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You need documentation and are thinking about working with a technical writing team. But how will that fit into your budget? While each project is different, there are common variables that affect that calculation.

Our main considerations for cost are:

What are we starting with?

While we can start from scratch and create content ourselves, most of our projects begin with content provided by the client. This could mean we compile information from different sources, such as notes and emails, or that we work from a draft you provide. We could also update a previously published document. Here are some additional considerations when looking at source material:

  • Do we have source material to start with?
  • Will we be compiling information?
  • How much, and from what sources?
  • Do you have a rough draft?
  • How far is your draft from being a finished product?
  • If we’re updating, what is the quality of the original document?
  • How up-to-date is it currently?
  • Is it in a format that can be edited, or will it need to be retyped?
  • Is our aim to expand or shorten the document?

What will our collaboration look like?

Many people are involved in a technical writing project. Our work often depends on the availability of your team members and how much time they plan to spend with a document. We consider:

  • How many subject matter experts (SMEs) will be involved?
  • How available will they be for the initial content-gathering stage?
  • What do they anticipate their turn-around time to be?
  • How available will they be for comment resolution?
  • Will content reviewers be available when needed?
  • How long will they need to review and return documents?

How many drafts will we be producing?

Most of our projects go through two draft cycles, but we can do fewer or more depending on your needs. The standard draft process looks something like this:

  1. Draft 1 – Shea gathers content, interviews SMEs, creates process flows and writes all needed documentation. Comment resolution meetings are conducted and Draft 1 is submitted for client review.
  2. Draft 2 – Shea revises process flows and procedures based on feedback, compiles all documentation, and submits Draft 2 for review.
  3. Issue for Publication – Shea revises content based on feedback and returns the finished document to the client.

At what level are we editing?

While our team will always have an eye for excellence, we can edit to different standards based on how much you would like the document to change. That level can include:

  • Correcting basic grammar and mechanics
  • Editing for consistency within a document or across documents
  • Proofreading
  • Copy editing
    • Sentence level
    • Paragraph level
    • Full content, improving the overall quality of the document
  • Codifying the document’s voice
    • How many authors contributed to the document?
    • Are they native English speakers?

Will the documents include graphics?

We can engage with graphics in your document in various capacities, from inserting images you provide, to creating and editing them ourselves.

Our two main questions are:

  1. Who is providing the graphics?
  2. Who is editing them?

The document could include:

  • Screen captures
  • Illustrations
  • Infographics
  • Tables
  • Photographs
    • If Shea is providing photographs, will we need to bring in a professional photographer?
  • Callouts

All of these could be provided or edited by Shea or the client

How will it be published?

When it comes time for the publication, we can be involved to differing extents. Our pricing considerations for this step are:

  • How many pages need to be published?
  • How complex is the project?
  • Will it be in print or online?
  • If online, what format?

How complex is the content?

We work with your audience in mind. The editing process differs based on your authors and your readers. Do they have the same skill set and knowledge base? Many of our projects require us to mediate between the SME, who has a detailed knowledge of your processes, and the user, who is familiar with only the basics. We can bridge the gap and scale the reading level accordingly.

Please keep in mind that, while our writers and editors are experienced, we are not subject matter experts. Complex content may require more involvement from your SMEs to make sure we’re as accurate as possible

How will the work be paced?

We know the project’s deadline is at the forefront of your concerns. We want to ensure that everyone involved can do their best work while also being mindful of time. The pace at which your team plans to work is a considerable factor for us. While we prefer that pace to be consistent and steady, we understand that it could be intermittent, or even rushed. If that is the case:

  • Are gaps in work planned?
  • How long will the intervals be between work?
    • A longer gap means our writers will need to spend time re-acclimating to the project. Another writer may be brought on if the original writer is no longer available.
  • Will the deadline necessitate overtime or additional resources?

Now that you have an idea of what to consider, please contact us! We’re eager to discuss details and get started.