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Several years ago, Chris Padilla realized things were starting to change in the business of printed content. Amazon had released its Kindle e-reader, other e-readers were beginning to hit the market and the iPad was on the horizon. He knew the market for content on mobile devices was going to grow significantly and he wanted to get in on it.
So in January 2010, Padilla started Convert A Book, a Provo-based company that does just what its name implies: converts books and other content to mobile platforms. The Provo company recently converted its one-millionth page of content, and in just the past month has worked with for more than 200 authors, Padilla said.
“We’re excited about the idea that everyone is going mobile,” Padilla said. “And to get to a mobile environment, no matter what you’re doing, you’ll need to convert your content at some point. We’re excited to offer that service.”
Convert A Book’s business is divided almost evenly among three sectors: work for book publishers, work for other corporations and work for individuals self-publishing books.
Authors provide Convert A Book with their content in a Word, PDF or other file type, and for a one-time fee the company converts it to the formats used by major devices and ensures it is error free. For an additional fee, Convert A Book will go through the process of making the content available for download on e-reader stores. The company also offers online marketing assistance.
Among the company’s first publisher clients was publishing giant HarperCollins, which hired Convert A Book to create an interactive tablet app version of a coffee table book about the art of the 2011 movie “The Adventures of Tintin.” The app ended up selling better than the printed book, Padilla said.
The company also recently created an app for Siemens medical group. For that project they converted a poster into an interactive app to help medical professionals properly use a Siemens urinalysis machine.
In addition to its Provo headquarters, where Padilla and seven employees work, Convert A Book maintains an office in New York City. The location gives the company a presence near big publishers like HarperCollins and Scholastic, as well as a base of operations during events such as book expositions and conferences in New York City. But Convert A Book’s home is in downtown Provo and Padilla plans to keep it there.
“Provo has a lot of young talent that provides an innovative creative environment,” he said.