Classifieds Publisher Offers Print Feel Online

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DuPont Registry, a magazine publisher of luxury classifieds, is replicating its monthly publications on the Internet to give readers the same experience online.


The St. Petersburg, FL, company is using E-Book Systems Inc.'s Digital Flip technology to create online magazines for its titles on upscale automobiles, homes and boats. The magazines are available at dupontregistry.com.


"The hardest part of going from print to online is the interface, the little bridge that takes the print software we use and converts it into Web software," said Kit Jeerapaet, president of Internet at duPont Registry. "We prepare the magazine to go to press. We don't prepare it to go to a virtual format. E-Book helps us with that interface, and it makes it painless."


The proprietary Digital Flip technology of E-Book Systems, Santa Clara, CA, delivers multimedia content such as digital photographs, animations, text, audio and music through a three-dimensional page-flipping interface. This makes the product look like a virtual book, with contents streamed or delivered via its OpenFlip format.


"We use PDFs in print, and we have to change it to JPEGs," Jeerapaet said. "So E-Book is adaptable enough to accommodate."


The duPont Registry: A Buyers Gallery of Fine Automobiles has an audited circulation of 100,000, 85 percent of it paid newsstand sales and the rest free subscriptions. The homes and boats titles, both unaudited, have similar circulations around 100,000 each. Readers typically are consumers with average incomes of $200,000, 98.7 percent are male and the median age is 40.


The magazines are sent free to senior executives at Fortune 500 companies and celebrities and are placed in well-known athletes' locker rooms. Ads run in Playboy and Forbes, supported by a presence at automobile trade shows where duPont Registry sometimes provides the exotic cars.


For duPont Registry, the online versions of its three main magazines are designed to boost e-mail signups and circulation of the print titles.


Internet users who prefer to read a duPont Registry online title's FlipViewer version, or the standard Web browser format, have to register their e-mail address. They can opt out of receiving the magazine via e-mail every month. A viewer download is required for PC users. A Mac version is in development.


Since using E-Book Systems' technology, duPont Registry has generated 13,000 e-mail signups for its automobile title, 5,000 for homes and 2,000 for boats.


Extending the magazines online in their original design also adds to their value as advertising vehicles. This is key for duPont Registry's titles since their content is 100 percent advertising and no editorial. Pages are geared to direct response.


Equally important, the online versions appear weeks before the hard copies hit newsstands. This cuts down lead times as duPont Registry improves its position as a classified search engine, bringing buyers and sellers of luxury products together.


"We're basically helping them to increase their advertising revenue," said Kyu Kim, manager of enterprise solutions at E-Book Systems.


E-Book Systems charges for converting the print magazines to digital format along with a licensing fee. A 60-page, tabloid size weekly costs $500 to convert, with a monthly licensing fee of $150 to $300 or more, depending on circumstances.


E-Book Systems clients include Primedia's Import Tuner and Surfer Mag Report; Reed Business Information's Manufacturing Systems Information and Control Engineering; Cygnus Business Media's Advanced Imaging and Ground Support; and Professional Media Group's University Business.


DuPont Registry's online magazines are free, for now. But the company plans to charge for access in a few months, particularly for its automobile title.


"We're OK with losing some free readers," Jeerapaet said.


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