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Outsourced support for educational publishers

As our society’s educational needs multiply, there’s a never-ending stream of demands to create and develop new courses, to help with education and training of ever more students. In addition to the demand from schools and colleges for educational material, there is now a growing demand for adult education. As the pace of change accelerates, there is an increasing realisation that people need to improve their skills all the way through their careers, taking account of changes in their profession, or planning a complete change as their old industry moves into its twilight years.

At the same time, the new technologies are creating new opportunities and challenges, making it possible to deliver education remotely and in flexible ways. First Amazon’s Kindle, and then the Apple Ipad, have created new ways to deliver electronic material and coursework. Added together, these issues mean that educational publishers face a significant number of changes in the way they work, and an increasing demand for relevant content to support the burgeoning demand for modern education.

For a start, traditional publishing, which involved crafting books and printed coursework has been overtaken by demands for other media. Gone are simple illustrations, now it is possible to include animation and video, even virtual three dimensional objects with interactivity for students. Online formats are now used for delivering courses over the internet, while tablets require downloadable documents that are legible and work well on each of the individual machine’s formats. Often the design skills that work well to deliver a printed format book do not produce such good results when translated to a new digital format, so that it can be advisable to seek design expertise with more specific experience in this area.

The pace of work has also changed considerably. No longer will businesses place long term contracts, allowing educational publishers to plan their staffing and workload months ahead. Instead, timelines have shortened, and projects will be awarded much nearer to their publication deadline. In these circumstances, it makes sense to plan a more flexible publishing operation; something that has led to the creation of companies such as HL Studios, which can deliver on-demand specialist support to mainstream publishers. The company has a studio of project managers, designers, page layout artists and illustrators enabling the HL Studios team to efficiently handle projects for print or digital, delivering a quick turnaround with great quality control. Using its own software, HL Studios can provide digital books with video, images and activities embedded on a page.

Not only can this arrangement cover the peaks in output that may be required, they also ensure that it is possible to draw on a talented pool of people, many niche specialists, rather than rely on an in-house team that may be missing essential new skills in such areas as the latest digital design. As a result, a growing number of specialist support suppliers have developed their operations to plug into the needs identified by educational publishers, as they meet the needs of developing material that is not only published as a text book, but may at the same time need to be on a CD or DVD, appear as an online course accessed via the internet, or have elements that can be downloaded as an app or readable document for tablet readers.

The pace of change is unlikely to diminish, and one thing is for sure, within the next few years there will be new, ever more interactive formats appearing that will demand creativity and expertise to exploit. This will continue to provide a challenge for educational publishers; if you’re reading this from one of their offices, then why not call HL Studios now to see how they can help you.

Contact HL Studios


Phone: +44 (01993) 848260

HL Studios, Witney Business Centre, Windrush House, Witney, Oxon, OX29 7DX.