Technical Writing for Manuals (and More!)
Manuals. Arguably the least read genre of literature of all time. When our technical writer began his career and people asked him to describe his job, he would joke, “I’m a prolifically published author with zero readership.” But he refused to let that be the end of the story. Why don’t people read manuals? In theory, they should be the most read documents in the world because they contain the information needed by those who receive them. The answer was three-fold:
1. Manuals are often poorly written.
2. Manuals often never elevate the reader’s understanding of technical knowledge to the level needed, but rather assume it from the beginning, leading to intimidation.
3. Manuals make finding the necessary information difficult.
With this in mind, Swift & True Media focuses on, not dumbing down the content, but educating the reader to be able to comprehend the manual. This is done through careful illustration, creating metaphorical reference points from the readers’ everyday life, and carefully explaining the unique properties or processes to ensure the ideas communicated are clearly understood.
Consumer Product Manual
Engineering Product Manual
Technical Writing RatesFor Long (3+ pgs) Documents
- Up to 10 hours of Interviews with your SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) at no additional cost! ($40/hr after)
- Formatting and design for digital and print (of any size) distribution included at no additional cost!
- Minor edits of your own images (e.g. callouts, cropping, branding, etc) included at no additional cost!
- Up to 5 hours (60k words) of reading subject material provided by the client (in addition to the interviews) at no additional cost! ($30/hr after; use 12k words per hour for estimate).
- 2D Technical Illustrations not included at this price but can be negotiated before the project begins.
- Heavy-duty graphic design not included in this price, but can also be negotiated before project begins.
Shorter Documents (Datasheets, Quick Guides, Etc.)
Single/Double Page DocumentsFor Quick Reference Materials
- Any word count on standard 8.5″ x 11″ paper with minimum 11 pt Times New Roman font.
- Will fully customize up to 3 (client-provided) images/graphics per page.
- Rate based on print, but will be formatted for web/digital at no additional cost.
- Original graphics/illustrations not included in this price, but can be negotiated at the beginning of the project.