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Guest Informant hotel guidebooks


Client: Morris Visitor Publications

Project: Find, secure, edit and publicize business plans for six major business reference books

Published annually, each Guest Informant hardcover guidebook a business plan reference guide published by Gale Cengage Learning (originally published by Thomson Gale Publishing). Each volume  – 30+ so far — contains an average of 25 real business plans obtained from businesses in the manufacturing, retail and service industries which successfully were used to secure funding.Bastian was selected by the publisher to write the main stories in two annual Guest Informant guides for both Cincinnati, OH, and Kansas City, MO 1. The Guest Informant guides were luxury full-color, hardcover city guides delivered in-room at hundreds of hotels across the country. They were published annually in each city 1For these assignments, Bastian interviewed key people in each city representing main tourist attractions, including restaurants 1The tasks required Bastian to use his interviewing, research, writing, and project management skills 1


Each plan is fictionalized by changing the names of companies, executives, addresses and products/services. Each volume includes a sample business plan template and two fictional plans, a glossary of small business terms, and a directory section containing various listings of interest to entrepreneurs and consultants specializing in small business advice and planning.

Morris Visitor Publications, a division of Morris Communications Co., LLC, published the Guest Informant, along with other maps, guides, and directories for business and leisure travel 1.


When Editing skills combine with PR and Strategic Thinking skills....great things happen!


Bastian was hired as the key Research Editor for six BPH annual editions. While many research editors were hired to help secure business plans per book, not one of them could surpass Bastian's ability to provide a significant portion of the plans included in each edition. 

In 2006, while working on the 12th edition of BPH, Bastian was doing her usual task of finding people willing to have their successful business plans published in a fictionalized version, with NO compensation. The lack of reimbursement was "the sticking point" holding back many potential contributors. This year, however, Bastian came up with an innovative solution to this perennial problem. Her idea, never before attempted by the publisher, was to write a press release emphasizing a “call for contributors” and the prestige of being included in BPH. More importantly, she developed a list of no-cost ways the publisher could reward contributors (also touted in the press release) They included:  a free copy of the book, an acknowledgement of thanks to the contributing business in the book’s front matter, and a full business listing about the contributing business in the book's Resource section.

Bastian wrote the press release and distributed it nationally a PR distribution service, and promoted it on numerous investment and general business websites. Morever, she gave free advice to contributors on how they could further leverage their plan contribution(s) by promoting this activity to their local media outlets, etc. The result? Bastian was able to secure an even high er number of highly qualified and successful business plans from old and new contributors, and increase the editorial value to the BPH product line.


Interviewing, research, writing, editing.

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