Tag Archives: book

Bem vindo a brasil

I’ve just moved to São Paulo in Brazil.

December 2010 was quite an amazing month for me. I got married on the 3rd to Angelica, and she had just launched her new book on the 1st and 2nd with two big parties, immediately followed by our wedding. I sold my house in Muswell Hill. I moved out of my rented place in Ealing and lived for a while in the Kings Arms pub near Ealing Broadway. I arranged to ship all my belongings over to Brazil. I closed down several of my work contracts, just keeping those that are quite easy to work on remotely. And after enjoying Christmas with my family, I moved to Brazil to be with Angelica, who had gone ahead of me to find a house.

Now I have a house in the Sumaré district of town – a nice area featuring plenty of cafes and bars near to where I live, as well as having Italian, Chinese, Brazilian, and Mexican food all available within a minute of walking out of the front door.

The house is quite large for just the two of us, but we are both writing and so we are using what would usually be two bedrooms as two offices. I have the entire basement of the house as my office and once my drum kit arrives at the end of this month I should have my workspace here with a couch, drums, books, stereo, as well as a desk to work on.

Since I arrived on the 29th, I have spent a bit of time exploring the beaches of São Paulo, madly rushed around shops getting furniture for an empty house, and chased around town to get all the papers I required for my visa application. The police checked my permanent residency application today and it all looks OK – so in a couple of weeks I should have my ID card and be a resident of Brazil.

And so here starts a new adventure for 2011…


Reboot: The Book Launch on Dec 2nd @ Waxy’s

There is a great blog post here by Rod Trent of 1e that outlines the book launch planned for Angelica’s book on December 2nd in London. It’s going to be a great party and a great way to launch the new book. You can see Angelica’s video invitation here. If you are still not sure about coming then think about this:

  • The first 50 people to arrive get a free copy of the book
  • Everyone gets a free EP of music from the BibleCode Sundays
  • The BibleCode Sundays are playing live
  • We are taking over the Church bar in Waxy O’Connor’s right in the middle in London -and the bar is free thanks to 1e.
  • The food is also free thanks to JD Marketing (they do the marketing for Betfair, who feature in the book).
  • There is a £100 Amazon voucher for whoever uploads the best social content from the evening, tweet, photo, video, blog…
  • 1e are giving away goodie bags full of pens, squeezy polar bears, mints, and various other things, though the bag itself might be the most useful item to carry all the other freebies!

As if you needed any more reasons to party, me and Angelica are getting married the next morning. Yes, launching a book on Thursday and getting married on Friday… and Angelica leaves the country to move to Brazil on Sunday, so this might be your last chance to say goodbye. She will remain as an associate editor of Computer Weekly, but she is entering the realms of virtual working. So you won’t see her often back in London – or me for that matter!

Click here to go and register for the event on LinkedIn…

James Gardner, CTO of the DWP with Reboot

Reboot sees the light

How appropriate that the very first copy of Angelica Mari’s new book ‘Reboot: Leading IT in the Information Age’ should be shown off at the UK IT Industry awards… here you can see how pleased Darrell Stein (CIO of Marks and Spencer) was to find a cartoon in the book that resembles him!

You can find out more about the book here…

Angelica with first ever copy of Reboot and Darrell Stein of M&S

Another book on the way…

It’s not mine, but I’ve spent a lot of time helping Angelica Mari produce her new book. It’s her book, but I’ve been helping with the mechanical process of getting it from the word processor to a book available in retailers.

Angelica was keen to use Lulu.com to publish her book and as I’ve published three books on there now, I was fairly well placed to advise on how to format the documents and cover.

This has, once again, got me thinking about the future of business books. So many people churn out books about their industry, declaring themselves a ‘guru’ on the cover. But most business books are out of date by the time they hit the shelf and can’t be regularly updated. So after a year of being on sale, you might be reading text that was written over two years earlier.

I have an offer from a big publisher to do a new business book and I’m stalling on it, unsure if it is really of any value today. I know of a very senior CIO who has a similar offer from a publisher, though his is part of a 2-book deal. The publisher wants something and he is not sure if he wants to commit thoughts to print because the format of the old-school publisher just doesn’t work anymore.

I know that Angelica was still editing and changing her book a week ago. From the final tweak to the book launch and physical copies being in the hands of punters will be under one month. And she has had it professionally edited and proof-read during that time.

So what value does an old-style publisher offer?

Not much. They do spend money on marketing and trying to place the book in retailers in a way that will sell more copies, but lets face it, for most business books the market is not a casual browser in Waterstones. Lulu makes books available on all major retailers, including Amazon. And the author takes 80% of profits after printing costs… compare that to the 15% of gross sale price you might expect from a traditional publisher.

I’m still thinking about whether I should do the more traditional book, but I know for sure that my next two books will be on Lulu. I have the ideas in my head already and the plans sketched out. I want to write them and see the books out there, not wait a year for a publisher to work on the text…

My books

USB flash drive – can you help?

I need help from an IT expert. Someone who knows how to pull apart those USB flash drive stick things and put them back together again in a way that makes them work.

I know they are usually disposable when they fail, but a friend of mine has the manuscript of her new book on one of them and now the drive has failed. There is no other backup. And this is someone who has written a book before so you can lecture her later on how to protect a manuscript, but the immediate problem is trying to retrieve the book-in-progress!

She asked the IT people at her workplace what they think could be wrong. They said: “We had a look at the innards of your drive and the contact points look good so it most likely is that control chip that has failed. Unfortunately due to the way these disks are made there is no easy or cheap way to fix it.”

Now, even if it costs some money to replace the control chip, or to somehow transplant the contents of this drive into another, what we need to find out is if it is possible at all. The effort that has gone into the book has to be worth far more than paying for some chip surgery.

Can any of you help?
Upgrade your chips to wedges

Employees first, customers second

The CEO of Indian technology giant, Vineet Nayar, has just published a book called ‘Employees First, Customers Second’ with the Harvard Business School Press. It challenges the conventional wisdom of business in any industry – that the customer is always right – by suggesting that if you focus on looking after your employees then they will ensure the customers are happy.

I’m going to meet Vineet tomorrow to record an interview about the book and his philosophy on management. If you would like to send a question for me to use during the interview then do get in touch…

Getting ready for NASSCOM 2010

Book review: A few kind words and a loaded gun

Noel ‘razor’ Smith has produced an amazing book. It’s a life story, but it reads like a London version of Goodfellas. It describes the need for crime, the ability to use crime as a career choice, and the downsides of time spent in jail – not least the fact that he never managed to create a stable family environment for his wife and kids.
Crime clearly doesn’t pay, but if you want to understand how someone finds crime to be the most attractive career option and then how the code of criminal honour works once inside that life then this is the book for you. Written in a frank and engaging style, it doesn’t pull any punches, but the violence is never glamourised – when punches connect in this book there is hospital and broken bones involved.
My only criticism of the book is that the editor should have looked more closely at some of the simile use. Razor sometimes uses a simile and then uses the same one again within a page of using it earlier. I noticed this a few times in the book, so it could be a little quirk of his writing style, or just that the editor didn’t want to delete any copy with ‘razor’ being the author…!