Meet the Autumn Conference Supporter:
Westchester Publishing Services /
Westchester Education Services
Ahead of the IPG’s 2020 Virtual Autumn Conference on 21 October, here’s an introduction to the work of Westchester Publishing Services and Westchester Education Services.
1. How well do you think independent publishing has responded to all the challenges of the last six months?
The vast majority of the many independent publishers we’ve spoken to in the last six months recognised the need to adapt very quickly, and then planned and implemented changes to their business models equally quickly.
Those changes ranged from transitioning to the now ubiquitous model of working from home, to furloughing or laying off staff, to adjusting workflows, to moving to POD, to digitising backlists, to cancelling or postponing publications, or to outsourcing some or all of their Autumn 2020 and Spring 2021 programmes to pre-press vendors like Westchester.
We won’t know the long-term effects of the crisis on independent publishing for some time, but one thing is certain: independent publishers are far more flexible and resilient than the big corporates, and those IPG members who reacted quickly, decisively and often painfully will fare best in the long term.
2. The theme of the Autumn Conference is global growth. Can you share any advice for publishers seeking to grow sales internationally?
Do the sums to establish whether a sales or distribution model for your list is the best option—or whether selling rights to a local publisher may deliver a better return. Use the resources on the IPG Skills Hub to guide your decision-making.
If you go the former route, get your supply chain properly organised so that orders for your titles can be fulfilled efficiently. This will likely mean partnering with a local distributor, sales agency, or POD operation. Make sure your sales and marketing materials are compelling and attractive, and that your bibliographic records and metadata are comprehensive and accurate, so that those local resources have everything they need to effectively present your list.
3. How can you support independent publishers in the months ahead?
Costs management is now, more than ever before, a key factor for independent publishers as they navigate through the crisis. In particular, fixed costs need to be kept at a minimum to optimise and prioritise how their limited cash is spent.
Employee-owned Westchester acts as a key outsourced partner to more than 200 academic, education, trade and specialist publishers worldwide. In short, we can help IPG members adjust their production programmes, reduce fixed costs, shorten schedules and improve quality for key tasks like content creation, copyediting, design, typesetting, digital production, and project management.
Visit the Westchester Publishing Services and Westchester Education Services website.