In recent years, the way work gets done has begun to shift. 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.
Ten years ago, many publishers liked to work on paper and by snail mail, and many freelancers could get away with just a touch of word processing here and there. 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 the terms of what they specifically need and sit back and watch freelancers do their magic of creating content. Marketing flourishes when you choose freelancers to create 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. But, in order to benefit from the decreased commitment and costs of hiring freelancers, publishers must have the appropriate systems and processes in place to ensure that in-house staff responsible for hiring freelancers is not continuously occupied with onboarding duties.
In many bigger publishing companies, the task of sourcing, contracting, and managing freelancers falls 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 are freelancing by choice, relishing the opportunity to set their own 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 a number of 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, and with the help of freelancers, they enhance their market flexibility and turnaround time to churn content to the masses.
Publishing platforms helps freelancers aggregate their work and aims to help them build their personal 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 pageviews, 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.