Posted by Kevin E. Corr (View Profile | View All Posts) at 11:17 AM
One of the greatest novels of the 20th century almost didn't get published. Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind, which later became a smash hit in Hollywood, was 'discovered' by a New York book agent sent to America to find the next crop of budding novelists. When he was traveling through Atlanta, he heard about a manuscript about the years leading up to the American Civil War and went to see the young author. Mitchell was extremely reticent to show the agent her manuscript. The story goes that she didn't think it was of high enough quality to be seen by someone from a major publishing house. The agent was unrelenting, and once he had skimmed the chapters he knew he had a potential bestseller on his hands.
Ironically, that publishing world is, well, 'gone with the wind'. No longer do book agents try to 'discover' little known authors and bet the bank that they might become big literary sensations. Instead, book publishing almost resembles the pharmaceutical industry: The players place their bets on a few big, well-known authors that they know they will be able to recoup the costs of printing and marketing. Like Big Pharma, the book publishers prefer to get through each year with a handful of sure-fire blockbusters than risking funds on new names.
Continue reading "In Search of Book Publishing's Blockbusters" »
Posted by Kevin E. Corr (View Profile | View All Posts) at 7:37 AM
With global oil prices as volatile as ever and the threat of terrorism hanging over everything a tourist does, you might envision a climate that spells doom for the travel and hospitality industry. Far from it. Companies that are smart about customer service are experiencing stronger performance than ever. And the driver behind this performance is educating guests and passengers through web-based tools and allowing them to shop, compare and choose hotel rooms and airplane seats. These informed travelers are expecting more out of their destinations of choice, and the smartest hoteliers and travel companies are delivering through their command of customer expectations and technology-enabled capabilities.
The very best in the industry now see their mandate as staying on top of customer relationships throughout all facets of their journey - and then some. What I mean is that hoteliers and airlines know that consumers have more choice than ever before, so the way they distinguish themselves is by learning about each and every person who comes through their doors and sustaining a positive relationship with them. To be sure, technology is an invaluable tool in this regard, but now it's all about using the technology the right way.
Continue reading "Making Little Things Count In Big Ways" »