Typesetting of Books and Conversion to eBook Format: A Case Study

The outsourcing situation described in this case study involves a UK-based publisher seeking to save costs when converting hard copies of books into an eReader format. The client was also seeking to outsource cover design and typesetting of several print versions — the client selected BackOffice Pro (BOP) for both projects.

Client Profile — London-based Publisher Specializing in Books about the Middle East

The client is based in London and recently began to translate Arabic language books into English. The publisher previously focused primarily on facsimile editions of 18th and 19th century rare books in the fields of poetry, literature, travel and history.

Business Need — eBook Conversion and Typesetting for Print Versions

The client's initial business requirement was to convert one hard copy of a book into a format that was compatible with Mobi and ePub requirements used in today's internet publishing sales environment. The client previously outsourced similar tasks to British companies but was willing to consider offshoring the work outside of Britain in order to reduce conversion costs.

During initial project discussions, it became apparent that the client also needed help with cover design and typesetting of three books for print versions. The client insisted on 100 per cent accuracy for both projects.

The BOP Challenges — A Fast Turnaround and 100% Accuracy

While BackOffice Pro possessed all of the required managerial and technical skills to complete the two projects, the client did have high expectations for both outsourcing projects — saving money while maintaining a high level of quality and achieving a fast turnaround of 20 days for everything. These challenges were readily accepted by the experienced team at BackOffice Pro.

The BOP Solution — Assemble an Exclusive Team for the Client and Check Quality

The multi-step solution for completing both client projects included the following steps:

  • As with many projects outsourced to the BackOffice Pro team, a dedicated team was formed to meet the client's unique needs and timetable — the BOP team consisted of copyeditors, proofreaders, graphic designers and layout artists.
  • The aggressive timeline was resolved by working in three shifts — the three-book project involved scanning 1062 pages using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software that produced an editable format. This step included proofreading that was followed by final typesetting.
  • Quality was reviewed constantly — to maintain high accuracy, a two-way quality check process involving both the vendor side and client side was adopted.


BackOffice Pro Results — Cost-Effective and Timely One-Stop Outsourcing

BOP's ability to accomplish both projects contributed significantly to the final successful results. A new client was totally pleased and has subsequently selected BackOffice Pro for new business projects while also referring other clients to BOP. In addition to completing everything in 20 days, BackOffice Pro helped the client save 70 per cent compared to costs by using local vendors in Britain