FYI: Penguin Random House Is Still In The Vanity Business

Consider me one of the many victims of those publishing scammers. Always interesting to understand why the press shuts its mouth on their shady practices. They simply are afraid to criticize their partners and clients.
As David Gaughran mentions (7 January 2016):
“When Penguin purchased Author Solutions in 2012 for US$116m, virtually all the press had the same angle: Penguin was making a smart move into the fast-growing world of self-publishing. No mention was made of the controversial business practices of Author Solutions, or that the giant vanity press resembled a viable self-publishing platform much in the way a glass of hydrochloric acid is a recommended way to cleanse after the holidays.”

Read to whole story here: Penguin Random House

One of the many complaints I have is the way they give totally unreliable “reports” about sales, while I am not waiting for big sales. They are refusing to enter the 21st century in banking they do not pay electronically but through stupid checks in BP sent by snail mail from the USA. When I signed the contract they promised electronic payments. Those checks are worthless as the cost of sending those to Belgium (you can’t cash checks in Beijing) plus the Belgian bank charges would produce a negative payment. Why checks? Because they want to save money. Who still uses checks?
In other words, as good as zero income from my book.

Anybody wants the worthless checks? Need to pick them up in Beijing!

Book presentation to IsCham Beijing

On 17 December 2012 I was kindly invited to introduce my book Toxic Capitalism during the IsCham Beijing Annual Gathering and the inauguration of the new board members. IsCham: the Israel Chamber of Commerce in China.
Thanks to Fani Gurevich Bar, Ilil Bar Gat and all others for their assistance.
I had the opportunity to give a signed copy of my book to the ambassador, H.E. Matan Vilnai.
Speeches were given by the ambassador, Fani, Mickey Mushinski.
My talk lasted 43 minutes.

Pictures by myself and by IsCham.

Book presentation to six chambers!

On 27 Nov 12, BritCham and the China-Britain Business Council organized my book talk at Face Bar (Gongti Nan Lu, next to Instituto Cervantes). Five other chambers also joined:  the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, SwissCham Beijing, Bencham, the Italian Chamber, and the Malaysian Chamber.
It was announced as follows:
“Book Presentation – Toxic Capitalism: Are we the last Generation on Earth?”.
Author Gilbert Van Kerckhove joins us for the book presentation to give us a review of his thought provoking new book, “Toxic Capitalism the orgy of consumerism and waste: are we the last generation on Earth?”
The book centers on the world’s economic, environmental, governmental and social problems and what we need to do to fix them. Living in China Gilbert became alarmed by the dramatic pollution levels and the impact of Toxic Capitalism, an unwelcome strain of capitalism that thrives on over consumption and indiscriminate wastage, promoted by the West with the help of questionable companies, financial institutions and governments. China, as Factory of the World, is facing depletion of resources and roams the world to satisfy its voracious appetite for energy, raw materials, and food. How serious is the environmental destruction? Is capitalism fundamentally wrong? How did we come to this madness, and what can we do to preserve the future of our children?
We need to combat the idolatry of consumerism and fight for our goals: quality & durability, saving resources and energy. We simply consume too much and too quickly: too many gadgets, too many clothes, too many consumer products we either use little or even never at all. We waste too much, including food.
Quality & durability is not limited to consumer products. We need it in governments, services, companies, and financial institutions. We have to change our lifestyle.
About the author
Gilbert Van Kerckhove, is from Belgium and graduated as master in electronic engineering. Since 1980 he has been working with China, where he spent 27 years, mostly in Beijing but also in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
He is the president of a Beijing-based management consulting that provides strategy guidance to foreign and Chinese companies.
Since 2000 he has been assisting the Beijing Municipality in the areas of economic studies and foreign investment promotion. He has received the highest Chinese awards for his role in the 2008 Olympics, including the Chinese Green Card. He considers Beijing his home.
I had a diverse audience of at least 35 people. I gave a 60 min. presentation and we then started a lively debate.

Thanks to Liang Heng (Swisscham) and Clare (DLA Piper & Charitarian) for the pictures.
Clare also posted a very nice review on the Charitarian blog (thanks!):
http://www.charitarian.org/uncategorized/toxic-capitalism-the-only-christmas-present-to-buy/
I had brought some few copies and they were all quickly gone.
Thanks to Hayley Thomas and Russell Brown for the logistics and hosting me!