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The Extraordinary Business Book Club

Alison Jones, publisher and book coach, explores business books from both a writer's and a reader's perspective. Interviews with authors, publishers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, tech wizards, social media strategists, PR and marketing experts and others involved in helping businesses tell their story effectively.
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Now displaying: June, 2017
Jun 26, 2017

'Computers and the networks that we connect to them, they're the nervous system of the 21st century.'

And yet Cory Doctorow argues passionately that right now, the way we legislate the internet isn't serving the creators, or even the consumers. 

If you care more about people seeing and using your content than you do about restrictive copyright law, there are alternatives. Cory released several of his own books under Creative Commons licences, and in this inerview he explains why, and why it matters. 

He also gives us an insight into his own prolific writing practice, with some practical tips for getting a writing habit established and sustaining it. 

This man is a hero of the internet - author, blogger, campaigner, visionary - and this is a powerful analysis of what's wrong with the creative ecosystem and what we can do about it. 

Jun 19, 2017

What does 'Carpe Diem' mean to you? In his fascinating new book, Roman Krznaric reveals how the meaning of this famous phrase has changed over time, and how it's been pressed into service as a rallying cry for both hard work and hedonism, mindfulness and political activism. 

He also talks about crowdfunding - he rejected a traditional publishing deal to publish this book through Unbound - footnotes, developing new ways to share ideas online, and creating a movement rather than just publishing a book. 

'I've always wanted my books to turn into art projects and social movements... My advice is to write your business book about something that you care about, that you're passionate about, that you consider is important. Do it in such a way that anyone can understand it and work with it and make it practical, but don't necessarily try and make it fit too much into being relevant to a particular industry, or for a particular product.'

I defy anyone to listen to this interview and not be inspired. 

Jun 12, 2017

'I wanted to write a book about how magical people are, as opposed to machines. How enormously efficient we are at understanding things, particularly each other, in a way that no machine will ever come close to doing.'

Through his work with ReD Associates, Christian Madsbjerg helps companies make better decisions by better understanding what is meaningful to their customers. In a world of Big Data and machine intelligence, he argues, it's vital to remember the extraordinary power of human intelligence: the humanities, he argues, are the best starting point for business thinking.

He also offers a refreshing take on writing a book, as something which can and should create controversy, provoke a reaction, and acknowledges just how hard it is:

'I find writing delightful sometimes, but most of the times I just find it quite tough.'

A thought-provoking and insightful discussion that reminded me, at least, of what really matters in life.

Jun 5, 2017

Kogan Page is one of the world's leading business book publishers and one of the last big independents. The company has just celebrated its 50th birthday, and in this episode I talk to MD Helen Kogan - daughter of founder Philip - about what it means to be independent, what commissioning editors look for in a proposal, and some hands-on, down-and-dirty tips for writing a business book that sells.

This is a fascinating glimpse into the workings of one of the truly great publishing houses, and to hear from the very top what they look for in the authors and books they take on.

 

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