Westchester Publishing Services' evolution from an onshore typesetting business in 1969 to a U.S. employee-owned company in 2019 with a wholly owned offshore production facility in India, since 2008, is just one facet of Westchester's history. Between these two milestones, the company initiated its U.S.-based editorial group for book project management and copyediting services, and soon after its group for journals. Thus the foundation was laid for what Westchester is today, 50 years after the inception of that humble typesetting setup: the largest onshore team of production editors in a nonpublishing entity.
"Our editorial group is widely recognized as the gold standard for publishers seeking the best project management, copyediting, and other services for their books, journals, whitepapers, and related publications that the publisher chooses not to handle in-house," says president and CEO Paul J. Crecca, who joined the company when it became 100% employee-owned in September 2014. "Our U.S. editorial groups are the reason Mary Ann Liebert and Harvard University Press have sent us more than 95% of their annual publishing list over the past decade and are what attracted MIT Press and several other large publishers to become a part of our client roster," Crecca says, adding that his team "has also for many years worked with major trade houses and STM publishers, including Macmillan and W. W. Norton."
In early 2016, Westchester established another group of project editors, this time in New Delhi, India, to offer an alternative to U.S.-based editorial services. "Our India Direct editorial and composition operations reap the benefit of lower service prices compared to our domestic U.S. services," Crecca says. "It is an alternative solution for publishers who are looking to reduce their production costs while maintaining the great quality that Westchester delivers."
In 2017, Westchester launched a new product line, Westchester K–12 Publishing Services. Crecca, who hails from a K–12 educational publishing background, envisioned the new segment, headed by a group of K–12 specialists who create educational content, the moment he joined the company. "Our highly experienced team of U.S.-based K–12 content development and design professionals, housed in our Dayton, Ohio, office, writes, designs, illustrates, and produces titles for publishers in ELA, math, science, and social studies—all the major subjects in K–12 education," Crecca says. "In fact, we have become the destination for many K–12 publishers who use third-party development houses such as ours." The company also established partnerships with FableVision Studios and Learnosity for digital development and assessment offerings, respectively, to provide K–12 clients with a full range of services.
But Westchester Publishing Services is not just about delivering excellent quality and reliability in prepress production services to its clients. In late 2015, Crecca says, "We recognized the need to invest in technology, specifically in a solution that clients had been requesting to enable them to better manage work in progress and to provide greater visibility to project status. This kick-started a significant technology research and development project, which eventually led us to our cloud-based Client Portal."
Now on its third major update, the Portal is also designed to assuage publishing clients' worries about the perceived risks of losing control of their intellectual property by handing it over to an outside firm to manage. "The Portal gives our clients several user-friendly and customizable dashboards, providing them with ultimate visibility regarding the status of their projects being handled by Westchester," Crecca says. "It is also important to note that the Portal carries no fees or added charges to our clients. Internally, it is an application for facilitating production workflow and automating every aspect of the production process that can be automated." Westchester, Crecca says, "offers reliable and versatile solutions to publishers instead of deploying a one-size-fits-all technology-based product that may not suit all project types and publisher requirements."
Over the last couple of years, Westchester's projects for U.K. publishing clients have continued to grow, "an expansion," Crecca says, "that led us to open our new office in Stratford-upon-Avon in the second quarter of 2018." In recent months, Westchester has seen more projects in the U.K. trade, academic, scholarly, education, and heavily illustrated book segments.
"Prepress publishing service is our flagship and essentially our only product, and it is a service we have been providing to publishers for 50 years now," Crecca says. "In the coming years, Westchester looks forward to continuing to provide existing clients with the services they have come to know and rely on—and to collaborating with new clients from various segments to help them shave costs, condense schedules, and deliver high-quality and timely publications to their readers."