My first Lynda.com video training title went live a couple weeks ago. Right now the lessons are only available online, but a DVD will be available for sale shortly:
InCopy CS3 + InDesign CS3 Integration
If you're not a lynda.com member, you can only view the first few introductory Quicktime movies for free. Once you subscribe (as low as $30 for a month), all the videos are accessible, for my title and almost 300 other ones.
Or, you can fill out a simple web form and then log in for a free 7-day trial of everything on lynda.com:
Free Lynda.com Trial
Why I'm Excited
It's not just that it's sort of thrilling to see my name included in lynda.com's drop-down list of Search by Author, in the company of luminaries like Deke McClelland, Bert Monroy, Eric Meyer and (of course) David Blatner. Or that I may earn some royalties if enough people view my videos — that and a quarter will buy you a candy bar; InCopy is still a pretty small market.
It's that after teaching InCopy and InDesign to so many end users for the past few years, it was immensely satisfying to pull it all together in a way that I think makes the most sense for users new to the workflow. There are over eighty videos (a total of 8 hours of training), with entire "chapters" devoted to essential topics like Tracking Changes and Assignment Workflows.
Initially, I had so much content and so many techniques and tips I wanted to include — for editors, designers, and production managers — I didn't know where to start. Chris Mattia, my Lynda.com producer, spent hours helping me to whittle and finesse my massive outline to an understandable, smooth flow of information.
He was also gung-ho for an idea of mine that lynda.com had never done before: Video tutorials that switched between the Mac and Windows interfaces in single, smooth shots. I thought this would be the most realistic way to teach the workflow; since the typical scenario is that designers are on Macs using InDesign; writers are on Windows using InCopy.
Now, if you watch any of the workflow-specific tutorials, you'll see how the same layout looks to a Mac-based designer in InDesign and a Windows-based editor in InCopy, and how each person is notified of and updates the other's changes. You can't even tell we had to use two different video capture programs to make the magic happen.
Behind the Scenes at Lynda.com
These videos are not your typical YouTube things. The people at Lynda.com have two fully-outfitted professional recording studios, one on either coast. Tutorial authors are flown in, put up in a nearby hotel, paired up with an on-site video producer, and then basically held captive in a soundbooth for as long as it takes to complete the title. (Captivity is easy to take when you're in the beautiful resort town of Ojai, California, though.)
My title took a solid week. Each five-to-ten minute video took an average of 30-40 minutes to set up, rehearse, record, and re-record. And that was just for the recording itself. There were also weeks of outline and file preparation, and the weeks of "post" by the lynda.com sound and video engineers — editing all the raw captures into tight and smooth video tutorials.
Knowing all the work that goes into a single title, I'm so impressed that Lynda.com has hundreds more, and are releasing new ones seemingly every week. (The latest lynda.com email in my InBox announced *four* new titles.)
If you need to get up to speed on any of the new Adobe CS3 programs, Microsoft's just-released Expression Design, or even the new-to-you QuarkXPress 7, Lynda.com has you covered. (Plug for my bud: Be sure to check out David Blatner's InDesign CS3 Essentials title, it's great!) They have an impressive collection of non-software-specific titles too, topics like Search Engine Optimization, Podcasting, and Font Management (8.75 hours! oy!).