Author moves into national marketing effort of self-published book

[As published in Northern Nevada Business Weekly]

Marie Gibson considers herself a natural organizer, and the methodical marketing campaign for her book, “The Caregiver’s Journal,” is entering its second phase.

Gibson, a management consultant in Reno, developed “The Caregiver’s Journal” as a way for people to track the day-by-day hospital care of loved ones.

Developed by Gibson during her father’s hospitalization, the journal allows caregivers to write down doctors’ names, details of tests that were ordered, medications that were prescribed and the therapies that were undertaken.

“It gives people an outlet,” she says. “It helps them organize their thoughts and remember from one day to another what the doctors say.” Many people remember information better after they have written it in their own words, she says, and the journal also provides a tool for caregivers to share information with other family members.

The journal includes reminders, advice for caregivers and tips from hospital insiders.

After working a couple of years to develop the format of the journal, which she has self-published, Gibson launched a grassroots marketing effort in November.

She spoke at conferences, launched a Web site and spread the word through friends and families.

That led to orders from about 100 healthcare organizations nationwide. The next step is a national marketing campaign that targets medical audiences. Susan Hill Public Relations of Reno, a firm that specializes in healthcare marketing, is spearheading that effort.

Gibson hopes that the journal will be adopted by at least five healthcare organizations in each state.

That’s getting a boost by changes in Medicare reimbursement policies that are expected to take effect later this year. Medicare payments to hospitals will be adjusted to reflect patient-satisfaction ratings, and Gibson presents the journal as a way that hospitals can foster greater involvement by patients’ families.

In some instances, Gibson says hospitals may private-label the journal and distribute to the families of hospitalized patients. It carries a $15.95 price.