Re: Ideas for inexpensive manual production?

Subject: Re: Ideas for inexpensive manual production?
From: Max Wyss <prodok -at- PRODOK -dot- CH>
Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 21:43:56 +0200


Unfortunately, I don't see how big your manuals are, but it might be a
possibility to produce them in-house. For that you would need a powerful
printer and a decent equipment for binding. If the printer has enough
performance, you can essentially print the manuals the day you send them

However, you might look at the cost for the binding, and it might be
possible that the $5 or so Kinko charges are not that bad at all. Also,
compare these costs to the overall costs of producing the manuals and also
the cost of creating them.

Max Wyss
PRODOK Engineering AG
Technical documentation and translations, Electronic Publishing
CH-8906 Bonstetten, Switzerland

Fax: +41 1 700 20 37
e-mail: mailto:prodok -at- prodok -dot- ch or 100012 -dot- 44 -at- compuserve -dot- com

Bridging the Knowledge Gap


>My company has run into a sizeable problem in the production of printed
>manuals for our software. We're a small company, and doing all the
>development and CD-ROM burning in-house. It seems as though our manuals
>were somewhat out of date when we received them. The time between when I
>handed over the files to be printed and bound until we received them back
>to pack into our boxes was around 3 weeks. But bugs were corrected and
>little "features" were added in the meantime. It seemed like no big deal
>to do an addendum, and we did. But... this is going to happen every time.
>We're developing and correcting constantly, and do not ship out large
>volumes of our software all at once. Therefore, we need to find an
>economical way to make sure that our customers have the most recent printed
>documentation that pertains to the currently shipping version of the software.
>Ideally, we need to do small (5-10) manual runs. We've looked into taking
>our manuals to Kinko's, but it appears that they'll charge around $5.00 per
>manual (we have 3 per copy of our software) for spiral bound, plus we'll
>have to get our ad agency to come up with front and back covers that look
>nice, plus we'll have to do all the printing on our own printer (printing
>front to back) plus have to crop the printouts (they're 7x9") and, to make
>a long story even longer... I don't know what to do.
>Has anyone with a small company (or a large company) been in a similar
>situation. As I said, we don't send out tons of copies of a single
>release, so we need to be flexible, yet we also need to be cost conscious.
>Any help would be greatly appreciated.
>Eric A. Thomas
>eathomas -at- dbits -dot- com

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