If creating your own books and eBooks excites you, then I’ve two good news for you: Affinity Publisher costs $28 now, and there is a three-part eLearning course available for you to learn how to use it.
Affinity Publisher is Serif’s alternative to InDesign. I wrote here at ProVideo Coalition, back in August 2018, that it was an affordable alternative to Adobe InDesign, and back in June 14, as the app was launched, I repeated myself, stating it like this: Affinity Publisher is coming: an affordable desktop publishing app. The app is now even more affordable, as Serif has reduced its price 50% as the company’s way to help creatives during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In fact, Affinity Publisher is also available to test for three months, completely free, as Serif renewed the promotion it launched last year, when the pandemic changed the world. Now, if you’re a photographer who likes to create eBooks or books, the DTP app is a must-buy, but Affinity Publisher has many more uses and I believe any professional, including videographers, who needs to create booklets, brochures, single page ads or any other promotional material should invest in such a tool.
Coming from InDesign, it was easy to get the grasp of Affinity Publisher, and I shared with ProVideo Coalition readers an early example of what can be achieved with the app. Serif’s Affinity Publisher is now part of a whole suite of tools that includes Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer, that work together to make your workflow easier, if you want to.
Even on its own, Publisher is a great solution for anyone who wants an app that comes with no strings attached: it’s a perpetual license and you don’t need to pay any monthly subscription. One more key fact: it was just updated to version 1.9, which as all previous updates of any of Serif’s apps, is free. I am willing to pay a full license price when Serif announces that version 2.0 is available, but anyone who doesn’t need or want to upgrade will find all the tools needed for a professional work in the actual version.
Where do I start?
Now, the question that some people ask when faced with the idea of using one app like Affinity Publisher is one: where do I start? Yes, there are multiple videos online, and serif even has a book that explains the app, but what some people really need or prefer is a guide, a teacher, a coach, someone that can make the first steps easier. That’s where the three-part one-to-one eLearning course now offered by photographer Niall Benvie comes in. The course, says Niall Benvie, “prepares you to create your own PDF eBooks as well as promotions. We think this is an essential skill to help distinguish your offer as a photographer… but there is a bit more to it than that.”
Why create eBooks, you may ask? Well, Niall Benvie will give you one more reason if you’ve not thought about it. The photographer says “Many of us who were reliant on income from workshops, tours and Retreats before the pandemic have been left squirming like worms on a hook, trying to get traction in some other income stream. And from our experience – we’ve produced three in the last 9 months – eBooks turn a profit, so long as you create, publish and sell them yourself.”
Benvie says that “With a margin on our titles of between £7.50 and £9 per copy (after VAT) they are worth putting some time into” and adds that “outside North America, photography eBooks have never really flown, I believe, because there are just not enough being produced to a high standard. So, rather than thinking more of us selling eBooks is just more competition, think instead that the more folks produce good eBooks, the more interest is created in everyone’s products, especially if a hub can be created for their promotion and distribution. We haven’t yet reached that critical mass. But that’s another conversation.”
A clear suggestion that authors should probably unite and find ways to share their content seems to be in the works but right now let’s just outline the content of Niall Benvie’s course. The photographer says that “whether you want to produce eBooks or simply brochures and fliers that, well, fly, we work together to get you to the stage with Affinity Publisher that you are producing material that looks as professional as your photography.”
Browse through Niall Benvie’s work
Professional work demands professional presentation, and that’s what the course delivers. In it participants learn PDF creation for promotions and eBooks with Niall Benvie. It’s not just understanding the mechanics of the app, though, the whole course goes from the concept of the book or eBook, and tries to get participants to answer some key questions – what is the eBook about? Who is it for? Why should they buy it? – before moving to the creation of the document and another series of questions regarding the final destination – web or print? – along with notions of typography, integration with other Affinity apps and many other aspects related to desktop publishing.
If you’ve any doubts about Niall Benvie’s ability to guide you through these steps, quickly browse through his website, where a variety of eBooks he created show the photographer’s understanding of the medium. I for one enjoy watching the layouts – and eBooks – created by Niall Benvie, something I’ve shared before here at ProVideo Coalition.
Niall Benvie says: “I come at this from a photographer’s perspective and make no assumptions about your knowledge of design, typography or layout. This three-part eLearning course, run as 1.5-hour lessons delivered a week apart over Zoom, results in a finished document that we have worked on together. I provide you with the knowledge to create your own projects in future.”
As a final note, the photographer added: “We use Affinity Publisher, (no subscription) which is currently available with a 50% discount for just €28! Publisher is rapidly establishing itself as the alternative to Adobe’s industry standard DTP application, InDesign.”