Archive | August, 2009

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King III Report on Corporate Governance Publishes 1 September 2009 – Order Your Copy Today!

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Phillipa Mitchell

The comprehensive King III Report in bound printed format, will available from Red Pepper Books for R620.00  from the 2nd of September 2009.

Click here to place your order online or contact the Red Pepper Books office in Johannesburg on +27 (011) 958-2474

For details regarding the launch please click here.  

Link to the Video and Audio Gallery to listen to the press interviews and discussions regarding the King III Draft Report which was released for public comment on the 25th February 2009

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New Business and Motivational Books to Feed your Mind this September

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Phillipa Mitchell

Business-mailer-banner

Did you know that September has been designated as self-improvement month? In aid of self-improvement, here’s a great selection of the latest business and management titles for your personal growth and professional success. We’ve got something for project managers, leaders, salespeople, bosses and employees, and also some self-improvement titles that will benefit everyone.
 
Project managers should refer to Brilliant Project Management and Project Manager for invaluable advice on this subject. Similarly Project Managing Change gives you practical, sensible solutions to real business change issues. If you’re more interested in leadership, How to Lead is a practical guide that for developing the skills and habits necessary for leadership, and Know What You Don’t Know shows leaders how to go beyond mere “problem solving” to uncover and address emerging problems. For salespeople, Career Salesperson answers essential questions faced by salespeople every day.
 
For many, the hardest aspect of corporate life is dealing with other people. Tough Conversations with Your Employee will help you handle your employees and find a balance between being their friend, being a leader, and being their boss. Or if you’re on the other side of this situation, read Tough Conversations with Your Boss for tips on broaching tricky subjects like raises, bonuses or holidays.
 
Apparently many people fear public speaking more than death, but being able to give a great presentation can really help your career. Presenting to Win is perfect for anybody who has ever struggled with public speaking. Or perhaps you’re presentation skills are great but you struggle to communicate effectively in writing. Brilliant Business Writing teaches you how to write clearly, effectively and compellingly in any form of written communication including emails, brochures, letters and more. 
 
Sometimes skills, talent, and hard work are not enough to thrive in the corporate world. 101 Ways to Stand Out at Work shows the reader how to identify and counter personal weaknesses, correct self-sabotaging behaviors and analyse and adapt to corporate culture. Great personal improvement reads are Personal Impact which provides practical tips for connecting with people quickly, easily and powerfully and A New You discusses the motivation and tools you need to unlock the secrets of successful change.

Click here to take a look…

Happy Reading!

The Red Pepper Team 

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Oxford University Press scoops Publisher of the Year at 2009 Sefika Awards

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Phillipa Mitchell

oxford sefika

Proudly displaying the 2009 Sefika Publisher of the Year trophy and certificate are Managing Director Lieze Kotzé, National Schools Sales & Marketing Manager Botho Mothibi, Creative Services Director Janine Poezyn and Divisional Director Higher Education and Trade Marian Griffin.

Oxford University Press SA has been awarded the Sefika Award for BEST PUBLISHER – 2009! Voted for by booksellers in recognition of overall excellence in the Academic, Education and Trade fields, Oxford scooped the prestigious award at the annual PASA/SABA Conference dinner on Tuesday 18 August 2009 at the Sibaya Casino in Durban. Presented by Simon Skinner, Sales Director of Nielsen Book Data, the award was accepted by OUP SA Managing Director, Lieze Kotze, on behalf of the company.

The criteria used by booksellers in the selection process include the following: Outstanding levels of customer service Outstanding turnaround times for book delivery Superior relationships and communication from the sales team to booksellers Reaching out and supporting booksellers with publicity and launches This is the first time Oxford University Press SA has won the award for overall best Publisher, and is indicative of the great strides that the company has made within the South African publishing industry. Lieze Kotze says, “Everyone at OUP SA is delighted by the vote of confidence in our books and service. The Oxford team is now even more motivated to maintain and increase our service to booksellers, which we achieve through excellent teamwork across departments within our organisation.” The Sefika Award is an industry vote by booksellers, and aims to honour organisations that have made significant contributions to the publishing and bookselling industries in South Africa.

oxford sefika certificate

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Sebastian Barry Wins James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction

Posted on 26 August 2009 by Phillipa Mitchell

Acclaimed novelist Sebastian Barry and leading biographer Michael Holroyd have been named theSecret Scripture by Sebastian Barry recipients of Britain’s oldest literary prize.

The James Tait Black Memorial awards are given to one work of fiction and one work of biography each year.

Barry’s The Secret Scripture won for fiction, and Holroyd’s A Strange Eventful History won for biography.

Former winners of the £10,000 prize, announced by Ian Rankin in Edinburgh, include DH Lawrence and EM Forster.

Mr Barry, whose novel has already won the Costa Book of the Year award and is a contender for this year’s Man Booker prize, said he was overjoyed to be given the prize.

He said: “The James Tait Black not only unfurls a great tail of eternally shining writers, but the body of the comet in the present time contains mighty names. A signal moment of unalloyed joy.”

One of Britain’s foremost literary biographers, Michael Holroyd’s award win came after his wife, Margaret Drabble, scooped the accolade in 1967 for her novel, Jerusalem the Golden.

‘Writer’s craft’

He said: “In 1921 my biographical subject – some would say victim – Lytton Strachey won this prize for his Life of Queen Victoria; and in 1967 my wife, Margaret Drabble, won the fiction award.

“I am delighted to be following them – though I shall never quite catch them up.”

The James Tait Black Memorial Prizes have been awarded by the University of Edinburgh since 1919 and are the only major British literary awards judged by scholars and students.

Professor Colin Nicholson, a judge for the awards, said all the shortlisted books were worthy of the prize.

Sebastian Barry. Pic courtesy of Irish Times

Irish writer Sebastian Barry won for the Secret Scripture

He added: “It was a very strong field of submissions this year, so that even coming to the short-list was more than usually difficult.

“Each of our final contenders is a prize-worthy example of the writer’s craft.”

The five novels competing for the fiction prize were: Sputnik Caledonia by Andrew Crumey; A Mercy by Toni Morrison; The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry; A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif; and Pilcrow by Adam Mars-Jones.

The shortlisted works for the biography section were: Arthur Miller 1915-1962 by Christopher Bigsby; A Strange Eventful History: The Dramatic Lives of Ellen Terry, Henry Irving and their Remarkable Families by Michael Holroyd; Gabriel Garcìa Márquez: A Life by Gerald Martin; Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love by Sheila Rowbotham; and Chagall: Love and Exile by Jackie Wullschlager.

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Parents turn to used books in the UK

Posted on 24 August 2009 by Phillipa Mitchell

ist2_7748569-living-booksParents are turning to secondhand books in a bid to bring down their back-to-school costs, with a four-fold increase in demand for them this year, notes the Irish Independent.

One website has reported a dramatic surge in the number of parents using its free service, which allows those with unwanted school books, and others seeking specific books, to post notices online.

Paul Baird, who has been running schoolbooksonline.ie for almost 10 years, said he has seen a “massive increase” in the number of people looking for secondhand books since last year. He believes the recession is forcing many cash-strapped parents to reduce their costs.

Irish Independent

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Team Coaching: Artists at Work: South African coaches share their theory and practice – A new book by Helena Dolny

Posted on 24 August 2009 by Phillipa Mitchell

In Helena Dolny’s new book, Team Coaching, South African coaches share their theory and practice, commonality, divergence, their shared learning and debate. Team Coaching Artists at Work

Business coaching in South Africa was isolated from mainstream professional development as a result of international restrictions during the apartheid years. It is thus only in the last eight years or so that it has come into prominence.

Team coaches facilitate open and simultaneous interaction between different members of a group, often against a background of conflict.

Team Coaching was compiled by an eclectic group of professional coaches who came together to share their professional experience to explore the possibility of creating a common approach to team coaching.

The team of authors behind this project include: Maryse Barak, Lloyd Chapman, Michael Cooper, Helena Dolny, Tim Goodenough, Marti Janse Van Rensburg, Grommick Thulani Ndlovu, Khatija Saley, and Ray Sher.

Some of the aims of the title are to address the following questions: Is there something more that we would want to achieve besides the generally desired optimisation of team performance? What could we include in the coaching intervention that would increase individual self-awareness and enhance their ability to adapt to others’ styles, and hence their capacity to be effective team members wherever and whenever?

The authors don’t aspire to write “The Seminal Book on Coaching”. Their aim is more modestly to start the ball rolling, and encourage other South Africans to write and contribute to a body of work on coaching as a component of societal and cultural transformation, work that knows no national boundaries.

Our unique national heritage of apartheid and struggle, of conflict, reconciliation and transition has created “edges” that propel us into zones of discomfort, but which also equip us to more readily step onto the “high wire”.

Part one of Team Coaching is a set of short stories. They are about the writers. When the writers created a circle on their first morning at Quiet Mountain and deliberated how to start, they discussed the power of personal storytelling and how that is used in team coaching, and therefore how appropriate it would to do this for themselves.

Part Two is an offering by each of the writers in which they outline the process they use that works well for them consistently, and they unpack the theoretical underpinning of their work.

Part Three describes the tools used that the writers chose to pool and demonstrate. They didn’t just describe to one another how the “tool” works, they tried it out for themselves as a group and in doing so had fun and learned more about one another.

Part Four outlines what the team came up with as a possible framework for a team coaching intervention, in terms of commonality of content, timing, identifying outcomes, measurability and evaluation.

About the editor

Helena Dolny is a coach, company director and former managing director of the Land Bank – a role that informed her first book, Banking on Change, also published by Penguin. She is the widow of umKhonto we Sizwe leader and former minister of housing Joe Slovo.

Published courtesy of  Book SA

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Sony PSP Go to double as ebook reader

Posted on 21 August 2009 by Phillipa Mitchell

Sony’s new handheld games console will also allow users to read books and comics on the go.Sony PSP Go

The Digital Reader service will go live in December, and will give users access to hundreds of comics and graphic novels from publishers such as Marvel.

Users will be able to download the comics straight to their PSP Go using its built-in wireless capabilities, and can read stories page-by-page or zoom in to read them frame-by-frame.

 Among some of the early titles available are Spider-Man, X-Men and the Fantastic Four, as well as Star Trek.

Sony, which also produces a dedicated ebook reading device, the Reader, could eventually expand the library to include other titles and novels.

“This is a great new service that offers PSP owners even more options for entertainment on the go and makes PSP a must for comics fans,” said Isabelle Tomatis, European marketing manager for Sony’s gaming division.

Sony is facing increasing competition in the handheld gaming space from the likes of Apple, which offers an excellent portable games experience on its iPhone and iPod touch devices, as well as a host of donwloadable applications for those gadgets, such as ebook readers.

The Japanese electronics giant is hoping to counter this threat with the launch of Minis, small games, such as Tetris and Sudoku, that can be bought from Sony’s online shop and downloaded on to the PSP. Around 35 developers have already signed up to create Minis, and Sony expects to be able to offer a library of around 50 games by the end of the year.

That number is sure to grow if companies such as Electronic Arts, which develops new games specifically for the iPhone and iPod platforms, diversifies in to the Minis market.

The PSP Go, which was unveiled at E3 in June, goes on sale in the UK on October 1, and is expected to cost around £150. The device is half the size and weight of the original PSP handheld games console, and features 16GB of flash memory, allowing users to store thousands of songs, photos and games on the device. It also has a slide-out control pad, and integrated Bluetooth, as well as a memory card slot to expand its storage limit.

However, the PSP Go does not have a UMD disk slot, and is therefore not compatible with previous PlayStation Portable games.

Telegraph

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Nigella taught you how to cook, now Maya will teach you how to relax…

Posted on 19 August 2009 by Phillipa Mitchell

Yoga for Real Life: The Kundalini MethodYoga for Real Life

Maya Fiennes

‘Doing yoga with Maya is inspirational, energising, sexy and it gives me joy. At the same time it quiets my mind and fills me with peace.’ Elle Macpherson

The effervescent, charismatic Maya Fiennes is for relaxation and yoga what Nigella Lawson has become for food and cookery. In Yoga for Real Life, she has written a book aimed at bringing yoga principles into all aspects of your everyday life. It is full of yoga tips, exercises and wisdom.

Maya Fiennes believes passionately that yoga can be enjoyed by everyone, young and old. Her unique style of yoga and meditation for modern living is based on Kundalini yoga, which works on inner energy centres (‘Chakras’), combining poses, breathing, chanting and meditation for a full mind-body workout. Both deeply enjoyable and uplifting, it has made her one of the most in-demand yoga instructors around.

Whether you’re fit and flexible or haven’t sat cross-legged since childhood, Maya’s new book is easy to use, packed full of yoga advice and insights designed especially to give the reader the confidence to deal with life’s everyday challenges – and really make a positive change.

Drawing on her own inspiring story, Maya Fiennes shares her enthusiasm for the Kundalini method and explains how it can underpin a healthy, happy life. From de-stressing and dealing with matters of the heart, to unlocking creative potential and coping with children, families and aging, Yoga for Real Life is an indispensable guide, illustrated with the photography of David ‘Jamie Oliver’ Loftus, to getting the most from your daily life, for the rest of your life. There has quite simply never been a yoga book like this before.

Publishing in January 2010

‘Maya Fiennes is one of the true examples of a pioneer in the field of yoga.’ Deepak Chopra

‘Unfolding of the Lotus Flower, that’s what Kundalini yoga is about and Maya Fiennes is the perfect representative of it. The world is ready for this.’ Daily Mail

About the author

Maya Fiennes was born in Macedonia and now lives in Los Angeles. She teaches Kundalini yoga both face-to-face and through her DVDs and TV work.

To order this book, or for more information, click here…

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BA and PA to move on with ‘Bookaholism’

Posted on 19 August 2009 by Phillipa Mitchell

The Booksellers and Publishers Associations will “definitely” progress the Bookaholism idea first mooted at this year’sbookaholism Book Industry Conference, as well as a number of other initiatives generated by the event. These include developing new promotions on backlist, an “Antiques Roadshow” for books, joint lobbying for the protection of copyright, creating a central returns hub for the trade and developing an adult dimension to World Book Day.

At a recent meeting of the BA/PA Liaison Group, delegates discussed the 18 ideas suggested at June’s conference in Cambridge, which was chaired by marketing consultant Damian Horner. Ursula Mackenzie, Little Brown c.e.o. and publisher joint chair of the group, said: “At present, we are prioritising the suggestions and we want to focus on those initiatives which we believe can make a real practical difference.”

David Cooke, Tesco category manager and retailer joint chair, said: “We will definitely be progressing the Bookaholics idea with Damian Horner. This is extremely exciting and has already progressed beyond the concept presented at the Cambridge Conference.” He added: “There is also strong support for working with Victoria Barnsley and her team at World Book Day, to see if a new WBD initiative can be developed for adults. Already some great new ideas have been put forward.”

MacKenzie added: “The Liaison Group will also be taking on board suggestions for a new campaign to promote backlist, and there could well be a number of further ideas which can be usefully progressed. In a recession when trading is so difficult, it is so rewarding to see the booksellers and the publishers on the Liaison Group working so well together to help develop the market.”

A cross industry group, including W H Smith, Random House and Gardners, began working on the “bookaholic” concept earlier this year. It was unveiled at the BA Conference and is aimed at promoting the value of reading. Writing on theBookseller.com, in response to criticism of the concept posted online after the BA Conference, Horner stressed: “At this point all I would ask is that people suspend their cynicism and allow the next stage of the development process to happen.”

The Book Industry Conference highlighted the following initiatives to take forward:

* Academy – get one for the book trade off the ground
* Age ranging – how about peelable sticker?
* Antique Roadshow for Books – possible to get off the ground?
* Backlist – develop new promotion
* Bookaholics initiative: progress
* Copyright – PA/BA to lobby together
* Creative Index website – introduce
* Culture Card – develop one to cover the arts
* Levy on every book sold – introduce to build promotional fund
* Lobbying – talk esp. to the Tories
* Lobbying – BA/PA to attend party conferences
* Paperbacks – make HB the exception
* Pricing – move to a notional RRP or dealer pricing
* Returns – create a central hub for the industry
* Richard & Judy – need a replacement on TV
* Risk Taking – new Award at 2010 Book Industry Conference
* Satisfaction Guaranteed Campaign – idea for a new promotion?
* World Book Day: help develop an adult dimension

Published online at http://www.thebookseller.com/news/94803-ba-and-pa-to-move-on-with-bookaholism.html

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Digital Textbooks: 3 Reasons Students Aren’t Ready

Posted on 19 August 2009 by Phillipa Mitchell

kindleFor higher education students who spend an average of $702 per year on course materials, mostly textbooks, the prospect of going digital is an appealing one. Among the theoretical benefits of digital textbooks is the possibility of significant cost savings due to lower overhead costs — bits are cheaper than printed pages, after all. Unfortunately, students shouldn’t chuck their backpacks any time soon; there still exist some major hurdles that digital textbooks must overcome before they widely replace traditional, printed textbooks on college (and high school) campuses.

The benefits of digital textbooks are numerous: they’re potentially cheaper, they’re better for the environment (at least so long as you don’t continually need to upgrade your electronic book reader), they weigh less, they can be updated more easily, and they’re more easily searched. But for all that, a number of hurdles still exist.


1. Cost Savings Must be Greater


In theory, digital textbooks should cost a lot less than their printed counterparts. Textbook publishers will always have overhead costs (they must still compensate authors, editors, typesetters/designers, proofreaders, indexers, etc.), but the costs associated with physically printing, binding, warehousing, and shipping the book are eliminated when going digital. Further, many textbook publishers already publish electronic editions of their books. McGraw-Hill, for example, which is one of the largest textbook publishers in the United States, publishes nearly 95% of its books electronically.

In practice, though, the cost savings for electronic textbooks are miniscule. “Human Biology,” a textbook published by Pearson imprint Benjamin Cummings, for example, costs about $50 used, and about $80 new in its printed/hard copy form (according to BigWords.com). Via electronic textbook publisher CourseSmart, the digital version costs just over $70, a savings of about 12.5% over the printed version. However, the printed version can be kept forever or sold back at the end of the semester to mitigate costs, while the electronic version is automatically deleted after 180 days, and requires additional equipment, such as an ebook reader or a laptop computer. As a student, which of these options makes more sense?

“At the moment, there’s not a lot of [cost savings],” Tom Rosenthal, the senior manager of electronic product sales at textbook publisher Academic Press, told the Wall Street Journal. Those cost savings will have to become more significant for students to start opting for electronic texts over printed ones.


2. A Standard Format is Needed


When Amazon announced the larger format Kindle DX in May, and along with it a pilot digital textbook program at several major US universities to be launched this fall — including Princeton, UVA, Case Western, Arizona State, and Reed College — we called it “a game changer.” But it also raises a very important question about formats and ebook compatibility issues.

There are many different competing ebook formats and a huge number of textbook publishers that don’t all use the same format. If I buy a book on the Kindle, it may not necessarily be available on my Sony reader (and I certainly won’t be able to transfer that specific purchase from one reader to the other), and if I buy a book through CourseSmart, I need to use their proprietary software to download it. What that means for students in a practical sense is that vendor lock-in might prohibit them from going print-free even if they wanted to, because not all of their required course materials may be available for the reader or software they invested in. Because buying an ebook reader is a significant initial cost outlay, it’s hard to expect students to make that investment without assurances that all, or at least nearly all, of their required books will be available in that format.

With ebook readers expected in the next year from Plastic Logic, Hearst, and News Corp., and the much-rumored “Apple Tablet” on the horizon, things may only get more muddled.


3. Questions of Ownership


One of the most important stumbling points for the adoption of digital texts is the question of who actually owns the books. CourseSmart’s books, for example, generally only last for 180 days before being automatically deleted, which means that students are essentially renting them for a set period of time. That’s not a consideration students need to make when purchasing a hard copy book from a bookstore, where the answer to question of ownership is very clear.

Further, the recent Orwellian (literally) case of Amazon remotely deleting books from Kindle readers, has rightly raised a number of eyebrows. One high school student even filed a lawsuit against the ecommerce giant when, as he claims, the notes he had made on the book for school were “rendered useless because they no longer referenced the relevant parts of the book,” as a result of the remote deletion.

“Amazon.com had no more right to hack into people’s Kindles than its customers have the right to hack into Amazon’s bank account to recover a mistaken overpayment,” said Jay Edelson, the lawyer who filed the case.

If students feel that they don’t actually own the textbooks they purchase, or that their books might be taken away before they are done with them (or that their notes might be damaged), they’re unlikely to embrace electronic textbooks.

 Conclusion


Digital textbooks are indeed a potential game changer, and they are likely going to be a major part of the future of academia. A year from now, the National Associated of College Stores estimates that digital textbooks could account for 15% of all textbook sales. However, for that to happen, textbook publishers, ebook reader manufacturers, and schools must first address some of the major hurdles that are making students wary of electronic books.

Further, in addition to the problems that exist with the digital books themselves, electronic textbook publishers also need to overcome deeply ingrained student behavior. For many students, the idea of reading words on a screen is not as appealing as on a printed page. That may change as more so-called digital natives progress into higher education and as ebook reader technology gets better, but for now, 60% of students would rather pay for a low-cost printed book than use a free digital version.

“We may have actually made enough progress for this to be a landmark device, but the caveat that humans have proven is that they are resistant to change,” said Andrew Dillon, Dean of the University of Texas School of Information about the Kindle DX device. “Fighting 700 years of human familiarity with paper is a huge challenge.”

See also: In the Future, the Cost of Education Will Be Zero

Image courtesy of iStockphoto(), gibsonff

As posted at http://mashable.com/2009/08/17/digital-textbooks/

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