EVENTS & PROMOTIONS: CALLING HOME OFFICE: PUBLISHER TAPS BIG ADVERTISERS, RETAILER TO BACK HOW-TO BOOKS

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Upstart custom publisher Home Base Solutions is jumping into in-store promotion with a program targeting home office users through office supply retailer Staples.

So far, New York-based Home Base is drawing ad participation from Motorola, Sprint Corp. and American Express Co. in its 28 how-to guides about home and small businesses. The guidebooks' topics range from hiring and firing to tax law, and sell for $3.99 each.

Home Base's titles are being displayed in standalone kiosks inside 50 Staples outlets in the Northeast, but the company plans to expand distribution to encompass hundreds of Staples' 527 outlets nationwide, and could go into the 500 Office Depot stores recently acquired by Staples.

HIGHLY TARGETED AUDIENCE

By concentrating on the office supply market, Home Base President Jill Skaler Montaigne aims to deliver to advertisers a highly targeted audience of consumers.

Ms. Montaigne said she went directly to advertisers because "I was concerned that agencies wouldn't know how to evaluate the buy." The total cost of a year's participation will not exceed $1 million; Home Base plans to expand to as many as 90 titles.

In another in-store effort, Success in April will kick off a six-week co-promotional program with Microsoft Corp.

Participating stores-such as Egghead, Best Buy Co., Circuit City Stores, Office Max, Computer City and Fry's-will distribute to buyers of Microsoft products a co-branded booklet of discounts on goods and services applicable to small office/home office executives. Success will have magazine category exclusivity and may contribute editorial to the booklet.

Last year, McGraw-Hill's Business Week Enterprise was an exclusive partner at Staples, and in 1995 it had a distribution relationship with Office Depot, which Staples acquired in a transaction begun late in '96. Business Week VP-Marketing Harry Summerdyke said that, while the edition won't continue with Staples this

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