Idea File: Starting at the Top

April 2004
by Jessica Bryan

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After publishing Love Is Ageless: Stories About Alzheimer’s Disease in mid-2002, I immediately began exploring the idea of a bulk sale to a drug company, one that sells drugs for Alzheimer’s. Multiple telephone calls to Pfizer and other companies produced no results. Drug companies are just so huge; I kept getting lost in the telephone trees. Then one of my contributing authors tried; she was an attorney who used to work for Pfizer and had many contacts there. That also produced no results. Next, two other publishers tried, one of whom publishes only medical books and has pulled off many bulk sales to drug companies. Also with no results.

By August 2003, I was getting irritated, and while perusing Pfizer’s Web site, I came across the name of the CEO and president of the company. I quickly wrote him a letter and sent him a copy of the book. Two weeks later someone from the marketing department called me to advise that they liked my book very much and would pursue a purchase in early 2004. I’m on the edge of my chair waiting for their call.

The moral of this marketing tale: think big; go directly to the top; reach for the highest star. All you have to lose is a small amount of time and postage, but what you gain may be enormous!

Jessica Bryan

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