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New Guide Archives - In 30 Minutes Guides

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.

To contact the author or publisher, please use our contact form.

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 In 30 Minutes online shop listing for iPhone Basics In 30 Minutes. The book will be updated as Apple releases new hardware and software.

Free resources for family genealogists

By | Uncategorized

When we released Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes last month, we also launched a companion website. This is typical for In 30 Minutes guides—the websites contain additional resources, such as author bios, and free resources such as blog posts and videos. But for Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes, author Shannon Combs-Bennett and publisher i30 Media wanted to offer something else for free—genealogy forms, which many amateur and professional genealogists use to track their progress and visualize the results.

We are pleased to announce that our free genealogy forms starter kit is now available from the website. It contains a five-generation pedigree chart as well as a genealogy research log. You can see screenshots of the forms below:

Free resources free genealogy forms starter kiti30 Media is not the first publisher to offer blank genealogy forms. A simple Google search reveals scores of free forms, shared by amateur genealogists as well as established giants such as Ancestry.com.

However, one thing we noticed about many of the free genealogy forms is the presentation of information left a lot to be desired. The fields or boxes on the forms were often too small, forcing people to write using tiny script. The explanatory text was also hard to read, owing to “busy” fonts or tiny point sizes.

And then there was an issue of organization. The free forms often left out key information, such as the family group sheet that doesn’t have fields for “occupation” or the inventory logs that don’t ask about the source of a particular record or heirloom. I believe this is an important oversight that can lead to unnecessary headaches down the road when family researchers return to a particular sheet and need more information than was originally recorded.

Working with a professional graphic designer, we tried to correct some of these limitations. For instance, the five-generation pedigree chart (see screenshot, above) contains numbered spaces for people’s names, clearly demarcated from the other details, which allow users to zero in on the names later. The research log has fields that can accommodate two lines of text instead of just one, and asks about website locations where the research may be found.

In addition to the free resources in the genealogy starter kit, we are also offering a paid genealogy forms bundle which includes more than a dozen digital files (PDF and Excel) as well as a paper bundle that is printed on high-quality archival paper. These forms are important tools not only for today’s users, but potentially for the next generation of researchers.

Blank Genealogy Forms Library - 8 PDF and Excel genealogy forms

Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes now available!

By | News

Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes launchPublisher i30 Media today launched Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes: The quick guide to creating a family tree, building connections with relatives, and discovering the stories of your ancestors (ISBN: 9781939924681). Authored by professional genealogist Shannon Combs-Bennett, the book explains the joys, challenges, and triumphs of researching family origins. It aims to help people who are new to genealogy as well as those who have casually gathered information about their ancestors over the years and want to take their research to the next level.

While many people assume genealogy research starts online, Combs-Bennett shows the importance of getting started with family research using documents that can be found in one’s own home or with the help of relatives. She also emphasizes how to build a family tree the right way—instead of entering random ancestors’ names into Google or Ancestry.com, it’s critical to start at the base of the tree with one’s own family and then work back in time using vital records and other documents. As Combs-Bennett explains in the book, online research and genetic genealogy can play an important role once the most recent generations have been identified.

Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes is written in a friendly, easy-to-understand style that avoids complex jargon. There are lots of examples, case studies, and advice that can help would-be family historians quickly get up to speed. In addition to listing best practices for conducting genealogical research, Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes also warns readers about the many pitfalls of family research, from “brick wall” mysteries to time-wasting online searches. Topics include:

  • Why are people so interested in family history?
  • Evaluating clues, facts, and myths in family stories
  • The importance of linking generations
  • Vital records, from birth certificates to death records
  • Non-vital records, from census forms to wills
  • Religious records
  • Five things that can trip up newbies researching family history
  • Best practices for genealogy road trips
  • Interviewing relatives, and dealing with skeptics
  • Pros and cons of online genealogy research
  • Genealogy communities and continuing education
  • Genetic genealogy basics
  • Understanding the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
  • Genetic genealogy and adoptees
  • Non-paternal events and other skeletons in the genetic closet
  • Visualizing family history with charts
  • Research logs and genealogy journals
  • How to create good source citations
  • Preserving records and research
  • Genealogy software and GEDCOM files
  • Planning for disasters

Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes is not a comprehensive guide. Nevertheless, readers will be able to quickly understand key research basics that will serve them well as they embark on a journey to figure out their family origins. Creating a strong family tree will not only satisfy their curiosity, but will also serve as a record to share with relatives and future generations.

More information about Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes as well as online ordering options can be found on the companion website. The site also includes a genealogy blog and other resources for readers. The paperback retail price is $11.99 while the ebook edition is available on the Amazon Kindle and other devices for $7.99.

About the author

Author Shannon Combs-BennettShannon Combs-Bennett is an author, researcher, and lecturer based in the Washington, D.C. metro area. She regularly speaks and writes about genetic genealogy, Virginia genealogy, and research methods. Shannon is a frequent contributor to Family Tree Magazine and Family Tree University, serves as the Creative Director for The In-Depth Genealogist, and owns T2 Family History. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Indiana University, which started her passion for research and genetic genealogy. Shannon completed the Boston University Certificate of Genealogical Research in 2013 and is a student at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, earning a certificate in American Records. Shannon also serves as a staff genealogist at the National Society Colonial Dames 17th Century in Washington, DC. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

About In 30 Minutes guides

i30 Media is the publisher of In 30 Minutes guides – “Quick guides for a complex world.” Thousands of readers turn to In 30 Minutes guides to understand mildly complex topics, ranging from genealogy to 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 LinkedIn In 30 Minutes. For more information about the series, visit in30minutes.com

New genealogy book now available for preorder

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Genealogy basics bookGenealogy Basics In 30 Minutes is now available for preorder via Amazon (Kindle/Paperback). This genealogy book is a great resource for people who are interested in learning about their roots, but are concerned about confusing tools and ancestry research methods. Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes breaks it all down, starting with a simple approach to building out a family tree. It also describes various ways to gather information, including:

  • The types of vital records and non-vital documents to look for
  • Best practices for connecting with relatives, from gathering documents to conducting interviews
  • Researching family history on genealogy road trips
  • Technological tools, including online databases, GEDCOM files, and genetic genealogy
  • Using charts and forms to track research and share the results
  • How to store digital and paper records
Shannon Combs-Bennett

Shannon Combs-Bennett

Genealogy is a topic that we’ve wanted to turn into an In 30 Minutes guide for many years. In 2015 we connected with an up-and-coming genealogist and genealogy blogger, Shannon Combs-Bennett. Shannon is not only knowledgeable about researching family history, she has a science background and a deep understanding of genetic genealogy. Best of all she is a great storyteller, which helps to relate various research concepts into real-world situations.

It’s a fascinating genealogy book, and publisher i30 Media hopes you can preorder your copy today on the Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes website!

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.

LinkedIn In 30 Minutes gets a complete refresh

By | News

Publisher i30 Media is pleased to announce a completely revised second edition of its top-selling LinkedIn book, LinkedIn In 30 Minutes. Written by author Angela Rose (bio), the new title explores the basics of setting up an effective LinkedIn profile, best practices for cultivating a network, and how to use LinkedIn to find a job.

LinkedIn book, LinkedIn In 30 Minutes, 2nd EditionLinkedIn In 30 Minutes (2nd Edition) also explores the updated LinkedIn interface. Since the first edition of the guide was released in 2013, LinkedIn has streamlined the interface while introducing or expanding new features. For instance, whereas LinkedIn used to be all about building a profile and growing a network, now there is a greater emphasis on reading or contributing content through LinkedIn updates or longer essay-style posts. The idea that LinkedIn wants to promote is linkedin.com is more than a career network or online resume — it’s a destination for learning and keeping up to date.

Rose expertly covers the newer features, but spends a lot of time in Chapter 3 getting into the nuts and bolts of creating an effective profile. She uses several real LinkedIn users as examples, including a Coast Guard officer, a financial journalist, and a website operator, and has lots of easy-to-digest checklists of profile elements that really matter … as well as things that don’t (“Six sections you can skip or save for later”).

LinkedIn Jobs: More than one place to look

People who want to leverage LinkedIn to find a new job should take a close look at Chapter 6 of the new guide. While it’s easy enough to click the Jobs link in the toolbar, or start a search for a specific position, the author points out that there are several other places to look for open jobs, including company pages, groups, and (of course) one’s own LinkedIn network.

LinkedIn In 30 Minutes (2nd Edition) is available now in paperback and ebook editions for Kindles, iPads, and other mobile devices. Go to the official book website located at linkedin.in30minutes.com to see the available download and purchasing options.

A new edition of our top-selling Twitter tutorial

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Twitter tutorial book - Twitter In 30 Minutes, 3rd EditionFor the first time in its short history, In 30 Minutes® guides is releasing a third edition of a book. It’s titled Twitter In 30 Minutes (3rd Edition): How to connect with interesting people, write great tweets, and find information that’s relevant to you. The first edition of the Twitter tutorial was only published in 2013, while the second edition was released in 2014, with thousands of copies (including the paperback edition and ebook formats such as the Kindle and Apple iBooks) having been sold to date.

So why are we publishing a third edition in three years? The short answer: Twitter frequently changes its interface—and does so more often than any other software technology that we cover. We also found a slew of new examples to use in the book. This post will describe what’s new in the third edition of Twitter In 30 Minutes.

First, here is a list of some of the changes that Twitter has incorporated since the last edition of the book was released:

  • New Twitter account onboarding processes for Web and mobile
  • Twitter timeline changes that show some tweets out of order
  • More Twitter ads
  • Favorites replaced by Likes
  • Addition of Moments on the Twitter toolbar (similar to the old “Discover” tab)
  • Tweaks to the toolbar (for instance, new icons, and moving things around)
  • Nested retweets and the decline of “RT”
  • New search results view
  • Updated user interfaces for the Twitter app on Android and iOS

Adding “likes”, the changes to retweets, and the new mobile interfaces significantly impact the Twitter user experience, and are featured prominently in the text and screenshots of the third edition of Twitter In 30 Minutes. Other changes don’t really add much to the Twitter experience, and aren’t really covered in detail.

Take Moments. It’s obviously a pet project of Twitter’s returned CEO, Jack Dorsey. Yet it’s a failure on several levels. I tried it in the first week and was greeted by celebrity news and cat videos. Twitter has a lot of data about me and my interests, and that’s the best its algorithms could do? Moments is also very similar to Discover, which was a bit of a flop in its own time. Why bring it back? My guess is @Jack wants Twitter to be a better environment for news and algorithmically curated content, kind of like Facebook and LinkedIn are positioning themselves to be. But people already have several ways to keep abreast of what’s happening, namely their Twitter feeds and the trending topics list.

Besides the changes to the Twitter UI, the new edition of our Twitter book also updated many examples. They range from ordinary users to celebrities, as well as small businesses, media accounts, a famous politician, and even a cat:

Sockington the cat Twitter

Many of the examples are practical—retweets, attaching photos, how to use hashtags, etc.—while others show what’s possible or interesting (trust me, @Sockington is consistently funny, and is worth following!)

As for practical “how-to-do X” Twitter tutorials, here is a short list of some of the topics that are covered:

  • Registration basics (Web and Twitter app)
  • The Twitter icons explained
  • Home timeline vs. personal timeline
  • How to customize your profile
  • Following other users
  • How to find local accounts
  • Accounts to avoid
  • Tips for writing great tweets
  • Controversial and angry tweets
  • How to delete tweets
  • Retweets and hashtags
  • Hashtag no-nos
  • Going viral
  • Shortcut keys

As the book is designed to be read in about 30 minutes, the total length is just over 16,000 words (compared to 50,000 words for a short novel). It’s written in an easy-to-understand style, with lots of screenshots (you can see a sample chapter on our blog for the Twitter book). The reader reviews for the first two editions were consistently strong, and I expect the same will be true for the new edition. Learn more about the latest edition of our Twitter tutorial on the official website, or check out the paperback and Kindle editions directly. We also have a PDF edition.

Lastly, I wanted to thank the Twitter users who agreed to our request to use their profiles in the book, including @jkrums, @sockington, @oprah, @momogoose, @RobertFischer, @Jus_Tish, @marty_walsh, @UniversalHub, @jnannapolis, @RICHi, and @estherschindler.

A new In 30 Minutes book about the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S

By | Blog, News

I’m pleased to announce the release of iPhone 6 & iPhone 6S In 30 Minutes: The unofficial guide to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S, including basic setup, easy iOS tweaks, and time-saving tips. This is a special book for i30 Media, as I will describe in the following blog post.

First things first: It’s safe to say that the four devices that make up the iPhone 6 family (and iOS 9) are the most innovative iPhone models since the iPhone 4/4S. With the new phones, Apple has moved beyond Steve Jobs’ emphasis on small and simple that defined all previous generations of the iPhone. The new phones have large screens and enable some advanced technical and UI features, such as 3D Touch and “Live Photos” in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus models as well as a more sophisticated Apple Wallet experience. Here’s a chart comparing the basic features of the iPhone 6 family:

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S comparison chart specs

However, with the additional features comes additional complexity—and that’s where iPhone 6 & iPhone 6S In 30 Minutes comes in. The learning curve for people coming from Android or older iPhone models can be steep. For people who have never used an iPhone (or owned an older model), features such as Dictation, Maps, Touch ID, 3D Touch, Apple Wallet, and various camera modes are not readily apparent unless someone sits down and explains how they work.

That’s precisely what I have set out to do in this book about the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S. Using the classic In 30 Minutes style (friendly, brief, lots of examples), I cover basic setup and then move on to hardware, touch screen gestures, Siri, and core apps such as Camera, Mail, and Maps. Topics that are particularly tricky (I’m looking at you, iCloud and Photos app!) get extra attention. I also warn people away from settings that can negatively impact the iPhone experience, such as Wi-Fi Assist. There are more topics listed here.

What’s special about this title, beyond the cool product it’s about? For one, it’s the first new hardware-specific book published by i30 Media in two years. However, I have to admit that iPhone 6 & iPhone 6S In 30 Minutes spends quite a bit of time on iOS, apps, and other software/network settings. In other words, it’s not purely about hardware.

iPhone 6 & iPhone 6S In 30 MinutesSecond, iPhone 6 & iPhone 6S In 30 Minutes is also the first new title that sports the new In 30 Minutes design. This new look has been in the works since the beginning of the year, so it’s a real relief to finally see it in the hands of readers!

Please go to the iPhone 6 & iPhone 6S In 30 Minutes website if you are interested in learning more about the book or reading some tips and sample chapters. We are offering a 25% discount to people who download the PDF version, but we also offer a paperback edition and ebooks for the Kindle, iPad/iPhone, Nook, and other devices that have e-reader software for the ePub format.

Action plans for virtual offices

By | News

There are manyVirtual Office Action Plans people who would like to start working virtually, but can’t. Why not? Perhaps they work for a company that doesn’t encourage remote work. Or, if they’re considering striking out on their own, they’ve never freelanced before or started their own business.

Today, publisher i30 Media is releasing Virtual Office Action Plans, a supplemental report to The Successful Virtual Office In 30 Minutes: Best practices, tools, and setup tips for your home office, coworking space, or mobile office. The new supplement can help employees, freelancers, entrepreneurs and businesses make the transition to virtual offices and telecommuting. The advice is particularly pertinent to current office workers who are considering telecommuting or starting a business — it’s a huge leap, and the default questions for many employees is “can I really do this?” followed by “what will my manager say?”

Action plans for managers

Speaking of managers, there is also a section of Virtual Office Action Plans devoted to managers who may have doubts about starting a program for telecommuters. Author Melanie Pinola writes:

“If you can’t trust your employees to get the job done without you looking over their shoulders or micromanaging their time, you’ve probably hired the wrong people and have got a bigger problem than figuring out how to transition to remote work.

Your ideal remote work candidates are self-motivated, take ownership of their work, are flexible and adaptive, and have excellent communication skills (especially writing skills, since that’s the main mode of communication when everyone’s in a different town). These are qualities you might already look for in any employee, on- or off-site, but even more critical to seek out in this scenario.”

You can find out more information about the supplement here.