Interview with Kelsey Gilbert-Kreiling

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Kelsey Gilbert-Kreiling is the author of Squarespace from Signup to Launch, 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)?

Kelsey: Web Design, Content planning, Squarespace, HTML/CSS.

Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?

Kelsey: I was surprised and delighted when Packt reached out to me about authoring a book on Squarespace’s newest platform, Squarespace 7.1 and Fluid Engine. I have a young son who was under a year at the time, so I was also very intimidated by the challenge and was actually very on the fence about doing it because I also co-own and run a web design agency. I decided to begin with writing the outline and proposal, to see how I felt about it, and found that I was really excited to see the project through. I’ve always wanted to write a book, and having worked on Squarespace for so long, it felt like a great way to use that expertise.

Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?

Kelsey: Well, I’ve been working on the platform for a little over 12 years, so it’s very infused with my day-to-day, but I definitely leaned into a period of research when preparing my outline and proposal, then when I was writing the first draft of each chapter.

Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?

Kelsey: I think my biggest challenges were related to time and a sense of “Am I the person to write this book?” I’m lucky to now join a community of brilliant creative educators in the Squarespace world, whom I admire so much. I struggled to mentally make the transition from someone who facilitates the creation of website for others to someone who writes a book about Squarespace, but I think once I remembered that the whole idea behind my company is to build sites that clients can use, edit and own, this book felt like a natural extension of that value. I also have spent a lot of early mornings and late nights making this book happen around my family life and full time career, so that was always a consideration and a challenge!

Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?

Kelsey: I’m really excited about the future of the Squarespace platform- especially as Google Domains customers become a part of the Squarespace family, I think there’s huge opportunities to grow and succeed with the platform.

Q. Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?

Kelsey: At this time, this is the only published book about Squarespace 7.1 and Fluid Engine, so while there are other fantastic foundational texts on older versions of the platform, this book covers the unique user experience of Fluid Engine in depth.

Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?

Kelsey: Anyone can build and launch a website, and readers of this book will be able to launch website they’re very proud of, knowing they’ve done the foundational work to prepare, learned from experts, and have been given unique tools to be successful.

Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?

Kelsey: Click around and find out! Don’t be too precious about things at the beginning- get your hands dirty and lean in to your sense of curiosity and exploration as you get comfortable with the tool.

Q. Can you share any blogs, websites, and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?

Kelsey: My site, kelseygk.com has lots of great links and resources to Squarespace tools.

Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?

Kelsey: I’ve said this so many times- I would never have been able to write this book without the structure and support of Packt. My editors and project manager were helpful, kind, supportive and understanding. They were able to help me stay on track while also supporting me through life’s challenges. I’m incredibly grateful and proud of what we were able to create together.

Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?

Kelsey: Yes! SuperHi and Squarespace Circle are the two I’m most active in.

Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?

Kelsey: Our agency assistant Samantha was crucial in helping me stay organized- I added all dates to my calendar and used that as my primary planning tool. I tell everyone that this book was written between the hours of 5am – 8am and 8pm – 12am because I had so much else to focus on during my normal day. My family was also incredibly supportive of time I had to take on the weekends to write. Doing this book made me realize how much I was capable of- and helped me refresh my outlook on work!

Q. What is the one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?

Kelsey: Let as many people read your work as possible- I found that honest insight from my technical readers and editors made me more confident in the work. I also really leaned in to involving my fellow developers and educators in this book – I can’t know everything, so I focused on sharing the knowledge I was best suited to write about, then brought in experts to help inform each chapter, and that approach made me feel really grateful and excited to amplify their voices.

Q. Would you like to share your social handles? If so, please share.

Kelsey: Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok

You can find Kelsey’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here

Squarespace from Signup to Launch – Available on Amazon.com