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        How Does Outsourcing Editing Reduce the Fixed Cost of Publishing?

        • calenderMay 07, 2022
        • calender 5 min read

        The landscape of publishing has changed drastically in the past decade or so, with the rise of digital publishing and a shift toward self-publishing.

        Publishers all over the world, both in trade and education publications, are facing a lot of challenges adapting to this new world. Many of these organizations are especially concerned about 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. 

        If publishers want to keep up with the rapid changes seen in this industry, then they should consider looking outward for support. 

        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. 

        How is editing a variable cost? 

        An in-house editor is a salaried employee who will be paid every month, therefore an expense the company has to incur irrespective of whether or not it makes any sales. This is a fixed cost. This situation is ideal for companies that produce content on a weekly, even daily basis. The demand for an editor in that context is high. 

        But let’s say you don’t publish content that frequently. You may be a journal that puts out quarterly editions or a company that wants to produce a handful of case studies. In these situations, hiring a full-time editor hardly makes sense. 

        On the other hand, a collaboration with a freelance editor or a partnership with a professional editing firm is not that hard on the pocket, relatively, at least. 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.

        Outsourcing editing benefits your company 

        Editing is a crucial part of any writing process; aiding in 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 sizable amounts of content on a regular basis. These include publishing houses, digital marketing agencies, academic journals, and web design companies. 

        This brings a hoard of problems to the table, especially a huge financial crunch for your company. Editing is a highly specialized 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 of 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). All you have to pay them for is the work, and this is usually on a pro rata basis. 

        There is an additional benefit to outsourcing editing. There are different kinds of editing; developmental, copyediting, substantial editing, line editing, etc, which need specialized editors. It becomes much more feasible to outsource this kind of specialized 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 a few months. There is a substantial amount of resources that you have to invest; training material, time, 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.

        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. 


        Key takeaways 

        • As the costs of publishing keep rising, many companies and publication houses outsource their content to editors who ensure language quality. 
        • Outsourcing reduces the fixed cost of the publishing process, especially for organizations that publish periodically or seasonally. 
        • Rather than keeping an in-house editor on the payroll all year, outsourcing means you pay on a pro rata basis. 
        • Working with an experienced editor who also has knowledge of your field means the best of both worlds for you! 
        • By delegating editorial duties to an expert outside your company, you make your operations smoother while also ensuring a specialist is working on your content.

        Found this article helpful?


        Rishi Linkedin

        Rishi was a zealous student at IIT Bombay when he realized, firsthand, the power of good language in effective communication. As part of this belief, after a brief stint in a hedge fund, he co-founded PaperTrue in 2014.

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