Hyphen-Italia and DALIM SOFTWARE experience servicing the Italian educational publishing

In Italy, a recent national legislation has made it mandatory – for school books publishers – to have published text books­ available online (for download): according to the law, with the school year 2011-2012, middle and high schools have moved from traditional ‘paper-only’ volumes to ‘printed, online downloadable and mixed text books versions’.

The majority of Italian school textbooks publishers have then decided to get together in a digital platform called ‘Scuolabook’ (Schoolbook), where school text e-books are published online, and can be purchased and downloaded by Italian students. This represents ‘the first digital library designed for first and second degree schools in the secondary level’.

Some of the major Italian publishing groups, such as RCS (Gruppo Rizzoli Corriere della Sera), Giunti Editore, De Agostini and Pearson Italia (through their editorial imprints, like for instance Bompiani, Fabbri, Longman, Pearson, Paravia, Garzanti, and De Agostini Scuola), which total between 40 and 50% of all publishers present in Scuolabook and constitute a good part of the school library production in Italy, use the Hyphen-Italia ‘Chalco MBM – Media Book Management’ solution to manage their textbook production, which is capable to integrate ‘seamlessly’ with the robust and reliable DALIM TWIST engine, in order to perform a number of activities, including e-book production for Scuolabook.


The MBM solution allows editorial and production management team and copy editors to manage the book publishing project and to store all digital assets related to books and publications with their own metadata: this makes them easily available for search and re-use by the various editorial staff of the same imprint/group.

MBM optimises the book production cycle management, by having as first input the direct connection to the publisher’s MIS/ERP system (SAP or other systems), to acquire codes and start-up data of works scheduled for publication in the ‘title list’ (or publishing plan) and to manage the actual construction of the editorial and book production activity itself.

Various MBM installations set up in different publishing companies are configured in a more or less ‘extensive’ manner in order to manage, for instance: the approval cycle for PDF files designed for printing, or to direct the final printing files to DALIM TWIST preflight, to deliver the same final files to printers through a Chalco FastShare flow-integrated ticket, and/or to generate from the same PDF files – properly ‘processed’ with DALIM TWIST – a complete and browsable ‘preview’ of the book through HBS (Hyphen Book System). At one of the publishers, the HBS output is available to all editorial staff throughout the Group’s imprints/brands, with a special graphic interface in the company web portal that allows to access all publication data: in this way, information and content of various publications can be shared amongst various editors and imprints of the publishing group in ‘real time’, at the end of the production and publication process.

The output towards printing, like towards specific publication flows (or channels) uses the approved PDF files in the MBM system, which relies on DALIM TWIST for generating normalised, print-ready and publication-ready final files safely and automatically.

In Pearson Italia experience, the automated creation of PDF files for Scuolabook, in a format suitable to the platform, is ‘released’ by publication managers and supervisors, according to available options of the MBM console: the pre-set e-book creation flow provides for a 150dpi resolution, trim page size single page output, RGB colour space, and with embedded text fonts to allow users/students for full text search, etc. TWIST also inherits and automatically applies to the PDF files all metadata required for the Scuolabook platform, which is present in MBM such as, for instance, Authors, Titles, ISBN numbers.

“The adoption of the MBM-TWIST automatic flow allows us to obtain significant savings in terms of time and to optimise resources otherwise dedicated to the needs of these special ‘workflows’, such as Scuolabook”, says Ettore Avanzi, IT Director and Project Manager at Pearson Italia, who states that “In this way, people in our editorial offices can concentrate more on enriching their skills and on the difficult ongoing transformation in the scholarly publishing world, from paper to digital, already started in recent years”.