With technology taking over various aspects of publishing, publishing services have radically transformed over the last decade. Nevertheless, some areas continue to remain a dilemma.
One such practice that has often been widely discussed and debated is outsourcing. Why should companies in the publishing business outsource their projects wholly or partially to offshore firms that offer publishing services? And what is the best way to find the right offshore publishing services provider?
In this post, we will discuss these aspects of publishing and outsourcing, so you can make a sound professional decision that will benefit your business financially and otherwise.
Why Should You Outsource Publishing Services?
As is the case with most other industries, outsourcing publishing services also has a number of advantages. Here are some of the most compelling reasons to outsource publishing services.
- Improved Productivity: Outsourcing significantly reduces the gap between conception and creation. When you outsource these services, you get access to a huge workforce on demand.
- Quick Turnaround: Outsourcing also gets smaller manuscripts to the market faster, as they can be processed in as few as 24 hours.
- Reduced Costs: Outsourcing to an offshore publishing services provider can drastically reduce the costs involved.
- Access to Expertise: If you’d like to get an expert involved in the publishing process, that’s another reason to outsource these services to an offshore service provider. Companies that are in the business of publishing have better professional experience in this field, and therefore, are well positioned to offer expert solutions and resources.
7 Pointers to Choosing the Right Offshore Publishing Services Provider
You now know why you need to outsource publishing services. That brings us to the next question – how.
How do you go about choosing the right offshore publishing services provider? Here are seven tips that can help.
1. Look at The Array of Services They Offer
Different vendors offer various sets of services. Some of them may offer comprehensive packages that cover every aspect from start to finish, while others may have a more restricted set of services on offer. Before you decide upon a specific partner, discuss the services that the outsourcing company offers. Take into account all the possible services you might require in the near future and find out if the publishing company offers them.
2. Compare the Costs with the Benefits
Most publishing companies offer bundled services. These packages are best for clients and customers that require publishing assistance for longer periods. If that sounds like you, evaluate the packages and perform a cost-benefit analysis to determine if the end result is worth it. While it’s not advisable to opt for the cheapest service provider right off the bat, it’s vital that you don’t spend more than needed. Make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
3. Go Over their Experience
Does the publishing services company that you are considering have sufficient experience to carry out your project successfully? You will want to answer this question in the affirmative before selecting your partner. To evaluate the level of their experience, go over their past projects and discuss the kind of work they have done before. It’s also important that the professionals who will be working on your project have the required skills and experience.
4. Assess their Technical Expertise
Experience is one thing. Being technically sound is another. And both these boxes need to be checked before you can sign the dotted line and join hands with an offshore service provider. Ensure that the experts who are assigned to work on your project have the necessary credentials. Also, make sure that you interview them in-person to gauge how well they are aware of the latest developments in the field of publishing. In an ever-evolving industry such as Publishing, it’s imperative that they keep up with the trends.
5. Check References and Samples
Having assessed their experience and technical expertise, it’s time to move on to gauging their client history. This is a vital aspect of understanding how your relationship with a potential service provider may pan out in the future. Ask the publishing services provider for a list of references or a roster of previous clients. Competent and professional partners will have no reservations in doing so. On the other hand, if they hesitate, consider that a red flag. Reach out to present and past clients to understand any challenges they may have experienced.
6. Ask About the Delivery Times
Deadlines are crucial in the world of publishing, and any proficient publishing company is sure to be well-aware of this. Talk to the core team in the service provider company you’re considering partnering with. Enquire about the delivery timelines they typically follow. While it’s obvious that you wouldn’t want to partner with a company that takes unusually long time to complete the job, it is important that you give them a reasonable amount of time to meet the project requirements. Quoting extremely tight deadlines could hamper the quality of the work.
7. Evaluate Their Channels of Communication
Apart from experience and service packages, communication is a key aspect that can make or break a deal. Ideally, your outsourcing partner should have open channels of communication that can help you get in touch with the team working on your project. Having to get past multiple hoops will make communication ineffective. If your offshore provider is in a different time zone, you might also want to discuss how their team intends to communicate with you. Ask for a single point of contact, so you can establish smoother communication.
Some Quick Additional Suggestions
In addition to the guidelines mentioned above, you might also want to ensure that the service provider has all the necessary checks in place to keep your data secure. Also, look for hidden costs, and discuss their terms and conditions in as much detail as possible.
Cover aspects like the file formats supported by the service provider and ask about the terms of royalty. Once you’ve covered all these important points, select the offshore publishing services provider who meets all the criteria.