Technical writing and editing services

Technical writing and editing services

Here at Tellura it's no exaggeration to say that we live and breathe words, books, writing and editing.

Here are some of the things we've been doing, and some ideas about what we can do for you.

White papers and research papers

Our consultancy work usually has some sort of document as part of the delivery. We have spent years carrying out reviews, analyses and research programmes for clients, and presentation of the outcomes in ways that are at once worth reading and readable, comprehensive and comprehensible is not often an easy task. We believe that quality of our writing work speaks for itself - which is after all what a document should do - and offers considerable added value to our clients.

Writing and editing books

Ian Piper has written a successful book on software development for the Mac and iPhone: Learn Xcode Tools for Mac OS X and iPhone Development (Apress, December 2009, ISBN 978-1-4302-7221-2). You can learn more about this book at the book website: http://learnxcodebook.com/. He was also a guest author for the book Learn AppleScript: the Definitive Guide (Apress, May 2010, ISBN, contributing a chapter on AppleScript scripting additions. You can learn more about this book at the Amazon website: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Learn-AppleScript-Comprehensive-Scripting-Automation/dp/1430223618/.

We are currently working on two books, on practical approaches to building websites using WordPress and Drupal. These are aimed at people such as small business owners who want to create an effective website using a modern content management system. Each book will cover the entire life-cycle of website creation, including:

  • Why you want a website
  • What the website is intended to do (usually not the same thing as why you want it!)
  • Who your audience will be
  • The initial site design - both the look and feel and the layout and ordering of pages
  • Choosing the right content management system for your needs
  • Installing your content management system
  • Adding content
  • Creating structure with menus
  • Creating the theme and getting the layout exactly right
  • Adding widgets, plug-ins and modules to enhance your site
  • Going live
  • Staying live - keeping content fresh, making your site earn its keep, making your site findable

These books will both be available in 2012 as e-books.

We also work with a variety of publishers as technical editors and reviewers of new books, on subjects as diverse as Ruby on Rails, Joomla and Omnigraffle.

Technical documentation

High quality documentation is an absolutely core component of the delivery of a successful software project. In our experience, it's often left to the last minute and delivered in a minimal and not terrible useful form. We don't do that. The usability and effectiveness of documentation for a new system is vital for the effectiveness of the system itself - developers often forget that they are the world experts on the system up to the point of delivery, but then someone else has to become the world expert. Good, straightforward, plain English usable documentation helps the client make that transition.

Typically when delivering a new website we will create a User Guide. This will be a document of perhaps 20 A4 pages that covers the following:

  • The features of the CMS
  • How to log in as the site administrator
  • Creating new pages
  • Editing and deleting unwanted pages
  • Managing a blog (if included in the site)
  • Managing a contact form
  • Simple security guidelines

If the site has other features, such as e-Commerce, then naturally the documentation will cover these too.

For more advanced systems we will usually provide additional documentation. This may include a System Guide as an overview for management use and a Technical Guide as a detailed description of system internals. This latter document is intended for use by technically-aware software developers who may need to make changes to your system in the future.