Why you should stay in touch with your tech editor during testing

Tech editing is often completed before the pattern testing process begins. You design your pattern, you send it off to your editor, and once they’ve made all their edits, it’s ready to be sent off to testers, before finally being published.

But just because the tech editing process is over doesn’t mean you should stop communication with your tech editor!

Tech editors try their best to catch all the errors in your pattern, but we’re only human. It’s possible some things slip through the cracks.

If a tester finds what they believe is an error in a pattern I’ve edited, I would definitely want to be informed. Not only because I value the relationship with my designers and if I have missed something, I want to address it and also recheck other areas that might have related issues, but also because sometimes the tester is misinterpreting something or knitting the pattern wrong. I have definitely experienced the latter on a number of occassions.

By communicating with your editor, they can help you determine if something is an error and the pattern needs to be corrected, or if the pattern is right, but is written in a way that is causing people to knit the pattern wrong, in which case the wording needs work to make it more clear.

If your tester had presented you an error that wasn’t a pattern error, but a user error, and you ended up changing the pattern, you might have just introduced an error into your pattern.

Tech editing is meant to be a collaborative process, and one that doesn’t end with the end of the actual edit. Be in contact with your tech editor all the way through publication so you can be sure that any changes you make after the tech editor has done their work are cleared by the tech editor.

Many editors are more than happy to give your pattern a quick look right before you publish too. Just make sure to give them some notice so they can fit it into their schedule, and let them know what changes have been made so they know where to focus in on.

And a quick note on payment – sometimes these things happen after your tech editor has been paid for their work on the pattern. I obviously can’t speak for every tech editor out there, but I factor these things in when I set my rates. There are lots of things I can’t directly bill for, such as invoicing, project management, marketing, and other admin tasks, plus I know that sometimes an edit will take longer than I have quoted and I’ll typically eat that cost. All of those things, plus time spent communicating during testing, have already been factored into my rate, so as a client you should utilize this. Check with your tech editor before assuming, of course, but any freelancer likely sets their rates a little higher to cover this sort of stuff.

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