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Self Development Category Winner Announced at the Business Book Awards

Tom Bird and Jeremy Cassell

We’ve spent a very happy 20 years of our lives doing this, so a big thank you for the opportunity.

The organisers of the inaugural Business Book Awards are delighted to announce the winners of the Self Development category are Tom Bird and Jeremy Cassell with their book The Leader’s Guide to Presenting. The winner of this category was decided upon by a majority vote of the judging panel, lead by Suzanne Collier, the founder of

Tom Bird from Guilford, Surrey, UK said “We make our living out of teaching people, training groups and individuals, coaching them around presenting and around influencing. We’ve spent a very happy 20 years of our lives doing this, so a big thank you for the opportunity.”

Co-author Jeremy Cassell, from Steyning, West Sussex, UK said “Central to the feedback we get is that our approach is intensely pragmatic and practical. In addition, we believe leaders need to be really authentic and it’s those two things that were central to the way we wanted to try and write the book.”

Tom Bird's business career stretches over 20 years and spans sales and sales management as well as personal development and performance improvement. He is a director of Release the Potential (RTP), a performance improvement consultancy and has been involved professionally in developing people to realise their potential since 2000.

Jeremy Cassell has worked as a freelance trainer in sales for 12 years. Before that he was national training manager for L’Oreal and national sales training manager for Walker’s. Before entering the business world, he gained experience in teaching English and History.

The awards were hosted by Nadine Dereza, a business presenter and experienced conference chair and Simon de Cintra who has recently left the corporate world to train as a professional actor. The event took place at the Grange City Hotel in London where the authors of this year’s best business books gathered to celebrate the first Business Book Awards. Other nominated authors in this category were Warren Cass with ‘Influence’, Ian MacRae and Adrian Furnham with ‘Myths of Work’, David Waller and Rupert Younger with ‘The Reputation Game’ and Richard Templar with ‘The Rules of People’.

Lucy McCarraher, author of 11 books, co-founder and Managing Editor of Rethink Press and the founder of the awards said “Our aim has been to develop a new and inclusive set of awards for the authors of all kinds of business books, who have taken any and every route to getting their book published.”

Self-Development Nominees
Judged by Suzanne Collier

Influence by Warren Cass (Capstone, Wiley)
Myths of Work by Ian MacRae and Adrian Furnham (Kogan Page)
The Leader’s Guide to Presenting by Tom Bird and Jeremy Cassell(Pearson)
The Reputation Game by David Waller and Rupert Younger (Oneworld)
The Rules of People by Richard Templar (Pearson)

The overall winner of the Business Book Awards was Campbell Macpherson, author of The Change Catalyst who also received the award in the Leading the Team Category.


Lucy McCarraher and the event organisers are available for interview.

For further information please contact Mary-Jane Rose at, Adam Betteridge at or Tina Fotherby at or call 0333 344 2341.

Lucy McCarraher, Managing Editor

Lucy McCarraher started her first publishing company at university, and has been publishing, editing and writing ever since. She has been a magazine and book editor and publisher, print and TV journalist in Australia and the UK; a writers’ agent, and editor for Methuen. As Director of Development at Lifetime Productions International, she developed, wrote and edited UK and international TV and video series, including three series of Runaway Bay, a children’s series shot in Martinique and starring Naomie Harris; Go Wild! with Chris Packham; and the Lovers Guide video series and books.

Lucy became a national expert in work-life balance, writing academic and business reports for clients and authoring The Work-Life Manual and The Book of Balanced Living. Her clients included multinational and blue chip companies, large public sector and voluntary organisations, and SMEs. She has also worked as a coach with many individuals on their work-life balance and personal development.

Lucy is the author of ten published books, including her latest, best-selling How To Write Your Book Without The Fuss, with her business partner Joe Gregory; and the acclaimed How To Write Fiction Without The Fuss. Her first novel, Blood and Water, was shortlisted in a major competition and published by Macmillan New Writing, followed by Kindred Spirits and Mr Mikey’s Ladies. Lucy’s self-help books include A Simpler Life and The Real Secret, both co-authored with social psychologist, Annabel Shaw. The Real Secret was published by Bookshaker and Lucy subsequently became Commissioning Editor of the publishing company, contributing to its 14-year experience of niche business and self-development books.

Lucy became the Publish Mentor for KPI UK in 2013, for KPI Singapore in 2015, and enjoys working with the wide variety of talented KPI entrepreneurs to plan, write, and publish their business books.

She mentors and coaches individual writers; gives keynotes, workshops, masterclasses and webinars in all aspects of writing and publishing; and has a post-graduate diploma (DTLLS) in teaching Creative Writing and Literacy.