Monthly Archives: April 2009

Green Your AMACOM Library for Earth Day

AMACOM has been publishing books in the environmental field, so today is a great day to highlight some of our eco-friendly titles on the blog


Investing in a Sustainable World: Why Green is the New Color of Money by Matthew J. Kiernan, Ph.D.

“Matthew Kiernan has successfully scaled the Green Wall that often separates those working in the financial and sustainability domains. His latest book demystifies the concept of sustainable investment and provides a compelling rationale for Wall Street to consider environmental and social criteria, not as afterthoughts but rather as core considerations in our investment decision-making framework.” –Abyd Karmali, Managing Director, Global Head of Carbon Markets, Merrill Lynch

“If you’re a long-term investor, you have to care about sustainability, because it also equates to the ultimate sustainability of corporate earnings. As a Fund that invests across multiple generations, seeking short term gains at the expense of our planet and mankind, will ultimately prove too costly to long-term corporate earnings and therefore reduce our overall return. We at CalSTRS take this book’s messages very much to heart.” –Christopher Ailman, Chief Investment Officer CalSTRS

The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook: When it All Comes Together edited by Jeana Wirtenberg, Ph.D., William G. Russell, David Lipsky, Ph.D.

“this book offers a compilation of excellent, practical resources for developing a sustainable enterprise.” —Choice

“A very user-friendly and practical book on sustainability. It is well written and comprehensive, very clear, and concise in its explanations and applicable examples.” —People & Strategy

Coming July 2009!

Green Tech: How to Plan and Implement Sustainable IT Solutions by Lawrence Webber and Michael Wallace

With today’s electronic systems consuming massive amounts of energy, and improper disposal of old equipment threatening to release dangerous toxicity into the atmosphere, any company whose IT department isn’t actively working to shrink its carbon footprint isn’t just hurting the environment…it is also probably wasting money. Green Tech provides readers with practical, easily implemented strategies for sustainable computing. Filled with realistic, cost-efficient ideas, this book shows that going green isn’t just the right thing to do, but also a good business strategy.


Your Eco-Friendly Home: Buying, Building, and Remodeling Green by Sid Davis

“…easy to understand book for both readers who are interested in making small changes, or who want a completely sustainable home.” —ForeWord

“For anyone with questions about ways to buy, build or remodel a home so that it meets more environmentally friendly standards, this book provides the answers.” –Long Island Newsday

“…addresses practical considerations of how to find and finance eco-friendly real estate as well as use environmentally sound materials and techniques to make homes more efficient.” –Home Maintenance Club

“This guide gives you all the general home building, buying or renovating information you need…but Your Eco-Friendly Home then takes you a step further, explaining how to make your home as green as possible while keeping your budgetary and other individual needs in mind…this no-nonsense book…points to a wealth of resources and green websites to help you towards your eco-friendly journey.” –, review by Green LA Girl

“I can certainly see myself referring back to the book as a resource and a launch point to help weigh my options. I like this book because when I finished it, I left knowing more than when I started, but also feeling a little more realistic in both my home buying and my green home aspirations.” –

“Davis’s latest book guides buyers who are searching for eco-friendly real estate down the right path in a market that offers little or no resources…The book is a must-buy for those home buyers or owners wishing to go-green” –Gay Real Estate USA

“Clear, understandable language brings readers up to speed on green real estate concepts that could otherwise be tricky for beginners.” — The Sierra Club’s Green Life Blog


Food Fray: Inside the Controversy over Genetically Modified Food by Lisa Weasel, Ph.D.

2009 Green Book Festival Competition Winner in the Scientific category

“The well-written and well-researched book combines interviews with scientists, activists, farmers, and consumers with scientific insights into this contemporary controversy.” — SciTech Book News

“An intelligent synthesis of solid research, firsthand reporting, and comprehendible analysis that manages to stay objective while critically examining the issues at hand.” —World Future Review

“A riveting and disturbing reality check, Food Fray is a crucial reminder that it’s time to be informed, not passive. Weasel’s is a compelling voice affirming that the desire to know more about GM foods before eating them and to allay concerns about safety and environmental impacts, isn’t at all anti-science. It’s a decidedly pro-human stance.” —The Miami Herald

“Weasel asks and answers important questions about the world’s food supply.” —The Oregonian

“Dr. Weasel masterfully navigates the complicated and multi-faceted history of the storied GM debate, giving equal treatment to the various sides and ultimately entrusting the readers to come to their own conclusions. The end result is required reading for anyone curious about GM technologies, past, present and future.” — Common Ground Magazine

Nuclear Nebraska: The Remarkable Story of the Little County That Couldn’t Be Bought by Susan Cragin

“This inspiring story teaches a wonderful lesson of democracy in action.” –ALA Booklist

Where We Stand: A Surprising Look at the Real State of Our Planet by Seymour Garte, Ph.D.

“Garte’s reasoned discussion[…]a valuable tool for increasing science literacy with regards to the important environmental issues of the day” —Publishers Weekly

“For people who are put off by all the talk of global warming these days, a new book, ‘Where We Stand: A Surprising Look at the Real State of Our Planet’ by Seymour Garte, Ph.D., gives a balanced and in many ways positive view of the state of the planet. Garte, a professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, goes over both the critical issues still facing man, as well as the often-forgotten progress and positive developments. Perusing the book, I find the author’s messages to be more insightful than I would have expected with a level of optimism that’s refreshing.” — Green World Blog,

“Where We Stand, is an antidote for an overly pessimistic view of the future of the environment…He presents an authoritative and compelling argument for the role of technology and scientific discovery — an unusual stance in the ecological worldview.” —HealthNet Media

“Dr. Garte does a very good job of spelling out where we’re doing well, how we’ve failed, and what we can continue to do to improve. This book is a testament to the academics and good attitude of Dr. Garte, a professor of environmental and occupational health at the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health. Hopefully, by reading it, everyone can learn something, whatever your personal or political views on the subject. I highly recommend this book!” –

Happy Earth Day everyone! Keep making the world a better place to live!


Sid Davis on 10 Ways to Go Green, Save Energy, and Money

The following is a guest post by Sid Davis, author of Your Eco-Friendly Home, on ways homeowners can save money by going green.

Many homeowners feel it takes a big investment in time and money to increase their home’s energy efficiency. However, there’s a lot you can do that will make your home more green and shave your energy bills at the same time. For Earth Day, I’ve pulled together my 10 favorite ways to go green:

1. Replace old energy-leaking windows with newer double or triple pane models. Depending on the area, this can reduce your heating and cooling bills significantly.

2. Make sure your home’s insulation is up to current standards and recommended ratings for your area.

3. When you replace aging appliances, shop for those with Energy Star ratings.

4. Replace roofs and siding with green and longer lasting products such as fiber-cement or recycled materials that will save you money.

5. Restore rather than replace kitchen cabinets when updating your kitchen. Restaining, painting or replacing hardware can save you thousands over buying new cabinets.

6. When replacing countertops, shop for attractive products made from recycled materials such as glass, wood, stone and even laminated cardboard.

7. Replace a failed water heater with a new hot water on demand unit. Along with insulated hot water pipes, you may pay for the upgrades in just a few years in water and energy savings.

8. If your furnace is more than 10 years old, consider replacing with a newer high-efficiency model. Depending on the area, you can often recoup the cost in energy savings in only a few years.

9. Consider replacing an old central air conditioner with a newer energy-efficient model. You can often recoup the cost in energy savings in just a few years.

10. Look for federal, state and city tax credits, utility company rebates and grants available in your area when you upgrade to energy efficient products. These savings can be considerable. Start with

A frequent contributor to real estate industry magazines and The Los Angeles Times, Sid Davis is the author of Your Eco-Friendly Home: Buying, Building, or Remodeling Green. He is also the author of Survial Guide to Buying a Home (second edition to be published in June 2009), Survial Guide to Selling a Home, Home Makeovers that Sell, and The First-Time Home Owner’s Survival Guide. Davis is the owner of Sid Davis & Associates in UT.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio on The Colbert Report

Our own Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, author of Joe’s Law: America’s Toughest Sheriff Takes on Illegal Immigration, Drugs and Everything Else That Threatens America with Len Sherman, was on The Colbert Report last night. He talked with Stephen about picketers outside the studio, catching illegal immigrants, a wall on the Mexican border, and of course, his tie pin.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Joe Arpaio
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Gay Marriage Commercial

To watch the video, visit The Colbert Nation HERE.

Learn more about Sheriff Joe at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office website.

Award: Food Fray wins at 2009 Green Book Festival

We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Lisa Weasel’s Food Fray: Inside the Controversy Over Genetically Modified Food has won in the scientific category at the 2009 Green Book Festival.

Be sure to check out the other winners HERE.

Congratulations Lisa!

Introducing AMACOM… Barry

Barry Richardson is a Senior Development Editor here at AMACOM. He started in September of 2003 as a development editor to improve manuscripts (“book doctoring”) while keeping the author’s voice and expertise. This could involve heavy-duty editing, reorganization, and rewriting or coaching authors with suggestions on how to revise their manuscripts.

Barry clearly happy that some of those books were finally finished.

Barry clearly happy that some of those books were finally finished.

Now his duties have evolved and expanded: handling the in-house responsibilities for an offsite editor’s books, from editing to titling to jacket review to working with his authors, etc; directing an outside stable of freelance editors, who work on our manuscripts, so that Barry can concentrate his time and effort on the most important duties. He is currently doing much more hands-on editing himself and helping Rosemary Carlough with BookBlast, our monthly newsletter.

What were you doing before you joined AMACOM?

I worked for 25 years at Prentice Hall (P-H). I started in the Executive Reports Corporation, researching and writing articles for a variety of high-level newsletters (yes, printed products that cost subscribers big money) on topics such as management, taxes, finances, sales, etc. Next was the Bureau of Business Practice, where I continued to write articles, handled several newsletters myself, created special guides to accompany videos, and actually co-wrote a book, The Sales Manager’s Handbook. (We were not credited as the authors; such is the lot of a “staff writer.”) My time at P-H ended at Business & Professional Books (B&P), which eventually became Prentice Hall Direct (PHD). At PHD, I became a development editor and discovered my natural affinity for this type of work. When PHD folded, I spent a year doing freelance editorial work and substitute teaching at the Long Island School for the Gifted, a wonderful interlude in my publishing career.

Before my stint at Prentice-Hall, I worked as a reporter/columnist for The Summit County Journal, an award-winning weekly newspaper in Breckenridge, Colorado, way up in the Rocky Mountains.

What are some of your responsibilities as a Senior Development Editor?

I read and evaluate the manuscripts to see if they are ready for publication. Do they match our expectations? Are they accessible to potential readers? Do the organization of the contents and/or the structure of the book make sense? Is there material missing or material that doesn’t belong? Is there repetition? Does the material flow naturally from one topic to the next or jump all over the place? Once I’ve determined the answers to these (and other) questions, I decide how to proceed. There are (relatively rare) times when I can put a manuscript directly into production with some copyediting suggestions. Sometimes I work with the author to revise the manuscript, providing guidance on how to make the final book better meet our expectations and those of our readers. In many cases, I do the revision myself, which can include everything from simple editing to full-scale rewriting and reorganizing. I also have outside freelance editors who read and evaluate manuscripts for me and provide reader’s reports with suggestions on how to proceed.

What are the big challenges you face in your job?

My biggest challenge is to make each manuscript into the best book possible while paying close attention to the production schedule. While we would never rush an unacceptable book through just to meet a deadline, improving a book is often a question of degrees. Should a manuscript be late going into production in order to make the final product slightly better? Will further revision make a good book really great? Will it make a bad book pretty good? Or will it simply make an already good book a little bit better? There has to be a time when you let go and put the manuscript into production, knowing full well that you could spend another several weeks fine-tuning and tweaking it. At that point, I ask myself how much better will the final book be and how many more copies will we sell as a result of further editing? I have to keep setting priorities, then often reset them as I go along. Which books are the most important to our publishing program? Which ones have the highest upside? Will the author be able to revise the manuscript with guidance or will I have to work on it myself? Then there are the time management questions: Where is my time best spent? Which books are already late getting into production? Should they be worked on first or should I work on manuscripts that are still on time? It is a constant juggling act.

What AMACOM book are you really excited about right now?

Stand by Her is a book on breast cancer written for men. The author, John Anderson, has had several women close to him—including his mother, wife, and sister—contract breast cancer. His story, based on his own experiences and those of others, is a heart-felt guide to providing care and support for women in your life who must battle this insidious disease. The book provides a straightforward look at the various stages of breast cancer, from diagnosis through surgery to chemo to helping your loved one get her life back in order. Anderson discusses in personal and practical terms the ups and downs of fighting this disease. The book is due out in October 2009 to correspond with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes. When you consider the fact that every man has a mother, and then add up how many men have wives, sisters, female friends, neighbors, and co-workers, the number of men who will be affected by breast cancer is staggering. This book will help them help their loved ones.

What book are you reading at the moment?

I just finished reading Lush Life by Richard Price. I knew a bit about Price from his writing for The Wire, but I had never read any of his novels. Lush Life is a stunning piece of work. It begins with a relatively simple street crime, but that’s just the flashpoint Price uses to ignite his twisted and intricate tale of the Lower East Side and the characters who inhabit it and work there. The narrative expands in so many directions and involves so many complications as Price peels back the layers, while always maintaining a firm grasp on the thread of the story. The underlying simplicity of the original act is almost forgotten until you suddenly reach the end of the book and are confronted with it all over again. Price is a master of dialogue, rivaling any current writer, and his attention to detail is frightening.

What book do you want everyone to discover?

Although Philip Roth has written many great, critically acclaimed, prize-winning books, I have always had a special fondness for The Great American Novel (1973). Roth is a giant of American literature, of course, but he can also be flat-out, fall-out-of-your-chair funny when he wants to be. This book concerns a fictional professional baseball league, the Patriot League, the records of which have been expunged from history. Roth concentrates mostly on the Port Ruppert Mundys of New Jersey, who are forced to lease their stadium to the Department of War at the beginning of the 1943 season and play their entire season as a permanent road team. The Mundys exhibition game against a mental institution is worth the price of admission. Let me stress that you don’t have to be a sports fan to enjoy Roth’s hilarious comic masterpiece. This is probably the funniest book I’ve ever read (even funnier a second time around).

Final words?

Keep on Truckin’…