Learn about special tools to help you at events/conferences + get handouts on e-books/self-publishing.

3 Happy Things

For writers (but really everyone) from Jane Friedman

Welcome to my brand-new newsletter.

You're receiving this newsletter because you signed up within the past few days, or you signed up for my Publishing Passion Google Group (started in 2009) from my personal website.

Why you should stick around.

Here's what I have planned for the short term.
  • Each newsletter shares 3 things I believe in or find insightful. (These are all my personal recommendations; I receive nothing in return for mentioning them.)
  • I'll offer details about recent/upcoming events, publications, or websites that I'm involved in.
  • I'll offer private links to handouts and presentations that you can print, download, or share.
My primary goal is to be helpful. After a few months, I may change the format, but I'll always focus on sharing things that I believe are worthwhile, particularly for creative people. Feel free to send suggestions/feedback any time.

Now, onto 3 happy things! Today's theme is Events, Conferences, and Presentations.

1. SlideRocket

When registering for South by Southwest 2011, I found out about SlideRocket. It's the favored presentation tool at SXSW, so I signed up for a free trial and gave it a test run.

It was a holy-smokes moment.

I am still in awe of what this Web-based program can do. It's everything PowerPoint is supposed to be, but isn't. If you've ever despised PowerPoint (who hasn't?), then you will LOVE SlideRocket. Here's why.
  • It is super-easy to add images (especially background images) and embed video. There are also interactive widgets that bring life to your slides, e.g., a running Twitter stream.
  • You can collaborate with others on a presentation project, and create links to share the presentation with the public.
  • You can create a "slide library," which is especially helpful for those with dozens of presentations with recurring information.
  • Analytics are available. (E.g., for public presentations, you can tell how long people spent viewing a particular slide.)
This is just the tip of the iceberg. SlideRocket is a service that you have to pay for if you want to reap the full benefits, but for anyone who gives frequent presentations on the road, it's an indispensable tool that makes life happier.

2. Steve Jobs' Presentation Secrets

Yes, I belong to the Cult of Apple, and am inspired by Steve Jobs. If you're still creating presentations loaded with text, it may be time to lighten up. Here's a glimpse at why, in an article that identifies 5 keys—plus a sixth bonus insight—to every presentation that Jobs delivers.
I also recommend picking up the book Presentation Zen, or subscribing to the Presentation Zen blog. It will change how you deliver presentations overnight.

3. How to Super Power Your Conference Blogging

I've had the following article bookmarked since last August, because it's such a rich step-by-step tutorial on how to make a real difference in blogging about an event or conference. It may be too technical for some to follow, but even so, there are immensely valuable tips in it.
If ReadWriteWeb's instructions are too high-powered for you, then try Dan Blank's straightforward advice that works for techies and non-techies alike: "How to Extend the Value of In-Person Events With Social Media."

Bonus: Where to Find Inspiring Talks

Just in case you don't know where to find the absolute best presentations and talks (online), here you go!

News From Jane

Here's what's happening in my neck of the woods:

Helpful Downloads

I've made the following handouts available through Google Docs. I only share these links in my newsletter.
  • E-Book Resources. This handout describes the major services available for publishing/distributing your e-book (on your own), as well as what formats each service uses. I also provide links to helpful blog posts that offer in-depth information on formatting, conversion, and other factors critical to success.
  • Self-Pub Quiz. If you're thinking about self-publishing, this handout quizzes you to determine how much money you should invest in it, or which publishing path to choose.

Thank You!

If you enjoyed this newsletter, the best thing you can do is share it with others. Thanks for sticking around!
Copyright © 2011 Jane Friedman, All rights reserved.
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