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RE: Technical Book Slump

  • To: "'K. Ari Krupnikov'" <ari@c...>
  • Subject: RE: Technical Book Slump
  • From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@i...>
  • Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2002 15:48:25 -0600
  • Cc: xml-dev@l...

slump test
They negotiate that separately.  I am told of fabulous sums for 
some, but in my experience, you are essentially correct.  Even technical 
editing isn't great pay and I consider it in the same frame as limited 
consulting.  Given that the load of reading is hard, it is exhausting 
and if one is obliged to test every example thoroughly given 
the nascent tools and evolving specs, it can be a tough grind. 
For some, it is light work, enjoyable, and informative.  Much 
depends on the skill of the author.  I found myself fixing a lot 
of English grammar and spelling even though it wasn't mine 
to do.

On the other hand, since they negotiate these as piece work, 
one does have to bargain cannily.  A lot depends on supply and 
demand, I guess, and a keen inside knowledge of their 
budgets.   I watched the money offered for technical editing 
drop as the dot.bomb exploded and the supply of available 
editors suddenly sky-rocketed.   At a certain price and 
complexity of material, it isn't worth it. 

It really really helps if the technical publishers recruit good 
authors instead of just technical writers.  Talent counts 
and talent costs.  That's the rub.


-----Original Message-----
From: K. Ari Krupnikov [mailto:ari@c...]

I don't know how authors are being treated, but at least those
publishers for whom I've done technical editing don't pay their authors
very much. Either I'm overpaid, or the only way someone could write a
book is if she were independently wealthy or hopelessly unemployed.


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