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What to Look for When Hiring Content Development Companies

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A good content is the winner everywhere. Well thought-of and well-written content is inevitable for the success of your organization. This matters even more when you are into publishing. As a publisher, you may not have the necessary resources who can help you in developing the content for your next work. A content development company can come to your aid in such an instance. When outsourcing to publishing agencies that provides content development services, here are a few things to look out for.

What kind of content do they develop?

As a publisher, you would need to work with different kinds of content – books, journals, test assessments, reports, websites, DVDs, or a combination of all of these. The company that you outsource the work to, has to be comfortable and competent in the format of the content that you are looking to develop. An agency that is well-versed in handling all kinds of content needs is definitely a blessing, and can lead to a fruitful, long-term relationship.

What stages of content development are they involved in?

The publishing task needs the content or manuscript to move through different stages before it can actually be published.  These could be the early writing or editorial process, the pre-production, production, and the final product. A good content development company is able to handle not one, but all of these stages without difficulties. They liaise with you, as well the writer(s), the editorial team, and the other members involved, to move the work seamlessly through all stages. They fix planning meetings to establish production plans for the upcoming publication. They work with the authors and the editorial team on content improvements, and establish a workflow that gives you the best publishing results. The developmental editors evaluate the manuscript, suggest improvements to the writing, and create an editorial style for the new publication.  Content developers conduct manuscript surveys, and compile the results into a final report that helps fine-tune the copy. Once all stages are complete, they generate a complete manuscript for production, ensuring all elements for manuscript submission are included.

What is their experience?

A good content development company is definitely not a newbie in the business. They have to their credit, years of experience not just in content development, but also in copyediting, editorial proofreading, and maybe even publishing. They serve as the ideal resource for all aspects of the publishing process.

What other tasks do they help with?

While the actual task of such an agency is to develop copy and manuscripts, they may also step in to help with other tasks in the publishing process. These could be:

  • Assessing material for artwork – the developmental editors help you source the artwork that needs to accompany a manuscript. These could be images, graphics, illustrations, flow charts, and so on. From searching for the right image, to creating illustrations, modifying them as per design standards, obtaining copyright permissions for borrowed images and art material, these people help with it all.
  • Designing interior pages and cover – good and professional content development companies also help with designing the artwork for the inner pages, as well as the cover. They ensure that each element of the manuscript maintains synergy with the overall design, so that what you publish achieves the best results.
  • Conducting peer reviews – book publishers benefit immensely from peer reviews, especially when they work on projects that include publishing textbooks, scientific material, academic, material, or even professional stuff. The well-qualified members in the team of content developers evaluate the manuscript or content for factual correctness and authenticity, and ensure that they are presented in their best and correct form.

Content development companies can be a big boon to publishers, especially those who lack sufficient talent or infrastructure to get along with their new publishing project. Such agencies comprise of teams with highly qualified and experienced people, who can not only create copies and manuscripts, but also help in managing and running the project end to end.

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