Are you a designer looking for a Tech Editor? Here are some tips to get you started:
Shopping for a Tech Editor
Every tech editor is different and has a different approach to tech editing. It’s ok to shop around until you find a tech editor that fits with your pattern writing style and your personality! Not every tech editor will mesh with every designer, and that’s perfectly fine and normal. I will not take it personally if you find that my style does not mesh with your style and you go with a different tech editor. We all deserve to have meaningful and enriching relationships in our lives – including our client/editor relationships.
Find out their rate, as well as how they track and bill. Do they charge a per-project fee, or an hourly fee? Do they have a minimum fee per project, and how much is that fee? Do they require pre-payment of any kind, and how much? Do they have a contract for you to sign? Go over the terms of the contract – including any late fees or penalties. Also find out what their work-flow is – how do they work, what file types do they need or prefer. If you need charts, schematics, or other items generated, find out if they will do those – not all tech editors include those services as well.
Keep in mind, experienced tech editors will likely charge more per hour — but they will also work faster, so they will not necessarily be a more expensive option for you! But, the experienced tech editors likely have a large client list and full schedule and may not be able to add you as a client right away, or get to your project quickly. Some tech editors charge a rush fee if you need your project edited quickly.
Is there a particular idea or approach that you feel strongly about with your designs? For instance: size-inclusivity? Make sure you find a tech editor that shares in your ideals. (This goes along with finding a tech editor that meshes with your personality!)
Ways to Make Your Tech Editor Happy (…or ways to minimize the time charged by a Tech Editor)
- Have your pattern finished and complete (minus photos and schematic is fine, though.) It should not be a work in progress, unless you are paying your tech editor to flesh out the design for you (that’s a different service!! Not all tech editors do that type of work.)
- You should proof your pattern yourself several times before it gets sent to your tech editor. It’s amazing what little mistakes you can catch just by letting it sit for a few days and looking at it with fresh eyes later.
- Check for the three “c”s – is your pattern clear, concise, and consistent? Also, double check your accuracy – do all your numbers check out?
- Have an open line of communication while your tech editor has your pattern. Respond quickly to their emails – especially if your pattern is being published by a third party. In those instances there is a deadline attached – the tech editor will need you to address any issues very quickly. Any delays in responding to the tech editor for the project will result in delays for the further steps in the project (layout, publishing, etc.) and can risk you not being asked to participate in future projects with that publisher. Be professional – after all, you are a professional – you are being paid to design, so act like it.
These are just some things you can do to help the tech editing process go just a bit more smoothly!
Where to Find a Tech Editor
TKGA list of certified Tech Editors
Budding Designers Tech Editor thread on Ravelry
Indy Pattern Designers Tech Editors thread on Ravelry
Want to get started as a Tech Editor?
Here are some sites that offer training and/or certification:
Some books I recommend (all links are affiliate links):