Friday, 31 December 2010

Hoping It's Heaven in Twenty Eleven!

 Ali and I wish you everything wonderful for the new year!

This year has just raced by for both of us!

I've copied Ali's review of our year below, because (a) I'm lazy and (b) I can't say it any better than she did in her excellent post...

All I'll add is that we're really looking forward to 2011! 
 
We're kicking off the year with our new guided visualisation series, "DreamCatching," and the audio version of our latest business title, "The Lowdown: Dodging the Bullet - Effective Risk Communications" (available now in an eBook version). 
 
We have plans to publish more audio and eBook business, speech and self-improvement titles - and I'm especially looking forward to expanding our new Creative Crime crime fiction imprint. 
 
For those of you who may have missed it, here's Ali's review of our 2010:
 
"We’ve had a great year and are really pleased and proud of all the titles we’ve published in 2010 which have expanded the range of our publishing in many different directions.

My own personal pick of the highlights of this year would be launching the eBook range of titles with Crème de la Crime, recording with all our fabulous readers which included Adjoa Andoh, Steve Devereaux, Steven Pacey, Jamie Glover, Trevor White, David Gwillim, Maria Darling and the BBC’s World Affairs editor, John Simpson.  Of course I have to include our own wonderful Lorelei who has contributed her gorgeous voice to many of our publications!

Wearing my other “hat” as an audio producer, I have to mention what a blast it was to work with the wonderful Emma Thompson reading the audio of her book “Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang” for which she has deservedly been nominated for a Grammy! I am basking shamelessly in whatever reflected glory I can possibly claim.  

Teaming up with Osprey Publishing [link] was another highlight this year and it’s been great working in partnership with them to produce audio editions of their fantastic military fiction list.

We’ve added lots more retailers to our list of distributors this year ,which is great news and we must also give thanks for the support and encouragement we’ve had from all our retail partners for promoting our list so brilliantly.

All in all it’s been a great year and it’s onwards and upwards for 2011. - AM
 
p.s.  If you have a minute, check out or Audible page - it's so exciting to see our audio titles (and their gorgeous covers) all in one place! - LK

Photo by Horia Varlen

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from us!


Creative Content director Ali Muirden reviews 2010...

Lorelei and I would like to wish you all a really lovely Christmas and we hope you have fun, laughter and a great time whatever you happen to be doing this Christmas.

We’ve had a great year and are really pleased and proud of all the titles we’ve published in 2010 which have expanded the range of our publishing in many different directions.

My own personal pick of the highlights of this year would be launching the eBook range of titles with Crème de la Crime, recording with all our fabulous readers which included Adjoa Andoh, Steve Devereaux, Steven Pacey, Jamie Glover, Trevor White, David Gwillim, Maria Darling and the BBC’s World Affairs editor, John Simpson.  Of course I have to include our own wonderful Lorelei who has contributed her gorgeous voice to many of our publications!

Wearing my other “hat” as an audio producer, I have to mention what a blast it was to work with the wonderful Emma Thompson reading the audio of her book “Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang” for which she has deservedly been nominated for a Grammy! I am basking shamelessly in whatever reflected glory I can possibly claim.  

Teaming up with Osprey Publishing [link] was another highlight this year and it’s been great working in partnership with them to produce audio editions of their fantastic military fiction list.

We’ve added lots more retailers to our list of distributors this year ,which is great news a- nd we must also give thanks for the support and encouragement we’ve had from all our retail partners for promoting our list so brilliantly.

All in all it’s been a great year and it’s onwards and upwards for 2011. - AM

Photo by rumpleteaser

Friday, 17 December 2010

Talk Without Speaking


 The Christmas party season is upon us - so in case you need to brush up your flirting skills,  we've decided to post an excerpt from our title "The Lifestyle Lowdown: Pulling Power! Pick Up Tips for Guys" by Alison Norrington - here she talks about the importance of body language...

By now you should be looking great and be ready to socialize in places that are full of potential targets.  That means it’s time to check your body language!  It’s impossible to wow her with your sparkling wit and conversation across a crowded room, but there are a few simple, body language techniques that will communicate your confidence and charisma from a distance.  
Experts suggest that only 7-10% of communication is verbal. If this is the case, then you’re saying lots more without speaking than you probably realise!  The successful Pulling Power expert is aware of his body language, but comfortable with it too.  If your body language is relaxed and open, you make yourself immediately approachable.  

Here’s a check list of winning body language moves for you to try out: 

· make eye contact, hold it for a second or two, then look away.  Do this a few times.  The look, look away, then look again technique is a sure-fire winner.  All women can read this one!
· have great posture with shoulders back,
· don’t cross your arms,
· use hand gestures sparingly,
· hold your head high – this suggests positivity and control,
· walk slowly and steadily – this implies confidence, and
· smile at her!

And here’s a tip: in the same way that you guys are intimidated by a big, raucous group of girls out together, women can be put off when men are out in big groups –so if you’re on the pull, try to keep it to two or three friends max! And while we’re on the subject: while alcohol might help to relax you, it won’t do you any good in the body language or Pulling Power stakes. Remember, you’re on a fun mission - and too many shots will make you unattractive and may put you out of the game.  Few girls are attracted to a ‘drinking contest’ group, so as much as you want a great night out with the lads, if you’re trying to impress her, tone it down.  Go ahead and laugh, but don’t go overboard.  Keep an air of ‘cool’ – girls love cool!
 
You’ll know if your body language is working by reading her responses.  It has been reported that women will subtly ‘invite’ men to approach them by transmitting certain body language, so it’s equally important for you to know how to read her body language too!   Here are some signs that she wants to play:

  • She looks at you until you catch her eye and then she looks the other way.
  • You feel her eyes on you but can’t catch her at it.  Ask friends, or check the mirrors if you’re not sure.
  • She smiles across the room at you, but when you get near she freezes up.
If she’s giving you a smile and you find that every time you’re looking at her, she’s looking back at you, then it’s time to work the body language at closer range – get ready to go in for The Approach!  This doesn’t have to be a difficult move.  Regardless of venue, wherever you are, maintain your air of calm and simply approach her with a fantastic smile.  If she’s been giving off those positive body language signs, then she’s probably hoping you’ll approach her, so you have nothing to lose.  Just remember the eye contact, the steady, confident walk and the smile! - Alison Norrington, writing as Sophie Regan

Friday, 10 December 2010

Climbing the ladder...


 In an excerpt from his book, The Lowdown: Top Tips for Wannabe CEOs, top publisher Richard Charkin (Bloomsbury Publishing) talks about mentoring....



Q:      Is finding mentor a good idea?

Yes it is, although I’m pretty dubious about the word “mentor” – another bit of management jargon. It’s really helpful to have someone besides your immediate boss   that you can talk to, who you can be completely open with and take advice from and just share with and unburden yourself. They don’t usually have the answers, it has to be said, but they at least they have some experience, and perhaps some wisdom to offer. I’ve been lucky enough to have some wonderful mentors throughout my career.

Q:      What is the best piece of advice any one of them gave you?

If I had to choose one, I’d say it’s what the much maligned Robert Maxwell taught me: Nothing is too small to worry about, and nothing is too big to try for.

Q:      Who would be an unwise choice of mentor?

I think your immediate line manager or a close colleague would be unwise choices. An analogy might be that it would be better to choose someone like an uncle or a grandfather rather than a mother, father or sister. Someone one step removed.

Q:      How do you make an overture to a potential mentor? Do you just say can I take you to lunch and pick your brain? 

No, I think it comes from being interested in the business. If you really are interested in the business, then potential mentors will be interested in you. I don’t think I ever bought my mentors lunch. I don’t think they ever bought me lunch, frankly. I don’t think it’s about going out of your way, I think it’s just that if you come across people, you express interest and if they like you, they adopt you. I don’t think you can adopt them. It’s about being open, interested and willing to learn.

Q:      What will a mentor look for in you, besides being interested in the business?

Everyone’s looking for their successor. This is another part of the job of being a CEO. Normally you don’t make the decision on who succeeds you, but you should have your eye on at least one, if not more, people in the business who could take over, and you should be mentoring those people.

Q:      What does someone like you look for in a protégé?

Someone who does things, who doesn’t come forward with excuses for not doing things. Someone who finds solutions, not problems. Someone who smiles – can’t tell you how important that is. Someone I like. Someone I can speak to without worrying about political correctness – in other words, someone who’s relaxed – and someone who doesn’t share my faults.*

“The Lowdown: Top Tips for Wannbe CEOs” is now available in eBook format.

*Ed: We didn’t know he had any! :o)

Friday, 3 December 2010

Business Etiquette - India


It's freezing and we're dreaming of warmer climes! If any of you are lucky enough to be planning a trip to India, here's an excerpt  from our title "The Lowdown: Business Etiquette - India," with a few tips for how to plan and what to wear...

Q:  If I decide to go to India, what do I need to do to plan my trip?

A: Firstly, all American and UK nationals need a visa. This used to take weeks to get, but is now pretty straightforward. The rules are changed from time to time, but you’ll probably need to send in with your application a letter from your contact inviting you visit his facility, with an explanation of the business reason. This is a formality and only needs to be one or two paragraphs.

Secondly, you’ll need to check which vaccinations or boosters you need to get. You shouldn’t miss this step out and you must take anti-malaria drugs, as prescribed by your doctor. Plan ahead for this, because you need to start taking some of these drugs a week or more before you go.

Q: Presumably there are holidays I’ll need to work around.

A: There are. In fact, there are holidays of all shapes and sizes, some religious, some political, some national, some regional. There are too many to list now. Your best bet is to check with your contact. Not all holidays are celebrated in all parts of the country and not all of them involve time off work. It’s a good idea to get a list, so that you know when the offices and factories will shut down.

Q: What about dress code? What should I pack?

A: Most Indian cities are hot for most of the year, even when there are monsoons, but you can check this out on any Internet weather site. The old practice of western men wearing spotless white or cream tropical suits and sporting Panama hats has gone by the board.

Q: But presumably both men and women need to dress smartly.

A: Yes, it’s best, although business dress protocol in India does make concessions to the weather and nobody will expect you to be uncomfortable. Jackets are usually worn. but may be taken off in meetings or when walking outside in the heat. Short-sleeved shirts are fine - but in fact all serious business premises and all decent hotels are air-conditioned these days, so you can be comfortable in long-sleeved shirts. Indian businessmen mostly wear western suits, with or without ties depending on the type of company, but Indian businesswomen often wear the traditional sari. Because of that, and the bright colours that you’ll see in the workplace, there’s very little danger of a western woman looking over-dressed and it is certainly not necessary to dress in muted colours. Modesty is advisable, however, and although young Indian girls wear all types of western clothes, short skirts or low necklines are not appropriate in a business meeting. Trousers are fine for women, but jeans – even designer jeans – are only usually worn by women in the IT industry. There are no protocols for footwear, although you may have to remove shoes if you visit some religious buildings. Except among young people, women are expected to dress more formally than men.

Have you done business in India? How did you find the experience? - LK