Books and courses

Subject: Books and courses
From: Peter Kent <76711 -dot- 2557 -at- COMPUSERVE -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 1996 12:34:05 EST

>>Sandar Charker said:

1. If the bibliography you list is the complete draft, and if it's intended as
a list of 'good books to spend your money on first', why does it include Strunk
& White ? S&W is cheap, short and mostly not wrong. It's also parochial, dated,
and incomplete. It has a place in a tech writer's reference set, but that place
is not as the first or only book on general style and usage.<<

I didn't say it's "good books to spend your money on first"... It's a list of
useful books. Personally I like Strunk & White. I'm not sure why you say it's
parochial. As for dated, it may be, but that's not necessarily a problem; I'm
relatively conservative as far as language goes (and not too impressed with the
mess the English language seems to have got into recently). Incomplete? Isn't
everything? As you say, it has a place in a tech writer's reference set, which
is why I included it.

>>A couple of people have recently posted bibliographies to the list. I suggest
that they include some better candidates for the bibliography in your book.<<

I missed those. Do you know how recently? I'll have to take a look through the
mailing list's library.

>>2. Do you (or your publisher) intend to market the book outside the USA? If
do you intend to include information specific to some of those regions? That's
hard to do, especially in a book that has to refer to issues of taxation and
industrial law. But I suggest you at least indicate somewhere that you know
there's a 'Rest-Of-The-World'.<<

I am my own publisher for this one. It's going to be published by Arundel press,
my own company. I'll be marketing online, and perhaps looking for companies to
reprint or sell overseas. I have included tech. writing resources overseas when
I run across them--someone just e-mailed me info about a British tech-writing
correspondence course, for instance. However, as you say it would be very
difficult to cover taxation, etc. in other parts of the world. My primary market
is N. America. The bulk of the book is not really dependant on any particular
region, though. It covers things such as working with technical-service agencies
(found in most of the world), networking and other forms of marketing, finding
work online, etc. Most of the book is relevant to just about any technical
writing market. Perhaps ten percent of the book provides information that is of
specific use to the N. American market.

>>Ian Macdonald said:
Peter, If your book is targeted at an international audience you might want
to include agencies that not only cover the US (and Canada?) but also some
other areas of the world: Australia, New Zealand, UK...

I don't know of any off the top of my head -- maybe some other
"international" Techwirlers can help.<<

If anyone knows of large agencies outside N. America, I'd be happy to include
them. Or if anyone knows of a list somewhere I can consult, let me know and I'll
track it down. As for Canada, many of the big US agencies also have branches

The agency list I've included contains large, national agencies. It's intended
as a way for readers to get started contacting agencies right away. However, I
also have an entire chapter on how to track down the agencies in a particular

I'd also be interested in information about technical writing organizations
(similar to STC) outside North America.

Thanks very much Sandar and Ian for your help,

Peter Kent

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