Tag: download

Book Review: “Dad is Fat” by Jim Gaffigan

As a huge fan of comedian Jim Gaffigan, I was really looking forward to the release of his first book, Dad is Fat. Gaffigan details the joys and perils of raising his five (yes, FIVE) children, or as he describes them: beautiful, pale creatures.

Gaffigan’s children at the time of book print range in age from infant to 8-years-old. The title for his book, Dad is Fat, originated from a sentence scrawled in messy, childish handwriting on a miniature whiteboard by one of his sons: “Dad is fat.” A keen observation from one of the pale creatures. Anyone who has had the distinct pleasure of listening to or watching Gaffigan’s standup routine is probably familiar with his affinity for Cinnabon, cake, pie, bacon, and food in general.

One of Gaffigan’s trademarks as a comedian is the ability to laugh at himself, breaking the fourth wall by using a higher-pitched voice to simulate an audience member’s thoughts. “He’s a pale fella!” Gaffigan opens his book using italicized text to emulate that tactic, increasing his likability by poking fun at himself. “He doesn’t even seem like he’s read a book before! Well, maybe a cookbook.”

The book goes on to detail the trials and triumphs of raising 5 small children in a 2-bedroom New York City apartment with his wife, Jeanie. While Gaffigan makes fun of his parenting ability – “He has virtually no training, skills or instincts on how to play this role,” he says of himself – the stories shared make it clear that Gaffigan is indeed an excellent father, and Jeanie is a phenomenal mother. Their children, Marre (8), Jack (6), Katie (3), Michael (1), and Patrick (newborn), keep mom and dad on their toes. As Gaffigan puts it, “failing and laughing at your own shortcomings are the hallmarks of a sane parent.”

If you’re interested in a funny, light read, I highly recommend Dad is Fat. Fans of Gaffigan’s standup will be interested to read backstories behind some of his popular bits, such as his explanation of why he and Jeanie chose home birth – “just to make you uncomfortable.” Readers new to Gaffigan’s work will likely catch the bug – check out his standup too! Follow Jim (@jimgaffigan) and Jeannie (@jeanniegaffigan) on Twitter. Follow us too (@thefirstclubcom) and let us know what you think of the book!

Download an eBook version of Dad is Fat from thefirstclub.com

Download standup albums Mr. Universe, King Baby, and Doin’ My Time from thefirstclub.com

The Benefits and Advantages of eBooks

by Remez Sasson

An ebook is a book in electronic format. It is downloaded to a computer, PC, Mac, laptop, PDA, tablet, smartphone or any other kind of reading device, and is read on the screen. It can have numbered pages, table of contents, pictures and graphics, exactly like a printed book.

Ebooks present many benefits and advantages, and this article shows some of them.

It is very simple and easy to purchase and download ebooks through the Internet. It is exactly like purchasing any other product. The only difference is that after payment you will either be directed to a download page or receive the download link in an email. All you have to do is click on the link and the ebook will automatically download to your computer, to a folder of your own choice.

After download you don’t have to be connected to the Internet in order to read the ebook. You can stay offline. If you wish to have it printed, it is very easy. Just click on the print button in the ebook, to print it with your home printer.

What are the benefits and advantages of ebooks?

  1. Ebooks are delivered almost instantaneously. You can purchase, download and start reading them within minutes, without leaving your chair. You don’t have to go to a bookstore to buy them, neither wait for them for days, weeks and sometimes more to arrive in the mail.
  2. No trees are required to manufacture paper for the pages of ebooks.
  3. When you need certain information, you can get it immediately, by downloading an ebook.
  4. Many ebooks are sold nowadays with bonuses, which you usually do not get with a printed book. This adds value to your purchase.
  5. Ebooks take up less space. You practically don’t need any space to store them. You don’t need a library or a room for them. You can store hundreds and thousands of ebooks on your computer or reading device.
  6. Ebooks are portable. You can carry a whole library of hundreds of books with you, on CD, in a laptop, notebook or any ebook reader, without worrying about their weight.
  7. With today’s technology you can read ebooks everywhere, on the bus, train, airplane, and while standing in line.
  8. Ebooks are more safely stored and carried from one place to another, than ordinary books. They also withstand time more than books.
  9. Ebooks can show links, for easy access to more information and related websites.
  10. Ebooks are searchable. You can easily search for any information in an ebook, instead of turning page after page.
  11. Ebooks can be interactive and contain audio, video and animations, which can enhance the message that the author is trying to convey.
  12. Since ebooks are delivered through the Internet, there are no packing and shipping expenses.
  13. Ebooks can be printable, so that if you wish to read an ebook in the traditional way, you can very inexpensively print it with your home printer or at any printing shop.
  14. Fonts in ebooks can be resized, making it easier to read for people with disabilities. With an additional software it is possible to turn some of the ebooks into audio books.
  15. Ebooks are very easy to to sell and distribute.
  16. It is very simple and easy to purchase and download an ebook. People living in big modernized cities, in a remote village in a far away country or on a small island, can equally access an ebook. It takes them the same amount of time to purchase and download an ebook, provided they have an Internet connection.
  17. It is possible to purchase an ebook 24 hours a day, every day of the year, from the comfort of your own house or office. You can purchase and download an ebook, even if you are on a vacation. All you need is a laptop, tablet. smartphone, or a reading device, and wireless Internet connection.
  18. People are already spending a lot of time in front of their computers, so why not read and ebook, instead of doing something else?

 
Nowadays, one can find ebooks about every possible subject, fiction and nonfiction, free and not free.

Considering non-fiction ebooks, such ebooks disseminate knowledge not pages, which means that it is not correct to evaluate the price of an ebook according to the number of its pages. The price should be determined by the information offered, its usefulness and its relevance, and also by the amount of practical knowledge, inspiration, motivation, tips and advice, and by the uniqueness of the information.

Original document from Success Consciousness.

© Copyright Remez Sasson

Remez Sasson teaches and writes on self-improvement, positive thinking, motivation, peace of mind, spirituality and meditation. He is the author of several books, among which are “Peace of mind in Daily Life”, “Emotional Detachment For a Better Life”, “Will Power and Self Discipline”, “Visualize and Achieve” and “Affirmations – Words with Power”.

Visit his website and find articles and books filled with inspiration, motivation and practical advice and guidance.
Website: www.SuccessConsciousness.com
Books: www.successconsciousness.com/ebooks_and_books.htm

Making Hotel Loyalty Programs More Effective

by Jill Goldworn and Denis Huré

There is no doubt that loyalty programs are on the rise today. In the U.S. alone, there are 1.8 billion individual memberships in loyalty programs1, everything from airlines to convenience stores to movie theaters. In light of this huge number, the general perception is that consumers are happy to join loyalty programs, eager to enjoy the added rewards that come with loyalty programs. The reality, however, is that they’re not. Confirming this expectation gap, a recent survey by the Chief Marketing Officer Council found that some 32% of consumers surveyed felt that participation in loyalty programs holds “little to no value.” Ouch.

What has emerged as a result of this disconnect is a new direction in loyalty programs: instant reward redemptions. In the past, instant rewards have been limited to cash or discounts at the register; maybe a free item of very low value. Technology, thankfully, has given rise to this new breed of instantly redeemable rewards – the digital, downloadable kind. These instant rewards promise to finally eliminate some of the traditional problems associated with loyalty programs, like engagement and delivering value.

Problems with Traditional Programs

According The Journal of Retailing, “the rewards associated with loyalty programs provide a means to establish reciprocity between the customer and the company.2” But problems that have plagued this interaction, or reciprocity, throughout the years and usually stemming from the delay between collection and redemption by loyalty program members. Whether a program’s threshold for redemption is too high, or the redemption process is too cumbersome (which often the case; ask any FFP member), traditional loyalty programs suffer from program inefficiency. And here’s where instant redemption provides instant relief, specifically in two areas:

Low-Threshold Consumers

In the past, a big problem has been the loss of “low-threshold” consumers. For these consumers, who maintain a low accumulation of points (or whatever program currency), the traditional loyalty program concept fails: if the point threshold is too high, the program has become irrelevant because the consumer feels the reward is not obtainable3. In such cases, the loyalty program is actually hurting the brand. It suffers because the consumer disengages from the brand before they have received an added “reward” for membership.

Instant reward redemptions provide companies a very affordable alternative to offer these low-threshold consumers an easy way to burn low point accumulations. Loyalty program managers also benefit, as studies have shown that these “light buyers” represent a large increase in spending and purchase frequency post-redemption4. In other words, they’re not a segment to be ignored.

Delayed Redemption

Another area of concern with loyalty programs is cumbersome redemption processes. Regardless of the delivery method, timing is of the essence in loyalty programs. In fact, the timing is (almost) everything. The longer the delay in collecting a reward, the less powerful the loyalty creation5. Here, instant rewards reduce the delay between collection and redemption and, therefore, a larger chance for loyalty engagement success.

Digital Content: The Ultimate Instant Reward Redemption

Digital content, offering loyalty members downloadable content (such as the latest selection in music, movies, software, books, games, magazines), is emerging as the premier medium for the delivery of instant reward redemption. The sheer selection of digital content that is available, along with its monetization potential, makes it an excellent vehicle for instant reward redemption programs. Consumers want instant rewards, and digital content is the next logical step. Research from Mintel confirms this fact:

47% of consumers surveyed said their choice of loyalty program would be influenced by instant redemption options, such as cash or discounts.
Jackpot!

So with this information acquired from recent surveys and obvious positive consumer sentiment, the next question seems to be: is digital content a good substitution for cash or discounts?

In a word, yes. According to Mintel’s study, 61% of respondents said that lower overall cost for merchandise they would have purchased anyway is an important attribute of a loyalty or rewards program. It’s feasible to assume then, that relevant content, content that the consumer is likely to purchase regardless, is a good substitute for cash or discounts. And considering that 65% of internet users have paid for intangible digital content, there is a huge market for relevant and engaging digital content waiting to be developed6. In the UK, a recent YouGov survey showed that among those aged 18-34 who had engaged in digital activities, 22% spent more than £5 on digital books, the digital content category receiving the highest spend7.

Digital content presents a win-win strategy

Digital content gives businesses the chance to burn points off their balance sheet, while offering the entire spectrum of loyalty program participants the opportunity to redeem points for merchandise in which they are interested or already purchasing on a regular basis.

In essence, instant digital rewards have bridged the gap between reality and perception. By making rewards instantly redeemable, businesses can give their customers the value that they seek: relevant rewards instantly and anywhere, loaded onto the devices they use in their everyday lives. Instant digital rewards, it seems, have created a new trend in loyalty programs:

Programs that work for everyone.


Loyalty: Looking Forward

Featuring latest statistics and defining characteristics of various industry loyalty programs presented by the first club™, “Loyalty: Looking Forward” can help program managers grasp emerging loyalty trends and their digitized, instant future.

Original document from EHotelier.

Sources/References:

  1. <http://www.colloquy.com/article_view.asp?xd=5889>
  2. Kumar, V., and Denish Shah. 2004. “Building and sustaining profitable customer loyalty for the 21st century.” Journal of Retailing 80, no. 4: 317-330.
  3. O’Brien, Louise, and Charles Jones. 1995. “Do Rewards Really Create Loyalty?.” Harvard Business Review 73, no. 3: 75-82.
  4. Liu, Yuping, and Rong Yang. 2009. “Competing Loyalty Programs: Impact of Market Saturation, Market Share, and Category Expandability.” Journal of Marketing 73, no. 1: 93-108.
  5. Dowling, Grahame R., and Mark Uncles. 1997. “Do Customer Loyalty Programs Really Work?.” Sloan Management Review 38, no. 4: 71-82.
  6. Jansen, J.. December 30, 2010. http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Paying-for-Content.aspx (accessed February 13, 2011).
  7. <http://www.kpmg.com/UK/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/NewsReleases/Pages/SmartphonesandTabletsdriverevenuefordigitalcontent,saysKPMGreport.aspx>
  8. Mintel data provided in the PR Newswire piece Instant Redemption Opportunities Lure in Loyalty Program Customers, Reports Mintel
  9. -CMO (32% hold “little to no value”) taken from “Loyalty: Looking Forward.”