What is outsourcing and why is it necessary?

Currently, publishers are facing a lot of challenges, especially the rising costs of the publication process. This is putting pressure on profit margins and at the same time, the demand for traditional paper-based products is falling as a lot of consumers prefer to read their news online and read books on a Kindle. As a result, publishers are becoming more open to outsourcing. Outsourcing allows them to reduce fixed costs as well as gain access to skills and technology that may not be available in their company.  Hiring freelancers and outsourcing offers numerous advantages to the publishing industry apart from reducing fixed costs like increasing output, using freelancers as an on-demand solution to business needs and more. 

What is a fixed cost and what is a variable cost?

A fixed cost is described as one that your company has to incur irrespective of whether or not it makes any sales. For example, the rent of the place that you are operating from has to be paid every month. A variable cost is incurred only when the company makes a sale. For example, a freelance editor or proofreader is a variable cost. You have to pay them only when you have work, unlike your other salaried employees to whom their salary is your company’s fixed cost.

Editing is a crucial part of any writing process, delivering a flawless end product. Editors correct the grammar, syntax and punctuation of a piece of text along with giving you tips on how to improve it regarding content and structure. Editors are absolutely indispensable to companies, especially those that produce sizeable amounts of content on a daily basis. These include:

  • Publishing Houses
  • Digital Marketing Teams
  • Journals
  • Others (website design companies, etc.)

This brings a hoard of problems to the table, especially a huge financial crunch for your company. Editing is a highly specialised skill that requires extensive training and experience. If you hire an editing team, the amount of work given to them has to be substantial, otherwise there is no use in keeping a bunch of skilled individuals waiting and resorting to doing tasks that don’t require that amount of expertise.

This is a reason outsourcing editing becomes a viable option. You pay none of their expenses, except the project costs. The rest is taken care by the team, whose editors work out of their own office and use their own resources.  As opposed to full-time editors, freelance editors and the team that you outsource work to don’t incur the burden of benefits (insurance, medical expenses, etc).

There is an additional benefit to outsourcing editing. There are different kinds of editing; developmental, copyediting, substantial editing, line editing, etc, which need specialised editors. It becomes much more feasible to outsource this kind of specialised work to an editor instead of recruiting full-time editors, who might have to be trained for this.

Often, as a company, you have to train your editing and proofreading team for at least 2-3 months. There is a substantial amount of resources that you have to invest; training material and salary.  There is also the added pressure of impeccable performance that is expected of them, because during their training, they are supposed to work on projects assigned to them, which may be of regular clients. In this case, outsourcing work to a professional and experienced editing and proofreading team unburdens you of that responsibility, and at the same time, lowers your fixed costs by a considerable margin.

And there you have it! Outsourcing your work to a professional editing team rakes in many benefits, the most important one being the substantial reduction of your company’s fixed costs. To understand what parameters to look for in an editor, you have to understand your needs and your client’s needs and according to that, settle on hiring the right editor.