RE: Issues with distribution of technical documents

Subject: RE: Issues with distribution of technical documents
From: Scott Turner <quills -at- airmail -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2001 12:54:58 -0500

Documentation as a profit center? I may be taking a view without sufficient awareness of the existence of any actual documentation profit centers, but I don't see it.

We tried this at a former employer. We were going to give the customers all the documentation on a CD-ROM for free, and charge them $65 each for the hard copy user manual and the programmer's reference manual (they were for a microprocessor used in printers, faxes, scanners). Actual print/ship costs were faaaaaaar below that.

Our customers had a fit. They wanted hard copy documentation and they wanted it free. If we wanted to charge $10 for the CD, that was OK.

We live in a widget-driven world, not a documentation driven world. It it were true, we could treat developers and engineers like red-headed step-children!! (OK, just kidding) True, there may be some markets where customers are charged the printing cost of the hard copy manuals, but a profit center? This just sounds like an attempt to "wag the dog."

I may be missing something completely here, and please let me know if I am, but the only way I can see documentation ever being a profit center is if you charge $XX dollars for the manual, and then give the product away absolutely free of charge.

Actually, the cost of the manual should be rolled into the cost of the product, and thus be hidden from the view of the customer. Look at TV and VCRs. You are paying for the manual. It just isn't a line item detail on the bill.

Or if you want, look as Microsoft Word. You paid for the manual. What you get is a help file. Where is the cost saving? Where is the customer getting their money's worth?

Anyway, just another way of looking at it.



*** Deva(tm) Tools for Dreamweaver and Deva(tm) Search ***
Build Contents, Indexes, and Search for Web Sites and Help Systems
Available now at or info -at- devahelp -dot- com

Sponsored by Cub Lea, specialist in low-cost outsourced development
and documentation. Overload and time-sensitive jobs at exceptional
rates. Unique free gifts for all visitors to

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


RE: Issues with distribution of technical documents: From: Lurker writer

Previous by Author: Re: software question
Next by Author: Re: Future of documentation in Web-based apps
Previous by Thread: RE: Issues with distribution of technical documents
Next by Thread: RE: Issues with distribution of technical documents

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads