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Jim Cox Report: February 2005

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

I'm a bit later than usual in getting out this monthly extended monologue because of what seems to be an annual event around this time of year -- flu season. Fortunately I now seem to be recovered and should be okay -- until hayfever season kicks in. Still, my brief hiatus from editorial labors did allow me to catch up a bit on my reading, a backlog of tivo'd television sitcoms, and a couple of movies that I was finally able to get around to seeing.

The big news this month is that our newly signed contract with Thomson-Gale (a big publisher and distributor of books and reference works for academic, corporate, and public library systems) has kicked in with a vengeance. All of the reviews generated for all of our monthly publications are now also provided to the Thomson-Gale online book review database called "Book Review Index Online".

For years we have been providing reviews for their interactive CD-ROM called "Book Review Index" which is put out four times a year. This latest twist is the creation of a fully searchable database that encompasses all the reviews we've ever provided them over the years. And we are in good company because our reviews sit side-by-side with those provided by Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, New York Times Book Review, Yale Review, and more than twenty other journals, magazines, and periodicals.

The reviews are searchable by author, date, illustrator, audiobook reader, review length, reading level, review source, review type, reviewer, title, and title of the review. Interested parties can obtain a free trial by contacted the Thomson Gale people at 1-800-877-GALE or visiting My advice to small press publishers is to take advantage of the freebie trial offer and use it to look up your own titles.

Now let's move on to some "tips, tricks & techniques" relevant to writing, publishing, and reviewing -- all in the form of Q&As taken from my email traffic here at the Midwest Book Review.

1. Request for permission to reprint book review

Dear Mr. Cox,

The Militant newspaper would like to request permission to reprint a review, published in your journal, of Teamster Rebellion by Farrell Dobbs. The review is by Willis M. Buhle. It appeared in the December 2004 issue of your online magazine "Reviewer's Bookwatch."


Paul Pederson
The Militant newspaper

It is the policy of the Midwest Book Review that authors and publishers automatically have full and complete permission to use any of the reviews we generate for their books in any manner they deem useful in their efforts to promote and market their titles. Just give the usual credit citation (Midwest Book Review) when doing so. This is a very standard practice in the publishing industry. That said, reviewers always appreciate being asked -- and being notified. The first is a simple act of common courtesy, the second plays to the fact that reviewers have egos every bit as big as those of authors and publishers -- and everyone appreciates being appreciated!

Here is a specific case in point -- the first is my reply to Dan, and then follows Dan's reply to me:

Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 12:33 PM

In a message dated 1/8/05 3:54:51 PM Central Standard Time,
MagicBullets@Alaska.Com writes:

I just read your review of my book "Magic Bullets in Real Estate" and wanted to offer you my thanks and sincere appreciation for your kind review of my book. It is most appreciated!

Sincerely yours,
Dan Auito

Dear Dan:

Thank you for your very kind words. Reviewers like feedback every bit as much as authors and publishers!

Incidently, although our bylaws prohibit accepting money from authors or publishers (in order to avoid any conflict of interest issues), we did amend it a few months ago allowing authors and publishers who wanted to make a gesture of support for what we try to do here at the Midwest Book Review in behalf of the small press community to be able to donate postage stamps "for the cause". So if you'd like to send some stamps, feel free (but not obligated!).

In the meantime, I look forward to your next project!

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

Subj: Re: Dear Dan, Back to you big Jim!
Date: 1/11/05 8:01:03 PM Central Standard Time
From: MagicBullets@Alaska.Com

Jim I did you one better, I got your review seen by 45,000 people! Click on this and scroll down about ten paragraphs to see the your actual review on If you can come up with any suggestions for further promotion of the book I am all ears my friend.

Sincerely yours,
Dan Auito

How to Real Estate Author Dan Auito is Getting Some Notice in Real Estate Circles. Positive Reviews and Feedback Have this Book and Website on Track to Helping 1000's of Ordinary People Making Solid Returns in Real Estate in 2005


Statistic Count Description

Reads 45,220 This number tells you how many times your press release was accessed from our site and other distribution points where we have the ability to measure a click through. This number does not include the number of journalists that have received your release through email. In addition there are online distribution points that we currently have no ability to track.

Estimated Pickup 284 This number estimates the number of times your press release was picked up by a media outlet. This does not tell you how many times your story appears in the media. It simply attempts to estimate media interest of your release.

Prints 3 This is the number of times that someone has printed your press release. We measure this by the number of times that the "printer friendly version" link is pressed. In reality, only a small percentage of users actually click this link before printing a release.

Forwards 1 This is the number of times that someone has forwarded your press release to a third party using the link on your press release.

Now it's me again: I am not familiar with this but it's definitely on my list of websites to check out. But I am used to the notion that our reviews can (and do) end up being passed along all over the web, ending up in websites and online archives I've never previously heard of. What Dan has done, you should do. Especially if you've got a positive review to broadcast to as wide a group of potential readers as possible. If anyone has had experience with I'd appreciate your views.

Our webmaster has hooked the Midwest Book Review website up to something called "FreeFind" that tracks the numbers of people who visit or otherwise utilize our website. Then we are sent weekly and monthly reports. Here's what a monthly report looks like:

Subj: Monthly search report for
Date: 2/1/05 8:55:03 PM Central Standard Time

This message was automatically generated by your FreeFind search engine. For help, to unsubscribe, or to contact a human, see the information at the very end of this email. Thanks!

From: FreeFind Staff
Subject: Monthly search report

Daily Search Activity
From: Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 PST 2005
To: Tue Feb 01 00:00:00 PST 2005

Day Date Queries
--- ------ -------
Sat Jan 01 97
Sun Jan 02 126
Mon Jan 03 123
Tue Jan 04 125
Wed Jan 05 106
Thu Jan 06 116
Fri Jan 07 89
Sat Jan 08 104
Sun Jan 09 123
Mon Jan 10 155
Tue Jan 11 86
Wed Jan 12 129
Thu Jan 13 164
Fri Jan 14 96
Sat Jan 15 72
Sun Jan 16 109
Mon Jan 17 133
Tue Jan 18 147
Wed Jan 19 191
Thu Jan 20 104
Fri Jan 21 44
Sat Jan 22 109
Sun Jan 23 88
Mon Jan 24 147
Tue Jan 25 100
Wed Jan 26 134
Thu Jan 27 104
Fri Jan 28 80
Sat Jan 29 127
Sun Jan 30 62
Mon Jan 31 129
Total for Jan: 3519

Top 50 Keywords

From: Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 PST 2005
To: Tue Feb 01 00:00:00 PST 2005
(Not including common words such as "the")

Count Keyword
----- -------
251 AND
208 The
59 God
53 book
40 review
38 from
34 So
34 Me
34 Help
33 After
33 Midnight
31 girl
30 with
30 radio
29 Voices
26 magic
25 you
25 Out
24 woods
23 ordinary
23 Timothy's
23 letters
23 life
23 go
22 white
22 flag
22 stars
21 show
20 watsons
20 Take
20 out
20 Has
20 Jane
20 My
19 birmingham
19 scott
19 Bride
19 Picture
19 take
18 days
18 Why
18 Gray
18 Heart
18 American
17 Book
17 Tale
17 hair
17 Tell
17 barbara
16 timothy's

Most Recent Queries
Day Time of Query Query
--- -------------------- ---------------
Tue Feb 01 09:59:46 2005 book reviews
Tue Feb 01 09:52:32 2005 An Ordinary Soldier
Tue Feb 01 09:52:27 2005 An Ordinary Soldier
Tue Feb 01 09:52:19 2005 An Ordinary Soldier
Tue Feb 01 09:52:14 2005 An Ordinary Soldier
Tue Feb 01 09:51:57 2005 An Ordinary Soldier
Tue Feb 01 09:51:33 2005 An Ordinary Soldier
Tue Feb 01 09:48:13 2005 An Ordinary Soldier
Tue Feb 01 09:48:10 2005 downa dark hall
Tue Feb 01 08:43:04 2005 new negro
Tue Feb 01 08:36:32 2005 the madonnas of president street
Tue Feb 01 08:28:20 2005 (resident evil the unbrella conspiracy) AND (resident evil the unbrella conspiracy)
Tue Feb 01 08:28:07 2005 resident evil the unbrella conspiracy
Tue Feb 01 08:26:51 2005 Bookseller of Kabul
Tue Feb 01 08:26:42 2005 Asne Seierstad
Tue Feb 01 08:26:05 2005 "War Of Storms Souls Of Chaos"
Tue Feb 01 08:24:27 2005 Jack P Wise
Tue Feb 01 08:21:57 2005 (War Of Storms souls Of Chaos) AND (War Of Storms souls Of Chaos)
Tue Feb 01 08:20:59 2005 (War Of Storms souls Of Chaos) AND (War Of Storms souls Of Chaos)
Tue Feb 01 08:12:20 2005 "War Of Storms Souls Of Chaos")
Tue Feb 01 08:11:56 2005 (Jack P Wise) AND ("War Of Storms Souls Of Chaos")
Tue Feb 01 08:10:05 2005 War Of Storms souls Of Chaos
Tue Feb 01 08:08:48 2005 War Storms Souls Chaos) AND (War Of Storms souls Of Chaos)
Tue Feb 01 08:08:38 2005 (War Storms Souls Chaos) AND (War Of Storms souls Of Chaos)
Tue Feb 01 08:07:59 2005 (War Of Storms souls Of Chaos) AND (War Of Storms souls Of Chaos)
Tue Feb 01 08:07:35 2005 (War Of Storms souls Of Chaos) AND (War Of Storms souls Of Chaos)
Tue Feb 01 08:03:47 2005 The First Part last
Tue Feb 01 07:32:38 2005 zephyr goza
Tue Feb 01 07:09:10 2005 roots of strategy
Tue Feb 01 07:00:59 2005 pursche
Tue Feb 01 06:43:18 2005 dirt misic
Tue Feb 01 06:32:18 2005 mission octagon
Tue Feb 01 06:32:18 2005 mission octagon
Tue Feb 01 05:51:55 2005 Romeo and Juliet
Tue Feb 01 04:56:39 2005 mission octagon
Tue Feb 01 04:30:28 2005 reading electrical blue prints
Tue Feb 01 04:30:00 2005 reading electrical blue prints
Tue Feb 01 04:09:53 2005 ohio
Tue Feb 01 04:05:52 2005 (book reviews) AND (book reviews)
Tue Feb 01 04:03:05 2005 book reviews
Tue Feb 01 03:48:18 2005 anwar
Tue Feb 01 03:43:14 2005 afghanistan
Tue Feb 01 03:42:50 2005 anwar
Tue Feb 01 02:17:28 2005 ross gregory
Tue Feb 01 01:54:00 2005 Tavard
Tue Feb 01 01:51:16 2005 George Tavard
Tue Feb 01 01:10:46 2005 yevgeny zamyatin
Tue Feb 01 01:10:31 2005 we
Tue Feb 01 00:42:21 2005 flattop fighting
Tue Feb 01 00:40:41 2005 Western State Terrorism

__________ FreeFind Help & Contact Information ________________


If your website doesn't have FreeFind (or something similar) then you might want to check it out. It's a useful way to seek what kind of traffic your website is attracting -- always a good thing to know.

Incidently, if you want to look a book up on our website, using the ISBN number without the dashes. Plug it into the FreeFind search engine on site and click on it.

Subj: A quick note of thanks...
Date: 1/05 10:34:10 AM Central Standard Time

Mr. Cox

We happened to be checking the Midwest Book Review website for the end of the month postings when we stumbled upon a review our book Discovering South Beach Deco.

We would like to express our gratitude, not only for the nice review, but also for your support of our efforts as self-publishers. Given the number of books Midwest Book Review evaluates each month we appreciate that you took time to read our book.

Once again, thank you for the review of our book. May you have a prosperous and enjoyable new year

--Val & Rich Beaubien
Discovering South Beach Deco

Our volunteer reviewers are responsible for notifying publishers when their freelance reviews are featured on the Midwest Book Review. But sometimes that doesn't happen. So it's always a good idea to check. One of the easiest ways is to use the Google search engine -- our website is routinely "spidered" by Google and so our reviews will usually pop up complete with a clickable link -- a useful thing considered how massively huge the Midwest Book Review website is. And every month it grows larger still.

Subj: Thanks
Date: 1/4/05 4:59:45 PM Central Standard Time

Hi James,

I hope you had a safe & peaceful holiday season. I saw the nice roundup of No Starch Press titles in your January Internet Bookwatch & wanted to thank you for continuing to include us. Looking forward to sharing more books with you in 2005!

Patricia Witkin
Communications Manager
No Starch Press,

No Starch Press specializes in publishing computer books. We've had a regular monthly book review column called "The Computer Shelf" for years. But what I wanted to point out with Patricia's email is the use of first names -- her's and mine. Get on a first name basis with all of your suppliers, vendors, and professional colleagues as soon as possible. It helps to foster a sense of dependability and acceptance in your business relationships that will stand you in good stead -- especially if something should go amiss. Plus, little messages like this one from Patricia in behalf of No Starch Press helps to underscore the continuance of our professional relationship and helped her to promote a continued awareness of her publishing company to me as a review resource for her future titles.

Subj: Book Review - January Travel Shelf - Does Your Meter Work?!
Date: 1/18/05 5:37:11 PM Central Standard Time

Dear Mr. Cox,

If I had a first born, he would be named after you. However, he will NEVER happen because the doctor made sure of that. In lieu of no kids, please accept this note of thanks for reviewing and including my travel book Does Your Meter Work?! in your January Bookwatch.

I'm very grateful. Thank you.

If you have a moment, please check out my web site

Yours in adventure,
Jim Soliski

Besides being a terrific boost for my personal ego, Jim has done a very clever thing in his "thank you" email -- he has put in a plug for his website. The Midwest Book Review routinely adds links to author and publisher websites that we feel would be of interest to readers, librarians, bookstore retailers, etc. So always feel free to use the opportunity of saying "thank you" to advance your book, your publishing house, your website, your professional career.

It's just good business.

And now it's time for the monthly additions to the Midwest Book Review Postage Donator "Hall of Fame" where I express my heartfelt appreciation to everyone who has donated some postage stamps as a way of expressing their appreciation and support for what we try to do here in behalf of the small press community of authors and publishers. My gratitude and thanks go out to:

Robert H. Miller
Angela Salas
Kelly Starling Lyons
Carol Scribner
Elite Books
Robert K. Landis - "Time Lines"
Dennis Janovich - "Bad Check NSF Handbook"
William Pillow - "Grave Convictions"
Sue Lowery - Windsock Media
Jacques Paisner - TouchArt Books
Cate Monroe - Moon Mountain Publishing
Deborah Robson - Nomad Press
Linda Purpura - Traitor Dachshund Books
Dilip G. Saraf - Career Transitions Unlimited
Chris Wang - Limerock Books
J. Grant - Blue Leaf Publications
Maria McCool - Rose Cottage Press
Andrea Peters - Bella International, Ltd.
Jerome Tiller - ArtWrite Productions
Lisa Grant - The Writers' Collective

The stamps always come in handy when its tear sheet & publisher notification letter sending time!

For you folks new to the "Jim Cox Report", you can receive it (for free) directly by just sending me an email and asking to be signed up for it.

If you have a book you'd like considered for review or some stamps you'd like to donate "for the cause", then send them to:

Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575

Until next time!

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review

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

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