal will also offer Texterity's services to its current customers, and Texterity will promote the bundle of Reciprocal's packaging and integration services to its current clients.