TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
>As an editor have you ever thought of following up every
>with a questionnaire asking the author about what they felt about the
>editing process and outcome?
I don't think an editor is going to get honest feedback, probably at least
not constructive (that is, negative) feedback from writers. Also,
questionnaires are a bit of a bother and they aren't going to really capture
the issues, because they are too closed of a forum and the comments may be
more complex. I would think that the proper way to go about this would be to
have a third party (read: the editor's boss) ask the authors how they felt
about the editing process. An informal meeting, where the author doesn't
have to put his thoughts in writing (which could come back to haunt him)
would be much more effective, IMO.
I had one editor on my last team who wanted to remain anonymous because she
didn't want to be unpopular with the other writers. (She doubled as a
writer.) Unknowingly, one of the writers gave her direct feedback on the
editing process. Fortunately the basic message (I hate these editors, but
that's because they are usually right!) was a reasonably positive one, so
the editor didn't walk out on me. I've always worked in a very constructive
and open environment, but I don't think that you are going to get far by
having the editor ask for writer feedback. It just puts people on the spot
and is likely to cause discomfort.
PO Box 920, Kfar Saba 44109
rebecca -at- commercemind -dot- com