An Author is Born

By Carole Burns

I would love to say that my first day as an iBook Author was smooth and seamless. But that would be a lie. Truth be told, much of the day was spent reading through tutorials and layout of the Resident Einstein Equipment Guide. I find it interesting that the first step of creating a manual is to read the manual for the software I’m about to use!

I put my digital storytelling skills to work and drew out a quick storyboard to guide me along the way. I have all the content I want to use, most of it created by the Einsteins; but I still need to add the narrative (text) portion. It is funny. Ask me just about any question and I’ll give you a 2-3 minute answer. Ask me to write that same question on paper and my mind goes completely blank. Talk about test anxiety!

For the next four days, this will be my life. Building, reviewing, editing. I have to say I am fairly proud of the first few pages. This morning I took the time to place them on an iPad to preview how it will look when completed.

This led me to a new discovery. It is difficulty (even for me) to think in interactive terms. On the first page of the manual I have outlined what can be found in the text. You know what would make it really spiffy?

Hyperlinks: Wrote that down for Thursday’s task. I want to keep moving forward with what I have and I will worry about interactivity, hyperlinks and glossary items on Thursday. This will keep me moving in a linear fashion. I am, after all, a programmer at heart.

So to sum up – here is the lesson from day one:
Plan: have an idea of what it is you want to include in your text
Gather: get all photo’s, video and URLs together so you don’t have to stop your forward progress to locate them later.
Sketch: create a flow chart or storyboard of what your book will look like
Share: ask others to look over your plan and give you ideas for interactivity or confusion
Preview: probably the biggest component – be sure to keep previewing your progress. Without it I would never have thought of the hot links to different areas of my book.
Log: I am planning on using this blog to log my progress and check back for ideas I want to include in the end.

If you are near the Wakerly, stop and look in the window. I have the preview of the book up for viewing and you can watch the process first hand!

See you in the papers!

Carole J. Burns is the Director of the Wakerly Technology Training Center at Marquette University. Follow her on Twitter @burnsy1217.

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The opinions expressed here are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of Marquette University or the Diederich College of Communication.

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