Technical Editing for Book on C# Programming

Microsoft Press

My client needed the support of a contract technical editor for a major new book on C# programming. As the first C# book in an established series, it featured all new content. The technical editor needed to be able to assure the accuracy of the contents, especially to check that all the step-by-step instructions could be easily followed and the sample programs compiled.

And of course, all of this had to be done on budget and on deadline!

The most important starting task was building a good working relationship with the book’s author. I wanted him to be comfortable with my technical editing style and okay with getting criticism. After all, he had written a great book, but my job was to make it even better.

Once the editing was in full swing, I focused on getting the sample code in the book to work as described. There were frequently compiler errors in Visual Studio code, and I had to debug them or report the errors to the author. Once the code samples were finalized, I maintained them in a repository so they could be distributed along with the written contents.

Finally, I also fact checked the book’s factual claims to make sure there were no inadvertent inaccuracies.

The book was successfully published and became a top seller. By all anecdotal accounts I’ve seen, the users encountered no significant issues with following the book’s instructions or compiling the sample code.