Return to home
page Book Reviews, Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers
Home / Jim Cox Reports / Jim Cox Report: January 2016
Home | Jim Cox Reports Index

Jim Cox Report: January 2016

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

I want to start off the new year with a pet peeve and a couple of frequently encountered questions.

In a message dated 9/23/2015 9:21:11 A.M. Central Daylight Time:

Hi Jim:

I sponsor the Annual Writerís Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Last year you offered the prize below. Will you do this again for the 2016 contest? If not, some other prize?

A guaranteed review in Midwest Book Review for winners in all categories and the Grand Prize winner.

Thank you, Brian

To which I replied:

I'm always happy to be of help. You can continue the Midwest Book Review offer to your various category of first place winners. Be sure to have them identify themselves as such when submitting review copies of their award winning books.

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review

Here's is the problem I've run into for every year the Midwest Book Review participated as a prize in the annual Writer's Digest Press awards. It's a particular pet peeve of mine.

When authors win and send in their books for the expected MRB review as part of their 1st Place Prize -- they all too often neglect to mention in their cover letter that they are in fact WDP award winners and eligible for a guaranteed review.

Their book review submissions then end up being just another one of some 2,000 or so books arriving here in any given month and subject to the same "literary lottery" that results when there are only 81 reviewers to try to cope with that kind of influx.

So if you are ever a WDP award winner please clearly announce your self as such.

Incidentally, should you ever want to enter their contest (there's about a dozen or so categories) you can find information about it at:

One of the most commonly asked questions by folks who have visited our web site and want to submit a book for review is about the subject of cover letters. Here is a typical example of the frequent Q&As on the subject:

In a message dated 10/3/2015 9:50:09 A.M. Central Daylight Time:


In reading over the tips for a solid cover letter, the article seems focused on submitting the book for direct mail. Can you give me some guidance on what you suggest or require for submission on cover letters to MBW to review a book?


Bill Baird
St Pete, Fl

In a message dated 10/3/2015 11:44:02 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time:

A cover letter introduces yourself and explains why you are sending the Midwest Book Review a copy of your book. For example:

You were referred to us by someone else.
You visited our web site and were duly impressed.
You are a self-published author and noted that we try to give preferential consideration.

A publicity release tells me about your book. A cover letter tells me about you.

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review

In a message dated 10/24/2015 8:18:10 A.M. Central Daylight Time:

On your website you mention that you will send a review to whomever the author wishes. A few months ago I finally, after 5 years, had my book published (To Hear Silence). Therefore I would like it if Midwest Book Review would take a look at it and give it an honest review. The thing is, I donít know where to have the review sent that would give me the biggest bang for my buck. Any ideas where that might be, so that I can ask for it when sending the book to you?

Ron Hoffman

To which I replied:

Thank you for your information and inquiry. Please send two copies of the published book for review, accompanied by a cover letter and some form of publicity or press release, to the attention of:

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI, 53575

With respect to your questions, I would urge you to visit our web site. One of the subsections is called "Advice for Writers & Publishers". Here is the link:

Read the instructional articles that have to do with book reviewing, the book review process, how to spot a phony book reviewer so you don't get ripped off by scam artists, what to do with a review when you get one, etc.

There's another section called Publisher's Bookshelf at:

There you will find reviews of a large number of do-it-yourself instructional books on how to market a book -- including the use of internet-based resources such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble web sites to do so.

Finally there is "Other Reviewers" which is a data base that I created of freelance book reviewers, book review publications, book review web sites and blogs, etc. You'll find it at:

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review

So that takes care of the other most commonly asked question of the last year.

Now, on to reviews of some exceptional titles about writing and publishing:

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors
Kim Staflund
Polished Publishing Group
Chinook RPO, PO Box 30364, Calgary, AB, Canada T2H 2W1
9780994043511, $14.99,

Writing is easy. It's selling what you've written that is hard. What they don't usually tell you in that creative writing class or workshop is that even if you manage to get your book published, as an author your job is just beginning. Now you have to promote, publicize, and market that book which in itself can be truly daunting, especially if you are inexperienced at dealing with and selling to other people. That's why "Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors" by Kim Staflund is such a critically important instructional reference -- especially for reluctant, bashful, or introverted authors. "Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors" is a 148 page compendium of practical, directly applicable, effective, real world based instructional commentaries on everything from selling online, goal setting, pricing, marketing strategies, web page creation, online traffic redirecting, book blogging, and the utilization of reviews. Of special note is the chapter on Book Publicists. Informed, informative, and thoroughly 'user friendly' from beginning to end, "Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors" should be considered a mandatory study for every novice author seeking to establish themselves in an economically supporting career. Indeed, it would not be amiss if every one of those aforementioned creative writing classes and workshops would add "Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors" to their curriculum supplemental studies reading lists.

Poet's Market 2016
Robert Lee Brewer, editor
Writer's Digest Books
c/o F+W Media
10151 Carver Road, Suite 200, Blue Ash, OH 45242
9781599639413, $29.99, PB, 474pp,

Writing the poetry is the easy part. Profitably publishing it is the hard part. That's why this 28th Annual Edition of the Writer's Digest Press reference and resource for poets, the "Poet's Market 2016" is such a valued addition to the reference collection of dedicated poets be they novice or professional. This 474 page compendium is comprised of more than one thousand listings for book publishers, magazines, context, conferences, featuring or otherwise dedicated to the publishing of poetry. "Poet's Market 2016" also includes a one-year access to the Writer's Digest Press poetry market database at An absolute "must" for poets looking to establish an audience for their work (and getting paid to do so), "Poet's Market 2016" is a very highly recommended addition to poetry workshop supplemental studies lists, as well as community and academic Writing/Publishing reference collections. For personal and professional reading lists it should be noted that "Poet's Market 2016" is also available in a Kindle edition ($16.99).

Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market 2016
Chuck Sambuchino, editor
Writer's Digest Books
c/o F+W Media
10151 Carver Road, Suite 200, Blue Ash, OH 45242
9781599639437, $29.99,

Now in a updated and expanded 28th edition, the "Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market 2016" is the definitive publishing guide for anyone who seeks to write or illustrate for children from preschool through young adults." Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market 2016" provides more than 500 listings for children's book markets (publishers, agents, magazines, and more) that include a point of contact, advice on how to properly submit your work, and what categories each market accepts. "Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market 2016 " includes: Interviews with creators of today's successful children's books; New Literary Agent Spotlights profiling literary reps who are currently building their client lists and are actively seeking authors of young adult, middle-grade, chapter books, and picture books; Success stories from 13 debut authors, as well as 9 successful debut illustrators, each of whom share their paths to publication so aspiring authors can learn from their success and see what they did right; Informative articles on how to make young readers laugh, how to build a career as an illustrator, how to sell your picture book, the difference between young adult and middle-grade, and so much more. Also included in this edition of "Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market 2016" is a one-year subscription to the children's publishing content on Of special note is that "Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market 2016" provides an exclusive access to the webinar "25 Tips on How to Succeed in Children's Publishing" by Danielle Smith of Red Fox Literary. Simply stated, "Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market 2016" will prove to be an incredibly valuable and practical resource for any author seeking to successfully publish children's books for young readers preschool through YA for personal, family, schools, or community library collections. Very highly recommended for professional, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing reference collections, it should be noted that "Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market 2016" is also available in a Kindle edition ($16.99).

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:

Grigor Fedan
Robert A. Schmid
Helen Currie Foster -- "Ghost Dog"
Reynold J. Levocz -- "Spear of Longinus"
Opal Singleton -- "Seduced: The Grooming of America's Teenagers"
Brands & Company, LLC
Parkhurst Brothers Publishers
Marion R. Behr -- WWH Press LLC
Leslie Brooks -- Love Incarnate Books
Kira Henschel -- Henschel Haus Publishing
Sneed B. Collard III -- Bucking Horse Books
Amanda Mulholland -- Royal Fireworks Press
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 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