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Unpublished writer cancels signed book deal to win 2010 Axiom Business Book Award

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In 2008, Franke James was an unpublished writer who walked away from a major U.S. publisher and a $20,000 book advance. Why?

Dear Office-Politics cover by Franke James, MFA.; James talks about her decision: “It was like a dilemma straight out of Dear Office-Politics. I can laugh about it now, but it was a tough situation. The publisher seemingly held all the power. The book I’d worked six years to create was being changed from a colorful role-playing game into a standard, gray-text, “business” book. This suited the publisher just fine. But for me, it was the antithesis of what I’d dreamed of. I’d beta-tested a new type of training book that merged entertainment and education. It got people talking about touchy office politics issues and practicing ethical decision-making. That was the book I had a burning desire to publish.

“I felt torn. So, I used the game questions to arrive at a solution. I stepped into the publisher’s shoes. I put it to the TV News test. I analyzed the power structure. And, I found a solution that was in everyone’s best interests…

I canceled the contract and paid back the advance. One year later, I self-published and started selling Dear Office-Politics on Amazon.”

Axiom medal

Dear Office-Politics has been recognized as one of the best business books of the year, winning a 2010 Axiom Bronze Medal in the Human Resources and Employee Training category. Franke James will accept her award in New York on May 25th, and will be signing books at BookExpo America on May 27th. James is also the artist/author of Bothered By My Green Conscience, winner of the 2010 Green Book Festival Award, for Graphic Novels.


“James’s splashy sense of humor and style catapults this book from the field of humdrum human resources exercises to an entertaining discussion of the pantheon of office types… Winner of an Axiom Business Book Award for 2010, Dear Office-Politics is recommended for team-building meetings, as well as for pleasure reading.” ForeWord Reviews

“A fun and informative guide to mastering those games you wish people wouldn’t play.” Ann Douglas, Toronto Star Blogs

“A wonderful tool to use in bringing sensitive issues out into the open in a non-threatening way that results in constructive processing.” Shannon Warren, Founder, Oklahoma Business Ethics Consortium

“Dear Office-Politics is a seriously fun way to make the workplace ‘thriveable’ instead of barely survivable!” Trevor Rotzien, Amazon reviewer

Title: Dear Office-Politics, the game everyone plays
Author: Franke James
List: $34.99 (Amazon may discount)
ISBN: 1-4392-3054-4
Available at: Amazon

Seven years of research

Dear Office-Politics represents over seven years of research. Each game dilemma is based on an actual letter that was submitted to OfficePolitics.com since it was founded in 2002. The ethics game was invented by author, artist and site founder, Franke James.

Unique collaboration

Dear Office-Politics is a unique collaborative effort designed to help people play the office politics game better — and improve their ability to positively influence their workplace. Over the past seven years, author Franke James has assembled a talented roster of authors, executive coaches, HR trainers, lawyers and marketing experts to help answer hundreds of letters sent into the site from around the world. The Office-Politics Advisers featured in the game book include:

Erika Andersen is the author of Being Strategic and founder of Proteus International, where she has served as consultant and advisor to CEOs and top executives around the world.
Dr. John Burton LL.B. M.B.A. M.Div. Ph.D. is an ethicist, mediator, lawyer and theologian. He teaches Personal and Corporate Social Responsibility in the Faculty of Management at the University of British Columbia.
Rick Brandon
, Ph.D. is coauthor of Survival of the Savvy and CEO of Brandon Partners, where he has consulted and trained tens of thousands, including Fortune 500 companies across a variety of industries.
Marty Seldman, Ph.D. is one of the world’s most experienced and successful executive coaches and is President of Seldman Executive Development Programs. He is coauthor of Survival of the Savvy and Executive Stamina.
Jennifer Glueck Bezoza specializes in leadership development and career coaching. Through her work in Organizational Development at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, Jennifer designs leadership development programs, and coaches teams and individuals.
Timothy Johnson is the author of SWAT: Seize the accomplishment. At Carpe Factum, Inc. he helps individuals and organizations “seize the accomplishment” through effective project management, strategic facilitation, and business process improvement.
John A. Challenger, is CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., the global outplacement consultancy. John is a recognized thought leader on workplace, labor, and economic issues.

Author, Inventor, Adviser: Franke James
Franke James is the inventor of the Dear Office-Politics Game (2009) and Editor & Founder of OfficePolitics.com. For 2010, Franke is developing Dear Office-Politics into a customizable workshop package that can be used by HR trainers around the world. Franke is an author, artist and speaker on social change and the environment. Her award-winning illustrated book, Bothered By My Green Conscience, was published in 2009 by New Society Publishers. Franke is co-founder of The James Gang Art & Design and Nerdheaven Ltd., with over 20 years experience as a creative design professional. She has a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Victoria, and a BFA from Mount Allison University. (bio continues… )

For more information:

To contact the author for media interviews or a review copy, email: ceo@officepolitics.com
Dear Office-Politics: the game everyone plays

Dear Office-Politics and The Office-Politics® Game were invented by Franke James, MFA
Office-Politics® is a registered trademark of Nerdheaven Ltd.

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