$/Word coming to TWing?

Subject: $/Word coming to TWing?
From: Geoff Hart <geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 09:47:33 LCL

Some time back, I offered to act as an anonymous reposter
for anyone who had questions they wanted to send to the
list anonymously... for example, if you're having a
techwhirling problem with your boss and need advice, but
you're worried that the boss may be lurking on the list.

Be discreet, polite, and on-topic, and I'll happily forward
the post for you. If you really need to have private
replies, I can also collect mail and forward it back to
you, but I'd rather make that the exception than the rule.

With that introduction, here's the first example:

*************************************

I have to post this anonymously, for in my Day Job, this
List has many lurkers. Geoff has graciously agreed to
re-post this.
__________________________________________

Tech Writing paid by the word. Yeeeehaaaa!

I have been working part time for a client for several
years, and we have a very good relationship. I have been
billing by the hour, and they have been paying on time.
Smooth as snoose.

After all this time, they made me more official, and gave
me a genuine Boss to report to, and a real position on the
org. chart. Well, it is nice to have things defined.

The new Boss likes measurable, quantifiable production.
First he asked me to come up with a price per final page.
I beat that one back on the basis of puffery and wide
margins. Then he thought about establishing a price per
word.

Heh, Heh.

We use Word 6 or 7, which has the nifty word count and
revisions feature. Theoretically, I can record the word
count when I begin writing, record it again and again
during the process, and come up with the number of added
and even deleted words.

Late in a manual, after the learning curve and the false
screens, I tested out the plan. Writing was easy enough to
quantify, and when I had to stop and write bug notes to the
programmer, I left the clock running. During the
next-to-last phase of the book, I average 160 words/hour.
That's added text plus deleted text.

The final rush to printing was just too complex to bother
recording the stats. Spell checking, page breaks, TOC,
headers & footers, drawing touch-up, all that stuff would
not have been worth the time to record the tiny word count
changes.

The Boss is a reasonable dude, and we are running this
$/word experiment in parallel with my normal hourly
billing. At some time when I feel confident in my $ per
word figure, we will switch to that method. If I feel I'm
getting shortchanged, I squawk, and he the same. There IS
full trust both ways. This is a great client.

I know the research phase will be dry time. I know the
changing phase will be rich time. I won't charge for big
cut&pastes, because that counts both the deletion AND the
insertion.

FWIW, in this test so far, I come up with $0.23/word. I
humorously correct my Boss when he speaks of cents a word,
for I am fairly certain the long term cost is above a
dollar a word.

I myself have the most complete confidence in my TW art.

NOW I ASK YOU:

Have any of y'all EVER come across such a billing method in
tech writing?

Eh?

OK, those of you still not ROTFLing, you answer, please.

What pitfalls lie ahead?

I think I just lost my last non-ROTFLer.

I look at it like this: * I * have the guts, the courage
to try this.

I would appreciate any input you people can give.

sig'ed, so to speak:

The Second Tech Writer who really IS worth $2/word, if
not maybe $3. Do I hear $10? These are GOOD words, folks!
Technical words! Long words!

********************************

There you go! Please reply to the list, not to me to
forward to the original poster... the subject is of general
interest.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Disclaimer: If I didn't commit it in print in one of our
reports, it don't represent FERIC's opinion.


Previous by Author: Word games
Next by Author: Re. Paying by the word
Previous by Thread: Word games
Next by Thread: Re: $/Word coming to TWing?


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

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads