Re: What's the pricing spread?

Subject: Re: What's the pricing spread?
From: Buck & Tilly Buchanan <writer -at- DHC -dot- NET>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 10:30:30 -0500

Jonathan Leer wrote:
>
> David Locke recently responded to my question about document pricing:
> ----------
> Price has nothing to do with cost.

Much of my work has been for "documentation companies" where cost was
THE NUMBER ONE consideration.

Agreed, however, that intra-company pubs must be amortized over the life
of the product (and subsidized by sales/engineering/manufacturing
departments). In a mfg/eng environment, we may be told that we're part
of Engineering Department and our budget may be a sub-set of the product
development budget, but we're still thought of as an "EXPENSE"
department, not a "profit-maker." Exceptions, of course, if the manual
itself is a product.

As a pubs manager, I've always been required to produce a budget FIRST.
Then comes the hell-raising if I can't make it work.

Before electronic publishing, we used to bid about $200 per page on
government projects. That's for research, writing, illustrating,
editing (three or more cycles), in-process reviews (at least three and
including travel).

The twelve page booklet (cd jewelbox size) for a simple television cable
system database program that I'm working on now will be produced in 55
hours. That includes learning the software, producing screen captures,
writing installation/setup procedures, writing user instructions, two
reviews. The client will receive PS files and printing is their
responsibility. One week's hard work from home. How much is it worth?
about $2500. Will I get that much? I wish! Maybe half that much, if
I'm lucky.

Why? It's the first job for this client and I'll do it at a loss to get
the three other jobs that they have waiting for me.

But what the Hay. It supplements my Social Security check.

Buck Buchanan
writer -at- dhc -dot- net
Arlington, TX

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