Re Value of paper docs?

Subject: Re Value of paper docs?
From: Ted Heatherington <THeather -at- ALPHA -dot- CA>
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 1996 08:58:09 -0700

An interesting thought, with one provisio:

How many of these "after-market" manuals are purchased by the
registered owner of software? Most manuals that I see being bought at
the book store are by people who "borrow" a copy of the software from
the office and need a manual for home.

Admittedly, there are some legitimate cases: copies bought by people
who find the manufacturer's manuals too difficult to use, or lacking
in detail the user wants (I've bought several); the manufacturer ships
only electronic documentation (i.e., Lotus Wordpro and Corel Office
7.0) and users don't want 350 help files per app clogging drives;
multi-user apps in a networked office have (at best) one set of
manuals for distributed users.

My bet is that there should be a correlation betweeen the size of the
package and the purchase of hardcopy manuals.

Ted Heatherington
Technical Writer,
Alpha Technologies, Canada

>Date: Thu, 3 Oct 1996 06:06:30 PDT

>>Very specifically, I am interested in an objective research study on
>>consumer's perception of the value of paper documentation. Ideally,
>>this value would be expressed in economic terms.

>One could do a first approximation without talking to any users at
>all. Estimate the sales of "Dummies" books. This represents money
>that the software vendors left lying on the table for someone else
>to pick up. The "Dummies" series must have raked in $100 million
>by now.

> -- Robert
>Robert Plamondon, President/Managing Editor,
>High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
>36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
>robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139

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