Crystalynn Shelton is the author of Mastering QuickBooks 2021, we got the chance to sit down with her and find out more about her experience of writing with Packt.
Q: What is/are your specialist tech area(s)?
Crystalynn: Accounting software, QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online
Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?
Crystalynn: A representative at Packt reached out to me on LinkedIn about writing this book. It was the perfect project for me because I have taught small business owners and bookkeepers how to use QuickBooks for the last decade. I enjoy teaching people how to manage their business finances because it gives them the confidence that they need to do it on their own.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Crystalynn: I know QuickBooks like the back of my hand because I’ve been using it for many years now. Therefore, the research that I had to do really centered around becoming familiar with the new features and improvements made to the software. Updates are made to QuickBooks Online about every 6-8 weeks so there are constant new features or updates to the user interface that I need to be aware of.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Crystalynn: I think like most writers there is always the issue of time. I have a full-time job as a Content Strategist and I teach part-time at UCLA Extension. Therefore, I have to manage my time very wisely. The key for me is to write everyday so that I can maintain a rhythm.
Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Crystalynn: Accounting software like QuickBooks is getting better everyday. With the incorporation of Artificial Intelligence and the ability to connect bank and credit card accounts to the software it reduces the manual and intensive labor that was once required to enter information into the program.
Q. Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?
Crystalynn: Mastering QuickBooks 2021 is different from other books on the market because it was written with the assumption that the person who would be using the book does not have an accounting or bookkeeping background. We use simple language and multiple screenshots to demonstrate the key concepts taught.
Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?
Crystalynn: I want readers to gain confidence that they can do their own books and don’t necessarily have to hire a bookkeeper. However, if they decide to have someone else manage their books they should still have a good understanding of what that person is doing. Business owners should not be in the dark about the financial status of their business. The more they know, the better decisions they will make.
Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Crystalynn: My advice is that you be patient with yourself because it will take time to gain a good understanding of any technology that is new to you. Also, find as many resources as you can about the technology. Videos, books, blogs, and online classes are great resources and many of them are free!
Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?
Crystalynn: I don’t have a blog at this time but I am working on it!
Q. Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?
Crystalynn: I recommend that you check out You Tube, Intuit.com, and fitsmallbusiness.com. All of these have articles and videos that will help you learn how to use QuickBooks.
Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Crystalynn: My author journey with Packt has been absolutely terrific! At first, I was a bit unsure because you never know if something is going to be legitimate when the first interaction is via social media. However, I asked a lot of questions which they answered and they have held up their end of every contract I have signed. It has truly been a great partnership and I recommend aspiring authors to give Packt a shot! I don’t think they will be disappointed.
Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?
Crystalynn: The tech community groups I belong to are private FB groups.
Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?
Crystalynn: I subscribe to all of the Intuit blogs as well as a few of my colleagues who have blogs.
Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?
Crystalynn: I completed an outline for the book first and then we determined on a deadline by chapter. Packt is very flexible when you are not able to meet a deadline due to unforeseen issues. I kept them informed and we would readjust the dates. My one basic rule of thumb as I mentioned earlier is to write everyday. If you go too long without writing it’s like starting over each time. Therefore, I recommend setting aside an hour or 90 minutes to write. It may require that you have to get up earlier in the morning or go to bed later but it it is a short term sacrifice for long term gain.
Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?
Crystalynn: Carve out time in your schedule to write EVERYDAY. Even if you are only able to jot down ideas and thoughts it is best to make writing a daily habit.
You can find Crystalynn’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here