This week we take a moment to recognize a recent accomplishment of one our very own faculty members, Gayle Larson of Continuing Education.
Can you tell us about your recent accomplishment and the how the process began?
I have always been an avid reader and writer. Over the years, I created courseware for classes at the colleges that did not have appropriate books and published online articles and tips at software websites, but had not pursued book publishing until this year. What started the ball rolling was a client that wanted a Kindle eBook published from a printed book I had edited and formatted for him a few years earlier. Deciding it would be a great opportunity to see how it all worked, I walked the path; editing, formatting, cover design and the actual publishing. This turned into an amazing (and sometimes hair-pulling) journey to create my own eBooks.
A big believer in getting things done the quick and easy way, I have always taught tips and shortcuts in my classes. Realizing that everyone could benefit if they had them in one place, this spring I published “21+ Tips and Tricks: Must have Shortcuts for Microsoft Word 2013″, the first in a series directed at the Microsoft Office Suite. The second of the same title for Excel was published in October. The third, on PowerPoint, will be published soon.
How would you describe the process of getting published?
A lot of research and digging! The client eBook was a great training ground but my books were going to require more screenshots and graphics. Knowing that I wanted to start with Amazon Kindle and that it is a proprietary format, additional study was needed. There are so many surprising moving parts, but after much reformatting and testing, I had the courage to press the “Publish” button.
Why is writing personally important and necessary to your profession?
I see so many people struggling with features of software that they have to use daily, when a little targeted knowledge would help streamline a project, whether in the classroom or the boardroom. Providing solutions to the common and sometimes baffling problems of ever increasing complex applications, brings purpose and meaning to writing and teaching technology.
The purpose behind my books is to show people how to save time and frustration in the future. Many users suspect there must be a faster way to do a task but don’t have time to figure it out or maybe are not aware the six mouse clicks they have always used for a command could be done in one mouse click. People don’t know what they don’t know and I love to see the light come on!
What are some of your own favorite books?
I love a wide variety of literature; from the latest about innovative technology to historical novels, biographies, mysteries and science fiction, and even some of the classics. I belong to a book club that chooses a book every two months that spans all genres, and in the meantime I keep Amazon in business with Kindle downloads.
Do you have any other writings (journals and book articles) that others may be interested in learning more about?
The third eBook in the “21+ Tips and Tricks” series is due to be published shortly and will also be available on Amazon.
I have also contributed to editing of the Microsoft Office Suite series and the QuickBooks series courseware for Labyrinth, a major developer of printed and digital courseware that strives for clearer exercises and understanding for the student.
Being a dual-personality author, I write short stories, poetry and have a novel in the works. Now that I know death does not occur during the production process, I may publish some right-brain missives!