TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Hi. Is there anyone on this list who works as a private contractor in the
Denver/Boulder/Greeley/Fort Collins area? I am the one technical writer for
a Fort Collins manufacturer of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)
spectrometers. We have a major product release every January and I am
always overwhelmed with work during the fourth quarter.
Specifically, I am looking for someone to lightly edit and index five
manuals. These include two software reference manuals, an on-line software
reference, and two manuals that describe how to write code in
custom-designed pulse programming and macro languages.
Expertise in NMR and C-language programming is not required. However, the
two language manuals do contain sentences that describe C-like statements.
The editor/indexer needs to be comfortable with sentences like this one:
When the pulse program reaches the .start/.end block, real-time execution
of the pulse sequence begins. The periods before the words start and end
are a critical part of the syntax and can not be deleted.
Along these same lines, could anyone tell me how much I should expect to
pay for this service. Last December--when I was already knee-deep in
alligators--I obtained a bid from a Denver-based technical writing company.
They wanted $1,200 just to perform a light edit on one manual (roughly 250
pages). This price did not include the indexing. In an environment where
books are updated twice a year, this price was too high--perhaps by as much
as a factor of 10. Management did not find the value-added improvement of
catching a few typing errors to be worth the $1,200 expense, given the
book's six month shelf life. The book had already been read by the
scientific staff who evaluated the book for technical accuracy. (They found
a few typing/spelling errors as well.) My question is this. Was the price
of the bid competitive? If I need to pay someone $1,200 to read a book, how
much do I need to pay someone to compile an index?
I appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.
TECHWR-L List Information
To send a message about technical communication to 2500+ list readers,
E-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send administrative commands
ALL other questions or problems concerning the list
should go to the listowner, Eric Ray, at ejray -at- ionet -dot- net -dot-