Re: Producing Books

Subject: Re: Producing Books
From: "Stephen D. Martin" <smartin -at- STORM -dot- CA>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 14:19:29 -0500

John Posada wrote:

> >heard of a company giving its technical writers carte blanche to use
> >whichever tool was specifically correct for the specific job at hand?

> This is the case for the assignment I'm at now.

A tip of the hat to you then sir. A lot of us wish their employers were
so well trained. The unfortunate fact is that your case is more of an
exception then the rule, especially for those of us contracting to the
Government or doing a quick one or two week long contract.

Overall your thoughts are valid, but immaterial to the original question
or the response I replied to and I'm not prepared to go off chasing any
more tangents today

> >Obviously it's not good for the corporate pocketbook to have to
> >purchase copy of Word, FrameMaker, Ventura, and PageMaker, for each
> >Tech Writer on the payroll, and overall productivity will fall if
> Why not if there is a solid business case for it.

The solidest business case in the world is immaterial when you start a
contract with the Government in January that ends April 1st (April being
the Government year-end here at least), and whatever pittance they've
got left of their budget is already allocated and/or all new purchaes
are frozen until *after* the new budget is approved.

If, for the sake of arguement we say that Word, Frame, and PageMaker
each cost $750, and if the company has 5 Tech Writers, calculate the
cost to the corporate pocketbook to purchase five copies (and or
licenses for) of each package. That's $11,250 + taxes and whatever else
might be added on.

That might be chump change for some companies, but impossible for
others. In any case I think you completely missed my point.

> management will not spend $5,000 if there is no return, but will spend =
> $10,000 if there is a return of more than $10,000 in a reasonable period =
> of time...usually 12-18 months.

Management can only spend if the money is there to be spent.


Stephen D. Martin
President, Stephen Martin Enterprises

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