Work in progress. WDC members please contribute what you can.
Hi, I'm sure many of you, like myself have an interest in the publishing field. You might want to be a writer, an editor, technical writer, proofreader, copywriter, copy editor, etc. The point is, there are many different positions and titles to choose from. I feel it is important to define the titles and positions as clearly as possible in one location. This is not going to be an easy project. I am writing this as an In & Out item, with full access to all the WDC Power Reviewers Group, to keep this as an open ended project. I am a fairly new amateur writer, so I have nowhere near enough publishing experience to even attempt to define everything on my own. My hope is that the other 370+ members and counting of WDC will help me develop this article, so that everyone, including myself can benefit from it. Again please contribute or at the very least leave comments as this is not an easy project to complete.
Copy Editor - Copy Editors check written material, usually as the final step before it is set into type, to correct errors in grammar, spelling, usage and style (in this case, style refers to a given publication's guidelines for consistency in how words, phrases, typographical elements, etc., are to be used -- or not used).
Copy editors are not proofreaders, although reading proofs is often part of the job description. The difference is that proofreaders (a job title that scarcely exists anymore) are charged with simply looking for typographical and mechanical errors on copy that has already been typeset. Proofreaders -- and, indeed, copy editors reading proofs -- are often criticized rather than praised for making picky changes at that stage in the process, whereas the same changes might well be applauded at the copy-editing stage.
A copy editor's mandate also includes keeping an eye out for libel (defamatory untruths that could lead to lawsuits) and errors of fact. The extent to which copy editors must verify facts varies widely. In magazine and book publishing, this is usually considered an essential task; sometimes it falls on the shoulders of a copy editor, but often it is the job of a separate fact checker.
Excerpt for copy editor taken from What Exactly Is a Copy Editor? Written by Bill Walsh on theslot.com
To read the rest of the article, go to: http://www.theslot.com/copyeditors.html
Copywriter or Copywriter - Copywriters write or edit copy or written content for a living, usually of sales generating or marketing nature.
Copywriters develop written content for websites, sales letters, articles, books, and the production of other verbiage for information, entertainment, education or any other outlet known to man.
You can find copywriters in advertising, radio and TV, as well as the written media. Schools and educational institutions rely on the products from copywriters.
Excerpt for copywriter taken from What Exactly Is a Copywriter? Written by J.R. Hafer on about.com
To read the rest of the article, go to: http://freelancewrite.about.com/od/marketsandgenres/a/Copywriter.htm
Editor - The Random House Unabridged Dictionary’s definition of “editor” says: “A person having managerial and sometimes policy-making responsibility for the editorial part of a publishing firm or of a newspaper, magazine or other publication; a person who edits material for publication, films etc.” While technically accurate, this description of an editor’s role misses the point. The job of an editor is, among other things, to prod, shape, wheedle, cajole, mediate, challenge, anticipate, nit-pick, chastise, inspire, support, confront, defend, harangue, and, as required, suggest different words, phrases, or grammar.
Excerpt for editor taken from What Is an Editor? Written by Peter Osnos on tcf.org
To read the rest of the article, go to: http://tcf.org/commentary/2006/nc1295
Proofreader - Proofreaders are trained to spot grammar, punctuation or spelling errors in written copy by quickly scanning the page. Proofreaders usually perform their work in two ways. One way is to compare proof documents against the original copy and mark any differences they find. They sometimes have a person read aloud from the original while comparing the proofs.
Proofreaders also read copy on its own with nothing to compare it to, marking down the errors they find on the written page. Trained proofreaders signal these errors with marks on the page. These marks are standard marks used by proofreaders, but they can also be understood by printers and writers.
Most proofreaders also have their own set of reference books that they use when checking for errors. They refer to dictionaries in order to verify unfamiliar or unusual words. They also use reference books that explain the diverse range of correct grammatical usage. These are very helpful when the proofreader has only the original copy to work from.
Excerpt for Proofreader taken from What are Proofreaders? Written by Garry Crystal on wisegeek.com
To read the rest of the article, go to: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-proofreaders.htm
Technical Writer - Technical Writers prepare clear, concise written documentation which communicates technical information to a target audience. Some common examples of technical writing include user manuals for software, documentation guides for industrial machinery, and design or engineering specifications for construction projects.
In addition to possessing the skill of creating clear written communications, a technical writer must also be knowledgeable about the field in which he or she works.For example, a technical writer who works on documentation for medical procedures typically has an education in the medical field in addition to language skills. Technical writers can be found in engineering, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, technology, and an assortment of other industries.
When a technical writer is assigned a project, he or she thoroughly researches the subject material. In the case of a how-to manual which explains how to use something, the technical writer may thoroughly explore the object so that he or she understands how it works. After carrying out extensive research, the technical writer will create a document which communicates information in clear, useful terms. This document is typically tailored to the audience; software documentation, for example, tends to be very clear and simple so that inexperienced users can easily follow it.
Excerpt for Technical Writer taken from What Does a Technical Writer Do? Written by S.E. Smith on wisegeek.com
To read the rest of the article, go to: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-does-a-technical-writer-do.htm
More definitions to come including: commercial writer, content editor, corporate writer, etc.
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