Random Quotes from New Books This September

Jacket image, Accounting for the Numberphobic by Dawn FotopulosAccounting for the Numberphobic: A survival Guide for Small Business Owners by Dawn Fotopulos

“Now, what if we were able to lower the unit COGS on our raspberry cupcakes some, but not enoughto get them to 70 percent of retail price. Let’s say that after negotiating with a new raspberry supplier, we shave $0.15 of direct costs off each of our cupcakes, bringing our COGS from $2.10 down to $1.95. Now we still need to raise our prices to reach a 30 percent gross margin, but we won’t have to raise them as much. Using the COGS method, if we mark up $1.95 by 45 percent (1.95 times 1.45), we get a unit price of $2.83 (rounding up). Using the net revenue method—setting our unit cost of $1.95 as 70 percent of the retail price—we end up charging $2.79 per unit. With our new  unit cost, we can sell the raspberry cupcake at between $2.79 and $2.82 apiece and make an adequate gross margin, that is, stay in business.” (page 49)

Jacket image, The Elements of Résume Style, Second Edition by Scott BennettThe Elements of Résumé Style: Essential Rules and Eye-Opening Advice for Writing Résumés and Cover Letters That Work, 2nd Edition by Scott Bennett

“Many former entrepreneurs mistakenly fear that prospective employers will view them as (1) unwilling or unable to report to others and (2) failures. The first of these fears is groundless and the second is impossible. First, former entrepreneurs have been where the buck stops. They understand—perhaps more clearly than other employees—the need to quickly pitch in and get something done without endless debate. Second, while a business can be a failure, a person cannot be a failure. People don’t turn into goats after a business fails. They’re still successes as people.” (page 9)

Jacket image, Lead with Humility by Jeffrey A. KramesLead With Humility: 12 Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis by Jeffrey A. Krames

“The quest for inclusion has been one of the most important factors in making Pope Francis so popular. Inclusion was at the heart of the majority of his key decisions during his first year as head of the Church. While he dismisses the depiction of himself as  a ‘superhero’ pontiff, there is no arguing how he has affected the 1.2 billion Catholics he leads (not to mention millions of others who have come to admire him). He may be no superhero but he is the only pope in history to canonize two popes in a single day—Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II— in late April 2014. Papal pundits lauded the act because the two popes were seen as a ‘balance’—representing both the left and the right of the Church.” (page 41)

Jacket image, Sell Your Business for an Outrageous Price by Kevin M. ShortSell Your Business for an Outrageous Price: An Insider’s Guide to Getting More Than You Ever Thought Possible by Kevin M. Short

“We’ll assume that, as part of the Proactive Sale Strategy, your investment banker has completed a list of potential buyers. He or she created that list with your input and from a number of sources, including trade association membership lists, data and analysis, media and Internet searches, and you hope, extensive networking in your industry and others. That list likely includes both public and private companies, such as private equity groups, industry players, adjacencies (companies in industries adjacent to yours) and competitors.” (page 156)

Jacket image, A World Gone Social by Mark Babbitt and Ted CoineA World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive by Mark Babbitt and Ted Coiné

“These are just a few ways professionals of all descriptions are building their brands—and thus their careers as leaders— on social media. Really, the sky’s the limit, and, as we’ll discuss in the final chapter of this book, we don’t even know what’s next—only that we need to be firmly in the mix, or we’ll be left behind. it’s absolutely stunning to us that more executives aren’t social. But then again, one way or another (by holdouts getting with the program or being replaced with hipper, more socially savvy successors over the next couple of years), this certainly won’t be the case for long.” (page 134)


Want to sample other AMACOM books? Check out our Random Quotes from New Books series.

Spotlight on Data Crush

Jacket image, Data Crush by Christopher SurdakWe’re shining a spotlight on Data Crush: How the Information Tidal Wave is Driving New Business Opportunities and on the author, Chris Surdak. Both the book and the author’s presentations on the topic have received acclaim and started interesting conversations about technology and the impact of big data in the business world.

getAbstract chose Data Crush as an International Book Awards Finalist for 2014.

T+D had this to say about Data Crush:

“For readers looking for answers to questions such as ‘What’s driving big data?’ ‘How will big data affect my business?’ and ‘How should we respond?’ Data Crush puts this knowledge in easy reach.”

CIO Insight said Data Crush

“…offers a wide range of best practices to maximize the value of data as a business-driving asset.”

Inside Big Data said:

“Backed by extensive research and the real-world experience of early Big Data adopters, Surdak makes a compelling case for embracing the explosion of data for a deeper and richer understanding of any business and its customers…Surdak wraps it all up with five vivid, highly conceivable scenarios of everyday life and business as usual in the year 2020. Engaging as well as informative and useful, Data Crush, provides an expert compass for navigating a world awash in data and a life jacket for cruising through the adventure.”

Nationally syndicated columnist Joyce Lain Kennedy said

“Surdak’s new book Data Crush stands out in the business-reader market place by clearly explaining what started and continues today’s almost unimaginable surge of data and how that trend will affect an individual’s business in a world continually flooded with information.”

The Futurist said:

Data Crush is an informative guide to the information-technology ecosystem and where it is heading. It’s optimal reading for business professionals in any industry.”

In a column that appeared on the Huffington Post, Martin Zwilling observed:

“You need to start now to understand the trends and specifics of the information tidal wave that is building up in front of us. Use the steps outlined here to stay ahead of it, and use its power to propel your startup into the future, ahead of your competition. The possibilities are endless…”

Data Rules and E-Discovery Law said:

“Either crush, or be crushed…Data Crush provides a roadmap for keeping your business on the right side of the tidal wave of data.”

Infoversant praised:

“…the book is an excellent resource to understand Big Data and know how its impacting business. The projects made by the author, although astonishing, are not unrealistic. Knowing these trends and the movement in business environment is essential for every business. Apart from business owners and managers, the book provides enough ideas and information for entrepreneurs to use data to create new solutions and applications for the information hungry market.”

Chris Surdak’s interviews about the book have included our own AMA Edgewise Podcast, along with numerous radio appearances.

Surdak has also given presentations about big data, technology and business at a number of conferences nationwide.

He has spoken at several conferences in support of his ideas. His speaking engagements have included presentations at The New York IT Leadership Academy Conference, The Virtual LegalTech Show, the Sedona Conference, this year’s Gaming Industry Conference, and The Western Republican Leadership Conference, along with many others nationwide.

Photo of Chris Surdak, author of Data CrushAt this year’s Niagara Summit, he gave a presentation entitled “What’s All the Hadoop About? Integrating Big Data Technologies Primer.

Christopher Surdak is a recognized expert in collaboration and content management, information security, regulatory compliance, and Cloud computing with over 20 years of professional experience. He is the senior manager for storage technologies for Accenture.

Dale McGowan on He’s an Atheist, She’s a Christian…But What Are the Children?

Photo of Dale McGowan, author of In Faith and In DoubtThe following is a guest post from Dale McGowan, author of In Faith and In Doubt: How Religious Believers and Nonbelievers Can Create Strong Marriages and Loving Families.

After telling someone else about their religious differences, most mixed-belief couples know what’s coming next: “But then . . . what are the children?”

It’s a sensible question. For most of human history, a family’s religious identity has been assigned to the children of the family at birth. And because same-religion marriage has been the overwhelming norm—Catholics married Catholics, Hindus married Hindus, and so on—there’s been little reason to wonder about other options.

But more than twice as many new couples are mixed-belief today as in the 1950s, so the question of a child’s religious identity has come to the fore. Many of these couples choose to raise their children in one faith or the other, or to practice a kind of Star-of-David-atop-the-Christmas-tree hybrid. It’s challenging, but many couples make it work.

But what happens when one partner is nonreligious, as one in five Americans currently are? At least Jewish and Christian partners have God in common. Can you really bridge the gap between God and not-God—especially when it comes to the children?

For a growing number of secular/religious couples, the answer is yes. The key is realizing that a religious label is most meaningful when it is freely chosen. To help ensure that their children receive that gift of autonomy, secular/religious parents often preserve space around their children to breathe and think and explore ideas without wearing a label at all, religious or irreligious.

The idea of raising a child with no specific worldview label is as confusing to some people as raising a child without a name. But it shouldn’t be. Referring to a child as “a Catholic child” or “an atheist child” should sound as silly to us as saying “a Marxist child” or “a Republican child.” All of these labels represent complex perspectives that they cannot yet claim to have examined and chosen freely. Until they can, there’s no need to force the issue.

This doesn’t mean our kids shouldn’t engage in religious practices or belief. It means the exact opposite. Erecting a wall between the child and all religious experience isn’t necessary or good. In fact, closing children off from these experiences can violate their autonomy just as much as restricting them to a single fragment of religious opinion. This issue is about resisting the urge to place a complex worldview label on a child before she is ready for it. She can go to church or Sunday school, read the Bible, and pray without being called a Christian, Muslim, or Jew, just as she can challenge religious ideas, debate religious friends, and read The God Delusion without being an atheist.

A child with one religious and one nonreligious parent is in a uniquely lucky position to do all of these things–learn religious concepts and challenge them, engage in religious practices and wonder if they are meaningful, pray and question whether her prayers are heard.

Some kids raised this way end up choosing a religious identity; others choose a nonreligious one. In both cases, the individual receives the gift of genuine autonomy in a major life decision. And in neither case does the child have to go through the guilty turmoil of deciding whether to accept or reject a label placed on him by his loving parents.

Secular/nonreligious partners are in the ideal situation to facilitate this open process. Both parents can and should wear their own identities proudly, even as they point to each other for alternate points of view. Both should share the experience of their perspective, then say, “Here’s what I believe with all my heart, it’s very important to me and I think it’s true, but these are things each person has to decide for herself, and I want you to talk to people who have different beliefs so you can make up your own mind. You can change your mind a thousand times. There’s no penalty for getting it wrong, and I will love you no less if you end up believing differently from me.”

Jacket image, In Faith and In Doubt by Dale McGowanImagine kids growing up with that invitation to engage the most profound questions of all freely and without fear. Well a growing number of parents, including many who are partnered across the widest belief gap of all, don’t have to imagine it—they’re doing it today.

Dale McGowan is the author of Parenting Beyond Belief, Raising Freethinkers, and Atheism for Dummies. He is also founding Executive Director of Foundation Beyond Belief, an organization that facilitates charitable giving and volunteering in the nonreligious community. In 2008, Dale was named Harvard Humanist of the Year for his work in nonreligious parenting. He lives with his wife and kids near Atlanta.



Teenagers 101 Now Available on NetGalley

Jacket image, Teenagers 101 by Rebecca DeurleinOur newest offering on NetGalley, Teenagers 101: What a Top Teacher Wishes You Knew About Helping Your Kid Succeed by Rebecca Deurlein is a resource for parents of teenagers, as well as writers, bloggers, librarians, booksellers and those who write and think about the challenges of raising teens. Book reviewers, journalists, academics,  and other book professionals interested in a teacher’s perspective on the challenges facing teenagers and their parents are invited to request Teenagers 101 for review.

Time for a parent-teacher conference. The topic: teenagers.

As a parent, you want to see your teen succeed in school and in life—and you do your best to help. But how do you know what will make a difference? Maybe it’s time to listen to a teacher.

Day in and day out, teachers watch kids interact with peers, make decisions, deal with difficulty, accept or deflect responsibility . . . Teachers are our eyes and ears—and there’s a lot they wish we knew.

In Teenagers 101, veteran high school teacher Rebecca Deurlein examines how we can support our teens as they cope with the challenges of the modern world. In an age of instant gratification, how do they learn to work hard? How do they become self-reliant when Mom and Dad are quick to step in? How do they make the transition from kids to adults? Speaking as an educator and a parent herself, Deurlein offers practical strategies for getting teens to:

  • Be self-motivated
  • Take responsibility for learning
  • Puzzle through problems
  • Become their own advocate
  • Present themselves well
  • And more

Packed with engaging anecdotes and backed by years of experience, Teenagers 101 is a crash course on the skills teenagers everywhere need to thrive in college and beyond.

Photo of Rebecca Deurlein, author of Teenagers 101Rebecca Deurlein Ed.D, has taught in school systems around the country for nearly two decades. She has a doctoral degree in educational leadership and has raised two children of her own. She has spent her lifetime researching teen behavior and learning strategies. She specializes in understanding and correcting behavior issues and motivating teenagers to higher levels of critical thinking.

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NetGalley is a service for people who read and recommend books, such as book reviewers, journalists, librarians, professors, booksellers, and bloggers.

There are a number of different reading options for this e-galley:

Find all of AMACOM’s e-galleys on NetGalley.

You can review how to get AMACOM’s digital galley request approval on NetGalley HERE.


Podcast: Paul Brown on Owning Your Future

Photo of Paul Brown, author of Own Your FutureVersatile and always learning from their mistakes, entrepreneurs can adapt to the toughest economy. Paul Brown, author of Own Your Future: How to Thrive Like an Entrepreneur and Thrive in an Unpredictable Economy  talks about ways employees can use an entrepreneurial mindset to update their skills and stay relevant in the changing workplace  with the AMA Edgewise team on a recent podcast.

 Paul B Brown, author of Own Your Future: How to Think Like an Entrepreneur and Thrive in an Unpredictable Economy, published by AMACOM, argues that in order to be successful in any business one must think like an entrepreneur. You don’t have to quit your job and start a new business, but you do have to start thinking of owning your own future—become more entrepreneurial in your thoughts and actions. Brown stresses that these actions must be in the form of small steps, like a birdhouse builder selling at a local craft fair on the weekends before considering opening up a store. You learn from it, build upon it, and then repeat again. This way, Brown assures, you’ll be able to control your future.

Jacket image, Own Your Future by Paul BrownListen to Paul Brown on the AMA Edgewise Podcast.

Paul Brown is a long-time contributor to the New York Times and a former writer and editor for BusinessWeek.

Listen to more interviews with AMACOM authors on the AMA Edgewise Podcast.