How to Get Started as a Technical Writer: A Review


I just finished reading How to Get Started as a Technical Writer by James Gill. I snagged it on eBook from Amazon for $4.99 and read its scant 86 pages in about an hour. I’m not in the habit of writing book reviews but I thought I would on this occasion in the spirit of the new sub-blogging venture.

My thoughts:

  1. This “book” is incredibly short, and it feels more like a long pamphlet than an eBook
  2. The audience Gill had in mind was not me. I’ve already landed the technical writing gig, which after reading about how difficult a field it is to break into, I feel very lucky to have, but that puts me outside the scope of the majority of the chapters – Why Become a Technical Writer? Should I Get More Education or Training? How Do I Get Experience?
  3. I really wish there was more meat in this book. The chapter on Life as a Technical Writer is what I hoped 85% of this book would be, but then again I guess if I paid closer attention to the title when I bought it I wouldn’t be so surprised
  4. If you’re starting from a true square one the book is worth the $4.99

At the end of the book, Gill includes a list of professional organizations for technical writers, which made me happy because my biggest fear about leaving librarianship is losing the profession’s strong sense of community. I tagged a few of these for future reference, including:

Gill also offers a few (not as many as I’d like, but a few) suggestions for further reading. These include:

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