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Interview with Real Meal Revolution: Banting 2.0 Author Jonno Proudfoot

Cover_HR jonno portrait
Jonno Proudfoot is a food expert, entrepreneur and adventurer, and the driving force behind the Real Meal Revolution brand. He conceptualised and co-authored the bestselling Real Meal Revolution and Real Meal Revolution: Raising Superheroes, both of which have been published internationally by the Little, Brown Book Group. He is the MD of the Real Meal Revolution diet company, which specialises in online and face-to-face weight-loss and healthy-eating support. Real Meal Revolution: Banting 2.0, published in December 2016, is his third book.

The original Real Meal Revolution book was launched in November 2013 and has been a publishing sensation in South Africa. What have you been up to since?
Short answer: a lot.
The success of the first book was so sudden and overwhelming that it was difficult to work out what to do next. It’s still on the weekly bestseller lists more than three years later, and I believe we’ve now sold upwards of 250,000 copies, which is incredible in the small South African market.

So where do you go from there?
A very good question!
There were some important personal milestones for me that came in relatively quick succession after the book was released: I had the opportunity to complete a dream adventure with a good friend, swimming the 450kilometres from Mozambique to Madagascar on an epic seven-week journey; I got married; and then my wife Kate fell pregnant not too long after that, an even more epic journey.
From a business perspective, I had registered the trademark for “the Real Meal Revolution” and had always intended to do “something” with the brand – I just wasn’t sure exactly what. I envisioned the business as a healthy eating and lifestyle support company based on the principles set out in the book, and once it was up and running properly the first product we sold from our website was an online weight-loss course with lectures by Prof Noakes and Sally-Ann Creed and cooking lessons from me. It had hundreds of recipes, a shopping list generator and most importantly a meal tracker that clients could use to track their carbs.
Since then, the website has seen a huge amount of traffic and the business has progressed quite radically. Today, we specialise in teaching people to adapt to a low-carb diet. We’ve had close on four million hits since 2015, with an enormous amount of customer feedback to help us refine the Real Meal Revolution approach. The new book is very much a result of this ongoing process.

This is in fact the third Real Meal Revolution book. The first was the original red science-cum-diet-cum-recipe book that has become so recognisable to South African bookstore goers. The second was Real Meal Revolution: Raising Superheroes, on children’s nutrition and also with full-colour recipes. How is the new book different from the others?
This a smaller-format black-and-white book and it’s completely “how-to”-focused – a handbook to help you to Bant as effectively as possible. Basically we’ve taken three years of Banting feedback from thousands of our readers and customers and refined the Real Meal Revolution diet to its most practical, workable form.
There are important staple recipes in the back of the book but this isn’t an inspirational cookbook like the first two books. Rather, I would say it provides the new framework for our next 20 cookbooks.

So is this book a “better version” of the original Real Meal Revolution or something different? If I’ve bought that book already, why should I buy this one?
I must be clear on this: the first Real Meal book remains, in my opinion, an incredible and almost authoritative introduction to LCHF (low-carb high-fat) eating. If you’re new to the concept of Banting, you pretty much have to buy that book because it gives you all the basic LCHF recipes that you can’t do without, from cauli-rice to courgetinni and all the rest. You also get the detailed science to get your head around making the switch from low-fat to low-carb eating. But the actual dietary advice was quite general and now seems relatively rudimentary.
Real Meal Revolution: Banting 2.0 assumes a level of understanding of LCHF eating and it only touches on the science so that it can focus on nailing the how-to aspect – which is the diet and the lifestyle. The approach is more nuanced and sophisticated yet far easier to follow.
So if you really need an LCHF diet that works because you need to shed kilos or you have specific health concerns, or if you’ve tried Banting and fallen off the wagon, then this is the book for you.
In short, Banting 2.0 is a framework that the Real Meal Revolution company now uses to usher people who want to lose weight and rejuvenate their health into a low-carb healthy-eating lifestyle. It could be seen as our company manifesto.

Can you give some examples of how the “new” Banting 2.0 differs from the original Banting as described in the red book?
Sure. For one, we found that many readers of the original book ended up simply cooking from the book and winging the diet – perhaps there was too much science or we weren’t clear enough. So we’ve tried to be as straightforward and methodical as possible in Banting 2.0. The approach has four phases, with a clear way to calculate how long you should be in each stage, depending on your needs. There’s a starting point and a defined goal, and a large resource of tools to move you forward.
Importantly, we’ve recognised the importance of lifestyle when it comes to health and weight loss. You can’t expect to be optimally healthy if you’re not sleeping well or you’re chronically stressed out. Diet, sleep, exercise and stress management are all linked. Similarly, goal-setting and your mental approach is also critical, so we’ve incorporated these elements as well.
From a technical point of view, we now know how best to Bant to avoid many of the side effects that are common for those who might have gone cold turkey before. In particular, we’ve seen the enormous benefit of restoring gut health to assist with this and to push you through the dreaded plateau. The science on gut health has taken enormous strides in the three short years since the original Real Meal was published and has come to be seen as a fundamental aspect of human health. We follow all the top LCHF and other dietary resources around the world on a daily basis, so we’ve been sure to incorporate all the newest science into our diet. This is probably most noticeable in our new refined lists, which I’m perhaps most proud of. The book is in black and white, but there is a full-colour pull-out of the lists for your fridge – up to date and easy to follow.

The book is written by you “and the Real Meal Revolution team”, without any of the authors from the original book. How are you qualified to write the book?
Great question. The first point to acknowledge is that this was an enormous team effort and I hope that is made prominent enough in the book. The most important thing to remember is that Banting 2.0 is for the most part a summary of all of the feedback we have received from our customers. We had collated it simply for our own team, but the info in it was so valuable that we realised we needed to publish it. We then called in the medical and dietary experts to ensure the science and advice was accurate and properly conveyed.
So the “Real Meal Revolution team” mentioned on the cover of the book includes an LCHF medical expert, a dietitian who has trained and worked in the UK, Australia and South Africa, and numerous members of the company who work with active Banters on a daily basis, have collated the data from thousands of clients and know what works in the real world.
From my personal point of view, I have achieved a world first in endurance swimming and I am a chef with experience in catering at events for thousands of people. I hope that means I’m qualified to offer advice on setting goals, practical eating and writing shopping lists! Beyond that, I’ve been in what is essentially a brand-new health field since the very beginning, and I’ve seen the confusion and problems that it can cause at a user level. But I’m essentially just a name for the company as a whole.

Some people might ask, “Where’s Tim Noakes?” Have you “appropriated” his revolution?
Haha. No, I don’t think I’ve appropriated the revolution at all. Prof certainly gained all the headlines before the original book was even an idea in my head – which is why I approached him in the first place with the plan to make that book – and he drove the publicity of it after publication with amazing stamina and enthusiasm. I think it’s fair to say that without Tim Noakes, the Real Meal Revolution would have sold a fraction of what it did. But I was always intent on owning and developing the Real Meal Revolution brand.

Professor Noakes and “the Real Meal Revolution” are seen to be linked by many in the Banting community. What’s your relationship now and why wasn’t he a part of the new book?
I had the honour of working with Prof on the first two Real Meal Revolution books and on a weekly basis with the business for two years. We’re still in touch but our two organisations parted ways in the middle of 2016, which was understandable given our different priorities and platforms. I would say we both have the same end goal – to change the way South Africa and the world eats – but we were pulling in different directions, and both entities were struggling to achieve what they wanted to within the constraints of a contract we had drafted more than two years before at a stage when we didn’t even know what we wanted to do.
Along the way, the two other original authors have also gone their separate ways. I don’t think LCHF eating is a brand or business priority for David Grier, while Sally-Ann Creed has pursued it in the way that works for her.
I think the Real Meal Revolution brand and Prof will always be linked in people’s heads –as may be expected, given the incredible impact of the original book – but The Noakes Foundation will come to be recognised for its outstanding scientific research while I hope the Real Meal Revolution company will be recognised as the go-to for recipes and lifestyle advice in response to that science (and the science of all the other experts).
Though it was based on a lot of the work we did together, the new book was the company’s first project without Tim. You will notice it is much more consumer-focused and is very light on the science. For the most part, we have referred readers to the experts in the LCHF community, should they wish to find out more.
Readers who need practical advice in changing their lives will benefit from this book in a big way. That was always my personal strength and it’s the company’s strength so we’re now fully focused on it.

This is the third Real Meal Revolution book. How did the writing and production process differ from the others?
Great question.
The original was one massive adrenalin rush. We wrote it in about a month and sent it to print 63 days after starting. Design, photography, writing, editing and the rest was insanely rushed, hugely energised and super fun.
With the second book, Raising Superheroes, we actually published it ourselves, which made sense at the time as it allowed us to retain copyright of all the material involved, among other things. We had the luxury of production values that were off the charts, thanks to the success of the first book, and it was ultimately a lesson in publishing. In the world of publishing, authors often talk about how publishers are a nightmare, while publishers often talk about authors being the nightmare. I found it hugely valuable to see it from both sides. I have the utmost respect for publishers as a result of my experience with Raising Superheroes. It’s an incredible book, it sold over 25,000 copies, which is amazing, and I am extremely proud of it – and I know Prof Noakes is too. But it occupied a lot of our time and energy!
With Banting 2.0, I opted not to publish through Real Meal Revolution. It was easier to hand it over and Burnet Media, who had assisted on Raising Superheroes, did a cracking job. Most importantly, the book does what I wanted it to do: it offers the right advice in the right way. With Banting 2.0, the toughest part of the production was getting the lists to match the right phases, and to offer an approach that was accessible to the different Banting levels. It was something that went back and forth until the minute before the book went to print – and even afterwards! The publishing process allowed us to focus three years of work, research and data gathering into one, unified document.

What do you hope to achieve with Real Meal Revolution: Banting 2.0?
My hope is that the methodology in this book will accelerate the growth of LCHF and Banting as a movement. We have approximately 350 certified Banting coaches around the country and world (and counting) and they’ve taken to the book with great enthusiasm, while individual sales are going well. We’re on to our second print run, and we’ve signed a deal to publish the book internationally through Little, Brown in the UK.
Because the steps are so clear in this book, it makes Banting easier to adopt, thus making it easier to spread. We’re using it to drive the business forward and in time I would like the Real Meal Revolution to affect millions of people around the world.

And where to from here for Real Meal Revolution the company?
The world! We have set a goal to change 100 million lives by 28 February 2025. There aren’t even 100 million South Africans. I see this going global and I don’t want to stop until we reach our target.

• For cover image, author image or more information on the book, contact info@burnetmedia.co.za.
• For more information on the Real Meal Revolution company, contact info@realmealrevolution.com or see www.realmealrevolution.com.

Note to editors: this Q&A is free for use, provided it is accompanied by the information below and that any edits are approved – send to info@burnetmedia.co.za:
• Real Meal Revolution: Banting 2.0 is available in all good bookstores and online. Recommended retail price is R190.


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In memory of Richie Benaud

b. 6 October 1930 – 10 April 2015

Australian cricket captain (1958-1964); globally acclaimed commentator; reason for the South African cricket team’s “choker” tag.

 

This is an updated extract from 50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa by Alexander Parker, with illustrations by Zapiro

50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa (Revised Edition) low res

Let’s be straight up about this: Richie Benaud was an absolute legend. Never has an internationally respected authority on cricket combined such a gentlemanly and unassuming knowledge of the game with such a sartorially smashing collection of off-white sports jackets. Whether beige, cream, ivory, light tan, vanilla, bone, bamboo, sand, camel or cashew, Richie wore those jackets like a king, and in doing so he became one of the most loved and lovable names in all of sport. And an Aussie at that.

But the man right royally screwed us over. And by “us” I mean every cricket-loving South African who’s ever yearned for the sweet taste of World Cup victory.

Casual observers of the recent history of South Africa will often point to that fateful World Cup semifinal in Birmingham in 1999, when Lance Klusener took us to the brink of a sensational victory over Australia before it was tragically snatched from under our noses by a needless run-out, as the moment when we assumed the mantle of crunch-match chokers. The game ended in a tie, with the Australians progressing to the final on a superior run rate, and it’s no understatement to suggest that the psychological damage inflicted on South African fans that day cast a pall of gloom over the country for months, possibly years, to follow. Even today, the memory still raises a tremble of moisture in the eye. (And spare a thought for Klusener, one of the true legends of South African one-day cricket and a genuinely nice guy. In 2011 he admitted that he still thinks about the incident regularly. “I’ve asked the questions a thousand times, if not a million. Why did we run? Why didn’t I wait for the next ball,” he said. “It’s become a part of me and who I am. I’ll be asked about it for the rest of my life and I’ll always have to say
I’m sorry.”)

But our failure in key knockout matches goes back further than the Birmingham tie – to 22 March 1992 to be precise. The venue was the Sydney Cricket Ground and the match was another World Cup semifinal, this time against England. Back then, we were the new kids on the World Cup block, having recently returned to the international fold after years in the sporting wilderness, and no-one fancied our chances going in to the tournament. But we’d played out of our boots and somehow made our way to the semis on the back of a tight bowling attack, Peter Kirsten’s artful bat and Jonty Rhodes’s inspirational fielding.

The game was a cracker, hanging in the balance from start to finish. Donald got Gooch early, and Pringle bowled well, but the Zimbabwe-born Graeme Hick hit a fluid 83 before a late flurry from Reeve got England to 252 in 45 overs. South Africa hadn’t bowled the full 50 overs by the designated end-of-innings time, so the tournament rules – and here’s where Richie started getting involved, because he’s the man credited with devising them – necessitated that the five overs not bowled be simply lobbed off both the English and South African innings. An odd rule, many would have concluded at the time, but not as odd – or cruel – as that which governed the target re-calculation after a rain delay…

South Africa started the chase at a good clip, with Hudson hitting 46 off 52, but we lost wickets regularly and were struggling to keep up with the required rate by the middle overs. Rhodes then got the chase back on track with a typically live-wire 43, before he, too, lost his wicket, and it was left to stalwarts Brian McMillan and Dave Richardson to take us through the last critical overs. Then, with 22 required for victory off 13 balls and McMillan on strike, it started to rain. Not too heavily, mind you, just enough to get the players off the field. For 12 minutes. Twelve fateful minutes.

Once again, Richie’s rules kicked in, and when play resumed South African fans were aghast to see that our allotment of overs had been reduced by one while our target remained steadfast: 22 required off 7 balls, read the SCG scoreboard. Suddenly, a tricky situation had transmogrified into a Herculean task – a near-miracle was required, all because of a ridiculous formula that saw the runs scored in the least expensive over of the English innings, in this case a Pringle maiden, being deducted from the target. Meanwhile, the weather was now fine and the floodlights were blazing – there was all night to finish the game. But the farce was not yet complete: somewhere in the ground the minute hand on the relevant timepiece ticked over once more and it was deemed that yet another over had been lost, this time in conjunction with one run from the target: suddenly 21 runs were required off just 1 ball*. Now not even a miracle would suffice. A stone-faced McMillan prodded the last ball of the match away for a single, and we’d lost by 19 runs. A potentially brilliant climax had been reduced to absurdity; South Africa’s unlikely World Cup dream was over.

“Twelve minutes of rain was all it took to wreck a classic contest and produce the sort of farce that so often crops up when cricket’s regulations get themselves in a tangle,” wrote Cricinfo’s UK editor Andrew Miller, when reviewing the match some years after the fact. But those 12 minutes didn’t just wreck a classic match. In the years and competitions to come, it seemed that those 12 minutes had instilled in South African cricket the notion that, come the critical moment in a high-profile knockout match, the fates would conspire against us. First it was the bizarre rain ruling in Sydney; then it was one-man-team Brian Lara destroying us in the 1996 quarterfinal in Karachi (again by 19 runs); then that tragic run-out in Birmingham in 1999; then another debacle in the rain in 2003, this time against Sri Lanka in Durban, when poor Shaun Pollock and Eric Simons couldn’t get their maths right… By the time the 2007 World Cup rolled around, the team, now ingrained with angst-filled bewonderment at our inability to pull off the big victory that our world rankings suggested was our due, tried to just relax and not get expectations up – a strategy that saw us limp into the semifinals, only to be rolled over by Australia like the blind school’s 5th XI. Needless to say, the curse struck again in 2011: we were bundled out in the quarters by a very mediocre New Zealand – a team we’d beaten eight times in the previous ten encounters – having, at one stage, been cantering to victory.

And then, 2015. Back down under. And history repeating itself as the fated rain once again fell on South Africa in a World Cup semifinal… And though the rain rules had been updated by Messrs Duckworth and Lewis as a direct result of that 1992 debacle in Sydney, the new rules hadn’t kept up with the changing pace of limited-overs cricket (and may well be changed in the near future as a result). New Zealand were given the sniff they should never have had, and the legacy of 1992 decreed a nail-biting victory to the team that wasn’t South Africa. For those of us with “South Africa To Win Need 22 Runs Off 1 Ball” still seared into their memories 23 years later, we knew it was inevitable from the moment that first drop fell – though that didn’t stop us hoping till the very last ball…

After more than a decade as one of the top-ranked limited-overs sides in the world, what do we have to show for our endeavours? Well, we did win the inaugural ICC Champions Trophy in 1998 in Bangladesh… and that’s it. We haven’t won a World Cup, whether ODI or T20. We haven’t made it into a World Cup final. Amazingly, we have won only one knockout match at a World Cup: our 2015 quarterfinal against Sri Linka. (Which is something, at least.)

How is this possible? Why does it happen? No-one can say. But we’ve got to blame someone, and in the absence of any other contenders, it has to be Richie.

Richie Benaud – a champion himself, and the most marvellous of the modern commentators – passed away in April 2015. Go well, Richie, and may your ghost look more kindly on us at the next World Cup in 2019…

* The TV display and scoreboard incorrectly indicated 22 runs required.

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Burnet Media at the Frankfurt Book Fair

Well, that was something.

Anyone who’s been to the world’s biggest book fair, the Frankfurter Buchmesse in Frankfurt, Germany, will know that it’s not exactly a walk in the park. On the contrary, it’s a power march across acres of hall space and past hundreds of publishers’ stands, from one meeting to the next, to a David Nicholls interview half a kilometre away, then perhaps up a couple of floors to see German design books and artwork and then back to the English-language hall to check out more publishers displays via the antiquarian section (interesting!) and then yet another meeting…

I had been sent to Frankfurt by Struik in the past, so I at least knew what to expect, but this was my first time as the publishing director of my own company, Burnet Media. Having started life in 2010, Burnet Media focused initially on South African-specific material; there hadn’t been the need to seriously consider making the trip to Frankfurt. These days we’ve got broader horizons and some titles with genuine global potential. It was time to go international, and thanks to the generosity of Lit Prom’s Invitational Programme, we got the opportunity this year.

Lit Prom is a German organisation that describes itself as a “society for the promotion of African, Asian and Latin American Literature”. Through its Invitational Programme, every year it takes 20-25 independent publishers from the developing world to Frankfurt to show them ropes. It’s a wonderful philanthropic process and a truly impressive organisational feat, and this year I was lucky to be a part of it.

Before (the night before).

Before (the night before).

After (12 hours later).

After (12 hours later).

 

The Burnet Media stand at Frankfurt 2014.

The Burnet Media stand at Frankfurt 2014.

We arrived five days before the official start of the fair; publishers from Guinea Bissau, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Uruguay, Venezuela, Georgia, Montenegro and Ukraine. And me, from South Africa.

Needless to say, such a gathering tends to open the mind and put the world in perspective. While I worry about the depressed state of trade publishing in South Africa, our bookstore chains’ that hold unhealthy amounts of power over publishers and unapologetic printers that make cover mistakes and miss delivery dates, my fellow independent publishers from around the world had more… varied concerns.

Bryony van der Merwe from our Namibia plies her trade in a country of two million people, the smallest fraction of whom are regular book readers. There are a mere handful of bookstores around the country.

On the other end of the scale, Richard Ali from Nigeria has a potential market of more than 170 million people, yet he must work as a lawyer in his spare time to keep putting out books. “The state does not even care enough to ban books any more,” he laments – a rather different take on censorship to a South African, perhaps, but one that makes sense in a land currently suffering insurrection, terrorism and general dysfunction.

For outright civil war, there are stories from Volodymyr Samoylenko from Ukraine and Marwan Adwan from Syria. Earlier this year Volodmyr’s business partner in Donetsk was kidnapped and ransomed for $5,000. “If it was me, I would not have $5,000 to pay,” he explains with a laugh.

Meanwhile, Marwan doesn’t even live in Syria any more, having escaped to Dubai about a year ago due to safety concerns. Despite an ongoing war that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, he aims to keep publishing in Syria while keeping as much of the process as possible in-country – not always easy when printers, warehouses and your general reading population are being shelled. “They are struggling and fighting each other,” he says. “I am publishing books.”

Despite our vast cultural and circumstantial differences, the attendees of the Invitational Programme are of course bound together by their common cause: a love of books and a desire to create them. At times the cross-cultural assemblage was almost comical – a Puerto Rican, a Nigerian and a South African walk into a room…– but when the Puerto Rican, Nigerian and South African end up finding common cause in the difficulty of dealing with book returns, finding the magic number on a POD print run, or handling egotistical authors who think their book is the only one you’re working on at the moment – well, then it all makes sense.

After five days of seminars, workshops, boat trips on the Main and general acclimatisation, the Book Fair itself kicked off. Suffice it to say, it was as frenetic and entertaining as ever, both soul-uplifting and sole-destroying. Miles were walked, meetings were taken, doors were opened.

A personal highlight was my opportunity to see where “the real deals get done” before the fair even begins, when I met a German publisher at the swanky Frankfurterhof Hotel in the centre of town. I arrived shortly before the president of Finland (with a 12-motorbike escort; Finland was this year’s guest of honour), and my 25-minute meeting took place standing up and jammed in the corner of a plush lounge area with dozens of similar meetings going on about us.

The good news? South African crime-thriller writers are the flavour of the month in Germany. And the bad? It will be a couple of months before we discover if anything comes of this meeting and the various others I had.

But after my time with the courageous souls of the Invitational Programme, I’m rather optimistic.

My sincere thanks for an intense, wonderful and exhausting experience to all my fellow attendees on Invitational Programme, and of course to the Lit Prom organisers and facilitators, particularly Corry, Doris, Bernadette and Torsten. Any independent South African publisher looking for the best possible introduction to the Frankfurt Book Fair would do well to look up Corry von Mayenburg, the driving force behind the Invitational Programme. Contact us for details.

Invitational Programme members having a bit of fun amid 10 days of mayhem.

Invitational Programme members having a bit of fun amid 10 days of mayhem.

Interesting book cover presented by Invitational Programme attendee Ronny Agustinus of Indonesia's Marjin Kiri publishers. The cover of the book, about the destruction of books, is laser cut to appear as if it has been burnt.

Interesting book cover presented by Invitational Programme attendee Ronny Agustinus of Indonesia’s Marjin Kiri publishers. The cover of the book, about the destruction of books, is laser cut to appear as if it has been burnt.

The Frankfurterhof Hotel in downtown Frankfurt, where the "real deals" get done.

The Frankfurterhof Hotel in downtown Frankfurt, where the “real deals” get done.


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Out To Lunch…Ungagged At Tokara Restaurant

As a follow-up to the wildly successful Out To Lunch…Ungagged launch in Johannesburg, Tokara Restaurant in Stellenbosch will be hosting an exclusive dinner with commentator and author, David Bullard, on Wednesday, 15th February. The evening will include a special three course dinner created by chef Robert Carstens, with an optional wine pairing available. Unfortunately tickets for this event are sold out, but we look forward to hosting more events like these in future, so keep checking back. You wouldn’t want to miss it, especially since Mr Bullard himself has confirmed that Olympic gold medallist, Ryk Neethling, will also be in attendance. Out to Lunch...Ungagged

The other event which Burnet Media is proud to be involved with is the literary lunch at A Tavola Restaurant in Claremont. Joanne Hitchens (Divine Justice), Deon Meyer (Trackers) and Margie Orford (Gallows Hill) will all be present at this luncheon, taking place on the 11th of February. As already announced on BOOKSLive, there will be a sumptious menu of Italian food and De Grendel wines, as well as a crop of great prizes up for grabs. Gorry Bowes-Taylor is your host for the afternoon and the event costs R225 per person. Bookings must be made with A Tavola. More details available here.

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Burnet Media 2012: An Update

The Racist's Guide to South Africa 50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa With 2012 underway and the office as busy as ever, Burnet Media would like to wish our readers and authors well for the coming year.

2011 was a great year for us, with two titles in particular performing well beyond our expectations. 50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa and The Racist’s Guide to South Africa had their best-ever sales weeks this Christmas – more than a year after publication – and started the first week of 2012 in Neilsen’s SA top 10 list. As of this week, 50 People has been in the top 50 for an unbroken 52 weeks.

A hearty congratulations must go to authors Alexander Parker and Simon Kilpatrick, as next week sees the printing of the 40,000th and 30,000th copy of their respective titles. With upcoming projects that include companion books for both titles and a one-man stage show for The Racist’s Guide, there’s loads more coming from these two to look forward to.

Congratulations must also go to our latest authors:

Bitter PillDivine JusticeOut to Lunch...UngaggedPeter Church – Bitter Pill

Joanne Hitchens – Divine Justice

David Bullard – Out To Lunch Ungagged

Neil Manthorp – The Proteas: 20 Years, 20 Landmark Matches

 

Here’s hoping their books sell equally well in 2012, a year that will see the migration of major and new Burnet Media titles to digital formats, as well as new and exciting book launches.

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Ndumiso making (air) waves

Is It Coz I'm Black?

If you’re a fan of Ndumiso Ngcobo’s two books (and numerous blog posts), you’ll be happy to discover that, if you live in the Gauteng region, you can now tune in to KayaFM’s “Good Morning Gauteng” (http://www.kayafm.co.za/features.php?id=49) between 6am and 9am every morning to listen to him co-hosting the show with Kgomotso Matsunyane (http://www.whoswhosa.co.za/Pages/profilefull.aspx?IndID=5995).

Ndumiso and Kgomotso’s collaboration almost seem predestined. Commenting in a review of Some Of My Best Friends Are White, she predicted that he would prove to be “one of the most important commentators living in South Africa today. He says everything you ever thought but never quite had the brains to put together in a cohesive, funny argument.”

But, as Ndumiso explains it, it was his chapter “Music: The True Opium Of The Masses” from Is It Coz I’m Black? that secured him the gig. In particular the line: “I wish someone out there with some vision would offer me a DJ contract in a fine music station.”

Well done to Kgomotso and Kaya FM for having the vision…

And for those of us out of range, we’ll just have to do with online radio streaming for now (http://www.kayafm.co.za/latest/stream).

Is It Coz I'm Black?Some of My Best Friends are White

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Ndumiso Ngcobo at the Cape Town Book Fair

2Kak 2Furious

2Kak 2Furious

Is It Coz I'm Black?

Is It Coz I'm Black?

Good news for Capetonians wanting to meet Ndumiso Ngcobo or hear him speak: he’ll be at the Book Fair this weekend for an interview and a couple of talks (and I’ll be making a brief appearance after him).

Two Dogs: The Art Of Irreverent Publishing

When and where:

2pm Saturday 13 June, room 1.41

12pm Sunday 14 June, room 1.62

Speakers:

Ndumiso Ngcobo and Tim Richman

Ndumiso Ngcobo, author of the hit Some Of My Best Friends Are White, will discuss his Homebru-topping new release Is It Coz I’m Black?. Tim Richman, Two Dogs publisher and author of the best-selling Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Kak? series, will follow to discuss his titles as well as humour and irreverence in the SA book industry. Ndumiso, Tim and Grant Schreiber will be available for signings afterwards.


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Dark Video goes global. Good on yer, mate!

Please excuse the further press release talk, but such is the way of overdue updates. (And besides, I’ve bolded the interesting bits.)

The second impression of Dark Video, the disturbing and compelling thriller from Peter Church, has been printed on the back of interest from international publishers, some excellent local reviews and a regular spot in the Neilsen fiction top 100.
Set in and around Cape Town, Dark Video plots the descent of a star UCT student into a sinister world of online video trading; it features a gripping opening chapter, a memorable climax in the waters of False Bay and an unexpected twist in the tail.
It has recently been confirmed that the book will be printed and distributed in Australia later this year, substantiating reviews from Die Burger and Louise Mann at Leisurebooks/Leserskring that Church is a “local author with international potential”. Interest has also been shown by German and Norwegian publishers.
Early positive reviews from The Citizen, The Argus and Fair Lady have been followed by further critical kudos. In September, Dark Video featured as the book of the week in the Sunday Times, where it was touted as a “topical thriller with a strong moral message that should get the conversation going among a diverse audience”.
Lindsay Slogrove of the Natal Mercury describes it as “a fabulous read [with] twists that take this thriller above the norm and make it one of the best debuts in a long time. Good stuff.”
Samantha Bartlett of the Cape Times calls Dark Video “a remarkably readable debut novel. It is clever, pacy and has a thrilling climax with a sting in the tail.”
Attempting to disprove the notion that local English fiction doesn’t sell – which, to be honest, it doesn’t unless you’re John van de Ruit – Dark Video is one of only a handful of SA English-language books that maintained a regular spot in the Neilsen top 100 fiction charts towards the end of 2008 – despite low levels of stock in bookstores across the country.
The second impression of Dark Video is distributed by Quartet Sales and Marketing.

Find out more about Dark Video and read the first chapter online at www.darkvideo.co.za

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SchreiberFord takes over Two Dogs

I’m sure there’s a better header out there – something about best friends or barking up trees or woof woof – but it’s hard to be creative when you’ve just rattled off a press release. Which is to say, please forgive the official talk:

As of January 2009, SchreiberFord Publications has fully taken over ownership of the Two Dogs book imprint. Previously a collaboration with Struik Publishers, SchreiberFord has now assumed all creative and managerial responsibilities, and engaged Quartet Sales and Marketing as distributors.
Started in 2006 in Cape Town, the Two Dogs imprint was initially tailored specifically for men, with the tagline “books men read”. That approach has evolved to the point that Two Dogs now produces entertaining and irreverent reading for South African men and women from ages 18 to 80, while maintaining a focus on “male” subject matter and tone. Notable best-sellers that have made regular appearances on the Nielsen Top100 General list include the two Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Kak? titles and Some Of My Best Friends Are White which was shortlisted for the Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award 2008. Five Two Dogs books appeared in the South African Titles top 100 over December.
With offices in Cape Town and London, SchreiberFord Publications is an independent publishing company that offers a variety of publishing services. Clients include the Laureus World Sports Academy, the Young Presidents’ Organization and the Sports Science Institute of South Africa. It also produces the annual SA Whisky Handbook.
Company directors Grant Schreiber and Daniel Ford have a long history in the industry. Schreiber is an award-winning designer, who has been involved in publishing magazines and books for the last 13 years, while Ford has extensive experience in the UK market and was launch editor of both GQ and Top Billing magazines in South Africa. The Two Dogs publishing manager, Tim Richman, worked on magazines in South Africa and Australia as a writer and sub-editor before taking up his current position.

See www.twodogs.co.za and www.sfpublications.com for more information.


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Ndumiso Ngcobo Struggles to COPE

Subversive Thoughts From An Urban Zulu Warrior Is It Coz I’m Black?Ndumiso Ngcobo Should you? Shouldn’t you? Are you still trying to make up your mind about whether to join COPE?

Thought Leader blogger and Johannesburg writer, Ndumiso Ngcobo, is the author of Some of My Best Friends are White and Is It Coz I’m Black?. He has been pondering whether to offer his services as COPE’s resident speech writer of late. Perhaps he can guide you in the next step of your political evolution:
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