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Jim Cox Report: June 2020

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

This month I want to lead with a link to Barbara Gaughen-Mueller's Zoom-based podcast interview with me. Barbara is an experienced and effective expert and consultant on book marketing in her own right and has launched a podcast series of interviews with authors, publishers, book reviewers, etc. It's about 20+ minutes of conversation about the Midwest Book Review and what it is I do around here that might be of interest and value to authors and publishers. This is also a chance for everyone to see what I look like.

Here is the link:

Then I continue with a unique resource that will be of immense interest to all bibliophiles. A website that will instantly present you with bookstore options with price comparison for any used book. It was brought to my attention via email and when I tried it I was simply astounded.

First here is the email:

Used Book Price Comparison Search
5/26/2020 4:30:41 AM Central Standard Time

Hello! I came across your wonderful resource collection, and thought that our book price comparison website, would make a good addition to the site?

Keep up the good work! All the best


This used book price comparison service peaked my interest so I tried it. I typed in the title of an obscure book originally published in 1937 called "I Yahweh". It was a novel that I first read when I was a student at Brigham Young University more than 50 years ago. About 4 or 5 years into being with the Midwest Book Review some four decades back (and when the internet was in its infancy) I wanted to read it again and spent weeks trying to locate a copy before finding one for sale in a used bookstore down in Georgia.

With this Used Book Search & Price Comparison website I just typed in the title and instantly was rewarded with where a copy could be found and for how much. But even better, at this late point in my life I had long forgotten who the author was, little alone the publisher or an ISBN number. Just the title was enough!

So what had once taken me weeks now took about 3 seconds.

This is a web site that you will have to try to believe how easy and fast it is. Here is the website address:

I should note that I have no financial interest in this website whatsoever -- and that there is no relationship between it and the Midwest Book Review. They haven't even contributed to our postage stamp fund!

Now here are reviews of books that are of particular and special interest to writers and publishers:

Creating Confident Writers
Troy Hicks & Andy Schoenborn
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393714166, $27.95, PB, 208pp,

Synopsis: Connecting their classroom experience to research about writing, as well as to framing documents in the field, in the pages of "Creating Confident Writers: For High School, College, and Life" two seasoned writing teachers distill the lessons they've learned about creating confident adolescent and young adult writers.

Troy Hicks and Andy Schoenborn outline a fundamental stance to their approach (to invite, encourage, and celebrate students' writing) that is then echoed in "Creating Confident Writers" three-part structure. There are numerous classroom activities and assignments on topics from creating writing goals to supporting revision, examples of student work, and questions to guide teachers' reflections.

"Creating Confident Writers" is an ideal curriculum textbook for any teacher of writing, from middle school through college. "Creating Confident Writers" invites students and other aspiring writers to try strategies -- and allow students' voices to emerge, while discussing with colleagues how these approaches might work for them, too.

Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of an eight page listing of References, 10 black-and-white images, and a seven page Index, "Creating Confident Writers: For High School, College, and Life", with its underlying message that writing should be for an audience beyond that of a teacher, and for a purpose beyond that of getting a grade, is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Troy Hicks is a Professor of English and Education at Central Michigan University. He directs both the Chippewa River Writing Project and the Master of Arts in Learning, Design & Technology program. A former middle school teacher, Dr. Hicks is an ISTE Certified Educator and regularly leads workshops related to writing and technology for schools, districts, and professional organizations.

Andy Schoenborn is an author and high school English teacher in Michigan at Mt. Pleasant Public Schools. He's a also the co-facilitator of the monthly #TeachWrite Twitter chat, past president of the Michigan Council of Teachers of English, and a Regional Representative of the Michigan Reading Association. Schoenborn is also a contributing author of Using Technology to Enhance Writing (Solution Tree, 2014) and Continuing the Journey 2 (NCTE, 2018). In November 2019, he was honored with the 2019 Linda Rief Voices from the Middle Award for outstanding publication for his article, "Reclaiming the Arts in English Language Arts". He is a teacher consultant for the Chippewa River Writing Project (NWP) site.

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:

Carol Polizzi
Etaine Norris
Carol LaHines
Helen Currie Foster -- "Ghost Cat"
Esther Escott -- "La Vida Segunda"
Terry Tierney -- "The Poet's Garage"
Fiona McEntee -- "Our American Dream"
Dawn Marie Thompson -- "Double Trouble"
Rebecca Kightlinger -- "Megge of Bury Down"
Sherrill S. Cannon -- "A Penny for Your Thoughts"
Theodore Cohen -- "Flash Fiction Stories of the Young"
Kenneth E. Walsh -- "Bible Stories for All Without the Dogma"
Fire O.W.L., LLC
Dominantstar LLC
Rainstorm Records
Meridian Art Production, Inc.
Teresa Power -- Stafford House
Joanne McCall -- McCall Media Group
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

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