Just published: New Edition of The Customer Service Pocketbook

07 November 2013

Book cover: The Customer Service PocketbookA new edition of The Customer Service Pocketbook has just come out, bringing the pocket-sized guide up to date with today's business culture and customer service technologies.

I first updated the book in 2002 from the 1991 edition written by the late Tony Newby. It was interesting how much business culture had changed in that time, not so much in terms of technologies (which are continuously changing), but in terms of social norms. In particular, people at all levels have far more autonomy and responsibility at work now than they used to, as organisations have become flatter, and employees have been trusted more and more to use their common sense to offer great customer service.

The book has sold consistently well and is often used by large corporates for their internal training programmes. The new edition builds on the previous edition, and reflects further cultural and technological changes. The widespread use of social media, for example, means that customer service often takes place in public and organisations need to be able to use technologies like Twitter and Facebook to listen to and respond to customers. For this new edition, I also felt there was potential to provide more detailed guidance on how great customer service can be delivered in person and on the phone too. The earlier editions included some questionnaires and quizzes and in response to reader feedback, these have been scaled back significantly.

If you'd like to take a look inside, I've uploaded a free sample chapter PDF of The Customer Service Pocketbook, including the table of contents and a complete chapter.

If you're interested in writing a review of the book for your blog or Amazon, please contact me. I have a limited number of copies available for this purpose.

The new edition is out now. You can find links to order it here (including a form you can use to order any of my books in an offline book shop).

Permanent link for this post | Blog Home | Website Home | Email feedback

Raspberry Pi, Scratch and Minecraft at the Gadget Show

03 November 2013

On Saturday, I went to Earls Court in London for the Gadget Show Live at Christmas. I took along my Raspberry Pi and was a guest on the For Dummies booth, where I demonstrated the Pi running Minecraft, Scratch and Python.

Lots of visitors dropped by for a chat, many of them dragged to the stand by their children who made a beeline for Minecraft. I was demonstrating a Python program I'd made to build mazes in Minecraft. (You can find out more about my Minecraft Maze Maker, which will feature in the upcoming book Raspberry Pi Projects, here.) The children enjoyed playing the maze, while the adults were interested to see what the Minecraft craze was all about, and how it can provide an introduction to programming.

Demonstrating Minecraft on the booth

I also demonstrated Scratch, and it was wonderful to see young people who were so enthusiastic about it. Many of them had encountered it through schools and had made games using it, although their parents hadn't seen it. Many of the parents remembered having programmable (or even self-assembly) computers when they were young. I met people who grew up on the ZX Spectrum, ZX81, Vic 20, Amstrad CPC and BBC computers, and who were looking for tools that would give their children the same opportunities to begin programming. I felt that many of them were inspired by Scratch and the Raspberry Pi and many said they'd look into setting up one or the other at home for the family.

For many people there, it was the first time they'd seen a Raspberry Pi. Most people had heard of it, but many of them didn't really understand what it was, or why it was special. People seemed to think it cost about £80, which is I think because that's the bundle price at a major retailer at the moment, and they were astonished to learn the real price of the unit alone. If we had had some Raspberry Pi computers for sale, they would have sold like hot Pi. I enjoyed chatting to people and telling them more about what the Raspberry Pi can do.

Meeting The For Dummies Man

Some people dropped by to chat about what they could do with their Raspberry Pi having already bought one. I had a couple of friends who bought a Raspberry Pi and didn't really know what to do with it once they'd got it, and I had them in mind as I wrote Raspberry Pi For Dummies, so I knew this was a common situation. I talked them through some of the great things other people are doing with their Raspberry Pis, and I hope that they decided to take out the Pi for a play when they got home.

On Friday, my co-author Mike Cook was at the show and demonstrated the Blast Off hardware project in the book too, showing how the Raspberry Pi can be used together with your own electronic circuits.

We made the official Gadget Show Live Christmas Gift Guide, which was lovely to see. The guide included a shot of Raspberry Pi For Dummies and said: "Give someone the gift of knowledge this year with one of the excellent titles in the For Dummies range, offering clear and concise solutions to all sorts of tech problems."

It was the first time I've presented the Raspberry Pi or Raspberry Pi For Dummies at a show like that, and it was a great experience. My voice is hoarse today from having to speak over the loud speakers opposite all day, and my legs ached at the end of the day, but it was wonderful to chat to other Raspberry Pi, Minecraft and Scratch enthusiasts, and to introduce others to these technologies for the first time. Thank you to everyone who stopped by for a chat, and special thanks to those who supported the book by buying a copy. Thanks also to Wiley for the opportunity, and to Polly, Lorna and Craig in particular. Thanks also to my wife Karen who spent all day helping out on the booth too.

You can find out more about Raspberry Pi For Dummies here. If you follow that link, you can also download a free sampler from the book, and the cut-out-and-glue-together paper case I had one of my Raspberry Pis in. I've collected together links to online retailers stocking my books here.

Permanent link for this post | Blog Home | Website Home | Email feedback

Download a free chapter of Scratch Programming in Easy Steps

01 November 2013

Book cover: Scratch Programming in easy steps Scratch Programming in Easy Steps was published a couple of weeks ago, and I now have a free chapter for you! It's the first chapter from the book, which introduces Scratch and gets you started with the programming language, including making your first simple program.

I was delighted that Mitchel Resnick, from the team at MIT that made Scratch, agreed to let me reproduce an article he wrote for Edsurge as a foreword to the book. It is inspiring to read his take on how Scratch is helping young people to not only learn to program, but also to build their thinking and communication skills. I've included the foreword in the free sample too.

To give you a taste of what else is in the book, the free PDF sampler also includes the table of contents, the index, and the introduction I wrote for the book, but later removed to make room for one more short project.

You can view and download the sampler below. Thank you for sharing it and helping to spread the word!

There's more information on the book (including playable projects) here, and you can find links to buy the book from various shops here.

Scratch Programming in Easy Steps PDF Sampler

Permanent link for this post | Blog Home | Website Home | Email feedback

Dip into the blog archive

June 2005 | September 2005 | January 2006 | March 2006 | April 2006 | May 2006 | June 2006 | July 2006 | August 2006 | September 2006 | October 2006 | November 2006 | December 2006 | February 2007 | March 2007 | April 2007 | May 2007 | June 2007 | July 2007 | August 2007 | September 2007 | October 2007 | November 2007 | December 2007 | January 2008 | February 2008 | March 2008 | April 2008 | May 2008 | June 2008 | July 2008 | August 2008 | September 2008 | October 2008 | November 2008 | December 2008 | January 2009 | February 2009 | March 2009 | April 2009 | May 2009 | June 2009 | July 2009 | August 2009 | September 2009 | October 2009 | November 2009 | December 2009 | January 2010 | February 2010 | March 2010 | April 2010 | May 2010 | June 2010 | August 2010 | September 2010 | October 2010 | November 2010 | December 2010 | March 2011 | April 2011 | May 2011 | June 2011 | July 2011 | August 2011 | September 2011 | October 2011 | November 2011 | December 2011 | January 2012 | February 2012 | March 2012 | June 2012 | July 2012 | August 2012 | September 2012 | October 2012 | December 2012 | January 2013 | February 2013 | March 2013 | April 2013 | June 2013 | July 2013 | August 2013 | September 2013 | October 2013 | November 2013 | December 2013 | January 2014 | February 2014 | March 2014 | April 2014 | May 2014 | June 2014 | July 2014 | August 2014 | September 2014 | October 2014 | November 2014 | December 2014 | January 2015 | February 2015 | March 2015 | April 2015 | May 2015 | June 2015 | September 2015 | October 2015 | December 2015 | January 2016 | February 2016 | March 2016 | May 2016 | July 2016 | August 2016 | September 2016 | October 2016 | November 2016 | December 2016 | January 2017 | July 2017 | August 2017 | October 2017 | November 2017 | January 2018 | February 2018 | August 2018 | October 2018 | November 2018 | December 2018 | January 2019 | March 2019 | June 2019 | August 2019 | September 2019 | October 2019 | January 2020 | February 2020 | March 2020 | April 2020 | May 2020 | June 2020 | September 2020 | October 2020 | December 2020 | January 2021 | February 2021 | May 2021 | June 2021 | October 2021 | November 2021 | December 2021 | January 2022 | February 2022 | March 2022 | May 2022 | July 2022 | August 2022 | September 2022 | December 2022 | March 2023 | April 2023 | May 2023 | June 2023 | October 2023 | November 2023 | January 2024 | February 2024 | May 2024 | Top of this page | RSS


© Sean McManus. All rights reserved.

Visit www.sean.co.uk for free chapters from Sean's coding books (including Mission Python, Scratch Programming in Easy Steps and Coder Academy) and more!

Discover my latest books

100 Top Tips: Microsoft Excel

100 Top Tips: Microsoft Excel

Power up your Microsoft Excel skills with this powerful pocket-sized book of tips that will save you time and help you learn more from your spreadsheets.

Scratch Programming in Easy Steps

Scratch Programming IES

This book, now fully updated for Scratch 3, will take you from the basics of the Scratch language into the depths of its more advanced features. A great way to start programming.

Mission Python book

Mission Python

Code a space adventure game in this Python programming book published by No Starch Press.

Cool Scratch Projects in Easy Steps book

Cool Scratch Projects in Easy Steps

Discover how to make 3D games, create mazes, build a drum machine, make a game with cartoon animals and more!

Raspberry Pi For Dummies

Raspberry Pi For Dummies

Set up your Raspberry Pi, then learn how to use the Linux command line, Scratch, Python, Sonic Pi, Minecraft and electronics projects with it.



In this entertaining techno-thriller, Sean McManus takes a slice through the music industry: from the boardroom to the stage; from the studio to the record fair.

Walking astronaut from Mission Python book Top | Search | Help | Privacy | Access Keys | Contact me
Home | Newsletter | Blog | Copywriting Services | Books | Free book chapters | Articles | Music | Photos | Games | Shop | About