Although sales of professional computer books continue to slump, sales of books aimed at the general consumer have grown. To tap into that market, McGraw-Hill/Osborne has launched QuickSteps, a series of basic reference and beginner computer titles. Described as "recipe books for computer users," the books will focus on specific sets of steps needed to accomplish a particular task.

The first three titles in the line, Windows XP QuickSteps, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003 and Microsoft Office Excel 2003 QuickSteps, have just been released. All are priced at $9.99 and had a first printing of 15,000 copies each. Six more titles are scheduled for next month and Osborne will evaluate how sales are doing before adding to the line, a spokesperson said. Upcoming titles include eBay QuickSteps and Mac OS X QuickSteps.