Return to home
page Book Reviews, Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers
Home / Jim Cox Reports / Jim Cox Report: February 2021
Home | Jim Cox Reports Index

Jim Cox Report: February 2021

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

The Midwest Book Review began back in 1976 with the deliberate intention of bringing good books to the attention of librarians -- as well as book sellers and the general public. All nine of our monthly book review publications were launched specifically with libraries and library systems in mind. For more than two decades I was also an acquisitions consultant for the various community libraries in the cities, towns and villages comprising Dane County, Wisconsin and would meet with these librarians once a month to showcase books that been sent to me for review and that I felt would be appropriate for their collections.

Although I've long since retired from that position I've always had a particular interest in libraries and how they have evolved over the past four decades. So when David Burleigh, Director of Brand & Communications, sent me the following article about libraries usage today (and giving me permission to reprint it here) I was all too happy to do so believing it to be of interest and relevance to authors, publishers, and publicists wanting to sell to a library market, and to dedicated bibliophiles as well!

Here is David's article:

Over 100 Public Libraries Exceed 1 Million Digital Book Checkouts in 2020

Toronto Public Library #1 worldwide for 8th straight year and Los Angeles Public Library retains top spot for US digital libraries CLEVELAND – January 12, 2021 – A record 102 public library systems from around the world empowered readers to borrow over 1 million ebooks and audiobooks from their digital collections in 2020. This represents the most systems ever to reach this milestone through OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform. Contributing factors include increased digital book usage due to the pandemic, elevated interest in social justice titles and BIPOC authors and strong circulation growth for children’s and young adult titles because of remote learning.

These 102 systems from the U.S., Canada, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand achieved the elite “Million Checkout Club” status with 29 reaching the milestone for the first time. Noteworthy achievements include Toronto Public Library attaining the highest number of checkouts in OverDrive history for the 8th time (8 million), Santa Clara County Library (CA) attaining the highest year-over-year circulation growth (147%) of any Million Checkout Club library and Los Angeles Public Library earning the title of #1 library system in the U.S. for the second year in a row.

The top 10 ebook and digital audiobook-circulating library systems for 2020:

Toronto Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library
King County Library System (WA)
National Library Board Singapore
New York Public Library
Multnomah County Library (OR)
Seattle Public Library
Hennepin County Library (MN)
Harris County Public Library (TX)
Calgary Public Library (AB, Canada)

The top 5 ebook and digital audiobook-circulating consortia and shared collections:

Wisconsin Public Library Consortium
The Ohio Digital Library
Greater Phoenix Digital Library
Tennessee READS
Digital Downloads Collaboration (OH)

In 2020, these libraries joined the “Million Checkout Club” for digital books the first time:

Saskatchewan Library Consortium
Bergen County Coop. Library System (NJ)
Westchester Library System (NY)
Camellia Net Digital Catalog
Vancouver Public Library
OC Public Libraries
Montgomery County Public Libraries
Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
NorthNet Library System
Download Destination
Ocean State Libraries eZone
San Jose Public Library
Fort Vancouver Reg. Library District
Contra Costa County Library
Peninsula Library System
eLibrary NJ
NC Kids Digital Library
Northern California Digital Library
Santa Clara County Library
Hamilton Public Library
Henrico County Public Library
Timberland Regional Library
Pima County Public Library
Halifax Public Libraries
Hawaii State Public Library System
Douglas County Libraries
Mississauga Library System

Public libraries reached record digital circulation through innovative activities and campaigns designed to raise awareness of and engagement with digital books. Examples include:

Stratford Public Library in Canada created a video series highlighting the perks of library card membership including access to digital books that advertised in movie theatres across the city.

Northvale Public Library (NJ) transitioned their children's library programming to virtual by streaming events on their library Instagram and Facebook Live.

Wake County Public Libraries (NC) produced a Libby app training video promoted via Wake County Government’s website and covered by local news.

The second Libraries Transform Book Pick, an American Library Association sponsored event in September, connected thousands of readers across the U.S. with a featured ebook through their public libraries to generate conversation across communities.

To find a public library near you, download the Libby app (iOS, Android) or visit

About OverDrive

OverDrive strives to create “a world enlightened by reading.” Serving a growing network of 65,000 libraries and schools in 84 countries, OverDrive delivers the industry’s largest digital catalog of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and other content through award-winning apps. The Libby reading app for libraries is one of Popular Mechanics’ 20 Best Apps of the Decade, while the student reading app Sora is one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2019. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA and was named a Certified B Corp in 2017.


David Burleigh
Director of Brand & Communications

A major link leading to a number of other online sources to that are thematically relevant to library usages and check-out rates is to be found at:

Now here is a review of a book that will be of particular and special interest to writers and their publishers:

The Amazon Jungle
Jason R. Boyce & Rick Cesari
Morgan James Publishing
11815 Fountain Way, Suite 300, Newport News, VA 23606-4448
9781631952807, $19.95, PB, 212pp

Synopsis: How do you sell on Amazon? Within the pages of "The Amazon Jungle: The Truth About Amazon, The Seller's Survival Guide for Thriving on the World's Most Perilous E-Commerce Marketplace", entrepreneurs Jason Boyce and Rick Cesari collaborate to share effective strategies that are the key to Amazon success and reveal the truth about Amazon, which is not widely known.

"The Amazon Jungle" helps Amazon Third-Party Sellers how to start selling on Amazon and how to sell products on Amazon build credibility and staying power by creating a winning brand -- the superpower that can give them back control from this online marketing behemoth. Jason's expertise in identifying winning products on Amazon and Rick's success building brands off of the platform make them a formidable team and the answer to today's question: How to succeed on a platform you can't afford to avoid?

If you're asking, how do I sell on Amazon or how to become an Amazon seller "The Amazon Jungle" is essential and DIY instructional reading.

Critique: Solidly informative, expertly presented, and of immense and enduring value for existing sellers and Amazon beginners alike, "The Amazon Jungle: The Truth About Amazon, The Seller's Survival Guide for Thriving on the World's Most Perilous E-Commerce Marketplace" should be considered mandatory reading for anyone wanting to do business on the Amazon website.

While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, corporate, college and university library E-commerce Marketing collections and supplemental curriculum studies collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of entrepreneurs, business owners, authors, publishers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that ""The Amazon Jungle: The Truth About Amazon, The Seller's Survival Guide for Thriving on the World's Most Perilous E-Commerce Marketplace" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Editorial Note: Jason R. Boyce has nearly 20 years of experience as an Amazon Top Seller selling on Amazon, and is founder of a prominent Amazon agency, Avenue7Media. Rick Cesari's innovative Direct-To-Consumer strategies create more sales while built brand awareness for products like GoPro, Sonicare, OxiClean, and the George Foreman Grill. Together, Jason and Rick's DIY 'how to' Amazon book show how to pick a winning product, get it made, become a seller on Amazon, get it listed, and get it selling -- on and off Amazon is the best way for how to sell on Amazon.

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:

Rich Tola
William Cook
Karen Ventrice
Tricia Spencer -- "Forever Dogs"
Janice Detrie -- "Glint in Her Ice"
Jeffrey S. Stephens -- "Fool's Errand"
Carol Mersch -- "Guilty When Black"
Kim Horner -- "Probably Someday Cander"
Stephen Day -- "The Sainsbury Laboratory"
Cynthia Kern O'Brien -- "I Don't Want to go to Preschool"
Ralph Webster -- "The Other Mrs. Samson"
Jeffrey B. Miller -- "Yanks Behind The Lines"
Karen Thomas -- Thomas Public Relations
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

Copyright ©2001

Site design by Williams Writing, Editing & Design