I don't believe you carefully read my OP.
Here is a summary of what I said...
A few months ago I started work on a book/guide...
"The problem is that while the chapter draft is competent from a technical standpoint, visually what I wrote looks like some BORING computer manual.[/b]
Where did I say the subject was boring?
And where did I say I was writing a manual?
I appreciate everyone's help, but there are some important differences in what people are implying here.
To me, a "manual" is a technical document that discusses features of a product. A microwave manual tells you WHAT each button does on the microwave. (It does not tell you HOW to make a great tasting cake.)
A "guide" focuses on HOW to do things. For example, "Teach Yourself Web Design in 21 Days".
I am writing a book/guide so that ________ topic is not boring, and so that people know how to get results that they want by following step by step processes, combined with understanding the bigger picture.
Let's say I was writing a book called "How to make your iPhone secure" or maybe "eBay for Seniors" or maybe "Avoid getting hacked for Moms" or "Flickr for Seniors"
Those are not manuals, and from a content standpoint I would hope they are all very interesting to my target audience.
What I was complaining about is that what I have so far looks like a boring MS Word document with page after page of text and screenshots that stick out like sore thumbs because the text doesn't wrap around the images the way it does on the web.
Font might help, but I think layout is where I need more help.
Then again, if I knew what I needed, I wouldn't be here!
Let's hope what I have written in my book chapter is more clear than my OP here!!
You are reading too much into what I said...
All I am saying is that I am considering writing books for certain groups of people to make using technology more approachable. Not everyone is a do-it-yourself pioneer type like you are. Most people are intimidated by the simplest things (e.g. smartphones).
If I can find people who need help learning how to do something, and there are no good guides already on the market, and I can writing interesting and easy-to-understand books on how to do things, and not make what I write look like a toaster manual written by someone in Taiwan (for an American user) then I am hoping that I can have some modest success.
Those are some good tips, although I think layout is where I need the most help.
No, but I believe people do buy books/guides that take you from beginning to end to learn how to do something. For example, "How to listen to podcasts on your car radio"
Correct. And what I have so far in my Word doc looks like something someone hacked out in MS Word, versus like something worthy of being in Barnes & Noble.
Again, I believe my content is off to a good start, but VISUALLY what I have looks very raw and unfinished and something that needs help from a desktop publisher or something.
I hope that I did a better job answering your questions and explaining my problem than in my OP!
(Maybe I am not as good at communicating ideas as I thought...)