Special Report: Today’s Global Sourcing Market
This new environment opens up possibilities for a dizzying array of publishing services to be sent overseas, according to Ranjit Singh, CEO of Aptara (formerly Techbooks), a Falls Church, Va.-based provider of pre-manufacturing and content management solutions.
“The way we look at it now, everybody is a publisher,” Singh says of his company’s diverse client base. “Everybody publishes for different reasons, be it books to sell, journals or for regulatory reasons.”
Internal publishing represents a fixed cost, whereas outsourcing allows for variability based on the project, he says, which gets to the heart of where global sourcing is going as a tool for publishers.
“It’s the composition and other preparation work that publishers are increasingly wanting to outsource,” Singh says. All the prepress work is being evaluated for offshoring … [because] they now realize that they can move off more complicated things.”
Aptara offers publishing content management services from three facilities in India, in the cities of New Delhi, Pune and Dehradun.
“People come for cost reasons,” notes Singh, “and they stay for quality, scale, turnaround time and better applications that make it easier for them to get the work done. It’s really about customized service.”
According to Jerry Jenkins, CEO of the Jenkins Group—a Traverse City, Mich.-based independent custom-book-publishing services firm—current trends are pointing to increased editorial and interior layout work in India, and customer service and some manufacturing in the Philippines. While some inroads have been made by India, Korea and Singapore on the manufacturing front, no country has emerged to challenge China’s hegemony when it comes to printing.
“When I think of China, I think of printing,” notes Kimberly Schaefer, vice president of Aquent Offshore, a provider of content management services for publishers, headquartered in Boston. China will continue to dominate on that end, she says, because of low manufacturing and shipping costs compared to other countries.