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Jim Cox Report: August 2017

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

Although showcasing web sites is a regular feature of my daughter's monthly column for the publishing industry (Beth Cox Report), I don't usually do that for mine. But this month I'm making an exception. Whether you are a novice author with your first book, or a new publisher wanting to help your fledgling authors assist you in successfully marketing your books, go to:

There you will find a truly effective, succinct, 'real world practical' instructional guide offering "Five Tips for Planning a Successful Book Launch".

And as a kind of bonus, you will find links to similar instructional guides for "Writing a Blockbuster Novel" and "Writing a Historical Novel".

I dare say that even if you as an author and/or publisher are no longer a beginning novice in our publishing industry you will benefit from this article as a refresher -- and may even pick up a new tip or two!

I should also note that one of my own pieces on effective and successful book marketing was incorporated into this web site instructional guide with my permission.

Speaking again of my daughter's (pardon my parental pride) truly excellent and useful monthly column of 'tips, tricks, techniques & resources', she has her own fans -- one of which sent her the following which I'm passing along to my own loyal readers as a novel and relatively inexpensive marketing tip:

Two quick comments:

(1) I love reading MWBOOKREVW. I always find something inspiring / helpful when doing so!!

(2) As a self-published author, as you know one of the hardest things for us to do is publicize our books. I'm trying something new, at least new to me. I went on (a site that has all kinds of freelancers that can do most anything you need) and hired an individual (from Germany) to do video book trailers for each of my novels. I sent him a jpg of the cover and a brief description of what the book is all about, and for $20-$30 he made a 60-second video for me. I then posted them for free on YouTube and paid YouTube a small amount of money to "advertise" my videos. I started doing this less than a month ago and have had about 20,000 views of my videos. These have resulted in an increase in sales for each of my books, regardless as to format (print - ebook - audiobook). This is much better than what I've done before. In the signature line below, I've placed links to each of the ones currently live on YouTube. Every time I send out an email, the recipient of the email gets the latest links. If you have the time, check them out. For $20 I think the freelancer did a good job. Also, if you wouldn't mind, pass the links onto anyone who you think might be interested.

Thanks again,
John E. Parnell

By the way, like my own "Jim Cox Report", the current and all back issues of the "Beth Cox Report" are archived on the Midwest Book Review web site at:

They are all well worth your while as an author and/or a publisher!

Now on to this month's reviews of new 'how to' books on writing and publishing:

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Writing For Bliss
Diana Raab
Loving Healing Press
5145 Pontiac Trail, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
9781615993239, $21.95, PB, 240pp,

Diana Raab is an award-winning memoirist, poet, blogger, workshop leader and speaker. In "Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life" she draws upon her years of experience and expertise to provide aspiring writers with techniques and prompts for that will lead even the most novice writers to tap into their creativity through storytelling and poetry. "Writing for Bliss" also examines how life-changing experiences can inspire writing, pursue self-examination and self-discovery through the written word, and, understand how published writers have been transformed by writing. Featuring an appendix (A List of Writing Prompts); an eight page list of References; an eight page bibliography of Further Reading; a seven page listing of Recommended Memoirs; and a three page Index, "Writing for Bliss" is exceptionally well written, organized and presented, making it an ideal and highly recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing instructional collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Writing for Bliss" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.95).

The Online Writer's Companion
P. J. Aitken
Allworth Press
c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018 /
9781621535287, $19.99, PB, 344pp,

Synopsis: Every year, millions of writers struggle to find work, and most make little more than spare change from the assignments they land. With the expansion of the online freelance marketplace, anyone with the right skills can learn to thrive and build a full-time career as a freelance writer. A successful novelist and freelance writer, P. J. Aitken now shares with aspiring writers those skillsets and knowledge base that have earned him high levels of success on Upwork and other online freelance platforms.

His specific tips include: Creating the perfect profile; Writing winning proposals when bidding on writing jobs; Garnering the rating system that will bring recognition and new clients; Establishing long-term clients; Outsourcing for the most efficient results; Blogging for pay; Navigating the best sites and avoiding pitfalls many writers fall into.

"The Online Writer's Companion: A Complete Guide to Earning Your Living as a Freelancer" is an unprecedented, invaluable, indispensable guide for aspiring writers and authors of various materials and backgrounds, from bloggers to professional writers, students to retirees. It can even touch freelancers in other trades who want to hone their skills. By learning to make the most of a myriad of websites for freelance writers, readers will finally have the knowledge to succeed!

Critique: A comprehensive and 'real world' practical instruction guide and manual, "The Online Writer's Companion: A Complete Guide to Earning Your Living as a Freelancer" should be considered as a mandatory textbook on how to make a living as a writer in this age of the internet and social media. It should be noted for that "The Online Writer's Companion" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Finally -- Here is "The Midwest Book Review Postage Stamp Hall Of Fame & Appreciation" 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 postage stamps this past month:

Rick DeStefanis
Deirdre Newman
Moses R. Mugulusi
Nola R. Hintzel -- "Planet Geometry"
A.C. Burch -- "A Book of Revelations"
Henry Hoffman -- "On a Midnight Clear"
Deborah Kelemen -- ""How The Piloses Evolved Skinny Noses"
Tracy Bronzo -- "The Pumpkin Who Almost Missed Halloween"
Alese & Morton Pechter -- "Skyward Bound: Hot-Air Ballooning"
Magnolia Mailbox
Red Feather Publishing
Rolling Hills Publishing
Charyl McComas -- TM Books & Video
Rachel Semlyen -- Royal Fireworks Press
Marla Jones -- Doodle and Peck Publishing
John R. Guevin -- Biographical Publishing Company
Elizabeth Waldman Frazier -- Waldmania!

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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