What is a training manual editor?
Every once in a while a client requests editing services for a training manual, which (from my end) takes an eagle eye and specialized skill set.
As a training manual editor, I look at the A-Z umbrella under which your narrative, facts, steps, and explanations roll out in a reader-friendly format. Consistency and clarity are first and foremost, especially when tackling difficult subject matter.
For instance, the project may involve an employee training manual filled with various responsibilities, tasks, to-do lists and more. A dog training manual might include tips, alternatives, resources and insights into dog psychology, as well as rewards and consequences. An investor’s training manual might include bar charts, graphs, stock market indices, and loads of data. Whether the manuscript provides step-by-step instructions or an overarching series of lessons, the whole point is to make the reading enjoyable—or at least palatable—to readers.
I was privileged in 2018 to edit a dog training manual that emphasized the “soft-handed approach.” I happen to agree with this soft-handed philosophy and learned a lot from the project. It helps that the book is written for all levels of handlers, trainers, and pet owners.
Training Manual Editor—On the Home Front
This brings me to my own pets, all rescues and all pretty ornery. Well, not really, but they do tend to escalate drama when it comes to rawhide bones and staking a claim on the sofa.
I recently saw a post on face book in which a work-from-home sole proprietor posted “Employee of the Month” images of his dog. I loved it! Since I work from a home office with two kittens (one blind), a cat, and two small dogs, a friend suggested I create my own version of “Employee of the Month” awards.
To ring in 2019, I did just that, selecting from my five candidates. So far, Penny the Chihuahua is the front runner. The felines fell somewhere in between. Cooper the Chiweenie came in dead last due to his sneakiness. Obviously, I need to put on my training manual editor hat and re-read my client’s dog training manifesto, so I can guide Cooper out of his rebellion.
Your Editing Needs
Whether you are the author of training manuals or novels or a memoir, I’m glad to provide a second pair of eyes. The old tried-and-true saying goes, “Surgeons should not operate on themselves and authors should not edit their own books.”
This is absolutely spot on … and I can assure you that I have my own books edited for this very reason. Yes, writing a book is one thing, but it really does take an objective editor to call out points of improvement. The goal, after all, is to elevate the manuscript so that literary agents and publishers are interested.