Thursday, December 11, 2008

Auckland author-publisher Gordon Dryden’s gamble on producing his latest 320-page book in full colour seems to be paying off.

UNLIMITED: The new learning revolution and the seven keys to unlock it, by Dryden and co-author Jeannette Vos, is now in New Zealand bookshops at $49.99.

Dryden designed all the interior of the book at his home office in Auckland, with an Apple Mac and Adobe InDesign publishing software, with more than 300 color photos throughout—and laid it out for easy translation into other languages (but all the colour pre-press work the same).Foreign rights have quickly been snapped up for Spanish, German, Italian and Latvian editions—with others being negotiated.
His formula of selling educational books through bookshops, online, direct marketing and international seminars and conferences also seems to be on stream.
His Latin American publishing partners have lined him up to be one of the keynote speakers at a Mexican City conference of 3000 educational and cultural leaders in February. The online publicity lists him as the fourth speaker after three Nobel Peace Prize winners and just before the President’s wife and the son of the richest man in Latin America.

The Nobel Prize winners are Lech Walesa (founder of Poland’s Solidarity Movement which started the flood that finally cracked the Iron Curtain), Frederik De Klerk (who won the Prize with Nelson Mandela for turning South Africa into a democratic republic) and Jody Williams (whose Prize came for her work in the battle to stop landmines). Margarita Zavala is the wife of Mexico’s President, and Carlos Slim Domit is the son of Carlos Slim Sr. who in 2007 for a short time topped even Bill Gates as the world’s richest man.
Slim has donated US $4 billion to various educational and cultural charities and has announced plans to increase that to $10 billion.

That’s a good round figure,” jokes Dryden, “and my Mexican colleagues and I have already chatted with two of the educational charities. We’re keen to use the programs outlined in Unlimited to establish an on-site and on-line teacher retraining centre in Mexico—and elsewhere.”
Another speaker at the conference is Mexican writer Angeles Alvrez Icaza, whose novel, Arrancame la vida (Tear This Heart Out), won her Latin America’s 1985 Mazatlan Prize for Literature as Best Book of The Year. She has also won the Romulo Gallegos Prize for her 1996 novel, Mal De Amores (Lovesick).

Dryden — a former radio talkshow host himself in the seventies and eighties — will be talking about some of his experiences with Kathryn Ryan on Radio New Zealand National’s Nine to Noon program next Tuesday from 11.20 a.m. The first 34 pages of his new book can be read and downloaded from

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