Tuesday, March 3, 2009

When the tech editor emails...

A tech editor is a person, usually a contracted free-lance person, who is hired by the magazine or yarn company to comb through the written pattern and correct it. They look for math errors, they look for typos, they look for formatting problems. They also have to be experts in crochet so that they can 'visualize' if what you have written matches what you have stitched. They also have to understand all the grading nuances of garments so that each size will work with the instructions. This is a difficult, tedious, time-consuming job (I would think).

When the tech editor emails... I admit that my heart stops. I ask myself if I really want to open it. I start chewing my fingernails in fear, for when the tech editor emails, it's not usually good news. Matter-of-fact, it's very likely bad news. Your pattern is flawed, so flawed that she (usually it's a she) can't figure it out without asking you some questions. Questions about a pattern that you likely haven't thought about in a few to several months. It's the same feeling as getting called into the Principal's office. You don't know why you were summoned, but you figure it can't be good.

This is what you do... take a deep breath, drop any bad attitude you might have, open the email immediately. Read the email carefully, twice. Reply back immediately that you are "on it" and that you will reply back with a solution/answer/your thoughts by such and such a time. Thank the tech editor profusely for giving you the opportunity to "make it right", as this tech editor is likely saving your __ and your reputation.

Drop everything else. Run and get your carefully filed notes and any swatches you have left of the project including any left over yarn and the proper hook and a calculator. Figure out the solution and respond back to the tech editor with the correct answer by the time you said you would reply. If you can't figure out what you did, tell the truth, but be prepared to spend some time figuring it out further. Multiple emails may have to be sent back and forth, close up photos with notes on them might be required.

Moral of the story:
1. do everything in your power to get it right the first time.
2. If the tech editor emails, do everything in your power to help her, quickly.
3. Be very gracious and grateful. Do not bite the hand that feeds you. The tech editor is doing her job and making you and your pattern look better.

Now, it's possible for tech editors to make mistakes, but overall tech editors make the crochet world a better place.

1 comment:

TurquoizBlue said...

I'm the opposite of you, Ellen. When they email, I feel between the two of us, we stand a better chance of getting it right.

I feel like biting my nails if I don't hear anything because I always feel no pattern is perfect.