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How many editors does it take to create a book?

03 September 2010


I've just finished working on my second book for John Wiley's Older & Wiser series, Microsoft Office for the Older and Wiser. As I've been talking to people about it, I've realised that a lot of people don't understand the process behind a computer book. I thought I'd explain the different people who are involved in working on a book project.

Every book project is different, and sometimes there are more people involved and sometimes there are fewer people. Some of the people I've worked with have fulfilled several of these roles at different times in the project. I've worked on some projects with some publishers where I've been pretty much left alone to write, and then just checked the laid out pages at the end. John Wiley has offered me a much greater level of support with these books, which has been extremely valuable. In particular, the level of quality control has been excellent.

Here's an overview of some of the people who might make a contribution to a book coming into being (editorially - lots of people help with other things too):I hope I didn't leave anyone out! What this process means is that at least three people (plus the author) are looking out for the quality of the end result to make sure that it's well-written, accurate and easy to read.

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