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Jim Cox Report: December 2019

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

I often receive very specific and usual requests from time to time. It's one of the particular joys of my job as the editor-in-chief of the Midwest Book Review. Here's a recent example having to do with book reviewers and book review resources:

In a message dated 11/27/2019 9:35:37 AM Central Standard Time, Greg Hoetker writes:

Do you know of/recommend any reviewers in the Portland/Seattle areas? Many thanks(giving!)

Greg Hoetker

To which I replied: Here is a link for Book Reviewers in the Portland, Oregon area:

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review

Now I do not carry a directory of regional or city specific book review resources around in my head. But I do have an effective technique for conjuring them up. What I (and you too) can do is to type the following into the Google search machine:

Book Reviewers + City, State

In this particular case the City & State was Portland, Oregon.

I also want to take this occasion to give a plug for the book reviewer and book review resources data base that I created and keep updated on the Midwest Book Review web site for the direct and deliberately intended benefit of authors, publishers, book publicists and marketers. I call it "Other Reviewers". It is a database of freelance book reviewers, book review magazines and publications, book review web sites and blogs. They are all vetted by me. Some are specialized in a particular subject or genre like poetry or children's books, others are more general in nature.

The trick is to go to "Other Reviewers" which you will find at

Then go down the list (it is a long one because this is a huge book reviewer/resources database). When you see one that looks promising, click on it and you'll be zapped to that particular website. Read through that other website and you will be able to determine if that reviewer or review resource is thematically appropriate for your book. If it is you will also be informed as to what their submission guidelines are.

If you are new to the role and value of book reviews in publishing and the development of a book sales marketing plan, then I urge you to also read the following succinct and utterly practical instructional articles that I and others have written on the subject of book reviews:

Book Review Magazines Used by Librarians:

Book Reviewer's Role in Self-Publishing:

A Conversation About Getting Your Book Reviewed:

Creating a Book Reviewer Data Base:

Getting Reviews For Self-Published Books:

Publicity Release-Based Reviews:

Reviewers, Accessibility, and Book Stamping:

Rules Regarding Review Copies:

How to Spot a Phony Book Reviewer:

Now here are reviews of other new books with particular relevance and interest for authors and publishers:

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon: 2020 Powerhouse Edition
Penny C. Sansevieri
Independently Published
9781695420793, $12.99, PB, 204pp,

Synopsis: is the 800 pound gorilla of on-line book marketing.

Named as one of the top influencers of 2019 by New York Metropolitan Magazine, Penny Sansevieri has also taught Amazon-centric classes and webinars to thousands of authors leading up to the release of this ultimate guide to mastering the Amazon marketing system.

In the pages of "How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon: 2020 Powerhouse Edition" she draws upon her years of experience and expertise to share her proven strategies for utilizing Amazon as a core part of a book marketing strategy that will immediately start building a book's target market exposure and dramatically upgrade overall book marketing efforts by authors, publishers, and publicists!

"How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" will enable even the most novice self- published author to: Increase their sales through perfectly timed pre-order campaigns; Get their book ranked #1 in its category; Find the perfect keywords and categories that will help their book soar up the Amazon charts; Achieve top visibility for their book with lucrative keywords; The secrets to running a successful Amazon ads campaign that won't cost a fortune!.

"How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" also shows how to: Leverage a secret tool to get hundreds of reader reviews; Use Kindle Unlimited to greatest advantage; Boost sales with strategic eBook strategies; Create book descriptions that convert more browsers to buyers; Identify and locate secret categories that drive bigger sales; Leverage Amazon-owned Goodreads so it's working for a specific book.

"How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" is an essential, go-to resource if for authors and publishers who really want to use all the features Amazon offers that have proven to work to increase and sustain book sales.

If "How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" is purchased on Amazon, then also included as free bonuses are: Blogger and social media listings, sample templates, and dozens of additional resources to get started with smarter book marketing right away. A special code to get this great information in a step-by-step video format!

It should be noted that the Midwest Book Review is favorably cited in "How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon", including (with permission) some of the marketing advice with respect to book reviews by Jim Cox, it's editor-in-chief.

Critique: An absolutely essential and invaluable instructional resource and reference by a seasoned and accomplished expert on the subject, this newly updated and expanded edition of "How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" by Penny Sansevieri (who founded and operates Author Marketing Experts and is the author of instructional guides and manuals on various aspects of marketing books), is an unreservedly recommended addition to the personal reading lists of authors, publishers, and book publicists. While an especially recommended addition to community and academic library Writing/Publishing collections, it should be noted that "How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).

5-Minute Book Marketing For Authors: 2019 Edition
Penny C. Sansevieri
Independently Published
9781074789930, $9.99, PB, 148pp,

Synopsis: Now in a fully updated and expanded 2019 edition, "5 Minute Book Marketing for Authors" is a complete and expertly presented instructional reference and guide by a seasoned and experienced professional and expert in the art, science and craft of marketing books.

Author Marketing Experts' Penny Sansevieri clearly lays out step-by-step DIY instructions on all aspects of book marketing including the effective use of such marketing tools as Goodreads,, More Books, eBook Pricing & Promotion, Writing Reviews, Websites, Newsletters, Social Media, Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, Instagram, Pinterest, and more!

Critique: An absolute 'must read' for every aspiring (and even seasoned) author hoping to establish themselves commercially and bring to the attention of the widest and highest possible number of intended readers for their particular book(s), "5-Minute Book Marketing For Authors: 2019 Edition" is especially recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing collections. An ideal addition to all Creative Writing class curriculum supplemental studies lists, it should be noted that "5-Minute Book Marketing For Authors: 2019 Edition" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

The Book Review Companion
David Wogahn
c/o Author Imprints
9781944098148, $12.95, PB, 210pp,

Synopsis: Author David Wogahn is president and founder of AuthorImprints, an award-winning professional publishing services company that helps authors and businesses publish books using their own publishing imprint.

Withe the publication of "The Book Review Companion: An Author's Guide to Getting and Using Book Reviews" he has drawn upon his years of experience and expertise to create a handy instructional reference guide to the art and science of reviewing books that is loaded with feedback from authors on the subject.

"The Book Review Companion" includes step-by-step instructions for getting and using book reviews including: Proven review strategies applicable to any book, and any author; The ten major sources for reviews, including sixty resources; Amazon review policies demystified and clarified; A complete guide to soliciting and using endorsements and blurbs; Detailed instructions and resources for contacting book bloggers.

Of special note is the inclusion of a special bonus section written specifically for new authors.

Critique: It should be noted that in "The Book Review Companion: An Author's Guide to Getting and Using Book Reviews" the Midwest Book Review is favorably cited and one of its reviewer's has contributed an impressively informative interview on the subject of book reviews.

No matter whether an author that is traditionally published or self-published, "The Book Review Companion" will prove to be an ideal DIY instructional guide and manual that will be an enduringly valued and often referred to resource when authors and novice publishers are creating marketing campaigns for their books -- especially for those working with limited budgets!

Impressively informative, expertly organized and presented, "The Book Review Companion" is unreservedly recommended for author, publisher, and book publicists professional reference collections. While especially commended for community and academic library Writing/Publishing collections, aspiring and even seasoned authors should be aware that "The Book Review Companion" is also available in an inexpensive digital book format (Kindle, $0.99).

Winning Strategies for ACT Essay Writing
Aimee Weinstein
Vibrant Publishers
9781949395457, $29.95, PB, 224pp,

Synopsis: "Winning Strategies For ACT Essay Writing: With 15 Sample Prompts" by Dr. Aimee Weinstein is a deftly crafted guidebook that offers step-by-step, proven strategies for crafting a winning ACT essay. It includes suggestions for approaching the writing task, analyzing the issues presented, and managing time effectively. The book contains fifteen sample prompts using the exact same format as the official ACT tests. Each prompt includes a sample pro/con chart so students can learn to carefully plan and organize the essay before writing.

Additionally, "Winning Strategies For ACT Essay Writing" describes techniques to think through, outline, and write an engaging introduction, impressive supporting paragraphs, and powerful conclusion. There are recommendations for selecting a point of view and using solid evidence to support the argument. Additionally, there is a discussion of the ACT scoring rubric and reasons for taking the essay portion.

"Winning Strategies For ACT Essay Writing: With 15 Sample Prompts" is suitable for use with or without a tutor. By reading and practicing with this text, students will gain the tools and confidence to write a high scoring essay.

Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation for analyzing each prompt, carefully planing the essay, making a compelling argument, use=ing the allotted time effectively, evaluating sample essays, and increase student test taking confidence, "Winning Strategies For ACT Essay Writing: With 15 Sample Prompts" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended study guide and should be a part of ever school district and community library college ACT test taking instructional reference collection.

Editorial Note: Dr. Aimee Weinstein is a writer and professor whose passion is coaching students on how to write effective essays for college applications as well as the ACT and SAT. She works full-time at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia as a Term Assistant Professor of Humanities and Graduate Pathway Advisor with INTO Mason. Dr. Weinstein works with the INTO Mason Mentoring Committee and is part of the Mason Faculty Learning Community on the Study of Teaching and Learning. She received her doctorate from the Department of Higher Education at George Mason University where she focused on teaching writing to second language learners via a hybrid classroom. Dr. Weinstein lived for more than ten years in Tokyo, Japan where she taught writing at Temple University, Japan. She has held positions at The George Washington University and Prince George's Community College (MD), teaching classes in various levels and genres of writing. Her previous publications include several food and travel articles in English-language magazines in Japan.

Finally, "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:

Mary Wark
Carol Marsh
Scott Gulyas -- "Convergence"
Eric B. Schultz -- "Innovation on Tap"
Elana A. Mugdan -- "Dragon Speaker"
Crystal Payton -- "Lover's Leap Legends"
Francine Rodriguez -- "A Woman Like Me"
Elizabeth W. Rogers -- "Tracks West - New Mexico"
Kelly Mack McCoy -- "Rough Way to the High Way"
Henry Kellerman -- "Curing Psychological Symptoms"
James Anthony -- "The Constitution Needs A Good Party"
Martha Ward Plowden -- "Accomplished Women of Color"
Lloyd R. Free -- "Bittersweet, A Coming of Age Historical Romance"
Barbra Lena -- Brattle Publishing
David Carriere -- The Carriere Company
Denise Lawson -- Brown & Lowe Books
Rosemary Mild -- Magic Island Literary Works
Berkeley Varitronics Systems
Gripper Products / Look Under Rocks
Elizabeth Waldman Frazier -- Waldmania!
Barbara C. Wall -- The Barrett Company, LLC

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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