Penguin Random House South Africa

No author? No Problem for Penguin Random House South Africa’s Promotion of Jamie Oliver’s New Book

How do you successfully publicize a cookbook whose author is unavailable in person? This was the challenge Penguin Random House South Africa faced this September in launching the internationally beloved Jamie Oliver’s new work, 5 Ingredients: Quick & Easy Food. Their solution: have Jamie appear virtually, while prominent members of his international culinary team came together onsite.

To launch the book with a big splash, the publisher took over Jamie Oliver’s celebrated Italian restaurant Melrose Arch in the Marble Arch section of Johannesburg. Media from Cape Town joined their Johannesburg counterparts there. Sponsors were secured to help underwrite the event financially, and their involvement ensured that the hosts could turn this event into a top-class evening that guests would talk about for months to come. Oliver “attended” via a specially filmed video clip welcoming the guests. On hand to introduce each of the several canapés prepared for the guests was Jamie Oliver’s International Group’s head chef, Shane Smit, who spoke passionately about his own experiences preparing the new recipes from the book and his delight in being part of this food global phenomenon. Chef Shane is himself a renowned celebrity chef who has worked in several international five-star establishments, including Jamie’s Italian restaurant in Oxford, UK. Press and social media coverage of the evening was extensive, and, thanks in part to this memorably creative evening, 5 Ingredients: Quick & Easy Food has become one of South Africa’s top-selling nonfiction titles this fall. As an additional ongoing promotional benefit from the event, for a limited time, Jamie’s Italian restaurant customers in Johannesburg will be able to try 5 Ingredients: Quick & Easy Food dishes straight from Jamie’s new cookbook, which is an excellent opportunity to generate additional awareness for the new book.   To stay up-to-date on our South Africa publishing news, visit:

Two Penguin Random House South Africa Authors Win 2017 Sunday Times Literary Awards

Penguin Random House South Africa authors Greg Marinovich and Zakes Mda are winners of the prestigious Sunday Times Literary Awards.  In addition to receiving this accolade, each author was also awarded prize money of R100, 000.  We congratulate the authors, their editors and publishers.

  Mr. Mda won the Barry Ronge Fiction Prize for his book Little Suns, published by Umuzi. Mr. Marinovich received the Alan Paton Award for his book Murder at Small Koppie: The Real Story of the Marikana Massacre, published by Penguin. The Barry Ronge Fiction Prize was judged this year by Rehana Rossouw (chair), Africa Melane and Kate Rogan. The Alan Paton Award judging panel was chaired by Pippa Green, supported by judges Tinyiko Maluleke and Johann Kriegler. Read this related article: Penguin Random House South Africa Wins 2017 Trade Publisher of the Year Award

Penguin Random House South Africa Wins 2017 Trade Publisher of the Year Award

Penguin Random House South Africa received top honors in  the Trade Publisher of the Year category at the 2017 Sefika Awards ceremony, held last week in Durban, SA.

Congratulations to our sister company on receiving this prize for the second consecutive year. The Sefika Awards celebrate booksellers and publishers for the roles they play in promoting a culture of reading in South Africa.  The Trade Publisher of the Year Award rewards overall excellence in the South African Trade Publishing sector.   Steve Connolly, Penguin Random House South Africa Managing Director, said, “For the second year in succession, Penguin Random House South Africa are honored to receive the Trade Publisher of the Year Award.  I think it’s fair to say that we love what we do and perhaps that’s a factor in explaining the goodwill we receive in the book trade.  We’d like to thank the booksellers for awarding us with this honour and we aim to continue and improve the service, support and collaboration we give them.  It’s by working together that we can bring the magic of our authors to South African readers.” The criteria used by booksellers in determining the Sefika Awards include outstanding turnaround times for book delivery, exceptional customer service and communication from the sales team to booksellers, and supporting booksellers with book launches and publicity. Read this related article:  Two Penguin Random House South Africa Authors Win 2017 Sunday Times Literary Awards

Penguin Random House South Africa Celebrates International Nelson Mandela Day

sa1 finalIn honor of this year’s forthcoming International Nelson Mandela Day, held each July 18 on Mr. Mandela’s birthday, the Penguin Random House Social Committee hosted an office Mandela Day Raffle competition to raise funds for charity. Our respective offices in Capetown and Johannesburg each selected organizations to benefit from our successful fundraising.

Cape Town donated to the SAME Foundation to help fund their Leratong Hospital Children’s Ward renovation. The SAME Foundation is a non-profit organisation specializing in managing corporate social investment allocations to improve the health environment in South Africa. Since their national expansion in 2010, SAME has renovated and fully equipped five units within Leratong Hospital. The hospital’s Children Ward had often faced issues such as not enough beds, running at overcapacity, aged infrastructure, and an absence of life-saving equipment for doctors. With the help of Penguin Random House South Africa’s raffle funds, the SAME Foundation renovated and equipped the pediatric unit, enabling it to be on par or better than private facilities. Improvements included infrastructure extensions and additions, the latest medical technology and resources, as well as resting areas for the doctors and nurses in the unit. sa2 finalWith its funds, our Johannesburg office financed supplies for the elderly at the Gerald Fitzpatrick Retirement Home in Bertrams, whose mission is to provide a self-sustaining, independent and secure residences for elderly ladies.  The Johannesburg office also donated to the Senior Park Retirement Home in Witpoortjie, which offers independent living, assisted care, and full care. Residents received gift hampers, and each home received two boxes of books for their libraries. Since 2009, International Nelson Mandela Day has been a way to bring people together globally in an effort "to fight poverty and promote peace, reconciliation, and cultural diversity." Penguin Random House South Africa is proud to join this year's celebration and make a difference.