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Jim Cox Report: August 2022

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

Recently I ran across a website that I thought would be of particular interest and value to anyone contemplating publishing a book for the first time and not knowing how to go about it. Here is a link to the site of the "Self-Publishing School":

I was asked to contribute to a new article on "Book Storage, Organization and Maintenance: Tips From the Experts" by Maria Jose Meneses with an answer to the question 'How can I ensure my books are kept away from dust?' This article is an invaluable, useful, and 'real world' practical compilation of Q&A tips, tricks & techniques for any author, publisher, bookstore owner, and bibliophile having to deal with maintaining and preserving a large personal and professional collections of books.

Here's the link:

There are five really great website articles about whether or not an author and/or publisher should give away free copies of Ebooks as a marketing/promotion strategy:

1. To Free or Not to Free: Giving Away Your Ebook:

2. How to Give Away Copies of Your Kindle Ebook on Amazon, and Why itís a Good Idea:

3. Free Kindle Ebooks Ė Do They Help Generate Real Book Sales?:

4. 10 Ways to Make Money Selling Free eBooks:

5. Why You Should Not Give Your eBook Away For Free:

I very much enjoy talking to folk about the publishing industry in general and my observations of the changes I've seen in publishing over the course of my life time. Here is one such recent exchange with an author that I think you might enjoy:

In a message dated 5/13/2022 8:08:00 AM Central Standard Time, Mike Oswald wrote:

Thank you so much for the review, James.

I'm curious, as someone who's probably pretty well plugged into the publishing world, what's your take on the general state of the industry, the printing side of things in particular?

On my end, it seems like everyone's out for blood. I've read/heard all about the state of paper/pulp/printing, but my printer increased cost nearly 70%. I want everyone to have a comfortable profit, but they make things incredibly difficult by surprise price increases (for a variety of reasons).

Cheers from the coast of Lake Michigan,

Mike Oswald

On Thu, May 12, 2022 at 11:21 PM James Cox wrote:

Dear Mike:

I'm well aware of the impact inflation has upon the publishing industry. When I was 10 (back in 1952) a brand new mass market paperback by one of my favorite science fiction authors had a cover price of 25 cents. Today a mass market paperback goes for $8.99 to $9.99. All that in a span of just 70 years (I'll be 80 this coming November).

Printing costs more these days because ordinary inflation is compounded by problems in securing basic materials (like paper and press ink) and the cost of transportation of said basic materials (like the cost of gasoline and fuel) when supply lines have been disrupted by a world-wide plague, wars, incompetent politicians, and price gouging corporations.

One of the ironies of the publishing industry is that the creation of the mass market paperback book was the direct result of paper shortages during World War II.

Another is the impact that digital publishing in the form of eBooks has had with respect to a still growing market share of books when the price range is something like $29.99 for a Hard Cover, $16.99 for a Trade Paperback, $9.99 for a Kindle (eBook).

Because of the continuing volatility of the American economy in general, and the costs of book printing/binding/marketing in particular, I see no relief on the increasing costs of print publication any time soon.

If I have any general recommendation to give aspiring self-published authors and/or the novice small press publisher, it is to have an eBook option available to your intended readership/customer base along with offering it in a hardcover and/or paperback edition.

And always please remember -- My advice is free and worth exactly what I charge for it!

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review

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Lynn Hasty
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David Hopkins -- "A Strange Storm Over Aberton"
Christy Hui -- "Flying Fillies: The Sky's the Limit"
Joe Canzano -- "Rune and Flash: Inside the Dream Prison"
Debra Schultz -- "Freaky, Funky Fish: Odd Facts about Fascinating Fish"
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Mentha Press
Harrell Communications
Relentless Productions, Inc.
Elizabeth Frazier -- Waldmania! PR

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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.

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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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