After two years as a full-time e-book developer, I’m back on the print wagon—or, at least, one foot is—working for CN Times Books as (executive?) managing editor of print and digital production. CN Times is a wholly owned subsidiary of Beijing MediaTime Book Co., and about half of its staff members are Chinese, with several being located in Beijing.
Among the position’s more entertaining challenges is occasionally being called upon to explain industry jargon from printers’ estimates or freelancers’ invoices to colleagues whose primary language is not English. Last week, it was “jacket mechanical.” Today, it was “stock imagery.” And then I found myself writing an omnibus invoice-troubleshooting sort of e-mail explaining the varied uses of “manuscript,” “copy,” “proof,” “copyediting,” and “proofreading.”
Only after I had sent that e-mail did I consider that I should have written it in Up Goer Five. You do know Randall Munroe’s beautiful “Up Goer Five” comic on xkcd, right?
And you do know also that Theo Sanderson made an Up Goer Five Text Editor, to help you write your own explanations of complex things using simple words? (He also made a [beta] Up Goer Six, which color-codes your words by frequency.)
This has been your public service announcement for today.