About

Shauna McGee Kinney is a technical writer who helps businesses and organizations communicate their stories and messages  to customers, staff and members.

What Services Shauna Offers

  • Creating website content – providing text and pictures
  • Writing promotional stories (which includes interviewing subject-matter experts and fact checking)
  • Updating product information or inventory
  • Managing online files – such as resizing and sorting online files (including images and creating PDFs)
  • Writing tip sheets and training manuals
  • Training software users
  • Troubleshooting hardware and software issues
  • Documenting business procedures

Who Are Her Clients

Shauna specializes in working with companies in high technology (including software, manufacturing and sports industries).

These companies are typically small-to-medium businesses with a high-dollar volume that have a small number of employees, such as a software developer with 3 programmers and a project manager / sales manager or an engineering firm with 14 engineering and management staff.

Why?

Most companies hire Shauna because they only need a writer for a project or part-time. Their employee staff are already busy with projects and feel burdened at having to write. Some staff are non-native English speakers or find it frustrating to communicate with people outside of their field. Some staff have too much writing work in a short period of time to get their work done before a deadline. As an independent contractor in technical writing, Shauna has the flexibility to meet your needs.

How Much Will Shauna’s services cost?

If Shauna’s services and experience are a fit for the project, the quote estimate is usually 40% above the employee hourly rate as quoted by employment agencies or professional societies. The mark-up covers the self-employment taxes, administrative fees and services required to run a business.

In the US, the rates for a quote are based on the Society for Technical Communication Salary Survey. In Australia. the rates for a quote are estimated using the PeopleBank’s Salary Survey.

No, really — how much?

There are good-fits and economies of scale.

In 2010, the billing rate for writing an initial case study for a software developer was $55 AUD per hour. For such a project, billable hours typically hovered around $400 per 1.5 pages, which included editing and posting the final story on the Internet. Three months later, the billing rate needed to finish the interviewing, writing, editing and posting dropped down to about $300 per 1.5 pages. The rate dropped because Shauna was already familiar with the existing knowledge and streamlined the process.

Time-sheets and billing are always visible to the client through FreshBooks.com and the billing site has the highest security. Clients can pay by USD or AUD. Payments can be made online through PayPal (or by credit card through PayPal). Check (cheque) payments are also accepted in either AUD or USD.

Where and When – Location and Hours

Work is performed remotely from my Perth – Australia office. I work with clients located in the US and Australia. On-site work is performed on a limited basis in Perth only. Rates are higher for on-site delivery and other types of work.

Office hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
6 AM to 4 PM Perth – Australia Time

Time Zones

Perth – AUS is opposite Washington DC – USA.

For example, when it is 6 PM in Washington DC…
— it’s 3 PM in Los Angeles CA
— it’s 6 AM in Perth – Australia

(+/- 1 hour during daylight savings)

Remember, Perth is usually a day ahead (+8 GMT), depending on what time of day. See http://www.timeanddate.com/ for more time conversion.

Availability

Shauna is available based on a combination of earliest bookings and repeat clients.

Shauna is available for up to 20 hours client-facing time per week. The process starts with a 30-to-60 minute conversation about the amount of work, type of work, deliverables and deadlines. After the inital meeting, Shauna builds up a time estimate and blocks out time for a project.

Scalable Help

If the scope of the project is too big or is outside of her area of expertise (such as graphic design, implementing a website database or business consulting) — Shauna provides referrals to other companies that can meet your needs.

Over the years Shauna has developed professional arrangements with fellow editors, writers and technical consultants. This team of colleagues can be called upon, as-needed, to ensure that writing projects are completed on-time with a high quality results. Additionally, if Shauna’s services do not meet your business needs, she can refer you to other professionals who have the skills and experience that fits your requirements.

History

Shauna started her working career in 1994, teaching computers to seniors. Shortly afterwards, she moved into writing software training manuals. She also taught classes to sales, executive and administrative staff in corporations located in the Los Angeles area. After 10 years of software training in the automotive, aerospace / defense, government and entertainment industries, she went for a career change.

During her transition, she was an operations manager for a bicycle manufacturing company, whose duties included setting up their accounting systems, writing business plans and assembling documents for a patent and incorporation of the new company. Upon completion of the patent, Shauna moved to a different company, helping to manage an office for a catamaran engineer. This move happened to marry Shauna’s interests in the working world with her passion for sports, bicycling and sailing.

In 2006, Shauna’s family relocated to Perth, Australia. The technology of the internet allowed her to continue work for clients in California and to develop new website clients in Perth and in the sailing industry. She’s enjoyed writing a series of articles for sailing publications including the US Hobie HOTLINE (print magazine) and Sail-World.com (online media). In 2010, Shauna increased her amount of writing for clients in software development and engineering fields.

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