To Outsource, Or Not To Outsource?

Outsourcing can be considered a "taboo" word by many, especially Americans. When the word "outsource" is spoken, the minds of those many might first consider jobs being taken away by Americans and given to foreigners. I admit, I have been guilty of that immediate definition myself. But sometimes, outsourcing is not only a matter of convenience but necessity.

This past weekend, I participated in a Gulf Coast Bookstore author event in my local Southwest Florida community. I shared a table with a very nice and talented children's book author who goes by, BC Dee. Though BC writes picture books, he is solely a writer, and I was quite impressed with the illustrations of his books. I asked who his friend, the illustrator, was that he used. BC stated that he did not have any friends who were illustrators. He had to go online and found his illustrators on Of course, my next question was, "How much did they charge?" "Anywhere from $150 to $500" a book," was how he replied. My jaw hit the floor (and I think I chipped a tooth).

In this case, BC did not know who to turn to, so directed his inquiry to what he did know... online. And what he found were talented illustrators in foreign countries who were willing to do the same incredible work for less because of economical variances. Would BC have continued to outsource had he had an illustrator in his digital rolodex? Maybe; maybe not. But when you're an independent author who is counting every cent with no guarantee of a return on your investment, perhaps "not to outsource" becomes "to outsource" with a clear conscience. It's always nice to have options.

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