Editorial Services Guide
By The Bay Area Editors' Forum

Changes in Traditional Publishing Operations
The Role of Editorial Expertise

Editors and Publishing Today: The Role of Editorial Expertise

Many editors have found new opportunities in this reshaped publishing industry, adding capabilities such as writing, Web site production, or information design to their repertoires. However, the shifts in the industry can also spark uncertainty about who does what. Producers of CD-ROMs and Web sites often come from fields such as software development or film and may have little or no background in publishing, and print publishers who migrate to digital publishing find themselves in uncharted territory. In such environments, editors increasingly find themselves trying to explain to their companies or clients exactly what they contribute to a department or project, or companies may find that the publishing technology they adopt outdates their employees' job descriptions.

Editors, as experienced advocates for readers of books, magazines, newspapers, reports, and other publications, have important contributions to make as advocates for users of software and online publications. Our charts of the major stages of the traditional publishing process, which describe some of the effects of digital technology on each stage, and the definitions of editorial services are intended as a benchmark for editors, publishers, and producers of print and digital media. We hope that the chart and definitions lend an understanding of the publishing process to those seeking and providing editorial services. We also hope that they help people in the publishing field develop policies and procedures for maintaining consistency, accuracy, and authority in their publications as they adopt new technologies.



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