First Maria’s Guides Book Now Available

I’ve rolled the dice on this crazy gamble. Let’s see where it takes me.

I’ve owned the domain name for a while now with the idea of expanding into the short, inexpensive ebooks that I know readers are hungry for. Unfortunately, until recently, I’ve lacked the time and motivation to put it all together and make it happen.

All that changed this week. With a light flying schedule and no new book or video projects on the near horizon, it seemed like a good time to take the plunge and begin developing the Maria’s Guides series.

I began with a topic I first wrote about last year: creating watchable video. I took the original articles, revised and updated them, and laid them out in a format compatible with the MagCloud print-on-demand service. I also made sure my InDesign files were ready for ebook exporting in the EPUB format so I could easily prepare the book for various ebook formats: Kindle, iBooks, Nook, etc. For help with that, I consulted the excellent course, “InDesign CS4 to EPUB Kindle and iPad,” by Anne-Marie Concepcion. (I’m still on InDesign CS4; a CS5 title is also available.)

The printed version of the book is available today, along with a special MagCould iPad app version. Use the link below to check it out and see a free preview online. The Kindle and iBooks ebook versions should appear over the next week or so. I still need to work out how to get them online using the tools available to me. I suspect I’ll be watching a few more of Anne-Marie’s videos this afternoon.

Of course, the Maria’s Guides website needs a complete overhaul. It’s seriously outdate and has broken links. That’ll likely be next week’s big project. It’s a real pleasure working on stuff like that in my new Phoenix office; the Internet speeds here are about 15x what I suffered with in Wickenburg.

I’m also looking for suggestions for new Maria’s Guides titles. What would you like to see me write about? Use the comments feature for this post to share your suggestions. Keep in mind that they don’t need to be computer related.

Making Movies: A Guide for Serious Amateurs

By Maria Langer in Maria’s Guides

64 pages, published 21 OCT 2011

Tired of turning raw video footage into ho-hum productions that make people yawn? Or, worse yet, just putting raw video out there and hoping for the best? If so, this guide is for you. It clearly explains how to research, plan, shoot, assemble, edit, and fine-tune video productions for just about any purpose. Richly illustrated with stills from an example movie, it’ll get you on the right track to making movies that’ll inform, entertain, and impr…

What do you think?