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Jim Cox Report: January 2022

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

David Hancock is the founder of Morgan James Publishing and writes a column for the publishing industry called The Ethan Report. I always enjoy reading what he has to say about writing, publishing, and marketing. His latest one (Issue #20, December 14, 2021) showcases three proven, practical, and cost-free methods for authors that are key to successfully selling their books. David has given me permission to share his article/essay with you.

3 Free Proven Practical Ways To Sell Your Books

There are endless ways to connect with readers and promote your book. Today, I want to focus on three ways that are free that will help you sell your book.

1. Finding balance between writing and marketing

Decide on the balance that you want between writing your books and promoting them. Somewhere along the way to selling a million copies of his self-published book 1001 Ways to Be Romantic, Greg Godek realized he was not a writer who promoted but a promoter who wrote. What are you?

Jack Canfield believes there is a yin and yang to being an author. The yin is when youíre in your cave massaging your keyboard to create your books. Ensconced in the comfort of your home, youíre in your creative mode and have complete control of your book.

The yang is when you leave your cave to market your books. In the real world, you share control over promoting your books with your publisher, the booksellers you want to stock your books, the media you want to help you promote them, and your growing legions of fans. Meeting your fans will help you sustain your energy and sense of mission about your books.

You have to be dedicated to reach your goals. But you also have to find and maintain the right balance between the conflicting obligations in your life: writing and promoting, your family and the demands of being a writer, and your personal and professional goals.

One of lifeís lessons is that we learn what having enough is by having too little and too much. Maintaining the balance between the yin and yang in your life may be as great a challenge as becoming a successful writer.

During the heady days of the success of The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan was torn between the rigors of promotion and the joy of writing. She loves to write, but the endless demands of being a successful author prevented her from doing it.

When youíre young and living alone, you have the freedom of living to work instead of working to live. You can live whatever way works best for you. This can be especially important at the beginning of your career when you are establishing yourself as an author. But having a family and a mortgage creates obligations, including the need to balance work, home, and leisure.

Time away from work and away from thinking about work will refresh you, help put your career into perspective, and give your subconscious mind time to solve your problems.

You also have the obligation to take care of yourself to maintain optimal health, because writing and promoting your books will demand all the effort you can muster. Another challenge is that we yearn for stability, but at a time of rapidly accelerating change, we must keep anticipating and responding to it. We need to balance the old and the new.

The miracles of technology make us crave the values and the cultural legacy that we have inherited.

Satisfying all your needs will enable you to return to work refreshed and with a renewed sense of purpose. Maintaining a balanced perspective will help you survive the inevitable uncertainties of writing and promoting books.

Communicating with a sense of balance will enable you to present yourself, both in person and in your books, not as a single-minded zealot but as a well-balanced embodiment of your ideas.

2. The Power of Your Smile

How many free things are more beautiful and easier to give than a smile? Raise your hand if there are too many smiles in your life. Thatís why smiling in your first contact with someone can make a lasting impression. For some people, your smile will be the most valuable freebie you can offer.

Fascinating facts about smiles:

A smile produces automatic physiological responses in both the smiler and the smilee. It makes both of them feel better about themselves and each other.

Callers can tell if the person at the other end of a telephone line is smiling.

One of the hazards of living in cloudy northern climes is that you may become smile challenged. There really is such a thing as a sunny disposition. Thatís why you will find more smiling faces on the Mediterranean than the Baltic.

Your smile may be the only thing a new acquaintance remembers. Because of the importance of first impressions, it may become the enduring image someone has of you. So if people are worth meeting, do it with a smile on your face. If you donít know whether they are, pretend they are, and they will usually justify your expectations.

The more successful you become, the more calls you will receive. So make the warmth of your hello and good-bye capture your pleasure in spending time with your callers.

3. Being Optimistic

If you are doing all you can to achieve your goals, you have a right to be optimistic. Assume that your career, like that of most writers, will continue to flourish over time. Assume every book you write will be better than the last, bringing you closer to reaching the critical mass of readers you need to break out and become as successful as you want to be.

To keep your publisher happy, you have to keep:

Giving presentations around the country based on your books

Using your speaking schedule to increase your national visibility in the media

Building your stature in your field

Making sure there is an uptick in the sales of every book you write

Ensuring your past books continue to sell

To keep yourself happy, you need optimism to help sustain your enthusiasm and determination to bounce back from setbacks. You canít allow the problems you will confront throughout your career to affect your positive outlook.

Optimism is contagious, and you want to infect everyone you meet with it. Itís been said that when we talk, only 7 percent of what we communicate is words. The other 93 percent is everything else about us, including tone of voice, facial expression, gestures, and clothing.

You want to exude optimism, so that when people think of you, they think of someone who loves life and lives it with hope and gusto. People would rather be around an optimist than a pessimist. Thatís one of the reasons talk-show hosts will invite you back, and why the people in your networks will always be glad to hear from you.

A bonus: Optimism is better for your health.

So, there you have three free proven practical methods that will help you sell more books. It comes down to your attitude, while being pleasant and joyful to others. One of my favorite quotes by Maya Angelou is, ďI've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.Ē Now, go create a great day, connect with people and sell more books!

Dan Hancock
"The Ethan Report"
December 14, 2021, Issue #20

"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:

William Cook
David Hancock
David McElrath
Charlie Suisman -- "Hot Air"
Maddie Ray -- "The Dwell Book"
Diane Wald -- "My Famous Brain"
Ksenia Rychtycka -- "A Sky Full Of Wings"
Dale Stopperan -- "Wrestling with Tradition"
Ernesto Patino -- "Enough to Make the Angels Weep"
Grace Llewellyn -- "The Teenage Liberation Handbook"
Michele Bock -- "The 7 Day Pinterest Social Media Plan"
New Wind Publishing
Morgan James Publishing
Health Realization Counseling & Consulting

"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:

Ernest Cohen -- "Just One Life"
Carter Dreyfuss -- "The Artist: A Love Story"
J. L. Askew -- "War In The Mountains: Macbeth Light Artillery at Asheville, NC 1864-1865"
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:

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

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