Posted by Elena del Valle on August 23, 2018
Photos: Richard A. Marin
For 20 years Richard A. Marin (see Podcast with Richard Marin, CEO, Low Emissions Resources Corporation, on how retirement is not for wimps) gathered personal stories. In the last six months of 2017 he wrote more. Over a three month period he dedicated his efforts into making the stories into Tales of a Modern Prisoner Gulag 401K (Lulu Publishing Services, $20), a 220-page softcover book. His intended audience was general although he felt the stories would appeal most to Baby Boomers.
When asked by email what motivated him to write the stories he replied, “I am a student of the retirement topic and hence the overall subject matter, but mostly I am a storyteller who finds the topic of retirement to be a compelling human phase that is rich in social, psychological and economic reality with which everyone can relate.”
When asked what he meant when he said in the book that it’s not possible to build high enough walls he replied, “I mean that the retirement or pension crisis is so globally and demographically pervasive that you cannot insulate yourself from it. It is a problem that we as a species must face in the next 30 years. It will affect us all, regardless of how wealthy we are or where we live. We will all need to deal with the humanity of the issue.”
Richard Marin, author, Gulag 401K
As to in what ways he has marketed the book he said, “I hired a top-class publicist in Lavidge and I promoted it via Kirkus Review. The two have reached out to both professional and general populations that have a broad interest in the topic.”
Marin is a 42-year finance, real estate, and venture capital industry executive. He also is involved in managing private equity investments, consulting on major commercial real estate and attractions projects, and the retirement field. The book is divided into seven sections and 23 chapters.
Click to buy Gulag 401(k)
Posted by Elena del Valle on July 19, 2018
Zen of Zinn Instant Wisdom from Silicon Valley’s Longest Serving CEO
Photo: Ray Zinn
Ray Zinn spent decades as head of Micrel, a financially successful Silicon Valley company. Now that he is retired he founded ZinnStarter to provide seed funding to college students launching new products. The program, still in the initial stages, is at five universities with plans on expansion next year. As part of his efforts to reach a young demographic he spent two years writing Zen of Zinn Instant Wisdom from Silicon Valley’s Longest Serving CEO ($9.95), a 195-page softcover book published this year.
His target audience? “Anyone who seeks understanding and wisdom concerning the dynamics of people, society, business and culture,” Zinn said via a spokesperson by email. His goal was “To impart 37 years of executive insight and 50 years of Silicon Valley experience concerning how people, organizations and society are interconnected.”
The book is divided into an introduction and ten chapters titled: Leadership, Entrepreneurial Lift, Management, Startup Life, Discipline, Determination, Government and Society, People, and Life. Each chapter is made up of small segments of text, many of them a paragraph long.
“Two factors fed into the book’s conception,” he said when asked what prompted him to write a collection of short tips for the entire book. “First, along with my daily observations about business and Silicon Valley that I shared on social media, I offered my insights and experiences into the soft side of people. It were these latter elements to which people reacted most positively. The second factor is that in the 21st century, people want content in small, bite-sized pieces. Hence, I designed the book as a collection of memes, that can be read quickly remembered discretely and shared easily.”
When asked how his first and second books differ he said, “Tough Things First was my management and leadership opus, one specifically for business leaders from founders of brand new startups to seasoned executives. Zen of Zinn is for them as well, but also for the masses. Many parts of Zen of Zinn deal with the spiritual essence of humans, and how that shapes communities and organizations. Anyone looking for insight and uplift will find value in Zen of Zinn.”
When asked “You discuss dignity and respect in the book, how does that align with the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley and elsewhere?” he replied, “Indeed, part of my goal with Zen of Zinn and Tough Things First was to show that dignity is tied to profitability. Respecting the dignity of all people was a cultural foundation of my company, Micrel, and we were profitable 36 of our 37 years (and the one unprofitable year was a paper loss due to the closing of a redundant facility).
As you suggested, a lack of dignity and a lack of diversity are often interrelated. Any action that marginalizes people because of their differences is a form of disrespect and an afront to their dignity. This in turn results in lower diversity. This is a shame because diversity breeds innovation. Too many Silicon Valley companies are losing out because they do not encourage a corporate culture that values diversity.”
When asked to share wisdom based on personal experience regarding diversity he said, “Two elements come to mind. First, leaders have to put effort into making diversity work. It is not automatic. Simply proclaiming that your company embraces diversity is insufficient. It takes commitment, monitoring, corporate culture shaping, and real work. Second, it requires diversity being part of the corporate culture, part of the organization’s mind set. If you force diversity onto employees that don’t fully embrace it, you may cause more problems.”
When asked if Silicon Valley has peaked he replied, “I say the best parts of Silicon Valley are being cloned elsewhere (my ZinnStarter program is one small piece of this process). Silicon Valley will continue to be itself, but it will slowly quit being the epicenter of technical innovation. That will be everywhere smart people live.”
Click to buy Zen of Zinn
Posted by Elena del Valle on June 14, 2018
Babies Nurse/Así se alimentan los bebés
Photos: Platypus Media
Platypus Media released two new bilingual titles this month, Babies Nurse/Así se alimentan los bebés, for children four to seven years old, and Cuddled and Carried/Consentido y Cargado for children up to four years of age. The softcover titles, in full color and 32 pages in length, each sell for $9.95. The first booklet was written by Phoebe Fox and illustrated by Jim Fox. The second title was written by Dia L. Michels and illustrated by Mike Speiser. Both were translated by Victory Productions.
When asked about the translation Michels, owner, Platypus replied: “The bulk of the translation was done by Victory Productions, a company based out of Massachusetts, but we also had many many trusted individuals look over the translation to ensure accuracy. Most notably, Edgardo Moctezuma of Latin American Book Source, Inc volunteered to guide us through the translation process and gave his advice along the way.”
Cuddled and Carried/Consentido y cargado
The publisher plans to target educators, especially those with a high percentage of English Language Learners or who offer dual language programs, librarians, health care providers and departments of health, breastfeeding organizations, mother-to-mother support groups, early childhood centers, and literacy programs across the country.
Dia Michels, author, Cuddled and Carried
“We are committed to the promotion and protection of breastfeeding, and donate a percentage of profits to groups that work in this field,” said Michels. “These two publications are the inaugural titles in our new Beginnings series of books for young readers.”
Michels is an internationally published science and parenting writer who has authored or edited more than a dozen books for children and adults. Her titles include If My Mom Were a Platypus: Mammal Babies and Their Mothers and Look What I See! Where Can I Be? With My Animal Friends. Her books have been translated into Spanish, Hebrew and Dutch.
Mike Speiser, illustrator, Cuddled and Carried
Speiser’s artwork has been featured on the covers of Wild Animal Baby magazine and on fundraising products for science organizations. His paintings have been displayed at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. He is involved with efforts to protect the natural world for future generations. He lives next to the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Phoebe Fox, author, Babies Nurse
Phoebe Fox wrote Babies Nurse / Así se alimentan los bebés to show children that all mammals provide milk for their babies. She has degrees in Early Childhood Development and Curriculum Instruction and experience as an elementary school librarian.
Jim Fox, illustrator, Babies Nurse
Jim Fox is Phoebe’s father-in-law. He retired from the NBA, where he played for the Phoenix Suns.
Platypus Media is an independent press that “creates products with a broad appeal to diverse families who believe in the importance of close family relationships for the full and healthy development of children.” Platypus books are distributed through National Book Network and are available widely through bookstores, retailers, and online sites as well as through the publisher’s website. Title 1 schools, literacy groups, and non-profits can find them, at deep discount, on the First Book Marketplace.
Click to buy
Cuddled and Carried / Consentido y cargado
Babies Nurse / Así se alimentan los bebés
Posted by Elena del Valle on May 23, 2018
Let the Story Do the Work
Photos: Leadership Story Lab
After dedicating 20 years to evaluating the potential of future leaders to succeed for a living, as a university admissions officer, Esther Choy, M.B.A., decided to change career tracks. Now she is president of Leadership Story Lab. Taking advantage of the lessons learned in both jobs about the value of stories in the business environment she wrote a 230-page hardcover book for business leaders with technical, quantitative and analytical expertise who need to master communication so that they can inform and influence a broad set of audiences. Last year, Let the Story Do the Work The Art of Storytelling for Business Success (American Management Association, $24.95) was published.
“I’ve seen it from both sides,” Choy said by email when asked what makes her an expert on the subject. “Spent my twenty-year career on developing and evaluating leaders’ potential to succeed. The key is storytelling, which leads to job promotion, new clients and record fundraising.”
In the jacket of the book she promises readers it will help them by breaking down the art of storytelling into step-by-step guidelines, insights, and examples so they can weave storytelling techniques into their communications and strengthen their impact. The book, which has several pages of end notes, is divided into eleven chapters and three main parts: Anatomy of a Story, Bringing Stories to Life, and Stories in Action.
When asked if there are business types for which letting the story do the work is not advisable or doesn’t work she replied, “No. I wrote the book with a general business audience in mind. However, one thing to note is that Let the Story Do the Work is not meant to be a book on writing. Contrary to popular belief, oral storytelling shares more things in common with performing arts and it does with writing.”
Esther Choy, author, Let the Story Do the Work
The author believes in the power of well told personal stories combined with social influence to elevate a narrator’s ability to stimulate effective networking and inspire conversations as well as audiences during presentations. Asked about data accumulation by third parties, that some people may be shy about sharing more private information, and what other options they have she replied, “It’s precisely because third parties data collection is constant and inevitable that we have to take active control of our own narrative. Keep in mind, your compelling story shouldn’t just have your credentials or competence, which are both easy to search in this day and age. It should first and foremost share your characters. What make you you is the core of personal storytelling.”
When asked about the impact of technology, including AI, on the work environment and whether story telling may be affected she said, “Technology can connect us in ways never imaginable. If misused, however, technology create more harm than good. Just think the term, ‘Death by PowerPoint.’ The key to using tech without abusing is to never assume that it will solve all our problems. People still need other people, that may never be replaced by machines.”
In her current company Choy coaches managers in storytelling techniques. She also teaches in the executive education programs at Northwestern Univerity’s Kellogg School of Management. Prior to that she served as admissions officer for the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Click to buy Let the Story Do the Work
Posted by Elena del Valle on May 10, 2018
Meet the Frugalwoods
Photos: Courtesy of HarperBusiness, Nate Thames
The rat race sometimes gets to be a bit much, dragging down the best of us. A few lucky people discover a way out. Fewer still find financial independence of some kind and share the story of how they did it. Elizabeth Willard Thames and her husband Nate are working yet living life on their own terms. While many may not want to relocate permanently to remote and rural Vermont as they did achieving their goal of financial independence may appeal to many of us.
In Meet the Frugalwoods Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living (Harper Business, $22.99), a 229-page hardcover book published recently, Elizabeth Thames shares the experiences in life and work that led her and her husband to quit their jobs and leave a conventional life in upscale Cambridge, Massachusetts in search of a more meaningful and satisfying life in the country. She also explains in general terms how they followed a more frugal than most approach for years that allowed them to save enough (as much as 70 percent of their take home income at times) to make big purchases with relative ease without having to always borrow for a mortgage or bank loan.
Elizabeth Willard Thames, author, Meet the Frugalwoods
Thames is the blog voice behind the Frugalwoods website, focusing on personal finance from her personal perspective. She, her husband and their small children live in a homestead in the Vermont woods. She did not respond to questions submitted more than one week in advance via her publishing company.
Thames holds undergraduate degrees in political science and creative writing from the University of Kansas and an masters in public administration from American University. Prior to following her calling as a writer and homesteader, she worked for ten years in the nonprofit sector as a fund-raiser and communications manager.
Click to buy Meet the Frugalwoods
Posted by Elena del Valle on May 3, 2018
The Making of a Massacre
Images: Audible, ProPulica
On May 4, 2018 the final parts of The Making of a Massacre, a five-part audio series (The first part of the series is already available for Audible members on the company website) should become available. In the series, Ginger Thompson, investigative reporter, ProPublica, takes listeners through the nonfiction story of the disappearance of dozens of people from Allende, a small Mexican border town. She relies on interviews, English voice over excerpts of interviews with townspeople, officials, and cartel members to illustrate “the way in which well-intentioned efforts to curtail the drug trade had devastating real-life results.”
The review edition of the audio recording, about two hours long, had uneven volume and at times it was difficult to distinguish sounds and words from sound effects and background noises. Despite multiple requests submitted two weeks in advance via a publishing company representative first and later directly to the journalist, Thompson declined to respond to questions about the recording.
According to promotional materials, Thompson spent 15 years at The New York Times, including time as a Washington correspondent and as an investigative reporter whose stories revealed Washington’s secret role in Mexico’s fight against drug traffickers. While at The Times, she covered Mexico’s transformation from a one-party state to a fledgling multi-party democracy and into breaking news events across the region, including Cuba, Haiti and Venezuela.
For her work in the region, she was a finalist for The Pulitzer’s Gold Medal for Public Service. She won the Maria Moors Cabot Prize, the Selden Ring Award for investigative reporting, an InterAmerican Press Association Award, and an Overseas Press Club Award. Thompson was also part of a team of national reporters at The Times that was awarded a 2000 Pulitzer Prize for the series How Race is Lived in America.
Posted by Elena del Valle on April 12, 2018
The Ultimate Job Search Guide
Photos: Simon and Schuster, Knock ’em Dead
For 32 years Martin Yate, CPC has been “thinking about, writing and helping people through the issues that can advance a career or get a stalled one back on track.” During that time he has shared his insights in 18 books in 85 editions. Updating existing books requires approximately three months of work. In the 32nd edition of Knock ’em Dead: The Ultimate Job Search Guide (Adams Media, $17.99) published last year he outlines his latest tips for job finding.
When asked about the target audience for his book he replied by email “…anyone who can read, wants to be successful, achieve financial stability and live a personally fulfilled life. The professional world. I have readers who started with me after graduation and now make speeches at Davos & G7, single parents struggling to get ahead from a bad starting place, and everything in between. I have honed a comprehensive and completely new approach to career management that makes sense to anyone at any age, professional title, socio-economic status or situation. I don’t waste words so every page of every book offers common-sense advice that anyone can apply to their unique situations, which is all focused on you personally, achieving success, stability and fulfillment.”
The 400-page softcover book is divided into 30 chapters and four parts: The Well-Stocked Briefcase, Get the Word Out, Great Answers to Tough Interview Questions and Finishing Touches. It addresses age discrimination, career changes, confidential job searches, staying ahead of disruptions as well as answering tricky and touch interview questions, social media and other job search and job finding issues. The chapters include tips, highlighted in a blue background.
Martin Yate, CP, author, The Ultimate Job Search Guide
“My 360 degree understanding of career issues that come from being one of the early Silicon Valley international technology headhunters, Director of HR at Bell Computer Memory Division, Dir of Training & Development at world’s 3rd largest employment services company, and spending the majority of my waking moments for 32 years, thinking about, writing and helping people through the issues that can advance a career or get a stalled one back on track,” the author said when asked about his qualifications to write the book.
When asked about the impact of artificial intelligence on the job market he replied, “It’s too scary to think about but think and prepare we must because since 1948, recessions have come round with regularity every 7-10 years; each time they get a little deeper, with longer recovery every time. The last one topped out at 10 percent unemployment in 2012, and 6 percent of our workforce are discouraged workers many of whom lost their ability to make a living because of the impact of earlier waves of technology adoption.
Now let’s add in the impact of AI: No less an authority than Forrester Research released a report last year on the impact of of AI on employment by 2027, the highlights are: We will lose 16 percent of all jobs, at all levels, in all industries and professions and that 30 percent of today’s heritage technology companies will cease to exist. Put these facts together and we could be looking at 20 percent+ unemployment.”
To the question of what jobs might be available in the next decade he replied, “The same Forrester report predicted 9 percent of new jobs created will be in AI. Beyond this it is almost impossible to say. I have a belief that this upheaval will necessarily increase entrepreneurial endeavor. Beyond that the safest jobs will be those that are driven by demographics (example the aging population), or require interaction with the customer, making the professional trades more appealing.”
Click to buy Knock ’em Dead: The Ultimate Job Search Guide
Posted by Elena del Valle on March 28, 2018
Photos: Eclipse Marketing Services, Inc., delishioscookbook.com
In 2017, nine women and eight men television stars, entertainers and celebrity chefs, most Spanish language celebrities with ties to Latin America, shared 45 recipes of favorite dishes in Nexos Latinos’ Delish-ioso: A Collection of Latino Chef and Celebrity Recipes (Eclipse Marketing Services, Inc., $35). The publication targets bilingual and bicultural Hispanic American food lovers, who are family oriented, like “to spend time cooking and following Latino celebrities; also favor brands and products that give back to the community.”
The full color book includes recipes in Spanish and English, in that order, and the Spanish language font is larger than the English language font. It features recipes from Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela.
Farruko, contributor, Delish-ioso
The 234-page hardcover book printed in the United States includes page sized photos of the contributors and dishes as well as cultural tidbits about the recipes. The project required one year from idea to publication and features the work of 53 photographers. The publisher partnered with Hudson County Community College (HCCC). According to promotional materials, for every book sold a portion of the net profit will be donated to the HCCC Foundation to benefit its culinary arts program.
To the question of what portion of the net profits exactly will be donated to HCCC, a spokesperson replied by email as follows: “With the sale of every book we will be donating a portion of the net profits to the Culinary Arts Institute of the Hudson County Community College (HCCC). The HCCC Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management program is nationally recognized for excellence and was ranked sixth ‘Best Culinary School’ in the U.S. by ‘Best Choice Schools.’ The HCCC is also designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), one of only 275 colleges and universities in the U.S. recognized as such by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). By partnering on this cookbook, the college will benefit from a portion of the net profits, and have the ability to continue awarding distinguished students financial scholarships.”
The cookbook’s editor-in-chief was Donna Hernández, who, according to promotional materials has over 20 years of experience with the United States Hispanic market. Hernández invited celebrities she had worked with in the past to be a part of the project.
Lorena Garcia, contributor, Delish-ioso
The project participants, who will receive no financial remuneration for their recipes, are: Karla Martinez, TV host, Univision; Ingrid Hoffmann, celebrity chef; Luis Coronel, singer; Jacob Forever (Yosdani Jacob Carmenates), singer; Sharlene Taule, actress and singer; Helen Ochoa, singer; James Tahhan, celebrity chef, Telemundo; Jonatan Sanchez, singer; Lorena Garcia, celebrity chef; Jessica Carrillo, TV host, Telemundo; Farruko (Carlos Efrén Reyes Rosado), singer; Silvestre Dangond, singer; Vianney Rodriguez, blogger, sweetlifebake.com; Leslie Grace (Leslie Grace Martinez), singer; Adriel Favela, singer; and Omar Giner, chef and restaurant owner.
Nexos Latinos is a magazine and brand published by Eclipse Marketing Services, Inc. Nexos Latinos and Eclipse Marketing Services are owned by Margaret Boller, who is the chief executive officer and Founder. The cookbook is available exclusively on the company website.
Posted by Elena del Valle on March 8, 2018
Wildlife in Wild Lands
Photos: Laura Crawford Williams
After years of intense work at a software company in the 1990s Laura Crawford Williams needed to recharge so she turned her attention to wildlife photography. She began near her home and in time traveled far away to capture images that were published in wildlife magazines. She has spent 18 years as a wildlife conservation photographer. In October 2017, Wildlife in Wild Lands Photography for Conservation in Southern South America (My Wild Life Press, $34.95), her first photography book, was published.
“I never intended to become a professional wildlife photographer. I was simply doing what I love to do,” she said by email through her publicist when asked about her work.
She used two Nikon D4s camera bodies with various professional lenses, filters, and a tripod. All photography was completed between 2007 and 2015 for the 230-page softcover book. Book conception and production, at its earliest stages, began in November of 2015.
When asked about her goal in publishing the book she replied, “We are the only species with the ability to modify the planet so significantly that we affect the lives of every other species living here. As a result, species are disappearing at an unprecedented rate. We must all participate in the protection of habitats and species as citizens, organizations, federal entities, and local governments. This project is my labor of love to that end. I hope to inspire in others, my own desperate desire to protect the natural world – every tiny, amazing piece of it!”
The book has six chapters, in English and Spanish, and 150 large (some occupying most of the page) photographs of 113 species; each with captions describing behavior, conservation challenges and status. There are 66 photos in a final chapter, titled Between Frames, with accompanying descriptions of her work and adventures in the field.
She photographed several animals in rehabilitation centers where animals are unable to be re-released due to injury or illness. Images of captive animals are labeled in the accompanying caption.
When asked about enhancement software and modification of the photos from their raw originals she replied, “Nikon RAW files were brought into Photo Mechanic and selected files were converted to TIFF format. TIFF files were then opened in Photoshop for global edits such as contrast, saturation, color-balance, noise, sharpening, cropping, or straightening, as needed or desired. I call these global edits since they are applied to the entire image and not to selected areas. Occasionally, when I felt the image would benefit visually by focusing on the subject more directly, I’d add a vignette or graduated neutral density filter via Photoshop (if I had not already done so in the field). I will also sharpen selectively as needed.”
Laura Crawford Williams
“I did not receive any money or in kind contributions from a third party in exchange for promotion, mention in the book,” the photographer replied when asked whether she received money or in kind contributions from a third party in exchange for promotion, mention in the book. “Sponsorship and endorsement were given and offered freely. We raised $60,126 during a 30 day Kickstarter campaign in October. However, once we paid the required Kickstarter fees, costs related to reward production/fulfillment, and income tax we were left with just over half that amount. I financed the entire project outside of the Kickstarter contribution. All money earned via sales and presentation goes toward reimbursement for the remaining book production and marketing costs. Once the production and marketing budget is reimbursed, any and all proceeds will go into an account setup specifically for the printing of additional editions. This is the agreement I made with the National Parks Association, National Parks Foundation, and President Mauricio Macri of Argentina.”
Crawford Williams plans to publish two more photography books. “People have been asking if I would write a book about my adventures in the field with my team,” she said when asked about future books. “Audiences have thoroughly enjoyed hearing stories about being on the road in some of the most remote areas of the world, as well as about working with potentially dangerous species. They can’t believe some of the uncomfortable challenges we had to overcome. As for the second one, I have a large collection of images taken while living and working in the prairies of Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota for 12 years. I’d like to showcase the best of this collection and inspire people to appreciate the subtle and fragile beauty found in our prairie ecosystems.”
Click to buy Wildlife in Wild Lands (English and Spanish Edition)
Posted by Elena del Valle on February 15, 2018
Jill Filipovic, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, believes women want the freedom to pursue happiness without gender, class, location and identity biases and constraints. In The H-Spot The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness (Hachette Audio, $30) she discusses her experiences, her research and the impressions she formed from conversations with some women and men from various parts of the country.
In the audiobook, narrated by the author, she explores the history of working women in the United States and her concerns about the pervasive inequality that plagues our country. She outlines the burden presented by high standards of feminine perfection for women and the requirement that they be willing to sacrifice their happiness and well being for their loved ones, while she acknowledges that some of the standards are perpetuated by women. She highlights that the requirements for being a “good mother” have never been so extreme. The author points out the need for political and social changes at the national level.
Multiple requests over several weeks to respond to book related questions and for a book image via her website, Twitter and her publisher were unanswered. According to a biography for Filipovic on her publisher’s website she is a regular columnist for Cosmopolitan.com, where she was previously a senior political writer. A former columnist for the Guardian, she is also an attorney. The biography also indicates that her work on law, politics, gender and foreign affairs has appeared in The Washington Post, Time, Nation, and Foreign Policy.
Click to buy The H-Spot