Saturday, July 02, 2016

What exactly does an Editor do?

While I was working for an American Turkish joint venture company, I was supposed to write "Minutes of Meeting" at the end of each business meeting whether it was with clients, contractors or with staff and I had to distribute to the attendees. The reciprocal party also writes their own document and distribute to the related parties. If there were mismatches or misunderstandings between these documents, then we would make the necessary corrections and agree on what we discussed in the meeting. So you avoid any mistakes or mismatches and keep your written records to apply in future, you are away from verbal memory errors. Since then time has passed. For last three years, I am writing weekly column on local energy problems which mainly consist of my past notes reflecting my past experiences, both in Turkish as well as in English.

The draft article first appears in my personal web page to be corrected and updated with comments, criticisms, recommendations. My Editor makes the last review, and if we feel that the draft article has come to maturity, then we publish on paper newspaper then go live on web site.

The same process goes under way in the English text of the article. My native English speaker American Editor is more ruthless than our local Turkish Editor. "I'm not a technical person. I am an ordinary reader. You can not post an article I do not understand," s/he says. The corrected/ edited last English version of the article is usually much more different than the first draft.

Publication of an article without any editorial supervision is not correct. An article can not be published without the editor. Editor who does not know you personally, is better for you. S/he makes corrections clearer, more honest, more ruthless. Reader comments are also very useful. I consider those reader comments very seriously. Sometimes I throw the draft text and completely rewrite the article. "Delete" key does work for this purpose..

Reader comments are very valuable to a writer. There are physical limitations on the article. Text should be written brief. There should be no empty wording, no long sentences. It should be easy to read. Ordinary readers should read and understand easily. Incomprehensible, special abbreviations should be avoided, long descriptions should be given upfront mainly for abbreviations.

There are rules of the column articles. Article should cover two A4 pages long, and it should not exceed 500-700 words, preferably, in "Times New Roman" or "Ariel", written with 10-12 fonts. It should be perfect in spell check, perfect in expression, free from logical errors. Editors should understand what they read. Ordinary reader should also understand. Article should be friendly, relaxed, simple, and convincing.

Editor are good, if they think and express their evaluations straight forward, without diversion. They should have the ability to tell the swindle. You need an editor who says bluntly, expressing what he feels on your precious document. This is the job of the editor.

There is more in article writing. Technical article, should be "technical" in nature. It should not disturb or accuse anyone. It should not target any person, organization or company. The reader should agree with the writer in the end. Our job is too difficult.

If you think for business books, our job is more difficult. The same rules are applied also there. Only text can be longer. I asked experienced publisher to evaluate my situation. "Your draft book is of the more technical, ordinary readers does not understand, so they do not buy, and we do not publish it is hard work you you," he said. My Draft English eBooks stand on the internet as a pdf at the following web page.

My Pdf Ebook in English, has received many downloads around the world in the last 3-months. I stopped searching Publisher. If anyone likes the Ebook, he can download and get the output you want on paper. If it was printed on paper, that was the number I would expect to sell on bookshelves of bookstores.

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of ODTÜ Alumni and Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

Ankara, 18 February 2016
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