Staying informed

Saturday, 01 November 2014


    Company Directors’ book publishing program aims to provide members with essential information for continued learning.

    When the Australian Institute of Company Directors embarks on a new book, the first question to answer is who will write it? Thankfully, the field is narrowed down considerably from just experts, to expert directors; and even further — our authors are also writing for fellow members. 

    The “for directors, by directors” ethos means that our books are written by someone who has walked the walk: an expert director who is also a member of Company Directors. Each draft manuscript is also edited by a specialist governance editor who is a graduate (GAICD) of Company Directors.

    From there, the manuscript moves to an in-house topic expert, generally within our policy department. After this step, it moves through the gruelling process of peer review, and quite often more than one layer, before finally cycling back to the author once again on its path to a final draft.

    Once this is ready, the document is sent to our book designer, a specialist in the field who ensures readability on each page and creating a final product that has the look and feel of a book. Many of our titles are now also eBooks.

    Once the final design is approved, it moves on to a specialist provider who transforms the printed page into a digital page, with all the features this enables, including highlighting, bookmarking, notating, search options and font adjustments.

    The final file is in the ePub format, which is the worldwide industry publishing standard and can be read on laptops, PCs, and on all devices, such as Apple smartphones and iPads as well as Android devices. Kindle is the only exception.

    A handy one-page article on how to download and read ePub books is available from our online bookstore. We recommend using Adobe Digital Editions for laptops and PCs and apps like iBooks for Apple products, including the iPad.

    This lengthy development process was certainly the case for the recently released Financial Fundamentals for Directors by Dianne Azoor Hughes MAICD (Twitter @azoorhughes), which has quickly become one of our top selling titles.

    Even this book’s brief and scope involved consultation and peer review before the rigorous process of writing, editing, and peer review of the manuscript began. In total, this process took approximately 14 months and the book is now available in both print and eBook format. That it sells well is a testament to the directors’ commitment to continuously improving their financial literacy.

    Learning dimension

    To help add an extra learning dimension to these books, we are now increasingly adding author question and answer videos as part of the offering. In the eBook, these videos are now embedded and can be instantly viewed. They enable our readers to see and hear the expert expand on some of the concepts discussed in the book.

    Many of our eBooks also include extra downloadable material. For example, in Financial Fundamentals for Directors, there is a 13-page standalone PDF with 110 questions to ask about a company’s financial reports.

    Some will remember an older, fairly popular Company Directors’ title called How to Review a Company’s Financial Reports, which had roughly 60 questions that directors might wish to ask management.

    This perennial text was used as the basis for the new 13-page PDF, however, it was reviewed, updated and has almost doubled in size. It is available from chapter eight of the eBook and once the reader clicks on the link, it is instantly downloaded and even printable.

    These are some of the ways that our unique book publishing program aims to provide members with informative but rigorously developed material that also crosses over from just the printed word to other learning modes and opportunities.

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