sez "Be cool,
read ALL of the advice below
my father dictated it,
and I had to type all this crap"
I try not to disimenate too much of this info, as it is really a coorperate virus gambit, that while legal, would not earn me any bonus points from my PR reps PR reps are basically the Santa Clauses of the free world, in advertising we get tons of material and software from various shops that want us to profile or use their tools as a prefuntion to subscriptions or as a means to shimmy up with a 150 unit office that has two dozen international offices to dole on the MIS wagon. One nice thing about them, while they are paid to give stuff away, they require only some modest feedback in order to justify the expense of distributing software.
Evaluation copies basically. Most of them go to magazines, in which one has to present some credibility, subscribers etc... Posing as one of these is feasible, but if you're lying then legally it's FRAUD. Now if you want to be legal, think of the buttons you need to push. Think of your own background. How would it be a value to a software publisher? If you give them 1000 words or so of feedback, what do they recieve in order to justify putting you on an automatic update list? In my case, I'm a member of a large advertising network owned by the Omnicom network, a 1 billion or so a year entity. Our office has 150 members, and is profiling itself as a new representative of high-tech clients.
Ergo we have a fairly advanced MIS group, a group of consultants, and a database building of induistry info for our clients as well as potentials. Besides using my art degree in creative, I also consult directly with the MIS rep on new software/hardware configs, and consult with the AE side on new industry developments. SO, what do is contact software publishers, and ask for evaluation copies of software to review and include in a database for notes on everything from feature sets to workflow configuration for any given software product. The PR reps love this of course, because since our buisness is advertising, they get an inside track in a 3 billion dollar market for the cost of packaging and disks.
OK SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU HOW CAN YOU GET IN ON THIS? This is why I asked about backgrounds. Every case is different. In your case, perhaps you could dabble legally in publishing a modest newsletter. Instead of touting subscribers, and going all out timewise to make a magazine, think about your clients. Could they benefit from a 6-12 page newsletter (even three pages in a "white paper" format would work)? You could feature new tools, and give pointers on your experiences in DTP work. Nothing too hardcore, consider how much info you type on these boards. Can you put 3000 words together with highlights, on a say monthly basis? 6000? I'm doing over a grand wordwise right now, and I'm keeping it under say 15 minutes. How is this valuable to Adobe?
First consider perspective. Change yours and think of yourself as a graphic consultant in addition to an artist. You know all of the relelvant tools that can execute jobs for your clients. Now your clients might be interrested in a newsletter with their jobs. You're still the needed hands, but now with a minor amount of brainwork, and typing you could be an infosource for industry developments. You are a smaller minority than you think. Not many people actually read computer pubs. Fewer read mac pubs. Ferwer still read DTP mac Pubs. With a couple of pages you could disimenate some valuable words for a summary persepctive of new tools. AND of course stop shelling out dough for them. Adobe wants to know the value of your clients. Fax/mail them a prospectus guide of some of your clients. Don't lie but put them in the best possible light. Talk about the market in this region, give it an angle. Tell them you'll send back reprints of the papers you compile. They get a field eval from a real-world person in the field, and at the best, a method for Word of Mouth advertising.
Tell them this. Do it.
Call the various companies that you need major tools from and ask for thier PR reps. Talk to them and tell them your situation. Tell them what they would get out of the deal. You'll be surprised, it's easier than you think. I got 3 grand worth of software just as I got my new quadra. In one week, I latched onto almost 3/4 the value of the system I type on with a mention of my last office and the magazine I had a column with.
It's easy. Think of your angle, and lemmie give it a trial run on the value scale. If it seems equitable, youre IN LIKE FLINT.
Go home, it's late and your mother's worried.