was successfully added to your cart.
Tag

i30 Media Archives - In 30 Minutes Guides

Announcing an updated version of our unofficial iPhone user guide

By | News

Publisher i30 Media has released an updated version of its iPhone user guide. Authored by Ian Lamont, iPhone Basics In 30 Minutes covers the current iPhone hardware lineup including the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and the iPhone SE. It also explores the iOS operating system, Apple services such as iCloud and Siri, and important apps such as Phone, Photos, Mail, and Maps. Finally, it provides reviews of nine powerful apps that many new iPhone owners may never have heard of, such as Waze and Wunderlist.

Written in plain English with a touch of humor and lots of images, this iPhone user guide covers basic setup, key hardware and software features, and various tricks and time-savers. Topics include:

  • How to customize the iPhone’s appearance
  • What users need to know if about migrating from Android
  • Touch screen basics
  • 3D Touch, Peek, and Pop
  • Switching apps and multitasking
  • Typing and text tricks
  • How to use Siri and its kid brother, Dictation
  • Getting the most out of the powerful iPhone camera
  • Managing iCloud settings
  • Security features, from Find My iPhone to Touch ID
  • Wi-Fi and other wireless settings
  • How to tame notifications and after-hours calls
  • Moving, deleting, and grouping apps
  • Four ways to conserve battery power
  • Seven ways to free up iPhone storage space
  • Nine exceptional iPhone apps

Not a comprehensive iPhone user guide

As its name suggests, iPhone Basics In 30 Minutes does not cover everything about the iPhone. Nevertheless, in a single reading readers will discover new features and learn time-saving shortcuts. The guide also explains how to leverage the iPhone’s increasingly powerful camera and photo-organizing software.

iPhone user guide camera tipsiPhone Basics In 30 Minutes contains updated text and imagery from an earlier title, iPhone 6 and 6S In 30 Minutes, but has been significantly revised to take into account Apple’s new iPhone models and updates to the iOS operating system.

Here’s what real readers have said about the guides:

John Steel:

“A really useful guide full of hints tips and information. You can save yourself a lot of money by following the clear instructions over usage. I would still be struggling to use the phone to its full potential without this book. Highly recommended.”

Gary Coates:

“Great help for Android users wondering where all the functionality has gone when using an iPhone for the first time.”

To learn more about the title, or to purchase the ebook, PDF, or paperback editions, visit the official companion website located at iphone.in30minutes.com. The book will be updated as Apple releases new hardware and software.

Soulene wins IPNE book award

By | Blog, News

Soulene: A Healer in Paris IPNE Book awardOn this blog, I have documented the ups and downs of running an experimental nonfiction publishing venture—i30 Media, which I founded four years ago to publish In 30 Minutes guides. But one thing I seldom mention on this blog or elsewhere is the fact that i30 Media is also a publisher of fiction. I am pleased to announce that one our fiction titles, Soulene: A Healer in Paris, recently received an award from the Independent Publishers of New England for young adult fiction. Congratulations go to author Ursula Pearson, who put in a lot of hard work over a period of several years to tell the story of Soulene, a young healer living in medieval France and England.

You may wonder how a publisher of utility nonfiction got involved in publishing YA fiction. I’ve learned that once you hang out your shingle as “publisher” all kinds of people will approach you for help with their work. As the self-publishing explosion has demonstrated, there is an incredible well of untapped writing talent out there. Unfortunately, the process of publishing a book can be difficult. Not only are the tools unwieldy, but also most prospective authors don’t want to deal with the work associated with editing, formatting, designing, and marketing a new book. So they turn to people with more experience to help them get their books published.

While I have said “no” to most prospective authors who have asked me to edit or publish their works of fiction, I made an exception for Ursula. At the heart of her stories was a strong character, a young woman pursuing a passion to help the sick and injured. Soulene lived in an unjust and cruel world, in which poverty, plagues, and war were a constant presence. Only a small class of educated men (most of them from noble families or the clergy) could ever hope to become doctors. Yet Soulene was able to find an alternate path through a religious order for women, the so-called Red Heart Healers, who specialized in working with the poor of France and parts of England.

Soulene also had a fascinating backstory. I won’t reveal it here, but suffice it to say that it rivals a Mexican soap opera for plot twists, villains, and vengeful plots. Ursula also paid close attention to important historical details, including the types of herbs and plants used for treating wounds and illness, the spread of plague in medieval towns, and even the layout of 13th-century Paris.

These qualities, along with the short length of the books, convinced me to take on Ursula’s trilogy. Book 1, Soulene: A Healer’s Tale, was released in 2013. The following year Soulene: The Art of the Red Heart Healers came out. Last year, Soulene: A Healer in Paris, was released. While the first book required a lot of rewrites and editing, by the third book Ursula had hit her stride. The characters were fleshed out, the dialogue was strong, and the pacing was just right. We found talented graphic artists—Steve Sauer and Malgorzata Godziuk—to handle the covers and interior maps. Reader feedback was great, but I also thought there might be an opportunity to get wider recognition.

award-winning Soulene trilogyEnter the IPNE Awards. Every year the Independent Publishers of New England holds an awards contest, the winners of which are announced at the annual conference. A panel of librarians handles the judging in more than a dozen categories, which include art, literary fiction, mystery, and several nonfiction categories. i30 Media entered Soulene: A Healer in Paris as well as two In 30 Minutes titles. Last month, Soulene was named a finalist in the YA category, and at the conference in Portsmouth New Hampshire it won the IPNE 2016 Book award for YA fiction. It was a pleasure to pick up the award on the author’s behalf.

Does the award mean that i30 Media will be developing more fiction titles? I am not sure, but I have told Ursula that when she starts work on another book I will be ready to read her manuscript.

To learn more about Soulene, check out the official Soulene.com website.

Q&A with Ian Lamont, i30 Media founder and publisher

By | Blog

Ian Lamont is the founder of i30 Media. In this Q&A, Lamont discusses some of the issues independent publishers face in a rapidly evolving industry. 

For the first question of the Q&A, please tell us about i30 Media and In 30 Minutes guides.

i30 Media was established in 2013, and our main product is the In 30 Minutes series of guides. Some of the titles I have written myself, but there are a half-dozen other authors including Angela Rose, who wrote the second edition of LinkedIn In 30 Minutes.

What percentage of your company’s income is generated from digital versus traditional print sales? How did this percentage evolve?

About 20%. It’s gone down in the last three years from about 30%, as digital sales have stagnated on most platforms while paperback sales have grown. However, I am constantly interested in expanding into new digital platforms and leveraging the strengths of the In 30 Minutes brand. The latest example of this is the Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes video class, which was recently launched on Udemy and Gumroad.

For your company, what are the benefits of e-publishing?

Easy to make changes, production costs (design, copy editing, etc.) are all up front. We can launch a new product very quickly into distribution.

For your company, what are the challenges of e-publishing?

Dealing with Amazon’s monopolistic tendencies, which aim to squeeze publishers of all sizes through restrictive pricing rules and platform dominance. Another challenge: The inability of other platforms — chiefly Apple and Google — to get their respective acts together and provide effective competition to Amazon. To give you an example, Apple has an excellent hardware platform (iPad) but the software used for purchasing and managing ebooks (iTunes/iBookstore/iTunes Connect/iTunes Producer) is in desperate need of streamlining. Instead of updating this infrastructure, Apple has devoted development resources to creating a superb closed-garden authoring tool (iBooks Author) which has done little for sales in the iBookstore and makes it impossible to export ebooks to any non-Apple channel. Google Play Books has its own set of problems: unilaterally applying major discounts to publisher pricing, providing a substandard reporting tool, and shutting out new publishers for the past 9 months while it deals with a pirated content problem.

For your company, which e-publishing methods and strategies yield the best results?

Avoiding platforms that demand exclusivity, such as Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited. This is not just a pitfall of digital publishing, I have heard it exists in some retail channels as well. It restricts your customer base and puts you at the mercy of the platform. What if they decide to cut your payments, or cut you loose?

Working with a designer, Rick Soldin of http://book-comp.com, who can design great print and ebook interiors using the same master, has been a huge help on the production side. It makes managing new releases and coordinating changes much easier, because I don’t have to coordinate with multiple designers. He is a total pro and a great pleasure to work with.

In addition to (or in lieu of) e-books, what sorts of materials—and in what formats—does your company e-publish?

We publish how-to guides in ebook and paperback formats. PDF editions of the guides have sold surprisingly well, too. Last year we split off some of the book content into “cheat sheets” containing instructions, examples, and keyboard shortcuts (for instance, the Excel 2016 Cheat Sheet and the Google Drive Cheat Sheet) which we sell as printed 4-sheet pamphlets on high-quality card stock. A recent content experiment is video content, including a video tutorial based on one of our top-selling ebook/paperback titles, Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes. We sell the video through Gumroad and Teachable.com and will shortly be launching on Udemy.com

When choosing the best digital format(s) for content delivery, which factors do you consider?

I think a better question is: When choosing the best platforms for content delivery, what factors do I consider? The number one question I ask when I evaluate any content delivery platform is whether we are treated fairly by a prospective partner. I have said “no” to platforms that treat independent publishers as second-class citizens, or give low payout rates to content providers. Some subscription-based services are particularly bad, and I am not just talking about Kindle Unlimited. One service that targets corporate clients made us an offer based on a shared “royalty pool” of just 20% of subscription revenue. Models that are designed to benefit only customers and the platform owners at the expense of authors and publishers represent a threat to our industry, and we only need to look at what’s happening in the music publishing world with Spotify and other services to get an idea of what a subscription-based world looks like.

New product line: In 30 Minutes video classes

By | Blog, News, Video

Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes video classes

Publisher i30 Media is pleased to announce a new product line: In 30 Minutes video classes. We’re starting with the Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes video course (For a limited time, available at a 25% discount on Gumroad or available as a video class on Udemy), but will expand to other topics soon. You can learn more about the Google Drive and Docs video here, and we will also distribute the class to other online educational platforms.

The idea for In 30 Minutes video classes has been around almost as long as the book series. Around the same time the ebook and paperback versions of Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes were launched, i30 Media posted a series of short video screencasts on YouTube. They were very popular — one video that shows how to convert a PDF to Microsoft Word or Google Docs has garnered tens of thousands of views. Would people be interested in watching a longer video course about Google’s free online office suite? The popularity of the YouTube videos indicated that the answer was probably “yes” … but it would require a lot of work, ranging from writing a script to setting up a studio to shoot the on-screen narrations and screencast demonstrations.

What’s inside the Google Drive & Google Docs video class?

Here’s an excerpt from the description of Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes (video class):

This 30-minute class is narrated by the author of the top-selling guide, Google Drive & Google Docs In 30 Minutes. The course includes lectures on registration, finding and organizing files, creating documents and formatting them, working with Microsoft Word documents in Google Docs, and a complete review of the interfaces for Google Drive and Google Docs on the Web and mobile devices. The tone of this guide is friendly and easy to understand, with lots of step-by-step instructions and examples that show exactly what to do.

In addition to serving as a solid introduction to new users, it’s great for people making the transition from Microsoft Office, not to mention teachers using Google Drive for education and Google Docs in the classroom.

Here is the lecture list:

  • Introduction
  • The Google Drive user interface
  • The Google Docs user interface
  • Using the Google Drive and Google Docs mobile apps
  • Formatting in Google Docs
  • Formatting Microsoft Word files in Google Docs
  • The Google Drive desktop application for syncing and storage
  • Collaboration

You can start the lesson on Gumroad for 25% off or watch it on Udemy.

We hope the Google Drive video classes prove as popular as the ebook/paperback versions of the guide. In addition, we will be paying close attention to how people use the course in order to improve the video tutorials and create new instructional videos based on popular topics.

Joining the IBPA board

By | Blog

I have some news to share: I have been named to the board of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) for a two-year term, beginning July 1, 2015. The IBPA press release has more details.

I first learned about IBPA after submitting a book to the Ben Franklin Awards program operated by IBPA. The book did not win an award, but I gained something even more important: membership in an organization that is truly aligned with the needs of the independent publishing ecosystem.

While I have worked in various media ventures for decades, I am relatively new to the world of books and ebooks, and still have a lot to learn. Thanks to IBPA’s excellent Independent magazine and the IBPA LinkedIn group, I was able to get up to speed on so many aspects of this industry, especially those related to the business of publishing. The authors of the articles and the IBPA members I have interacted with are true professionals, and the information and advice they shared was invaluable.

I also began to take advantage of the many member benefits offered by IBPA, such as:

  • The cooperative display for IBPA members at the Frankfurt Book Fair. This was a low-cost way to showcase In 30 Minutes titles to prospective foreign licensees without having to travel to Germany. It resulted in a foreign rights deal being signed late last year, based on the boilerplate licensing documentation that IBPA provides to its members for free.
  • Various marketing programs aimed at libraries and booksellers. This was a chance to get titles in front of librarians and independent retailers in the United States.
  • Discounts for Ingram/Lightning Source International, one of the largest print-on-demand services in the world.
  • Discounted membership in IPNE, a regional affiliate of IBPA. Joining IPNE helped me connect with other publishers in New England and take part in IPNE activities.

Through these and other activities such as Publishing University I began to understand that IBPA’s motto, “to help each other achieve and succeed,” is not just a well-meaning phrase. It manifests itself in the many ways the organization conducts its affairs and serves its constituents.

Serving on the board is a way to give back to IBPA and its members, through assisting with IBPA programs, reviewing strategic plans and the organization’s financial health, contributing to the setting of future priorities, outreach, and other activities. It is an honor to be named to the board, and I look forward to serving as a director.

In 30 Minutes: Looking back at 2013, looking forward to 2014

By | Blog, Industry

As the founder of i30 Media Corporation, which publishes In 30 Minutes guides, I wanted to write a quick post outlining some of our accomplishments in 2013, and look ahead to 2014.

Although In 30 Minutes guides were launched in the summer of 2012, the company wasn’t launched until the beginning of this year. I started out with a bang in the first few weeks of January 2013, incorporating the company, applying for a trademark, and setting up the other systems that would help get In 30 Minutes guides off the ground. At the time, there were only three titles (Dropbox In 30 Minutes, Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes, and Excel Basics In 30 Minutes) but over the next 12 months the family of guides expanded to nearly 10 titles, including LinkedIn In 30 Minutes, Twitter In 30 Minutes, and C Diff In 30 Minutes.

Readers were impressed. You can see the reviews on Amazon and in Goodreads, but I also received emails from people who really liked the In 30 Minutes concept of easy-to-understand guides to mildly complex topics. The tone, the humor, the screenshots, the low price — all of these elements made for a great package that resonated with people all over the world. When I started getting messages from readers who had spontaneously purchased multiple titles, I knew that I was on the right track.

There were other developments. Importantly, the guides expanded from just one author (me) to a total of four. The new authors incude Melanie Pinola, Derek Slater, and Dr. J. Thomas Lamont. I would like to thank all of them for their hard work in getting their manuscripts ready for publication, and helping with various promotional efforts. They proved themselves to be true professionals, not only in their ability to work within the In 30 Minutes format, but also in the creation of high-quality content that helped readers understand mildly complex topics in a relatively short period of time. Melanie even won an award for her efforts (see LinkedIn In 30 Minutes Honored In The 2013 USA Best Book Awards).

Sales of certain titles have been steady. A few of the guides have gotten into the “Top 100” lists in various categories in Amazon, and the company has been profitable since the beginning. Authors are rewarded for their hard work with a generous royalty rate (if you’re interested in learning more, read this post for prospective authors), and the proceeds have helped i30 Media expand into new topic areas (more on that below).

I have to admit not every title has sold well. I’ve written about the struggles with Excel Basics In 30 Minutes elsewhere (see “Using metrics to turn around a failing title” in my PBS MediaShift post How to Boost E-Book Sales by Tracking Marketing Tactics). I have also taken one title out of circulation (iPod Touch In 30 Minutes) and relaunched Online Content Marketing In 30 Minutes. I won’t analyze what happened with those guides here, but I am happy to say that in the case of the latter title, author Derek Slater and I have repurposed some of the content into a new short-read format, titled Content Marketing: Recycling & Reuse – How your best online content can attract and engage new customers. These types of experiments speaks to the Lean Media philosophy I have imbued into this venture, which involves constant iteration, close communication with authors and other stakeholders, and learning from both successes and failures.

Easy Chinese Recipes cookbookWhat does 2014 hold? January will see a slew of new releases, including Easy Chinese Recipes In 30 Minutes and the short chapter about content marketing recycling mentioned earlier. Windows 8 Basics In 30 Minutes is currently being written by a new author, and may come out by the end of the month.

I will also continue the Lean Media spirit of innovation and constant experimentation in everything we do. In the publishing front, I am preparing the first In 30 Minutes title with embedded video (Easy Chinese Recipes In 30 Minutes) as well as expansion into new topic areas. I have some interesting things lined up in the sales & marketing arena, including expansion of educational licensing and an interesting partnership in the works for one title (sorry, I can’t reveal details yet!). I am also reaching out to new retail partners, who I think will appreciate In 30 Minutes concept for their customers. I have also started writing a personal-finance focused title, scheduled for release in the spring.

As always, I appreciate the feedback from readers and observers alike. Post comments below, or email ian -at- in30minutes dot com to share your thoughts.

Educational License for LinkedIn In 30 Minutes

By | Blog

We recently began offering educational licenses to In 30 Minutes guides. Here are the terms for the Educational License for LinkedIn In 30 Minutes:

Educational License Terms

  • LinkedIn In 30 Minutes is provided to the purchasing educational institution under the terms of a non-transferable, one-year educational license.
  • This Educational License applies to the PDF, .epub, and .mobi versions of LinkedIn In 30 Minutes.
  • The Educational License is valid for one year from the date of purchase or the start of the subscription.
  • The purchasing institution warrants that copies of the files shall only be distributed to students, faculty, and staff of the school.
  • The purchasing institution may not rent, sell, or redistribute copies of the digital content to any other people, or make the files publicly available on any network, device, storage service, or Internet-connected computer.
  • The purchasing institution may not create derivative works from the contents of the guide, or encourage others to do so.
  • The digital content is provided “AS IS” and neither the author nor publisher i30 Media Corporation shall have any obligation to provide maintenance, support, enhancements or modifications thereto. i30 Media Corporation specifically disclaim all express and implied warranties of any kind including, but not limited to, any warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. In no event shall i30 Media Corporation or the author be liable to any party for direct, indirect, special, incidental, exemplary or consequential damages however caused and on any theory of liability arising in any way related to the digital content, even if i30 Media Corporation or the author has been advised of the possibility of such damages. To the maximum extent not prohibited by law or regulation, the purchasing institution and affiliates further assume all liability for their use, reproduction, display, or distribution of the digital content and agree to indemnify and hold harmless i30 Media Corporation and the author from and against any and all claims, suits, actions, demands and judgments arising therefrom.
  • Any use, reproduction or distribution of the digital content which is not in accordance with this Educational License shall automatically revoke all rights granted to the purchasing institution.
  • This Educational License does not grant any rights in or to any intellectual property owned by i30 Media Corporation except those rights expressly granted hereunder.

New paperback edition of PATRICK released in the U.S.

By | Blog

New paperback edition of PATRICK released in the U.S.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PATRICK: A novel by Kevin G. McGuireNewton, Mass., October 21 – Publisher i30 Media has just released a new paperback edition of PATRICK by author Kevin G. McGuire. The novel, set in New York in the 1980s, relates to a story of a young man using a wheelchair who has several coming-of-age experiences during a visit to a New York City hospital. The author’s statement about the book and how it relates to his own experience growing up is published below.

The i30 Media edition of PATRICK (ISBN 978-1939924094) can be purchased online via patricknovel.com or in bookstores around the country. International editions will be available in November.

AUTHOR’S STATEMENT

In 1968, at the age of seven, I was struck by an intoxicated driver while playing baseball. This accident left me paralyzed from the waist down and has since forced me to use a wheelchair. Every summer following the accident, I was required to check into a New York City hospital for one week of physical evaluations and tests.

At this hospital, I was treated by the same physical therapists, nurses, and doctors; I was also assigned the same room. This room was invariably occupied with individuals who were from different ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds. They were admitted to the hospital for various reasons.

I quickly realized that no matter how different my roommates were, the bonding that took place during these short visits was incredible. It was amazing both in celerity, as well as intensity. Our injuries, sicknesses, and the hospital room seemed to insulate us from the prejudices and hatred of the outside world.

I also discovered that as quickly as this bonding took hold in the hospital room, it left just as quickly as we returned to our natural environments. All the promises about visiting and keeping in touch vanished as soon as we were discharged. More importantly, the prejudices that dissipated within our hospital boundaries reappeared as we left our cocoon.

At the age of seventeen, I shared the most intense seven days of my life with three roommates at this New York City hospital. I will always love but will never see or talk with my roommates again.

I entered the hospital that week not yet an adult, but left no longer a child.

PATRICK is inspired by those seven days.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

For more information about PATRICK, please visit the official PATRICK website located at patricknovel.com. For other inquiries, please contact Ian Lamont at i30 Media at ian@i30media.com or 617 213-0811.