The restructuring of Tower Records/Video/Books' book advertising department is one part of the company's strategy to reenergize its book operations, according to Sherri Wigger, advertising director of worldwide market development. PW estimates that Tower's book sales last year were flat.

Under the realignment, Denise McDonald and Joanna Sedlack have been appointed book advertising managers. McDonald is responsible for covering West Coast markets as well as the major publishers, while Sedlack is in charge of East Coast markets, independent presses and wholesalers.

McDonald and Sedlack's objective is to increase the visibility of the company's book business, which is conducted through 13 bookstores plus sections in most of Tower's other 207 outlets. An image campaign, featuring the theme "Tower Records Is More than Music," is set to launch March 1 and will utilize print and radio advertising and possibly some cable ads. The book advertising managers will also strive to increase Tower Books' community presence through such events as book fairs and festivals.

In addition to upping their book advertising budget, most of Tower's locations are increasing the number of titles they carry; the company is also likely to open additional stand-alone bookstores in the next few years.

Tower is moving more slowly in the Internet area. Although it was one of the first companies to launch an online music store, Tower d s not yet offer books through the Internet. Wigger told PW the company is "developing a strategy for selling books on the Web," but she did not confirm that the company will be using its site as the sales vehicle.