Thirsting for Books

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Do things really go better with Coke? The company and several major book publishers are betting they do. As part of a combined strategy to put more pizzazz in Diet Coke's image and more fizz in book sales, the Coca-Cola company launched an unusual cross-marketing campaign with six publishing houses Monday: Buy a 12- or 24-pack of Diet Coke or caffeine-free Diet Coke and get an excerpt from one of six new books inside.

Diet Coke approached several publishers whose authors appeal to both men and women after surveys indicated that Diet Coke drinkers like to read. Presented with the possibility that some 40 million Diet Coke drinkers might be turned into some 40 million readers, the publishers jumped at the opportunity. Among the authors the companies chose for the launching of the new cooperative enterprise: Barbara Taylor Bradford, Elmore Leonard and Lisa Scottoline. Diet Coke now hopes you'll be the first to collect all six. As for the publishers, they hope you'll want to quench your thirst for more and go buy the real thing -- the books themselves.