Books Writing

With appreciation

his week is the last week for editing on the new book, and the editors are just now finishing up. I wanted to thank the folks who gifted me with their time and effort; providing reviews, technical and other editing, and suggestions. I had a good group of people and the book is going to be a superior product based on their effort:

Roger Johansson of 456 Berea Street was spot on with CSS, issues related to accessibility, as well as general markup and page design. He also managed to catch numerous typos.

Elaine Nelson of Emergency weblog provided not only tech editing, but also did an excellent job of content editing.

Roy Owens — not the singer. Roy also helped me on Learning JavaScript. Some people are gluttons for punishment.

Anne Zelenka of Anne 2.0 provided a higher level analyst view, as well as spotting gotchas, areas of confusion, and points of information that should have been included, but weren’t.

Jesse Skinner, from The Future of the Web who is an expert on unobtrusive Ajax, and is currently working on a Short Cut for O’Reilly on unobtrusive Ajax. Jesse specifically focused on the tech, and his extensive knowledge of the Ajax world was extremely valuable.

Anthony Holdener, who is writing O’Reilly’s Definitive Guide to Ajax, contributed edits for the first three chapters until he had to return to his book. I appreciate the extra effort.

Kathy Sierra, of Creating Passionate Users did a first chapter review and provided some excellent insight into refocusing the first chapter and making important points more discernible.

My main editor, Simon St. Laurent, of course. This is my third book with Simon. Did I mention, gluttons for punishment?

It is a lot of work to review a tech book. You’re not just reading the book, you’re:

  • looking for typos
  • looking for missed opportunities
  • watching out for uses of technology that could be improved
  • watching out for uses of technology that really need to be improved
  • helping to discover areas where the author has made a mistake (all authors make mistakes)
  • helping to sooth and tame wild, clumsy, and agitated phrases
  • doing all of this within the constraints of an awkward book template, under deadline, with an overly tired author

The editing team for a book is the author’s only support in what is a difficult task. They form the parachute when we’re free falling; the additional sets of eyes when our own are tired and strained. Of course, the editing team can also only do so much: in the end, whatever is missed is ultimately the responsibility of the author.

Thank you. Thank you all most sincerely, from the bottom of my book writing heart.

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