Dewey B. Larson
755 N.E. Royal Court
Portland, Oregon 97232
Mar. 18, 1983
The attitude of the Christian Science Monitor certainly illustrates what we are up against. I don’t think that we can change that attitude, but I believe it would be well to try to pin them down to something specific, because we will probably want to scream about censorship at some later date, and we should have the full story about this episode. I am enclosing a draft of the kind of a letter that I think should be addressed to them.
I do not expect that anything of this kind would change their decision, and even if it did, I would recommend not placing the ad in their publication, as the CSM is not a very good choice for the first experiment in advertising. It is not a scientific journal, and you therefore pay the price of a big circulation, most of which is of no benefit to you. Furthermore, the CSM is really a newspaper; it is here today and gone tomorrow. You need something that does not grow stale quite so fast. I believe you should start with one or two of the small scientific journals that are addressed specifically to the kind of people that are your best prospects. I suggest that you proceed to place the ad with one or two of these. If the results are favorable you can then give some consideration to the journals of the scientific societies and the mass circulation publications in the scientific field. I have looked over the list of those to whom the NPP sent review copies (presumably the best prospects for reviews) and I have picked out the following as examples of the kind of publications in which I think you would get the most value for your money:
Science Teachers’ Journals
Journal of College Science Teaching
The Science Teacher
School Science and Mathematics
Science Magazines of Relatively Small Circulation
Journal of the Franklin Institute
The Sciences (NY)
My recommendation for the first choice, or one of the first choices, if you decide to start with more than one, is the Journal of College Science Teaching, as they published generally favorable reviews of two of my books, and might be inclined to review NFS, or at least carry a news item, if your ad and the follow-up with the brochures stir up some interest.
In your contacts with these publications it would be advisable to avoid referring to the Reciprocal System of Theory or to my books. The whole idea of the advertising program that I suggested at Philadelphia was to advertise the ISUS, rather than the books. It is not feasible to say enough in a display ad, at this stage of our program, to present a good case in favor of the books, but you can advertise the ISUS. Then when you get some nibbles, you can use the much larger space that you have available in the brochure to get your points across. Introducing this further objective into your correspondence about the ads does no good, and may be a negative factor, as it apparently was in the case of the CSM.
I will write later about the letter from Thomas Lo Bello after I have had time to examine it.