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Jim Cox Report: April 2023

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

I'm always interest in how bookstores (both new and used) are faring in our ever volatile economy. Recently I received news of a new study on the health and viability of American bookstores that I thought I'd pass along to my fellow bibliophiles to whom a bookstore (especially a used books bookstore) is like a candy shop to a kid. Come to think about it, that also applies to most authors and a great many publishers who are like me -- addicted to bookstore browsing.

Subject: Bookstores named No. 1 recession-proof business by Forbes, but others might be in trouble

Hello James A.,

Starting a successful small business is difficult in any economy. Starting one in an economy verging on a recession can seem close to impossible.

Using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and an indication of popularity from Google search trends, Forbes Advisor assessed 60 small business types and determined which of them are most and least recession-proof in 2023.

Key findings:

Bookstores, PR agencies, and interior design services are most likely to succeed during a recession in 2023.

Restaurants, womenís clothing boutiques, and vacation rentals are among the 10 least recession-proof businesses.

PR agencies, marketing consulting services, and food trucks are among the most consistent performers over the past 15 years.

Breweries, which have grown nearly 500% as a category over the past two decades, are in the bottom 50% of recession-proof businesses.

Take a look at the full "Here Are Americaís Most Recession-Proof Businesses" report:

Matt Zajechowski

There is a fascinating and informative article on the 10 Largest Bookstores in the United States at:

Now here are reviews of new books that will be of particular interest and value to authors, publishers and bibliophiles:

Writing The TV Drama Series
Pamela Douglas, author
Charon Normand-Widmer, narrator
Dreamscape Media
1417 Timberwolf Drive, Holland, Ohio, 43528
2940173216731, $TBA, CD (13 Hours 17 Minutes)

Synopsis: Expertly narrated by Charon Normand-Widmer, this complete and unabridged audio book edition of Pamela Douglas' "Writing The TV Drama Series: How to Succeed as a Professional Writer in TV" is an invaluable informational resource for anyone who wants to write and produce a television drama series or create an original series, as well as for teachers in screenwriting classes and workshops.

"Writing The TV Drama Series" leads listeners step-by-step through each stage of the development and writing process, offering practical industry information and artistic inspiration. This edition also takes listeners into the future, engaging provocative issues about the interface between traditional TV and emerging technologies. And itís the single most comprehensive source on what is happening in original television drama around the world, with surveys of fifteen countries.

Critique: A complete course of instruction, the "Writing The TV Drama Series: How to Succeed as a Professional Writer in TV" audio book is available from Dreamscape Media in both a tradition CD edition and in an MP3-CD format -- making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library Writing/Publishing audio book collections. It should be noted that "Writing The TV Drama Series" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.47), as well as a Library Binding edition (9781615932078, $45.00) from Michael Wiese Productions).

Editorial Note: Pamela Douglas is an award-winning writer with numerous credits in television drama. She is also the author of The Future of Television: Your Guide to Creating TV in the New World (MWP 2015). She consults internationally to professional TV writers and producers, and has lectured in Africa, Europe and throughout the United States. Douglas was awarded the Humanitas Prize for Between Mother and Daughter (CBS), an original drama that also won nomination for a Writers Guild Award. Multiple Emmy nominations and awards, and awards from American Women in Radio and Television went to her other dramas. She was a creator of the series Ghostwriter, and wrote for many shows including Star Trek: The Next Generation, named one of the top 100 shows by the Writers Guild of America She has also been a member of the Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America, West.

Doing Criticism: Across Literary and Screen Arts
James Chandler
9781405177795, $59.95, PB, 320pp

Synopsis: With the publication of "Doing Criticism: Across Literary and Screen Arts", James Chandler presents a practical guide to engaging actively and productively with a critical object, whether a film, a novel, or a play. Going beyond the study of lyric poetry and literature to include motion picture and dramatic arts, "Doing Criticism" offers a unique text that provides specific advice on how to best write criticism while offering concrete illustrations of what it looks like on the page.

Divided into two parts, "Doing Criticism" first presents an up-to-date account of the state of criticism in both Anglo-American and Continental contexts by describing both the longstanding mission and the changing functions of criticism over the centuries and discussing critical issues that bridge the literary and screen arts in the contemporary world.

The second part of "Doing Criticism" features a variety of case studies of criticism across media, including works by canonical authors such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and W. B. Yeats; films such as Coppola's The Conversation and Hitchcock's Vertigo; screen adaptations of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day; and a concluding chapter on several of Spike Lee's film "joints" that brings several of the book's central concepts to bear on work of a single film auteur.

Helping students of literature and cinema write well about what they find in their reading and viewing, "Doing Criticism": Discusses how the bridging of the literary arts and screen arts can help criticism flourish in the present day; Illustrates how the doing of criticism is in practice a particular kind of writing; Considers how to generalize the consequences of criticism beyond personal growth and gratification; Addresses the ways the practice of criticism matters to the practice of the critical object; Suggests that doing without criticism is not only unwise, but also perhaps impossible; Features case studies organized under the rubrics of conversation, adaptation, genre, authorship and seriality

Critique: Comprised of six informative chapters (Doing Criticism/Doing without Criticism; Making of the Critical Essay; Conversations; Adaptations; Genres; Authorship and Seriality) "Doing Criticism: Across Literary and Screen Arts" is especially recommended as a curriculum textbook for students in introductory courses in criticism, literary studies, and film studies, novice book/film/theatre reviewers. Highly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Literary Criticism collections, it should be noted for students, academic, professional reviewers, as well as general readers with interest in the subject, that "Doing Criticism: Across Literary and Screen Arts" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $48.00).

Editorial Note: James Chandler ( is William K. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of English and Cinema & Media Studies at the University of Chicago, USA. He has written widely about Romanticism, British and Irish literature since the early Enlightenment, American cinema, and the relationship of literary criticism to film criticism. He is the author of several books including England in 1819 and An Archaeology of Sympathy: The Sentimental Mode in Literature and Cinema.

"The Midwest Book Review Postage Stamp Hall Of Fame & Appreciation" is a monthly roster of well-wishers and supporters. These are the generous folk who decided to say 'thank you' and 'support the cause' that is the Midwest Book Review by donating to our postage stamp fund this past month:

Bethany Cox
Nancy L. Cox
Brodie Westen
Prasenjit Gupta -- "Indian Errant"
Kay A. Oliver -- "Road to Elysium"
Louisa Kallona -- "The Tickling Tale of Smoo"
Ann Wirtz -- "Our Lives in Verse: Everyday Poetry"
Ben Kohler -- "Benji and Iggie: The Magic of Friendship"
Anthony Faggioli -- "The Church of The Lighted Window: Denial"
Liza McQuade -- "Spontaneous Revolutions: Seeing America One Pedal at a Time"
Pippa White -- One's Company
JJ DiGeronimo -- Tech Savvy Women
Dane Reid Media
Donovan's Literary Services
Elizabeth Frazier -- Waldmania! PR

In lieu of (or in addition to!) postage stamp donations, we also accept PayPal gifts of support to our postage stamp fund for what we try to accomplish in behalf of the small press community. Simply log onto your PayPal account and direct your kindness (in any amount and at your discretion) to the Midwest Book Review at:

SupportMBR [at]

(The @ is replaced by "[at]" in the above email address, in an attempt to avoid email-harvesting spambots.)

If you have postage stamps to donate, or if you have a book you'd like considered for review, then send those postage stamps (always appreciated, never required), or a published copy of that book (no galleys, uncorrected proofs, or Advance Reading Copies), accompanied by a cover letter and some form of publicity release to my attention at the address below.

All of the previous issues of the "Jim Cox Report" are archived on the Midwest Book Review website at If you'd like to receive the "Jim Cox Report" directly (and for free), just send me an email asking to be signed up for it.

So until next time -- goodbye, good luck, and good reading!

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI, 53575

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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