Re: Do editors need to be techies?

Subject: Re: Do editors need to be techies?
From: Michelle Nichols/VENTANA <Michelle_Nichols/VENTANA -dot- ITP -at- LGATE -dot- VMEDIA -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 1997 08:15:24 EDT

I think Robert makes a very good point. It all depends on the "type" of
editing needed. If you have the title of "technical editor" then I think you
should definitely have technical knowledge related to what you are being asked
to edit. However, other types of editors may not need this technical

For example, I am a "development editor" in the computer book publishing
industry. I have to be familiar enough with the technology the book is about
to understand the audience and market for the book, but I certainly don't have
to be an expert in using the actual technology. I have improved the content
and organization of several books with a working knowledge of the technology.

However, if I were to be a "technical editor" then I think the scope of my
editing would change greatly. I would have to be much more of an expert and
provide much more direction towards the actual technical content of the book.
In the computer book publishing industry, we have a "technical reviewer" go
behind us to check the technical accuracy of the material, sort of like a "beta
tester." (Then, finally, a copy-editor goes behind the technical reviewer.)

So, to answer the question "Do editors need to be techies?" it is the
ever-famous response: "It depends."

Michelle Corbin Nichols

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