Re: Press (printing) Options

Subject: Re: Press (printing) Options
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 2004 16:02:06 -0500


To me, there are many variables in each project. In addition to number
of copies you should consider how often the manual is to be redone for
updated versions of the underlying product, for instance.

For most products that are used within a business large enough to have
an IT department, printed manuals are insufficient in number and
generally unavailable to the actual users of the product.

To me, therefore, there is much to be said for producing the "manual"
in electronic format--usually Acrobat--that can be copied and shared
to all of the users easily. It can also, of course, be printed at the
customer's expense should they prefer the paper version.

There is another option today--that is to create the manual
electronically and then make it available through a Print-on-Demand
printer. These firms use machines such as the aforementioned DocuTech
to print one or more manuals upon order by customers (or by you on
their behalf). One advantage is that if a product has periodic
updates, the manual can reflect the latest changes so long as it is
printed after the changes are uploaded to the POD publisher.

Typically, these publishers use the DocuTech or Nuvera printers for
black and white printing; if your docs require color, they also may
have the digital production color publisher called the iGen3.

In addition, if your product is sold abroad, you may be able to
contract with POD publishers in the target markets to produce and send
manuals in the local languages. Separating the printed manual from the
packaging adds flexibility--and it allows the customer to determine
how many manuals are needed while your company does not need to stock
large numbers of books that go out of date.

Today, when companies opt to have a manual printed in relatively small
quantities, they often do the interior pages in black and white but
use a pre-printed full color cover. This is often the procedure used
by POD publishers also.



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