Re: Textbook writing

Subject: Re: Textbook writing
From: "Elna Tymes" <etymes -at- lts -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2001 09:46:53 -0800

"Foster, Willow" wrote:

> I heard something very disturbing on the radio this morning. I didn't catch
> the whole thing but it seems that a many of the textbooks being used in
> classrooms today have great big whopping errors in them. A picture of Linda
> Ronstadt labeled as a molecule, and equator going through the United States
> were two of the examples I heard. As a technical writer and a mom, I find
> this unacceptable. Does anyone know if technical writers are employed for
> this type of work?

I've been told by my agent (one of the top in the technical book market) that
textbook writing is a low-paying grind, the sort of thing that desperate
history majors and grad students do for money. It's not a very satisfying way
to earn money, because usually professors or senior teachers negotiate the
contract so they get their names on the books, then hire the grunts to do the

I'm appalled, too - but then, look at the technical errors that sneak into
technical books, even with careful reviews by programmers, engineers, or other

Elna Tymes
Los Trancos Systems

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