Re: PageMaker? what to do.

Subject: Re: PageMaker? what to do.
From: John Posada <jposada -at- NOTES -dot- CC -dot- BELLCORE -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 1995 20:49:06 -0500

At 12:01 AM 10/31/95, Automatic digest processor wrote:
>From: Timothy Schablin <timothy -at- ESKIMO -dot- COM>
>Subject: PageMaker? what to do.

>Recently, I received a call from a potential client to write a software
>manual. He ask me about my expertise & stuff, and seemed quite interested
>in my qualifications. He asked me what I use to write in. I told him I
>use MS-Word or WordPerfect. The client said he needed the manual written
>in PageMaker. I told him I know how to use PageMaker and I could get it,
>but I don't have PageMaker now.

>Well, that was the end of that potential client. He said "I will find
>someone else." and hung up.

>Well, jeez!

>What can you do? PageMaker is pretty steep in price. The job would have
>paid for PageMaker many times over, but what if another client wants it
>in something else.

>I find it really annoying that some clients insist on Quark or Frame as
>well (I have Quark but not Frame nor have I ever used it). But that's the
>breaks in freelancing. It's easy to get around the "we only use Word 6.0 so
>poo on you" because there's so many conversion options, but there's not
>really anything that converts DTP app files to others except Adobe's
>QXP->PM converter.

I do multi-million dollar, 200-400 page proposals for a telecommunications
company and I'm regularly asked to submit my responses in hardcopy and also on
diskette. I regularly send proposals over networks to submit them
electronically. I regularly receive and integrate material from other people
and other companies into my responses. I send files to network printers across
the country.

With all of this, what if I decided that I wanted to create all my stuff in
XYWrite (sp?) or some other platform that only I use.

Gone are the days when we worked in a vacuum. Remember the Golden Rule. He
who has the gold makes the rules.

On the other hand...why not use the situation to your advantage. Take the
opportunity to learn the package of the customer's choice and pass on the cost
of acquiring the new product within the quoted price.

Because of the above listed situations, I now know Framemaker, WordPerfect,
Word for both Windows and MAC, Interleaf, PM, VP and can at least deal with
t-roff (yuck).

If this is a job to you...use only one tool. If this is a profession, learn as
much as you can as quickly as you can.

>Lately most of my writing work has just been banging the text into a WP
>program; what the client does with that after I'm done is their business.
-------------------------------'s your business. If the output ends up looking like crap because of
using some lame converter, then it makes your input look like crap. And that
you should care about.

>If they do want it all laid out nice n pretty, that's a separate activity
>distinct from writing and I charge accordingly. Creating a manual or any

What else is separate and distinct from writing....spell checks?....periods at
the end of each sentence?....

It's all writing...until the job is finished, looks exactly like you wanted it
to look and the check has cleared.

BTW...if you find your clients something else. They are all
you've got.

>document from scratch in Pagemaker is a huge pain in the ass. Why do people
>think it's a bloody word processor?

It's not a bloody word processor. It's the platform that the customer wants
for his output that he is paying you (many times over) to use for his job so
that he can send you his money. If the customer wants it on chiseled
tablets...either get a selection of hammers or tell him no thanks, but that you
don't think its an area that you want to get into at this time.

>This potential-but-not-any-more client of yours needs a big clue.

>What does one tell these clients?

>Um, sorry? Get a clue? Know what you're asking for before searching out
>freelancers? I don't know *anyone* who "writes" in Pagemaker or Quark.

Even though I have been known to do so....No...I write in WP or WORD, then pour
the text into Pagemaker and deliver the Pagemaker files to the client. He
doesn't care how you write it..he cares about how you finish it. I also tell
the customer that for a nominal fee, I can also give him the raw text in its
native format. Two....Two....Two files for one. (sorry...but after 47 hours
overtime last week, I'm still a little crispy around the edges.)

John Posada
Technical Writer
Bell Communications Research, Piscataway, NJ
(908) 699-5839 (W)
jposada -at- notes -dot- cc -dot- bellcore -dot- com (W)
jposada -at- bs -dot- camba -dot- com (H)
I don't speak for my employer and they return the favor

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