If you're new here, here's the scoop: In early July I contracted with Wiley to write TypePad For Dummies. I have years of experience with TypePad (and, come to think of it, years of experience being a dummy), so it was a great fit. The absolute icing on the cake was getting to co-author the book with my dear friend (and mucho accomplished technical writer) Melanie.
Fast forward roughly seven months (and more nights of carryout than any family could possibly be expected to endure), and Melanie and I are standing in my kitchen, jaws on the floor, a real-live book with our real-live names in our real-live hands. It was a big day.
During the process, we didn't blog many particulars about the book (mostly because we were so tied up in the crazy demands of meeting deadlines). If particulars are the type of thing that float your boat, here (finally!) is a more detailed run-down of what you can expect to find in TypePad For Dummies:
- For true beginners, our first chapter explains some basic blogging concepts and technologies (including RSS feeds, SEO, and hosting), quickly getting you up to speed so you can follow along with the rest of the book.
- An in-depth look at what TypePad is and where it came from, with a comprehensive list of features (pros and cons) that set TypePad apart from other blogging platforms. We explain the different pricing levels and tell you how you can decide which one works for you, and we walk you through the sign-up process.
- We take you item-by-item through the TypePad dashboard (you TypePad users know that it's changed significantly over the last few months, and we document the very latest changes at the time of publication). We explain how to manage your account and tell you where to go for help (hint: you don't have to go far. TypePad is known for its stellar customer service, and we tell you how to get the most out of it.)
- We tell you how to set up your blog and write a post, explaining the ins and outs of every element of your Compose Editor. We show you how to format text, insert files (video, photos, etc.), maximize your use of categories, use trackbacks, and more. We even discuss how to handle writers' block--we've all been there.
- All of Chapter 7 is devoted to the topic of comments--how to format them, how to get more, and how to not let them stress you out.
- Two whole chapters in the book are devoted entirely to blog design, from the basics (how to use standard themes) to the much more advanced (how to tweak your own CSS for a custom look).
BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE! IT SLICES AND DICES!
But the book does go on to address dozens of other TypePad-related issues, including TypeLists (one of my personal favorites of all of TypePad's features), photo albums, social media, blog monetization, importing/exporting, domain mapping, stat counters, and blog etiquette. In one of my favorite chapters of the book, we highlight ten highly-accomplished TypePad bloggers, hearing directly from them about their best blogging strategies (seriously, don't miss that chapter!)
This is all still just a sampling. Melanie and I worked so hard to give a thorough and detailed explanation of TypePad's service, going step-by-step, and keeping the technical jargon to a minimum. The book is chock-full of clear, step-by-step tutorials, the kind Melanie's famous for. We're really proud of how it turned out.
How about a giveaway? Courtesy of the kind of folks at TypePad, I'm giving away a FREE YEAR OF TYPEPAD (roughly a $145 value) and several copies of the book. To enter (I promise, it's easy) just click over here to my giveaway blog.
For those of you who have already ordered copies, and for the countless readers who dropped notes of encouragement during the daunting writing process, thank you for your encouragement! A very special thanks to the bloggers we featured in the book--there's some good stuff there:
Eat Local Challenge
Hey There's a Dead Guy In the Living Room (how much do you love that title?)
Money Saving Mom
HELLO My Name Is Heather
Build a Better Blog
To the folks at Six Apart (TypePad's parent company) who have offered support and encouragement--our hearty thanks to you as well.
Remember: comments left at this post cannot count as a contest entry--you must visit my giveaway blog to be counted (sorry for the extra click--advertising regulations, etc etc...)!