1 What's your company called?
Westchester Publishing Services.
2 What services or products do you offer?
We provide a wide range of pre-press services, including editorial, project management, composition, typesetting, ePubs and XML services for book, journal and white paper publishers.
3 How can you help IPG members?
We offer a complete set of pre-press services—from the manuscript stage to final print-ready and digital files. In the textbook market we even work as far upstream as content development. We have been working for publishers for nearly 50 years, and our clients include Macmillan, W.W. Norton, Crooked Lane, The New Press, Harvard University Press and more than 120 other publishers of all types and sizes.
As an employee-owned company, we are invested in the success of every title that comes through our door, and we work with our clients every step of the way to ensure their requirements are being met. This allows them to focus on other important aspects of their business, like growing their publishing programmes and acquisitions. We also own and manage our offshore production facilities, which ensures clients consistently receive a high-quality finished product.
4 What do you enjoy about working in publishing?
It’s a very exciting time to be in publishing, and Westchester is continuing to build on its solid 50-year reputation of providing quality products. During the past year we have expanded our capabilities by offering content development, editorial and production services for the primary and secondary school markets, launched new online tools and added a graphic design arm, all while continuing to partner with new clients in the trade, academic and university press spaces. We enjoy helping clients and sharing the common bond of books. Many client meetings or sales calls involve a good portion of dialogue about the books that most excite publishers, and being part of that process is very rewarding.
5 What do you think is the single biggest opportunity and the single biggest threat for independent publishers right now?
Scalability seems to fit both categories from our viewpoint. Independent publishers have never had so many tools or options to grow their lists—from simple typesetting tools to networks of editorial freelancers to online distribution platforms to print on demand services that make producing and releasing books easier in some regards than ever before.
At the same time, that ability to grow a list from a production standpoint requires structuring the company to be ready for growth, and not overstaffed for windows when things are not as active. We have clients who have partnered with us as a solution to that issue. By outsourcing segments of their list for editorial and production services, these publishers are able to better manage the highs and lows of their schedules throughout the year, rather than having to wrestle with staffing up for the peaks and then having underutilized resources when they are not so busy.
6 What do you get out of belonging to the IPG?
It allows us to participate in dialogue and learn about our partners’ emerging needs so we can continue to adapt and innovate. Fifty years ago, our staff would never have thought that Westchester would one day have 400 employees and hundreds of freelancers spread across multiple continents, all engaging with one another via tools like DropBox and Creative Cloud. That growth didn’t happen in a vacuum—it came from responding to the needs of our clients and the market as they changed over time. The IPG is a dynamic community with lots of vocal and active publishers, and we look forward to incorporating feedback from our fellow members into our overall direction and offerings.