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Jim Cox Report: February 2014

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

The response to our new policy announcement last month of giving authors and publishers the chance to submit a review from someone else should their book pass our initial screening only to ultimately fail to secure a review assignment from the Midwest Book Review (solely because we simply do not have enough review resources in the face of the huge numbers of books being submitted for review each month) seems to be off to a great start! There are fifteen of these appearing in the February issue of our monthly book review publication "Reviewer's Bookwatch".

Based on the first month's experience with this new policy I've refined it a bit. If you want to invoke this policy option and have more than one review from other sources, then pick the review you like best and submit that one -- always remembering to obtain the reviewer's permission first.

Because review formats vary so widely, be sure to adhere to our requirements that a review begin with the following "info block":

Publisher Address
Publisher web site (if any)
Publisher email (if any)
ISBN, Price, Page Count

This "info block" is what a librarian or bookseller would need to know in order to fill out purchase orders for books whose reviews inspired them to do so.

One of the reasons I feel so good about this new idea of mine is that now I can still do something in behalf of all the otherwise excellent books that I couldn't otherwise could not bring to the attention of the librarians, booksellers, and members of the general reading public who are the audience for our monthly book review publications -- just because I did not have enough reviewers on our roster or hours in the day to do justice to them all.

I hadn't Googled my name in more than a year and for some reason I decided to do it last week. The results were as impressive as they were humbling. So many web sites and bloggs have made use of commentaries and articles I've written on various aspects of the publishing industry. I also found a number of interviews that had been done with me that I'd long forgotten about.

One of the most useful to bring to the attention aspiring writers and novice publishers is to be found on the Novel Publicity & Company web site:

7. Be Aware of Publishing Cycles:

Anyone can freely help themselves to anything I've ever written and archived on the Midwest Book Review web site -- and that includes all of the issues of the "Jim Cox Report" that you will find there.

Here are reviews of some new books of special interest to writers and publishers:

Handmade Books for Everyday Adventures
Erin Zamrzla
Roost Books
Horticultural Hall
300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
9781611800081, $26.95,

Handmade Books for Everyday Adventures provides a lovely collection of ideas for handmade books using some twenty simple projects designed to be used not at home or in a crafts studio, but outdoors. Anything from a canvas-covered camping songbook to a beach waterproof book serves as the subject, with lovely photos and step-by-step instructions accompanying traditional Japanese bookbinding techniques and insights on bookmaking. Any interested in creating unique and outdoors-oriented books will find this a winner!

A Quick Guide To Television Writing
Ray Morton
Limelight Editions
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
19 West 21st Street, Suite 201, New York, NY 10010
9780879108052, $12.99,

Although very similar in a lot of respects to writing for the cinema, television scripts have certain unique demands upon the writer. In "A Quick Guide To Television Writing", Ray Morton draws upon his many years as a successful writer, script consultant and screenplay analyst to present a succinct, compact, 112 page instruction manual for crafting a professional quality television script. Exceptionally well written and thoroughly 'user friendly', "A Quick Guide To Television Writing" covers every aspect including the three principle types of teleplays, dramatic storytelling, television oriented storytelling, teleplay style and formatting, the creation of a television series, and more. Of special note is Morton's commentary on the business of television writing, the types of jobs open to television writers, and strategies for attracting television industry attention. Offering a wealth of tips, tricks and techniques, "A Quick Guide To Television Writing" should be considered essential reading for anyone aspiring to write for television. It should be noted that "A Quick Guide To Television Writing" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Writers Rehab
D. B. Gilles
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781615931569, $12.95,

Sooner or later (and more than once!) a writer will suffer from what is called 'writer's block', the condition of having nothing come to mind to put down on paper or type into a computer screen. That's why "Writers Rehab: A 12-Step Program for Writers Who Can't Get Their Acts Together" by professional playwright, script consultant, and novelist D. B. Gilles will prove to be such a useful source of encouragement at such times. This compact, pocket-sized, 156 page compendium is packed from cover to cover with tips, tricks, techniques, and practical observations on how to overcome the forces behind the infamous 'writer's block'. Simply stated, wither a novice or a more experienced author, you need to have a copy of "Writers Rehab: A 12-Step Program for Writers Who Can't Get Their Acts Together" on your personal and professional reference shelf. It should be noted that "Writers Rehab: A 12-Step Program for Writers Who Can't Get Their Acts Together " is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.39).

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:

Connie L. Sewell
Pat Flury -- "Eat Fish Live Longer"
Jim Pugmire -- "Quinn Hawk" series
P. Alan Thompson -- "The Kingfishers"
John Paul McKinney -- "Charlie's Angle"
A. W. Daniels -- "Genetically Privileged"
Leslie A. Suskind -- "So You Think You Babysit Monsters?"
Henry B. Zimmer -- "The Enlightened Capitalism Manifesto"
Stephen Frech & Chung-Ha Kim -- "A Palace Of Strangers Is No City"
Victor Levine -- "Global Economics: The Age of Balanced Capitalism"
Dana Lehman -- Lehman Publishing
Anny Cleven -- Arete Communications
Clarence O. Ogle -- New Day Dawning
Deb Vonderau -- Lapis Moon Publishing
Robert M. Kelly --
Katherine C. Gazzetta -- Frog House Press
Patricia A. McDonough -- Terra Sancta Press
Robert M. Kelly --
Mark R. Wiesner Jr. -- Different Mousetrap Press
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. 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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