Why you need a tech editor

I’m thrilled that Laurie of The Crochet Liberation Front featured me in today’s newsletter. If you’re not a member over there and love all things crochet, do check them out. I’ve been a member of the CLF since close to the beginning and have never regretted it. I’m also a proud Indie Pro Plus member and cannot recommend it enough. There are exciting things happening there and on Hookey.org, the place where we go to play.

In today’s newsletter, Laurie mentioned my tech editing side of my business. I have a page here on my site describing my services, but thought I’d answer the age old question I hear a lot from newer designers, “Why do I need a tech editor?”

The answer is simple and blunt. No one is perfect.

While I can’t answer as the end all be all of the tech editing world, I can tell you what I do and why I think it’s important for every designer.

1. I check to make sure that if you abbreviate a stitch one way in your abbreviations list, you abbreviate it that way all the way through your pattern. In other words, consistency.

2. I check to make sure that you’ve explained the stitches you need to explain. If you are using a special stitch, it’s explained in the beginning and that abbreviation is used throughout.

3. I check to make sure you have all the materials listed. This can be something as simple as listing that the crocheter will need stitch markers to complete the pattern.

4. I check all that pesky punctuation. As we all know, punctuation is very important in pattern instructions.

5. I check to make sure your repeats actually work out.

6. I check to see that someone who didn’t design the pattern can actually make the pattern. I was a designer, I know how easy it is to go off of what you have in your head and forget to put something important in the pattern.

7. I make sure the pattern is easy to read and understand.

8. I make sure the pattern lines up with your style sheet. And if you don’t have a style sheet yet, I help you come up with one. This goes a long way for branding.

9. I ask the questions a crocheter might ask, so you can take care of it in the pattern rather than waiting for the customer service questions.

10. I give you peace of mind that your pattern can be made successfully by others.

Now, I know what you might be thinking. “But Tracie, tech editors are expensive, and I am a one person show here, without a lot of spare money.” I get that. I do. I was the same way. So, I’ll say this. My rates are pretty reasonable. And well written patterns don’t take me as long to tech edit. If you do the work ahead of time to make sure your pattern is the best it can be, then you’re likely only paying me for my hour minimum to double check everything. I will be posting more soon on what you can do to help your tech editor (whether that’s me or someone else).

So, I’ll close this short blog post with this. If you are a designer and interested in having your patterns tech edited, use the Contact form found here and let’s talk. I always do an estimate prior to starting work, so you know a ballpark figure. If I think I’ll go over, I let you know before doing so. I understand the plight of the independent designer. But let’s talk.