RE: Technical Book Slump
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. len -----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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