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Writing and Publishing - What You Need to Do

What Words People Do

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Making a book or magazine

Books, magazines, newspapers, technical manuals, corporate reports, zines, Kindle, websites – there are many “word” products and many different people involved in their production. Check out the writing and publishing occupations here and the large variety of types of work available in writing and publishing.

Scroll through the image below to see what people in each of these positions do.

Writing and Publishing Occupations

Book writer
Conceives, researches and writes the manuscript.

Magazine writer
Writes articles based on personal ideas or those commissioned by a magazine.

Editorial director/editor-in-chief
Sets editorial policy and oversees editorial staff.

Senior editor
Buys articles or manuscripts and co-ordinates activities of editorial staff.

Associate/assistant editor
Works with authors and assists in publication.

Editorial assistant
Assists in the preparation of material for publication.

Corrects spelling, grammar and inconsistencies.

Correct errors in typing and composition.

Translates articles and books into other languages.

Art director
Responsible for visual look of book/magazine.

Production manager/coordinator
Oversees printing of the book or magazine.

Book/magazine illustrator
Creates illustrations to suit text and themes in publications.

Book/magazine designer/electronic publisher/desktop publisher
Designs pages with special computer software.

Production assistant
Supports the design and production of books or magazines.

Warehouse operations manager
Manages organization, inventory, and shipping and receiving for a publisher or distributor.

Produces hard copies of books or magazines to the specifications of the publisher.

Marketing manager/coordinator
Develops marketing strategy for selling product.

Sales representative
Sells products on behalf of the publisher.

Book/magazine store owner/manager/buyer
Checks store inventories and orders from publishers' sales representatives.

Helps people access information in and about books, magazines and other sources.

Retail clerk
Displays and sells books and magazines to customers.

Book/magazine columnist/reviewer
Writes about books and magazines for newspapers, magazines, radio and television.

Book/magazine publisher
Manages the overall operations of the company.

Making a technical manual

Technical manuals explain the use and function of a wide variety of products ranging from toasters, to software, to aviation equipment. Technical reports convey large amounts of information – textual and graphical – about specific topics. There is a lot of work for technical writers in business, government and industry. Reports and manuals are presented in a variety of formats – online help manuals, Power Point presentations, downloadable files, CD-ROMs and interactive tutorials on websites. To learn more about this career specialization, check out the Society for Technical Communication.

Scroll through the image below to see what people in each of these positions do.

Writing and Publishing Occupations

Technical writer
Explains the installation, operation and maintenance of technical equipment.

Technical terminologist
Does research into technical terms and definitions.

Technical illustrator
Creates technical illustrations that correspond with the text.

Specifications writer
Writes a description of the product's dimensions, materials and performance standards.

Project manager/team leader/information planner
Oversees the manual's writing and production.

Product designer
A technical specialist, usually an engineer, who helps develop a product.

Technical editor
Edits the manual for style, grammar and punctuation.

Manual designer
Takes text and formats it into a book.

Checks the manuscript for technical accuracy.

Technical copy-editor
Reviews and proofs the manual.

Book builder
Builds customized manuals from databases for specific customers.

Media presentation specialist
Prepares the manual's contents for different media formats.

Electronic assembly supervisor
Ensures that the manual describes the product accurately.

Quality assurance tester/applications tester
Ensures that the user will be able to use the manual to operate the product.

Produces hard copies or other formats of the manual to the specifications of the publisher.

Warehouse operations manager
Manages organization, inventory, and shipping and receiving of the manuals.

Customs broker
Clears the product and manual for export to international customers.

User support person
Provides technical support to from users who need assistance in operating the product.