What do Trade publishers think about outsourcing?

Trade publishing is the most commercially focused category among all publishing segments. Trade books are targeted for the general consumer and trade books are sold through channels like bookstores, libraries and wholesalers. The target consumers of trade books range from children to adults and include a variety of works ranging from – fiction, nonfiction, hardcover or paperback books.

The trade book segment has been an early adopter of digital media. The recent pressures that publishers faced in the wake of the economic recession has stimulated the e-book market. In the US alone, trade wholesale electronic book sales amounted to USD 167 m according to the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). The e-book segment is growing and has witnessed serious attempts by publishers to make this a strong revenue source.

Trade publishers have been outsourcing parts of their functions for over a decade, not just as means to tackle cost pressures, but also as a part of their business model . It is of immense interest to understand and analyze their sentiments with respect to outsourcing. An insight into buyer sentiment will help us answer a few questions like:

  • What are the challenges faced by the industry and how has the industry changed in terms of perceived challenges?
  • What are the satisfaction levels with outsourced/offshored services?
  • What are the areas that still need improvement?
  • What is the buyer proclivity to outsource? Will smaller companies outsource more? The following chapters delve deeper into all these aspects.
  • How has the industry shaped up in terms of functional areas outsourced? For example, is there more demand for content (implying higher value services) or production (low value high volume services)?


Research Methodology

We broke down the 237 responses as per segments to generate this report. We further cross tabbed the trade segment responses on the following:

  • Profile of the respondent
  • Size of company and
  • Geography

This break-down provided us with granularity on various aspects such as challenges faced, satisfaction levels, sourcing levels, cost savings, sourcing expectations, etc.


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Table Of Contents

1. Foreword
2. Research Methodology
2.1 Who took the survey?
2.2 Respondent break-down by company’s employee strength
2.3 Respondent break-down by company revenues
2.4 Respondent break-down by geography
2.5 Demography of Buyer respondents – Trade publishing
2.5.1 Respondents by geography
2.5.2 Respondents by company size – manpower
2.5.3 Respondents by company size – revenues
3. Trade Publishing – Brief Background
3.1 Outsourcing by Trade publishers
4. Challenges faced by Trade publishers
4.1 What are the challenges faced by Trade publishers?
4.1.1 Does geography impact the perception of “key challenge?”
4.1.2 Does size impact the perception of “key challenge?”
4.1.3 Challenge perception by profile
4.2 Can outsourcing mitigate challenges – which ones?
4.3 Understanding outsourcing sentiment
5. Cost Savings By Outsourcing
5.1.1 Cost savings – by geography
5.1.2 Perceptions by profile
5.1.3 Vendor perceptions on cost savings
6. Satisfaction Levels and Expectations
6.1 Are buyers satisfied?
6.1.1 Satisfaction levels by geography
6.2 What are the improvement areas?
6.2.1 Improvement in delivery – by geography
6.2.2 Areas requiring improvement – quality
7. Will Outsourcing Grow?
7.1 Proclivity to outsource
7.2 Where will the growth from?
7.2.1 Which publishers (by size) will drive offshore growth?
7.2.2 Which geography will increase outsourcing, which will retard?
7.2.3 Where will increased sourcing come from?
7.3 Preferred sourcing destinations
7.4 Which services will be in demand?
8. Annexure
8.1 Sourcing Prism
9. About ValueNotes
9.1 Research Publications
9.2 Recent Custom Projects

Table Of Exhibits

Exhibit 1: Break-down by stakeholder profile
Exhibit 2: Break-down by position in the industry
Exhibit 3: Respondent break-down by buyer profile – Total
Exhibit 4: Respondent break-down by company size (manpower) – Total
Exhibit 5: Respondent break-down by revenues – Total
Exhibit 6: Respondent break-down by geography – Total
Exhibit 7: Respondent break-down by geography – Trade publishing
Exhibit 8:Respondent break-down by company size (manpower) – Trade publishing
Exhibit 9: Respondent break-down by company size (revenues) – Trade publishing
Exhibit 10: Share of Trade publishing in the publishing industry
Exhibit 11: Perceived challenges – Trade publishers
Exhibit 12: Key challenges  by geography
Exhibit 13: Perceived challenges – by size of publisher (employees)
Exhibit 14: Perceived challenges – by respondent profile
Exhibit 15: Can sourcing mitigate challenges?
Exhibit 16: Outsourcing sentiment – Trade publishers
Exhibit 17: Outsourcing sentiment by profile – Trade publishers
Exhibit 18: Outsourcing sentiment by geography – Trade publishers
Exhibit 19: Cost savings – Overall buyer perceptions
Exhibit 20: Cost savings – perceptions by size of company (revenues)
Exhibit 21: Cost savings – by geography
Exhibit 22: Cost savings – by profile
Exhibit 23: Cost savings – Vendor perceptions
Exhibit 24: Overall satisfaction levels
Exhibit 25: Satisfaction levels – by geography
Exhibit 26: Satisfaction levels – by profile
Exhibit 27: Satisfaction levels – by company size
Exhibit 28: Improvement areas
Exhibit 29: Improvement in delivery  – by geography
Exhibit 30: Improvement areas  – quality –  by geography
Exhibit 31: Improvement required in pricing –  by geography
Exhibit 32: Outsourcing proclivity among Trade publishers
Exhibit 33: Outsourcing proclivity – by company size
Exhibit 34: Outsourcing proclivity – by geography
Exhibit 35: Preferred outsourcing destinations
Exhibit 36: Preferred outsourcing destinations – by buyer geography
Exhibit 37: Preferred outsourcing destinations – by company size
Exhibit 38: Proclivity to outsource functional areas
Exhibit 39: Proclivity to outsource functional areas – by buyer geographies
Exhibit 40: Proclivity to outsource functional areas – by company size
Exhibit 41: Sourcing Prism

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