Affinity 2.0

First, quick note, IngramSpark is sending me replacements of those books that shipped to the wrong address. The response I received about my shipping choice appears to have been related to my issue with their printing speed. That, of course, makes no sense, but someone else responded on the shipping issue today.

So a full month after “express” printing my copies I may see them sometime this week. So I deleted my last post. I am tired of being annoyed by bad customer service everywhere.

Now on to the topic of this post, Affinity 2.0.

As you may know, I’ve written some books about Affinity Publisher. And, of course, because I have impeccable timing, shortly after I published those books and their related video courses, Affinity came out with a new version of their software, Affinity 2.0.

I went ahead and bought it when they released it because I wanted to support them and value their product, but I was not going to deal with learning a new version of a software in December when I was trying to finalize nine books with hundreds of images.

And good thing. Because it threw me for a bit of a loop when I finally downloaded it today.

They committed what I personally consider the cardinal sin. They moved things around.

I went to recreate my studio presets because they didn’t transfer over and…studios weren’t there anymore. I found them, though, under the Window tab.

And then, not all of my studios were listed. That’s because they decided to use secondary dropdowns for some of the studios I use such as Fields, Index, Table of Contents, Character, Paragraph, Text Styles, and the Glyph Browser studios.

And then, horror of horrors, they also moved the Resource Manager which is what I prefer to use when swapping out images.

It is also now under the Window tab.

And there’s some weird error message now in Preflight for my print interiors that says I’m using a color profile that’s unsuitable for PDF/X even though it’s the same one as before that had no error message like that.

I think it might be because I’m doing a greyscale profile. From what I can tell (?) the books generated as a PDF just fine. I tried to find an explanation of what the issue is and couldn’t. So fingers crossed it’s okay.

On a positive note, though, I absolutely frickin’ love the new Style Picker Tool. My text styles transferred over like ten versions of each one and none of them were the one I wanted in one section of my document, but I was able to just select text already formatted the way I wanted it and then just click and drag across the text I needed formatted that same way and it worked like a charm.

So, yay for that. That was one of the other reasons I chose to upgrade because I love that function in Word and was hoping for something similar here and they delivered.

Also, be warned that they’ve decided to go the Vellum, TechSmith, etc. route and make files moved to the new version of Affinity incompatible with the old version of Affinity. So looks like I will be running both versions for the foreseeable future. Joy.

Other than those issues, I don’t think I ran into anything else that didn’t work the same. I used it to format a new paperback that’s fiction, so mostly text, and to create a new print cover, but I was copying over from an existing cover so it wasn’t completely from scratch.

Which means I kicked the tires a bit, but haven’t fully taken it through all of the possible ways I would use it quite yet.

So a bit of adjustment, but I’d say the books I wrote are still 90%-95% useful. It’s just that the stuff that comes right at the start has changed and they update their icons to look different. Sigh.

Collections Are Great

I love publishing collections because the material already exists, it’s just a matter of putting it into a new package. And since some people prefer a collection over individual titles (especially on the fiction side where it’s usually called a box set even in ebook format) it reaches a new potential audience.

So, having said that…I just published the collections for the Affinity Publisher titles. The first, book formatting, combines fiction layouts and non-fiction into one title. The second, ads and covers, combines ad creatives and basic book covers.

And I published my first bright yellow cover, which was fun, too. In ebook there’s no price difference between buying the titles separate or buying the collection, but buying the print collection does add up to some savings.

Affinity Sale

I’m not sure how much longer it will last for, but Affinity has all of their products on 50% off sale right now. That includes Affinity Publisher, which, you know, I wrote a few books about using for self-publishing.

Which means you could buy Affinity Publisher for $27 right now, get the ebook of one of my books on Affinity for $5, and for under $35 be able to either format a print book, design some ads, or put together a basic cover. For under $50 you could learn to do all three.

So check it out if you’re so inclined.

Affinity Publisher Courses on Udemy

It looks like one person has already discovered this, but the Affinity Publisher courses are now available on Udemy. That means sometimes the better deal will be there when the courses are part of a promotion and sometimes the better deal will be on Teachable if you use the discount code MLH50.

They’re each about two hours long and mostly project-based except for the non-fiction one.

With the release of these courses to Udemy that means for each of the below topics you have an ebook, black and white print, color print, or video option to choose from. Description and links below each image.

Enjoy if that’s something that interests you:

Learn how to create a basic fiction layout from start to finish in Affinity Publisher.

Video Course:
Teachable, Udemy
Ebook: Amazon, Apple, Google, Kobo, Nook, Universal Link
Print Black and White: ISBN 9781637440216
Print Color: ISBN 9781637440681
Learn more advanced fiction topics like tables of contents and merging multiple documents as well as non-fiction-specific topics like indexes, inserting images into your text, and having multiple columns in a text frame.

Video Course: Teachable, Udemy
Ebook: Amazon, Apple, Google, Kobo, Nook, Universal Link
Print Black and White: ISBN 9781637440223
Print Color: ISBN 9781637440711
A project-based course that walks you through how to create two Facebook square ads, one Bookbub ad, a banner that can be used for Amazon A+ Content or a website, and how to prepare a book cover for use in an Amazon A+ Content comparison chart.

Video Course: Teachable, Udemy
Ebook: Amazon, Apple, Google, Kobo, Nook, Universal Link
Print Black and White: ISBN 9781637440285
Print Color: ISBN ISBN 9781637440698
A project-based course that walks you through how to create three different basic cover designs, one with a central image (the bulldog example above), one that is text-heavy with a side image, and three variations on having an image for the entire cover (the two other examples above). Also walks through how to take an ebook image and turn it into an Amazon KDP and IngramSpark paperback as well as an IngramSpark case laminate hard cover.

Video Course: Teachable, Udemy
Ebook: Amazon, Apple, Google, Kobo, Nook, Universal Link
Print Black and White: ISBN 9781637440292
Print Color: ISBN 9781637440704
Only available on Teachable. A video reference library related to Affinity Publisher for Fiction Layouts and Affinity Publisher for Non-Fiction. Includes short (usually under a minute) videos of one particular task or skill, such as enabling snapping. Meant to be a refresher how-to guide for those who already know how to use those skills.

Video Course: Teachable

New Affinity Video Courses

Alright, if I did things right, which, you know can sometimes be up for debate, the video courses that correspond to Affinity Publisher for Ad Creatives, Affinity Publisher for Basic Book Covers, and Affinity Publisher for Non-Fiction are now live on Teachable.

If you had previously signed up for Affinity Publisher for Fiction Layouts, check your email because you should have received a special discount code. For anyone else interested in the classes, you can use MLH50 to get 50% off of any of the courses.

I will likely be putting these courses up on other stores at some point, too, but no promises as to when. I refuse to put up videos with automated closed captioning because, wow, the things that closed captioning thinks I’m saying….not even close to what I am actually saying. It does no one any good to have the screen saying something about Islamic militants when I was talking about master pages in Affinity.

(Although it really does make me wonder what closed captioning is trained on, the words it seems to default to.)

So anyway. There will be a bit of a delay there but the courses are on Teachable and I think pretty reasonably priced for what you get. Enjoy. (And let me know if you have any issues.)

Affinity Publisher For Non-Fiction

And that particular loop (series) is closed. Yesterday I hit publish on Affinity Publisher for Non-Fiction.

This one picks up where Affinity Publisher for Fiction Layouts left off. It covers tables of contents, indexes, merging multiple documents into one, using chapter names for your headers, having multiple columns of text on the page, and working with images in the main body of your text.

Which closes that particular “open loop” because that is the last book I am writing on Affinity Publisher. Yay. One down, two to go.

Of course, it’s always interesting writing non-fiction because I learn new tricks as I write. Sometimes it’s just a matter of “I never bothered to track that answer down” and sometimes it’s a weird blind spot I had.

So, in honor of weird blind spots…

I always use the Resource Manager to swap out my images, but it turns out there is a Replace Image option in the dynamic menu at the top that you can click on when your have an image selected. Much simpler to use if you’re not worried about the DPI of the imported image.

Something to share for those who already read the prior books.

Anyway. Enjoy. It may take a few days to hit all the major stores, but it’s on its way.

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.