Month: December 2013

The Business Behind The Book

In one of my earlier blogs I wrote about the fact that publishing my first book was more than just that. In creating a product to sell I was also creating a business.

Whilst those first meetings with banks, accountants and web specialists make you feel like your own little empire is coming together, the truth of the matter is that it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Having worked for small companies before, I’m no stranger to a bit of entrepreneurial spirit but when you’re setting up a business from scratch, even if it’s not going to be your main source of income, it’s no small task.

For a start, setting up my own business alongside a busy and demanding day job means that I’ve made the most of some spare time over the Christmas holidays. That doesn’t mean it’s been all work and no play. Thanks to a couple of strategically requested Christmas presents, I’ve made the most of some quiet evenings in front of the TV to produce a pre-order flyer, design my invoices and get all those spreadsheets and finance trackers set up.

There’s also the little issue of finances that I would hazard a guess most people in employment, unless specifically responsible for a budget, simply don’t appreciate. This business has been set up using personal savings and it wasn’t until earlier today when I found myself weighing up envelopes (which type, how many, best value etc) that this really hit home. On reflection, I think managing a budget is something more young people in employment should be introduced to. Application of numeracy, one of the seven key employability skills I write about is something that many young people struggle to demonstrate yet it’s also a life skill that too few are learning. The next time I have a young person with us on work experience, there will definitely be a budgeting task for them and it will be made very clear that the skills they are learning are for life and for their CV.

So what’s next? Well the next few days will be focused on getting ‘Employability What?’ ready for the publisher. Lewis has almost got the final page layout complete and we’re close to signing off the cover design. I’ve planned out how many copies I can afford on the initial print run so as soon as the files are safely with the publisher, the next step will be to concentrate on the official launch, publicity and securing some more orders to coincide with the March 4th launch.

This is likely to be my last post before the New Year so I’d just like to finish by thanking everyone for their support in getting ‘Employability What?’ off the ground. 2014 is going to be AMAZING!


Bringing ‘Employability What?’ to life

They say a picture says a thousand words and I have to say I agree. From the outset I knew that illustrations would be a must to help ‘Employability What?’ appeal to its target audience. What I didn’t bargain for was just how much of a difference it would really make.

I’ve teamed up with a brilliant illustrator, Lewis Jackson (, who took the time to read the draft manuscript and get a thorough understanding of how I wanted the book to feel, what the style should be and where illustrations were required. In fact, because of this process, we only changed a couple of illustrations out of the 30+ that have been done.

As we work on the critical job of laying out each and every page, we thought it was about time to share a couple of these illustrations. We’re very excited about them and hope you love them as much as we do. We’d love to hear your comments too.

So here goes…

This image appears right at the beginning of the book where we first start to look at what employability skills are and why a student can’t wait until they’re ready to enter the world of work to develop them.

At the point of starting to look at writing CVs, this little character is shown.

We’ve also developed a set of employability icons which appear throughout the book and will also be a constant in my marketing materials and on my website.

It may be Christmas but Lewis and I have a busy few days ahead as we get ‘Employability What?’ ready to go to the publishers on January 2nd. Watch out for more posts over the coming days as I continue to share this book writing journey with you.

As ever, thanks for reading


Young People ARE Employable

As part of the day job, I often get asked to speak to young people about what businesses expect from them and yesterday was one of those days.

Having been asked to talk to a class of year 11 students at a school I know well, I was all prepared to talk them through the best way to prepare their CVs as I’d been asked to but taking a minute to read a few sections of my book, I decided to spend about half of the hour long session looking at employability skills instead. When the session got underway it was clear this was the right thing to do.

We’re talking about a school that really understands and promotes the importance of employability skills yet it was obvious that the students found it difficult to understand where skills they demonstrate in every day life will help them to get a foot on the career ladder.

Many of the students in the room had completed some form of work experience with some even being asked to return in one form or another yet realising that this was just the type of ‘experience’ a young person can put on their CV seemed to be a revelation for many.

It’s little wonder that employers report that they find young people lacking in employability skills but when you actually look at it, they often have the skills but don’t know how to convey it on their CV or in interview.

With this very fresh evidence as to the need, I hope that my book will help to show young people that they are employable. It guides them through each of the 7 key employability skills before focussing on pulling together their CV and interview techniques.

I’m pleased to confirm that ‘Employability What?’ is now available for pre-order with delivery to coincide with it’s official launch in March. Please contact me on for more info.

Whether for your students, yourself, your own children or as a gift for work experience students, ‘Employability What?’ is a must.

Thanks for reading