The Editor’s Tasks in the Digital Age

December 2008
by Nicholas Blake

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The Editor’s Tasks in the Digital Age

by Nicholas Blake

Having joined the industry 20 years ago, before we had computers, before we had email, and before the Web, if not the Internet, was invented, I have seen the growing influence of technology and the Internet all my working life; but the essential skills required of editors—the coherent set of knowledge and the techniques for applying that knowledge—have not changed radically.

And the way editors publish books has not changed radically either. A straw poll in our office agreed that an editor of 1988 who time-jumped to 2008 would, apart from the slight problem of not having read anything for the last20 years, be able to edit and publish successfully. Sad to say, though, the idea that using any tool more sophisticated than Outlook or Word requires a separate skill set that can be delegated is unlikely to disappear for the foreseeable future.

In my view, there is no need for a digital editor as such in a trade publishing house. Instead we need an editor who understands the digital world. Editors have always been needed who can publish into new markets, who can create new markets, and editors are still needed who can publish into new digital markets with the same expertise they publish print books, often at the same time with the same materia…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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