Video Courses and Affinity Templates

Those who’ve been around here a while may remember that at one point I had Excel for Beginners, Intermediate Excel, and the Easy Excel Essentials content (Printing, Formatting, Pivot Tables, Charts, IF Functions, and Conditional Formatting) available as video courses through Udemy.

I pulled those courses when they introduced a nonsensical tax form that I couldn’t fill out. But I still had the videos. And when I went back and looked at them this week, they were actually good.

They use the whole “I will tell you, then I will show you” approach which is not my personal favorite, but it is theoretically the best way to present information for a large audience, so that’s why I did them that way.

Anyway. I have now added those videos to the Teachable store I set up. So if you prefer to learn visually that is now an option. Use code MLH50 on Excel for Beginners or Intermediate Excel to get those half off. The individual Easy Excel Essentials courses are also available for just $15 a pop.

I expect I will add more video courses. I’ve started prep for an Excel formulas and functions course and know I definitely want to do that one to complete that series of videos, but not sure what will come next. So if there’s some topic you’d really like to see covered, now is the time to let me know. No guarantees I’ll cover it, but if it was already on the list it may move higher.

Also, when I put together the Affinity Publisher for Fiction Layouts content, I decided to put templates that people could download up on Payhip. So if you want an Affinity Publisher file that already has the master pages and text styles created that’s where you can find them. It saves some time, for sure, but you still absolutely need to know the basics of working in Affinity Publisher for a print layout to effectively use them. They’re not for an absolute novice.

Alright then. That’s it. Hope you’re all doing well.

Affinity Publisher for Fiction Layouts

I mentioned my newest project the other day and it’s now done. Affinity Publisher for Fiction Layouts is available in ebook, print, AND video.

So what is this book about? Can you guess from the title?

Basically, it walks a new user through how to use Affinity Publisher, one of the Affinity suite of products, to format a fiction title.

I actually started using Affinity Publisher for my non-fiction because I ran into an issue with using Word where the resolution of the images that exported into PDF weren’t what I wanted them to be and the only way to fix it was to use a paid Adobe product.

I’d heard a lot of buzz about Affinity so decided to give it a try and loved it.

They have great instructional videos on their website which is what I used to learn the program, but for me the videos just weren’t in the order I needed them to be. So I was 80% of the way through them before I knew that they covered everything I needed. Also, there are just certain things that are specific to self-publishing (like exporting All Pages not All Spreads) that trip new users up.

So in my latest “I don’t know what to write next” funk, I sat down and started to write up how to use Affinity Publisher for a print layout.

175 pages and 100 screenshots later, I had a book and hadn’t even touched upon how to use it for non-fiction. And then I realized I should probably do videos as well.

Sixty-plus videos later…I now have three video courses listed in addition to the books.

The video courses can all be found on Teachable. And if you use code MLH50 you can get them for 50% off.

Affinity Publisher for Fiction Layouts is the video version of the books. There are about eighteen videos and about 90 minutes of content.

Affinity Publisher Quick Takes is basically a reference library for when you’ve forgotten how to do something and need a quick one-minute refresher. That one currently has fifty videos, but most are a minute or less.

And then there’s a bundle that lets you get them both at once.

I’m new to Teachable so if you see something that looks unfinished, please let me know. There were lots of moving parts on that one.

Anyway, hope this is something someone out there can use. I know I would’ve certainly appreciated having it when I was getting started with Affinity. (Not that I would’ve bought it because I’m that do-it-yourself-as-cheap-as-you-can sort of person, but ya know.)

Knowing me there’ll probably be a non-fiction supplement at some point as well as one for basic cover and ad image design. Hard to believe that there’s still that much content left to cover, but it really is an amazing and versatile program that I’ve found invaluable over the last year.

Learning Curves Are Time Consuming

In my infinite wisdom (not), I decided to create a video course to go along with my latest book. (Upcoming, more on that probably Tuesday.)

I figured I already knew how to do this. I had the software, I had the microphone, I’d created video courses before. Should be easy enough to record, edit, and get those puppies up and done.

Except…

I decided I’d post the videos to Teachable, a platform I hadn’t used before. And I’ve moved since I last recorded videos and my current location had more sound in the background than my last one. And with video you basically have to wait the length of the video each time you export the video.

So…

I edited the video. I exported the video. I watched to the video. I made edits to the video. I exported it again.

Then I uploaded to Teachable when all the videos were ready. Except when I listened to them on that site I didn’t like the sound.

So I tried to fix them. And then exported the videos again. And uploaded them again.

But some still didn’t work. So I edited them again. And exported them again. And uploaded them again.

But I still wasn’t happy. So I did some research and decided that the best option was to actually export the sound file, edit it in a different program, reimport it into the video program, and then export again. And while I was at it I decided to make some sound adjustments to all of the audio so they’d be consistent.

So I did that. For 75 videos. About three hours of content. Which I then had to reupload. That means five exports for most of the videos, or fifteen hours of export time alone.

I now have a process. I know what I’ll do for any videos going forward. I think it works. (I hope it works, because seriously…)

But that learning curve cost me about three extra days’ worth of effort to get to that point.

And then there was a couple more hours spent figuring out all the little issues with publishing on Teachable. Like I thought I’d published the course, but it didn’t publish. And I’d done images for the course page, but not my main page. Those sorts of things.

Lots of learning and trying and figuring it out. (Which as a Learner I kind of crave in the abstract. I like to master things. It’s just the wasted time that kills me)

But hopefully I’m good now and can finally publish the book that prompted the existence of that course.

(And hopefully when I go back to those older courses I don’t hate them so much I think they need to be redone…Hopefully…)

Sigh.