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Video: Improving the Design of Your Newspaper Pages

75 Minutes   $69

A 75-minute class that can make a huge difference in the way readers look at your paper

One of the consistent themes in the post-pandemic (we hope it’s almost “post) newspaper is improving design. Community newspapers are bucking the trend of metro papers and investing in growing readership, which in turn grows advertising revenue. A key element of growing readership is making the design of your paper more reader-friendly, drawing the reader rather than turning the reader away.

In this session, Kevin will cover these topics and more:

  • New design styles vs. Old design styles
  • Clean is in! Creating cleaner pages
  • Using up-to-date fonts. Getting rid of outdated fonts
  • Creating styles for your new design
  • Photo and story placement on the page
  • Elements that carry from page to page
  • Proper (and improper) use of color on pages

Bring two pens. You’ll need them!

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Video: InDesign Zero to Hero. The Basics and More

120 Minutes     $89

Nothing slows an editorial or design workflow like having to use an application without expert training. Whether you’re a relative newcomer to Indesign, or just feel like you never received the training you need to fully utilize the application, this special two-hour class is for you!

Kevin Slimp has been teaching Adobe InDesign as long as it’s been on the market. Working with the InDesign team while the application was being developed, Kevin trained a group of 98 newspaper designers in Phoenix, Arizona the week InDesign hit the shelves. In the 20 years since, he has come to be known as the guru of InDesign training, and newspaper users will find his training especially beneficial.

Just like the title says, in this session Kevin will teach the basics … and much more! Bring three pens. You’re going to need them! New users will be designing ads and pages right away after watching this class., and experienced users will pick up loads of new InDesign skills!

VIDEO: Kevin Slimp: Become a Photoshop Guru 2 Hours of Photoshop!

$99  $79    Get 120 minutes of Photoshop from the guru himself!

This is more than just a simple class of tips in Photoshop. You’ll learn how to make sure your reds are red and your blues are blue. You’ll learn to use tools you’ve always wondered about. Kevin will teach you to make those pics pop right off the page! You’ll learn to use those layers. You’ll learn how to include information in photos that appear on the page in InDesign. You’ll learn the best way to save photos in CYMK, RGB, Grayscale and for the web with the click of one button. You’ll learn how to make transparent backgrounds that work. You’ll learn how to get the BEST reproduction in print from your photos. You’ll learn how to set up your default color settings. You’ll learn how to create, and use, patterns.


Hold on to your seats! This is going to be one incredible class, filled with information that will take you from wherever you are to “Photo Editing Guru” status in 120 minutes!
Nobody is more respected in the publishing world as a Photoshop and photo editing guru for design professionals than Kevin Slimp. He’s been training classes and auditoriums filled with newspaper designers and photographers for 25 years.
Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from the best. 120 minutes. Bring two pens. You’ll be glad you did.
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Video Training: Kevin Slimp – Advanced InDesign: Captions, Scripts & Nested Styles

75 minutes $59

When Kevin held this webinar in 2019, attendees wrote in during the webinar with comments like “Wow!” “This is Incredible” and “You are the Bomb!”

During this session attendees will learn how to create captions in Photoshop that will appear as cutlines beneath photos in InDesign. Nested styles will be created so the text will appear in different styles within the same cutline and it will all be tied together using a script included with InDesign to lay out the page grid and place the photos.

In addition, Kevin will teach attendees how to create and edit tables in InDesign, fill text with a photo and use Find/Edit to edit the format of text throughout a document.

You will say, “Wow!” while watching this training video.

Click Here to Register

Video: Kevin Slimp – Earn Significant Revenue Publishing Books: What you need to know to begin right away

Part 1: 75 Minutes.   $59
In the book industry, publishing books for a fee from authors is referred to as “assisted publishing.” And let’s face it, during the COVID-19 crisis, there are a lot of would-be authors polishing their manuscripts and looking for a way to publish their books. Now you can come to their rescue.
Kevin Slimp knows a lot about book publishing. Since 2017, he has been publisher at Market Square Books, representing dozens of best-selling authors and publishing several best-selling books. Heck, he even authored a #1 best seller in 2019 (Where Do We Go From Here?).
While racking his brain to think of ways newspaper could bring in added revenue during the COVID-19 crisis, it dawned on Kevin that newspapers already have everything necessary to publish vanity books.
Do you have InDesign or Quark?   Check
Do you have Photoshop?    Check
Do you have a copyeditor?    Check
If you answered yes to all three questions, you have everything you need to begin a book publishing business.
In the first of two webinars for newspapers who want to begin publishing books for local writers, and making thousands of dollars in profit in the process, Kevin will explain the ins and outs of the process.
Where do we begin?
What do we need?
Who will do what?
How much do we charge?
Who will print our books?
Where will they sell?
How can we make money from publishing and selling the books?
In the second webinar, which should be watched after this video, Kevin will cover the technical aspects of designing and printing books. He’ll even cover details you will need to know to begin designing, editing and printing books right away.
Bring your staff and multiple pens. You will need them.


Video: Getting People to Pick Up Your Paper in 2020!

SAVE $30!   $69    $49

Brand New Version for 2020!

Join Kevin for a brand new version of “Getting People to Pick Up Your Paper!”
Kevin’s 2018 webinar, “Getting People to Pick Up Your Paper, is the most attended webinar in our history, with hundreds of newspapers participating! Now you can watch a recording of the webinar from late June 2020.
Don’t miss out as the “News Guru” discusses new research, information from recent focus groups, insights and more related to getting people to pick up your paper.
Kevin will even discuss topics like ad & page design and content.
Bring two pens! Do not miss this opportunity to learn from the best.


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Video: Ryan Dohrn – 50 Winning Newspaper Revenue Ideas

55 minutes       $49

Recorded 2019

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn of 50 revenue generating ideas from the hottest name in newspaper sales training! Watch the clock as Ryan ticks off winning idea after winning idea.

Bring two pens. You’ll need them!

Video will begin playing or download as soon as you make your payment
Click here to register for Ryan’s webinar
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Video Training: Ryan Dohrn – 10 Ways to Exceed Your Sales Goals

 50 minutes: $49

25-year media sales/marketing veteran, Ryan Dohrn  has trained and coached over 4,000 sales professionals.
In this webinar, Ryan will share his best tips on how to exceed your sales goals this year.  From time management and goal-setting to better client communication strategies, this is a must-attend webinar if you want to blow up your sales numbers.

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This story is about hamburgers. Nothing else, just hamburgers.

This story is about hamburgers. Nothing else, just hamburgers. If you think it’s about something other than hamburgers, you are mistaken. This story is simply about hamburgers.

I am an honest-to-goodness stockholder in McDonald’s Corporation (MCD on the New York Stock Exchange). Yes, that’s right, the hamburger guys.

Because I’m a stockholder, I get things like annual reports, proxy statements, and I get to vote at stockholders meetings (although that generally takes place online). I even get letters from CEO and President Steve Easterbrook from time to time.

The rest of this story is fiction. Remember, it’s about hamburgers. Nothing else.

Let’s pretend for a moment I received my quarterly report and learned stocks had plummeted significantly. Further in the report, it was explained the reason for the decline was due to a drop in demand for hamburgers.

Shareholders had previously been told to expect a nice profit. So like many I was surprised to see a loss. The report went on to explain current research indicates college students and others in the 18-24 age range prefer sushi over hamburgers, thus resulting in an unexpected decline in the sale of the company’s staple product.

Wanting to see for myself, I dropped by a local McDonald’s and made my way to the counter. From the looks of the place, there really had been a downturn in demand. There was only one other customer in the store, and I had to wait for someone to come from the back to take my order.

“Looks like a quiet day,” I said.


“Today is actually kind of busy,” the teenager behind the counter responded.

I guess I must have missed the crowd, although it was 12:20, the peak of the lunch rush hour.

“I’ll have a Number One,” I blurted.

“OK,” he said. “That’s a McMaki with McMiso soup. Would you like hot tea or water?”

“Wait,” I responded. “I thought Number One was a Big Mac with fries.”

“Oh, we don’t sell Big Macs anymore,” he told me.

“OK, I’ll take a Quarter Pounder,” I told him.

“We don’t have those, either,” he said. “We took burgers off our menu a while back.”

“Why would you take burgers off the menu?” I asked. “McDonald’s is a burger restaurant.”

He got quiet for a moment, then looked at me like I was a child asking where puppies come from.

“Studies indicate 18-24 year-olds prefer sushi over hamburgers. Sushi is quickly becoming the favorite fast food of Millennials.”

“But most people ar

en’t Millenials,” I shot back.

“For decades, McDonald’s has delivered award-winning hamburgers throughout the world,” the young man told me. “We now recognize that we must transform even faster to meet the ever-changing demands of patrons in the Millenial world.”

“But the place is empty,” I told


“Yes, but we anticipate a significant upswing in the number of customers who order online,” he answered smugly.  “It’s just a matter of time. We are creating synergy, utilizing the power of the Internet to transition to a more productive structure, maximizing streamlined resources and a reduced workforce which will result in record profits.”

I admit, I was lost. Up until this quarter, I always made money on my McDonald’s stock. Now, as a result of dropping burgers from the menu, I’m seeing a significant loss for the first time.

“You may still order a burger,” said the young man, obviously noticing my dismay. “But you have to order a ‘Package Meal.’”

“What comes with that?” I asked.

“Six types of sushi, rice, soup, daikon and tea.” He paused, then continued, “Oh, and a hamburger.”

“Can’t I just order the hamburger?” I asked.

“No, we don’t sell hamburgers alone. They only come in packages.”

I was totally confused.

“Trust me,” he added. “You’ll be very full by the time you eat that. Much more full than if you ate a burger alone.”

“Can I speak with your manager?” I asked.

“We don’t have a manager any more,” he told me. “We have a regional manager in Ohio. I don’t think you can talk to her.”

He just didn’t get it. I didn’t want sushi and a burger. I only wanted a burger. Finally, in despair, I headed over to Burger King to get some red meat.

“I’m sorry,” answered the teenager at the counter. “We don’t sell hamburgers since we were purchased by McDonald’s.”

I sighed.

“You can, however, get a hamburger as part of our “Package Meal,” she added.

I guess the CEO of McDonald’s was right. Nobody is eating hamburgers any more. I stopped by Wendy’s. Same result. They had McMaki, but no burgers. Before walking away, I noticed the small golden arch on the employee’s shirt pocket.

Last week, I traveled to visit my brother-in-law in a small town in Georgia. He took me by a local cafe, and I was surprised to see hamburgers on the menu.

“Why wouldn’t hamburgers be on the menu?” he asked.

“Because nobody eats them any more,” I told him. “Everybody eats sushi.”

He laughed and ordered burgers for both of us. Wow, mine was good.

My brother-in-law introduced me to the owner on the way out. I asked him why he still had hamburgers on the menu.

“Why wouldn’t I?” he asked. “They’re my best seller.”

I was confused. As I drove home from Georgia, I noticed small-town restaurants along the road, and most of them had burgers on their signs. Didn’t they know?

Just 30 miles from my home in Knoxville, I stopped in Sweetwater, Tennessee, and had a burger at a local place. I spoke with the owner and told him about the burger situation in the big cities and suggested he might want to think about replacing burgers with sushi on his menu.

“But people love burgers around here. Why would I do that?” he asked.

I put on my best professor face. “Research indicates that Millenials prefer sushi over hamburgers,” I told him.

“Who did the research?” he asked. “No one asked me.”

His place was getting busy, and I said goodbye so he could take orders. I felt sorry for him. He had no idea how outdated his burger place had become.

None of this has taken place yet. I looked at my McDonald’s stock just now, and it’s up $2 so far today. I guess the burger thing is working right now.

Research does indicate, however, that 18-24 year-olds really like sushi. So I suppose it’s just a matter of time before I won’t be able to get a burger anymore.

Remember, this story is about hamburgers. Nothing else. Just hamburgers.

Know When to Fold ‘Em: When does outdated software & hardware become a financial burden?

boxeswideWhile in Minnesota last week, I had an assignment similar to assignments I’ve had many times during the past 20 years: to spend a day with a small community newspaper group, meet with the management and staff individually, then propose two optional plans with the same goal in mind.

The goal was to improve the editorial and production workflow, thereby improving the quality of the publication and efficiency of the operation. Sounds simple enough, and having completed similar assignments hundreds of times before, I felt up to the task.

Every newspaper is different, so I keep their particular needs in mind when offering advice. This group is in a process that many of us find ourselves in: determining whether to tweak the current workflow using the tools available, or to upgrade hardware and software throughout the organization to achieve monumental jumps in efficiency.

I understand the dilemma. Having owned several publications in the past, plus a couple of companies right now, I know what it’s like to make upfront expenditures in order to see longterm gains.

Perhaps you are in the same dilemma. Should I purchase new hardware and upgrade software at the same time, or will everything be OK if we upgrade software on our current machines? Would my staff be more efficient with training or is it a waste of time? If I train them too much, will they run off an
d find a higher paying job somewhere else?

The questions go on. What about camera raw? Will it improve my product or just slow down my workflow? Am I spending enough time on my digital products or am I possibly spending too much time on them?

Speaking of staff, do I have too many or too few? Are they organized in the most efficient manner? Should we create our website in-house or use an outside vendor? The questions could go on forever. It’s enough to bring on a panic attack.

Don’t panic. Let me suggest a few things to think about when faced with similar questions. Let us consider hardware and software today and I will discuss other issues in upcoming columns.

Q. Is my hardware too old? Is it all going to come crashing down?

A. Hardware is a delicate issue. One of the quickest ways to improve efficiency is to improve the tools we use. Why do you think Amazon is always investing in new robots and distribution methods? However, hardware isn’t cheap and no one wants to waste money.

I would suggeswebshortt newspapers look over their current hardware and ask a few questions. How old are my computers? If you are working on machines more than six years old, chances are they are getting pretty slow and produce all kinds of delays. I’ve noticed six years is kind of a magic point for computers. Yes, Macs can last forever, but like anything else they slow down in time. And Windows-based machines slow down more quickly than Macs. It’s just a fact of life.

I have four computers I primarily use in my work. One is an eight-year-old iMac. It still works and is fine for word processing and less intensive processes. But, I notice lately that it even slows down during simple tasks like checking email. I wouldn’t dare waste my time trying to crank out pages on that computer. Sure I could do it, but it would take three times as long as creating the same pages on my two-year old iMac.

Q. What can I do to get the most of my current hardware?

A. If hardware is slowing down your workflow but new computers aren’t in the budget, one of the easiest ways to get more from your machine is to maximize its RAM memory. RAM isn’t expensive these days and I’ve seen machines double or even triple in speed by upgrading their current RAM to higher levels. Most computers can hold 8 to 16 gb of RAM. Check to see how much your machines currently have and how much they can hold, and make an investment (usually under $100) to maximize the memory in each machine.
Q. Is my software too old? Do I really need to pay a monthly fee to keep from falling too far behind?

A. Maybe, maybe not. Approximately a third of the newspapers I visit are using the most recent design software. If you’re an Adobe user, that means the Creative Cloud version, which requires a monthly subscription.

Does this mean you’re behind the curve if you have older software? Again, maybe or maybe not. I don’t work for Adobe or Quark, so I have no reason to mislead you.

You don’t have to have the latest version of InDesign or Quark to be efficient. I have three versions of Adobe’s software on the machine I’m using right now: CS5, CS6 and CC. I’ve noticed no big difference in speed between CS6 and CC. That’s also the case on other machines I use. So if your staff is using CS6 software, speed probably isn’t an issue. If it is, you should check the RAM memory, as mentioned earlier. You may want to upgrade to Creative Cloud for other reasons but speed probably isn’t one of them.

You might even be OK with Adobe CS5 or 5.5. If things seem to be moving along nicely and you are getting your ads and pages out in a timely manner, you might be safe for now. I wouldn’t plan to use CS5 for several more years, but your operation won’t come crashing down in the near future duecomputerswide to software issues.

However, if you are using really old software like CS or CS2 (even CS3), your days are numbered. One day in the not-to-distant future you might walk in to learn no one can get their pages out. Even if that weren’t a possibility – and it is –  it’s taking at least twice as long as it should to get your product out the door using old software. CS3 was released just under ten years ago. Not many of us are driving the same cars we were in 2007. And if we are (I’ve had mine five years), we’re probably thinking about upgrading to a newer model.

It’s interesting we often update our cars before updating the things that provide our financial security. We forget that time is money. If it takes twice as long to get an issue designed due to old software and computers, the amount of time it would take to recoup the cost of new equipment is minimal.

As I tell my clients, I’ll be home in a couple of days. So do what you think is best. But if it were my decision, I wouldn’t wait too long before upgrading any older software and hardware.