Friday, 8 January 2010

CC director Ali Muirden reflects on the year just gone...

I know this is the time of the year when we’re all supposed to be looking forward to what the new year holds in store for us- but instead I thought I would do one of those “Reviews of 2009” in miniature ( I wonder if Channel 4 will be desperate enough to put it on the telly?)

I always transfer last year’s diary of out my filofax (I know it’s an 80s yuppie throwback, but I like it!) at this time of year and flicking through the pages from last year help to remind me of anything of note that happened!


Early in January, Lorelei and I met up with Alison Norrington and signed her up to write the Pulling Power titles for us over a fun drink and chat in Covent Garden. We also signed up with Tribeka to sell our books in “on demand CD format” via their fast growing network of retailers, a trip to the vet for Shortround was squeezed in (where I got a telling off for letting her eat so much and she was put on a strict - ha! - diet for the rest of the year. To date she has lost about half a pound!). We recorded Business Etiquette - India and we also signed up to sell our titles on pre-loaded MP3 players with Playaway.


Highlights this month included recording the Q&A for Top Tips for Wannabe CEOs with Richard Charkin which Lorelei spent hours patiently transcribing to use as a template for our recording script. The fantastically talented Steven Pacey eventually stood in for “Richard” with Lorelei re-enacting her interviewer role once more in the recording studio. I produced “Magic Flutes” by the wonderful writer Eva Ibbotson for Macmillan (in my other role as freelance audio consultant!) and we met up with everyone at Audible in Chiswick to talk them through our publishing plans for 2009.


We met up with Go Spoken to talk through our 2009 programme, I produced “A Song for Summer” by Eva Ibbotson (if you’ve not had the pleasure of reading her books buy one now!) met up with Sara Lloyd in Gran Sasso, Kings Cross to sign her up to write “The Baby Juggler”, popped down to Chippenham to talk through the eBook conversion project with CPI Rowe, started discussions with the PA to help them to set up a seminar on doing business in India with Mike Barnard in the chair, recorded Top Tips in Wardour Street with Steven and Lorelei and then I snuck in a short trip to Wales to recover!


This month we recorded “Blogging for Business” read by the peerless Lorelei, attended the London Bookfair to meet up with Overdrive, Gardners, Lightning Source and attend various seminars, contracted Lucy McCarraher and Annabel Shaw to write “A Simpler Life”, flew to New York to visit Audible in New Jersey, E Music and various other E-retailers and drink some champagne… in a FLUTE!


Sorted out a deal with Iamplify in New York to sell our titles, attended a course on E Publishing, produced “A Company of Swans” by Eva Ibbotson (read by the stupendously talented Adjoa Andoh) and recorded A Simpler Life with the equally brilliant Lorelei in Wardour St! Ooh! And the Gas Man came on 29th to check the boiler! It’s all glamour in my life!


Did my tax return for the first time as a freelancer! Thank goodness for Jack Sugarman, our accountant!

Then went on holiday to France for two weeks, the highlight of which was going to Richard Charkin’s birthday party at his lovely house near Toulouse and the lowlight of which was spending £11.50 on two bowls of chips in St Tropez… bloomin’ euro! We squeezed in recording Improve Your Speech - American English for Chinese Speakers with lovely Mark Caven at the end of the month while he was over here from Toronto.



Produced “Even Money” by Dick Francis for Macmillan Audio with the giant of audio Martin Jarvis reading. Went on a course all about Search Engine Optimisation tactics (more interesting than it sounds, believe me!) recorded a pod cast with Lucy McCarraher with Lorelei, produced “Blaze of Obscurity” written and read by Clive James who is such a clever writer… it was a total pleasure from start to finish!


Produced “The Queen Mother” audio with William Shawcross for Macmillan. Everyone else went on holiday!


Attended the PA’s seminar on doing business in India. Mike B was brilliant. So relaxed but in control… a tricky thing to pull off. Produced “The Morning Gift” by Eva Ibbotson for Macmillan. Took Shortround to the vet and got a ticking off because she hadn’t lost any more weight! Oh dear!


Recorded Pulling Power with lovely Caroline Lennon, met up with Lynne and Jeff from Crème de la Crime and we signed a deal to publish their fabulous crime novels in eBook format with them. Very exciting!


Went to the Houses of Parliament for a drinks reception with my “Chair of the APA” hat on, attended another SEO course (for PR this time! Hugely interesting) and as a result met up with Jeremy Spiller of White Hat Media who is going to write a book for us, and signed a deal to sell our eBooks via Amazon - very very exciting!


Attended the “Business Asia Conference” in London, produced an audio for Random House by Jeremy Hardy called “My Family and Other Strangers”. He was lovely to work with and the book is very sweet and funny. Recorded a pod cast with Sara Lloyd for her Babyjuggler book and then rounded the year off brilliantly by recording it with Adjoa Andoh who is just wonderful. Even better, so is the book!! - AM

We'd love to know: How was your 2009?


  1. You did miss out the holiday in Pembrokeshire in September, it wasn't all work (although you did use your blackberry morning, noon and night (when we had a signal) to stay in touch with the "real world")!! lol

    ps, love the Pulling Power for Guys audiobook, that Caroline has a lovely accent and it's so easy to listen to in the office without any of your colleagues spotting what you're doing!

  2. Holiday in France....what a luck . I wish I could be there once in my life.