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    HOW ARE FREELANCERS CHANGING THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY
    December 13, 2017

    In recent years, work patterns have shifted. Our future world is being built by an army of independent consultants and freelancers who allow businesses and employees to enjoy more freedom. Freelancing has long been commonplace in professions ranging from writing, editing, and design amongst many skilled trades.

    Many publishers liked to work on paper and snail-mail several years ago, and many freelancers could get away with turning in sub-standard work. These days, it’s a very different story. With any new piece of technology comes an opportunity for freelancers to dig into a new niche and specialize in a field.

    Freelancers are an advantage to publishers because they allow for more flexibility. Publishers can easily hire freelancers to do the job for less and get more in the bargain. Publishers can put what they specifically need and sit back and watch freelancers do their magic of creating content. Marketing flourishes when you choose freelancers to make your content. Freelancers carry various flavors, meaning they are different, which will leave you with so many stories ready to be published.

    Furthermore, commissioning freelancers for specific projects can decrease the amount of time devoted to sourcing and hiring in-house staff, which is typically more time consuming as hiring a full-time employee is essentially a long-term commitment and could bring other unintended costs such as medical insurance, dental insurance, and other government-mandated requirements. To benefit from the decreased commitment and expenses of hiring freelancers, publishers must have the appropriate systems and processes to ensure that in-house staff responsible for hiring freelancers is not continuously occupied with onboarding duties.

    In many more prominent companies, the task of sourcing, contracting, and managing freelancers fall to each department: thus, in-house editors will source freelance copy-editors and proofreaders, art directors will source illustrators and cover designers, and marketing managers will source freelancers possessing skills such as video creation, website design, or social media management.

    Some freelance by choice, relishing the opportunity to set their schedules, choose their assignments and work independently. The many qualities of creativity, time management, high detailing, and lower costs of freelancers make them the real deal to publishers. One of the biggest problems facing the freelance industry today is spam and fake reviews. Publishers have tackled this challenge in several ways, depending on their size, resources, and philosophy.

     As publishers look to cut overhead and acquire workers with up-to-date digital skills, outsourcing to freelancers is becoming more commonplace and convenient. Freelancers help all people around them see the bigger picture. Usually, publishers are so focused on the specific aspect and target of the story that they do not see the bigger picture. With freelancers’ help, they enhance their market flexibility and turnaround time to churn content to the masses.

    Publishing platforms help freelancers aggregate their work, build their brand online, and connect them with publishers looking for writers. Eventually, publishing platforms will aid publishers for many of their operations, including workflow and payments. Freelancers will be able to sort their taxes through these publishing platforms and track their work’s reach online, down to page views, click-throughs, and whether work is being excessively quoted elsewhere.

    The freelance workforce is developing rapidly, as is the publishing industry’s reliance on outsourced professionals. More than ever, freelancers are the backbone of the industry. The publishing industry depends on freelancers: writers and editors, proofreaders and designers, PR, and typesetters. With the right institutions and policies in place, it could become more viable for people to choose a freelance career path.

    Sources:

    1. https://www.publishingtrainingcentre.co.uk/courses/self-study/more-information
    2. https://www.thebookseller.com/futurebook/how-growing-freelance-economy-impacting-traditional-publishers-558501
    3. https://contently.com/strategist/2014/06/23/what-top-brand-publishers-look-for-in-freelancers/
    4. https://goo.gl/KaCnMJ
    5. https://goo.gl/95Uy4N
    6.  Image credit: Freepik/Pexels

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