I’m sure that you’ve noticed that very few software packages come with an instruction manual, and many of those that do just aren’t very helpful. Sure, we also expect that software be designed intuitively so the learning curve is manageable . . . but, powerful programs with lots of tools require thoughtful instructions presented in a logical fashion, while hopefully being entertaining and educational. If that’s not enough, we also expect them to achieve these expectations only with classic paper books, but also using new interfaces like on the computer, iPad and such.
Eight years ago, one of my favorite authors, David Pogue, award-winning how-to author and computer columnist for the New York Times, teamed up with O'Reilly Media, Inc. to launch Pogue Press. They dedicated their companies to producing sterling, beautifully written manuals for popular consumer software and hardware products. You no longer have to learn complex programs by reading electronic help screens or online help as a substitute for a real manual.