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Announcing PowerPoint Basics In 30 Minutes

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Publisher i30 Media released its new guide to Microsoft PowerPoint this week. Titled PowerPoint Basics In 30 Minutes: How to make effective PowerPoint presentations using a PC, Mac, PowerPoint Online, or the PowerPoint app, the book explains how to make great PowerPoint presentations that get real results.

PowerPoint Basics In 30 MinutesThis unofficial PowerPoint user guide covers the basic features of PowerPoint 2016 (part of the Office 365 suite), PowerPoint Online, and the PowerPoint mobile apps, including PowerPoint for Android and PowerPoint for iOS. The PowerPoint manual also demonstrates how to use some of PowerPoint’s most powerful features and tools, such as:

  • Premade PowerPoint templates with gorgeous backgrounds and fonts.
  • Custom PowerPoint layouts that fit your personality or corporate identity.
  • Special PowerPoint formatting and design options.
  • Tools to place photos, video, and audio onto slides.
  • Shapes, graphs, tables, and SmartArt.
  • Graceful transitions between PowerPoint slides.
  • PowerPoint animations that can make text and other elements come to life.
  • Proofing tools for spelling and review.
  • PowerPoint collaboration features that make it easy to work with colleagues or classmates.
  • Exporting PowerPoint PDFs, online versions for the Web, and package presentations to share with others.
  • Creating paper copies and printed PowerPoint handouts.
  • Showing your presentation with a mouse or mobile device, or using a PowerPoint remote or PowerPoint clicker.

Author Angela Rose also gives tips on how to communicate more effectively using PowerPoint decks. Whether you are giving a business presentation, preparing a lecture for a class or seminar, or using Microsoft PowerPoint for personal use, PowerPoint Basics In 30 Minutes can help you create a better-looking presentation that makes a big impact.

The book is available as a paperback, a Kindle book, and an ebook for the iPad and other e-reader devices. A PDF version is also available. Visit powerpoint.in30minutes.com for more details.

About the author

Angela Rose is a writer and B2C marketing strategist based in Colorado. She is the author of the award-winning LinkedIn In 30 Minutes (2nd Edition) as well as Microsoft Word In 30 Minutes.

About IN 30 MINUTES Guides

i30 Media Corp. is the publisher of the award-winning IN 30 MINUTES series – quick guides for a complex world. Thousands of readers turn to the series to understand mildly complex topics, ranging from genealogy to computer software. The tone is friendly and easy to understand, with step-by-step instructions and lots of examples. Top-selling titles include Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes, Twitter In 30 Minutes, and the award-winning LinkedIn In 30 Minutes. For more information about the series, visit in30minutes.com

LinkedIn In 30 Minutes is a Foreword Indies winner

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I am pleased to announce that one of our top-selling titles — LinkedIn In 30 Minutes, Second Editionis a Foreword Indies winner. The book, by author Angela Rose, explains how to get the most out of LinkedIn, from creating a rock-solid profile to finding a job. Angela’s book was considered a top pick by the judges (librarians and booksellers working with the organizers of the Foreword Reviews competition) and received an honorable mention in the Career category. Considering this year was a record year for award submissions (there were some 15 entries in this category alone), this was no small feat. Foreword Reviews describes the selection process as follows:

As part of their mission to discover, review, and share the best books from small, university, and indie publishers (and authors), independent media company Foreword Reviews hosts its annual awards program each year. Finalists represent the best books published in 2016, and submitted to Foreword Reviews for award consideration, and were narrowed down by Foreword’s editors from over 2,200 individual titles spread across 65 categories. …

INDIES finalists are moved on to final judging by an expert panel of librarians and booksellers curated specifically for each genre and who will determine the books who will be named Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award winners. Winners in each genre—along with Editor’s Choice winners, and Foreword’s INDIE Publisher of the Year—will be announced during the 2017 American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago on June 24, 2017.

Congratulations to Angela for her hard work on LinkedIn In 30 Minutes. We have just updated the second edition with new information, screenshots, and best practices in line with LinkedIn’s new interface. For more information about the book or to order LinkedIn In 30 Minutes, please visit the companion website to the book, located at linkedin.in30minutes.com.

Amazon Pay WooCommerce extension: Why we’re turning it off

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We recently set up e-commerce capabilities on in30minutes.com to make it easier for our customers to purchase In 30 Minutes guides, our line of technology cheat sheets, and EasyGenie genealogy forms. It wasn’t easy. Besides dealing with the WooCommerce settings in WordPress, there was additional work required to get an SSL certificate for the site (to protect our customers’ information and enable secure transactions), set up Stripe for credit card payments, load items into the store, and test the workflow.

Besides Stripe, I also enabled PayPal for transactions. That was straightforward, and afterwards the PayPal button appeared below the Stripe/credit card options on our shopping cart. So when I saw that Amazon offered similar functionality via the Amazon Pay WooCommerce extension (available via the WooCommerce site), and it allowed merchants to access the customer information (a big deal for shipping and other forms of contact) I was enthusiastic. A significant number of Americans (between 24% and half of households) have Amazon Prime accounts. If adding the Amazon Pay button makes it easier for customers to buy our products on our own store, that was great. I created my Amazon Merchant Account, installed the Amazon Pay WooCommerce extension, and followed the integration instructions.

The first thing I did was test the shopping cart. I was not happy with what I saw:

amazon pay woocommerce extension

Instead of the Amazon Pay button appearing with the Stripe and PayPal options (blue arrow), the Amazon Pay WooCommerce extension forces the button to the top of the screen (red arrow) with a giant prompt asking customers whether they had an Amazon account. It’s the first thing customers will see, even before the products they have ordered. Ideally, the Amazon Pay button should appear next to the Stripe and PayPal options, not at the top of the page with a giant banner screaming for people to use it. Neither PayPal nor Stripe demand such behavior from their merchant partners, so why should Amazon?

I am not the only person to have problems with the setup of the Amazon Pay WooCommerce extension screen options. And they apparently cannot be changed, short of messing around with custom PHP work.

So, the choice is simple. We’re deactivating the Amazon Pay WooCommerce extension. Maybe they’ll add an option to remove the banner and relocate the button to the bottom of the page where it belongs. Until then, visitors to our store are welcome to use PayPal or a credit card to make purchases. Our products are also for sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other locations.

Ben Franklin silver award goes to Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes

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Last week I flew to Portland to attend the Independent Book Publishers Association annual conference, Publishing University. I have attended in the past, but this time was special: In 30 Minutes guides was picking up a Ben Franklin award for Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes, by author Shannon Combs-Bennett!

Ben Franklin silver award goes to Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin awards are well-known in the independent publishing community. Submissions are judged by multiple people according to very specific criteria, and the competition is fierce: This year, there were 1,300 submissions across several dozen categories. Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes was one of only three titles to make it to the final round in its category (crafts & hobbies) and we were very happy to be awarded a Ben Franklin silver award (congratulations to the gold winner in our category, Bricks, Cobblestones and Pebbles: A Path to Modern Quilts by author Gyleen X. Fitzgerald, as well as the other finalist, Building Block Dress: A Sewing Pattern Alteration Guide by author Liesl Gibson).

Shannon and a friend joined me at the awards ceremony–it was actually the first time I had ever met her in person–and we really had a great time talking about genealogy, history, and some favorite historical dramas. I did not know this, but Shannon and her friend are experts on period historical dresses and were able to answer a question that I had long wondered about–why do the men in the PBS drama Wolf Hall have such heavy clothes? Answer: It was a mini-ice age in Europe in the 1520s!

Congratulations to Shannon for all of her hard work in preparing a manuscript, rewriting the draft, providing materials, and answering questions from me and the copy editor. The guide has been a great help to many readers (including one as far away as Australia!) and it made me proud to see her accepting the Ben Franklin award.

Announcing Crowdfunding Basics In 30 Minutes

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Crowdfunding book - Crowdfunding Basics In 30 MinutesPublisher i30 Media today released the first edition of Crowdfunding Basics In 30 Minutes (ISBN 9781939924742) by author and crowdfunding expert Michael J. Epstein.

In a single sitting, readers will learn how to plan and execute successful crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe, and other online platforms. Epstein explains different types of crowdfunding projects, including entrepreneurial startups, creative or artistic projects, charities and community causes, individual support campaigns, and patronage funding. The guide also covers budgeting basics as well as realistic goal-setting, not to mention the importance of preparing professional-looking campaign assets such as video clips, photographs, and calls-to-action.

Other topics include:

  • Determining how much money organizers can raise
  • Pros and cons of platforms such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe, Patreon, and more
  • All-or-nothing campaigns vs. partial funding campaigns vs. patronage systems
  • Time requirements for organizers
  • Hidden costs, from shipping to backer melt
  • Taxes and legal requirements
  • Telling your story with images, video, and text
  • Best practices for tiered rewards
  • Why campaigns fail: 10 pitfalls to avoid
  • How to keep momentum going in a lagging campaign
  • The art of communicating with crowdfunding backers

Throughout Crowdfunding Basics In 30 Minutes, Epstein cites his extensive experience organizing crowdfunding campaigns as well examples from some of the hundreds of other campaigns he has backed. Images, tables, and charts help illustrate additional concepts.

Crowdfunding Basics In 30 Minutes is available now in paperback and ebook editions for Kindles, iPads, and other mobile devices.

About the author

Michael J. Epstein is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker, writer, musician, and scientist. His work has been featured in TIME, Scientific American, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, SPIN, CURVE, Famous Monsters, and Fangoria. Michael’s feature films TEN, Magnetic, and Blood of the Tribades were all funded using Kickstarter. His full bio is located here.

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