Technical Writing Management: A Practical Guide

A practical guide to managing technical writing projects and tech writing departments, covering hiring, evaluation, management, internal and external customer relations, estimating and tracking tech writing projects, running a tech writing business as a solo contractor or as a manager, selling writing services, contracts and work orders, outsourcing, technical training development & delivery, and more.

From the Introduction:
“There are many books available on the techniques of technical writing, primarily for beginners and practitioners of tech writing. But there are very few books on how to manage the technical writing group in a company or how to manage a technical writing business (whether you’re on your own as a freelancer or you have writers working for you). If you are a tech writer who manages other writers, or if you are a non-writer who manages writers, this book is for you.

The sections on managing tech writing projects show a methodology specific to technical documentation. If you want to learn general management and project management techniques-and you should-that information already exists. What this book aims for is to provide you as a manager of technical writing with the specifics that you won’t easily find elsewhere.

Secondarily, this book aims to give new managers, and future managers, a leg up on how to actually run a technical publications group, based on some 20 years of experience in the field.

There are different situations in which someone becomes a manager of a technical publications group. Sometimes a writer grows into the role within a company as the department grows, sometimes tech writers are subsumed under some other group – I’ve seen writers belonging to support, testing, marketing, and infrastructure groups – and the person in charge of technical writing in the company isn’t actually a writer and may never have been one.

Tech writers who set up their own freelance business have their own specific needs: not only are they the managers, they’re also the writers. Finally, owners or managers of tech writing agencies, whether or not they are writers themselves, have business issues specific to a tech writing business to consider.”

Contents:
Chapter 1 – Introduction

* A guide for technical writing managers
* Writers who become managers
* Managers who are not tech writers
* Freelance tech writers
* Tech writing agency owners
* What’s in this book

Chapter 2 – Tech writing for managers
* A quick intro to technical writing
* Technical editing
* Technical writing and product management
* Tech writing and debugging
* What skills do technical writers need?

Chapter 3 – How to hire tech writers
* Establish the requirements
* Evaluate the resumes
* Interview the writers
* Review the samples
* Give a test
* Tech writers with non-tech writing experience

Chapter 4 – Managing a tech writing group
* The role of tech writers in a corporate environment
* The documentation team
* Define standards
* Distribute the work in your team
* Involve the writers
* Build teams
* Monitor the work and communications
* Evaluate the writers
* Client relations
* Communicating with other groups in your organization
* Corporate tech writing
* Re-use, repurposing, and content management systems

Chapter 5 – Estimating, tracking, and managing tech writing projects
* Determine the project scope
* Estimates and schedules
* Assemble the team
* Provide resources and leadership
* Working with outsourced writers or outsourced SMEs
* Track and report
* Deliver the project
* Evaluate the project

Chapter 6 – Running a tech writing business
* Finding jobs
* Marketing yourself as a freelance tech writer
* Other marketing avenues
* Managing your clients

Chapter 7 – Managing technical training
* How to do tech training
* Training program components
* Training needs analysis
* Training development
* Training delivery
* Training delivery management
* Training program communication
* Training budget
* Set the tone: fun exploration
* Training evaluation

Read Arnold Burian’s review on Technical Writing World here.

Read Will Kelly‘s review here.

Technical Writing Management: A Practical Guide on Facebook:

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Readers outside of the US, take note that Kindle versions of Technical Writing Management: A Practical Guide are available now on Amazon's sites for India, many European countries, Japan, Brazil, Canada, and Mexico at prices comparable to the US Kindle edition in local currencies. That's one of the nice things about electronic delivery: you don't have to pay for a printed book to be shipped to your country at a high price. ... See MoreSee Less

Are local technical writing companies disappearing? Searches seem to turn up only a couple of national companies, no local ones even with some specific cities included as a search term. ... See MoreSee Less

Working on a new version of the book for trainers. ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Reviewing a proof copy now...

...and the book is now in the process of going live!

...and here it is: www.amazon.com/gp/product/1479302279/&tag=writersbookmal-20 This is a new version of Technical Writing Management: A Practical Guide, expanded to include new material specifically for people who manage training departments or training businesses. A lot of the subject matter overlaps - I've managed combined documentation/training groups. So if you already have Technical Writing Management, you don't need to rush out to also buy Training Management. But please tell your training friends and colleagues about it!

Know any budding documentation managers out there who could use a copy of this book? Send them here for a discount coupon. I can get $10 off when they purchase directly from the publisher. ... See MoreSee Less

Thinking about offering a discount coupon. Anyone waiting for a few dollars off to make a purchase? ... See MoreSee Less

Just as a reminder - the discounts are for purchases directly from the publisher. If you prefer, you can always buy at Amazon, though we can't get you a discount there. ... See MoreSee Less

Want a discount on purchasing the book? Post here, and you shall receive! ... See MoreSee Less

Let's see what FB ads can do! ... See MoreSee Less

The positive reviews that this book has received are really heartening. As a nonfiction book geared to a professional audience, these reviews by peers mean something! ... See MoreSee Less

Promotions posted today on LinkedIn's tech writing management groups. ... See MoreSee Less

The price is now reduced on Amazon as well! ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

...to $24.95. The Kindle version is $9.99.

Now available in a Kindle version...and the book price is being reduced, too! Amazon is still showing the higher price, but use the CreateSpace link below to get the new lower price...and your discount! ... See MoreSee Less

Amazon lowered the price as of today. Now only $35.96. ... See MoreSee Less

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Book categories: Technical Writing and Training Books