Separating Technical Publishing from Art
“Writing is a solitary occupation. Publication is a group exercise.” – Novelist Madeline Robbins
In traditional book publishing, the work may start with the author, but to get it from the author to the end reader means it also has to go through an editor, copy editor, book designer, typesetter, printer, sales and marketing team, distributor, book buyer, and, eventually, a retail store.
Alan J. Porter points out in his article, Why Technical Publishing Shouldn’t Be Art, that in most cases within the tech pubs industry, it’s the same person who writes the content, designs the documents, and uses special tools to publish the material. And not only is one person doing the whole job, but often several people are all doing the same thing in parallel.
Read the article and then leave a comment here. Do you think it’s practical and efficient to break down the several areas of expertise used in tech pubs so that each individual only needs to be an expert in the area in which he or she is most passionate and skilled?