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Jim Cox Report: March 2019

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

Marketing to libraries should be a fundamental part of every author and/or publisher's marketing strategy if they are to be financially successful both in the short term and the long term. In fact, the Midwest Book Review began as a direct source of providing reviews of books to librarians that they might otherwise never have been aware of that -- something that continues to be a basic element of the Midwest Book Review's service program and objective some 47 years later. So that's why I've decided to once again address the subject in a "Jim Cox Report".

In a message dated 1/29/2019 2:56:18 PM Central Standard Time, Gayle Shields writes:

Mr. Cox, wish you well. We spoke today and you instructed me on how to request from you: Information on how to get my book into libraries and educational institutions. I can’t express how much I appreciate your most valuable support. You matched my book with reviewer Diane Donovan. Below is a copy of her review. Thanks, Gayle Shields

Dear Gayle:

With respect to marketing books to libraries, be they community, school, college, university, governmental, corporate, or private, there are some basic guidelines followed by some useful internet links for do-it-yourself, in-service, 'how to' training on the subject:


There are certain key factors in making any mailing successful: 

1. List all wholesalers and distributors you have for your title.

2. Place the necessary ordering information prominently on the flyer (ISBN, Price, Publishing Date, number of pages, cataloguing information, etc.)

3. List author credentials, if applicable.

4. Mention all relevant reviews that could cause an order (such as Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Choice, Midwest Book Review, etc.) With mention of these, many libraries can justify a need to buy.

5. State the acquisition buyer or department to whom the flyer should be directed (e.g. Attention: Reference Acquisition Librarian). If you don't know where your title will be cataloged at a library, go to your local library and talk to the librarians and they will provide that information.

6. Librarians are typically not interested in discounts, since they will be ordering through an approved wholesaler and/or distributor, so just state the cover price of your title.

7. Other information should also be included on your flyer, but the above will certainly help cause an order.

Now here are two useful internet accessed resource links:

1. This is a complete listing of all the specific entries on the Midwest Book Review web site having to to with marketing to libraries:

2. Here is a listing of Internet informational and instructional resources on the subject of marketing to libraries:

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Revierw

Now here are reviews of new books with particular relevance and interest for authors and publishers:

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Publishing for Smarties: Finding a Publisher
B. L. Ham
MSI Press
1760-F Airline Hwy, #203, Hollister, CA 950243
9781942891734, $14.95, PB, 164pp,

Synopsis: Now in a newly revised and expanded second edition, "Publishing for Smarties: Finding a Publisher" by B. L. Ham is specifically written for aspiring authors having trouble getting their book published, as well as new authors wanting to avoid the long wait through dozens of submissions as publishers they have submitted to seek find a writer whose work they would be amendable to publishing.

Written from the perspective of an acquisitions editor for a publishing house who has also served as a reader and adviser for acquisitions editors at presses ranging from small to large to the leading presses in her field, B. L. Ham wants to help new writers navigate the confusing myriad choices in finding a publisher.

Typical missteps of new authors are presented, along with criteria for making decisions on choosing a publisher -- and advice on how to approach the publisher.

Of potentially great assistance, the author, acquisitions editor B. L. Ham, shares real-life stories of manuscripts she turned down -- and why.

"Publishing for Smarties: Finding a Publisher" differs from most of the how-to-get-published books on the market because it is focused on giving authors a decision-making model rather than yet another a reference book on publishers and provides personalized decision-making activities to lead the writer to the right publisher in the right way.

Critique: Exceptionally practical, 'real world' insightful, packed from cover to cover with specific tips, tricks and techniques, "Publishing for Smarties: Finding a Publisher" should be considered a 'must read' for anyone seeking to have their work, fiction or non-fiction, successfully published on terms as advantageous to the author as possible. Whether an novice author seeking publication for the first time, or an experienced author with many a published title to their credit, "Publishing for Smarties: Finding a Publisher" should be an core part of any personal or professional Writing/Publishing instructional reference collection. While appropriate for both community and academic library Writing/Publishing collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Publishing for Smarties: Finding a Publisher" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

The Influential Author
Gregory V. Diehl
Identity Publications
9781945884665, $34.99, HC, 436pp,

Synopsis: In "The Influential Author: How and Why to Write, Publish, and Sell Nonfiction Books that Matter", Gregory V. Diehl draws upon his experience as an educator and entrepreneur, to show aspiring writers how to turn their unique messages into profitable books without sacrificing royalties or creative control to a publisher.

With in-depth advice about all stages of book creation, publication, and marketing, "The Influential Author" takes a uniquely grounded and intellectual approach to nonfiction self-publishing. Unlike self-publishing guides that promise to teach how to write a bestselling book quickly and easily, "The Influential Author" goes through the complex details of planning, writing, editing, and promoting a written work at the standards of traditional publishing.

Whether an experienced writer or someone who has just started thinking about how to write a nonfiction book, "The Influential Author" shows how to: Combining your passions and experience with reader demand to decide what book to write; Organizing your knowledge into sections and chapters for maximum comprehension and flow; Refining your book with feedback from editors, proofreaders, beta readers, and market testing; Choosing a title, subtitle, description, and cover design that capture your message and create sales; Pricing and promoting each format of your book (digital, print, and audio) for maximum readership and revenue; Enjoying lifelong passive income, influence, and meaning from your book’s success.

Critique: Every year there is at least one book that is a 'must read' for the aspiring writer seeking to have their manuscript become a book, and their book become successful. This year that 'how to' manual is Gregory V. Diel's "The Influential Author: How and Why to Write, Publish, and Sell Nonfiction Books that Matter". Diel covers all the bases and does so in a distinctively 'real world' practical manner that is thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation. Of special note is an appendix of Resources.

A complete and comprehensive course that should be a part of every community, college, and university library Writing/Publishing instructional reference and resource collections, it should be noted for the personal reading of aspiring (and seasoned!) writer on non-fiction that "The Influential Author" is also available in a paperback edition (978-1945884658, $29.99) and in a
digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Writing Children's Books
Anthony D. Fredericks
Blue River Press
9781681570815, $14.99, PB, 306pp,

It is all too common for authors wanting to write a book for children to get stuck on the fundamental (and universal) question of all writers -- Where do I start? That's simply because they're unsure about the nature of the children's book market and the skills necessary for literary success. "Writing Children's Books: Everything You Need to Know from Story Creation to Getting Published" by Anthony D. Fredericks answers the plight of these writers by providing proven strategies and insider information. A fully comprehensive, step-by-step, how-to guide "Writing Children's Books" shows, in eye-opening detail, exactly how children's authors, both beginning and novice, can have a productive and successful writing career. As the only writer's instruction manual to deal exclusively with all the concerns, issues, and questions of prospective children's authors, Writing Children's Books" features simplicity, step-by-step directions; and offers strategies and data that guarantee literary success. "Writing Children's Books" includes a plethora of techniques, strategies, and information to guide any potential children's author from blank sheet of paper (or computer screen) to viable, publishable manuscript. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Writing Children's Books" is a complete course of instruction and will prove to be an enduringly valued reference and resource in the field of writing books for preschoolers, K-12, and the Young Adult market in fiction and non-fiction alike. While very highly recommended for community library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Writing Children's Books" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Artists Write to Work
Kate Kramer
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764356490, $16.99, HC, 128pp,

Artists need to write, every day, to support their studio practice and careers. While working artists already know this, newly minted art graduates and emerging artists usually have to learn this the hard way -- most often when a gallery owner asks for basic documents like an artist resume, biography, and statement to support an upcoming exhibition! Conversational and instructive, "Artists Write to Work: A Practical Guide to Writing about Your Art" by Kate Kramer (who is a lecturer in critical writing at the University of Pennsylvania and has worked as a curator, gallery director, art historian, public art administrator, and writer) is practical primer specifically designed to help artists learn the best writing and research strategies for the documents they must craft including: letters, biographies, statements, proposals, applications, wall text, and more. Kramer aligns writing strategies with art school curriculum (foundations, topics, capstones, professional development). "Artists Write to Work" is the instructional guide and manual that every artist will turn to again and again. In addition to models, templates, worksheets, and sample analyses of calls for entry, "Artists Write to Work" references readily available and public resources throughout. Ultimately, this primer brings writing process into practice so the art work can continue to thrive. Simply stated, "Artists Write to Work" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, art school, and university library Writing/Publishing collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

The Comic Hero's Journey
Steve Kaplan
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781615932870, $26.95, PB, 176pp,

A traditional hero or heroine going on a journey is the traditional stuff of the movies. But for the comic hero, it's often quite, quite different. The hero deliberately chooses to go on the adventure; the comic hero often has no choice. The hero has a wise old man; the comic hero often meets an idiot who inadvertently says something that can teach him a thing or two. In "The Comic Hero's Journey: Serious Story Structure for Fabulously Funny Films", Steve Kaplan (who for years, has been the film and television industry's most respected and sought-after expert on comedy) will shows the aspiring script writer the diverse paths that comedy takes in "The Comic Hero's Journey". Exceptionally accessible in organization and presentation, "The Comic Hero's Journey" is a complete course of specialized script writing instruction and highly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library instructional reference and resource collections.

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:

Lin Stepp -- "The Interlude"
Hiram G. Larew, III -- "Undone"
Ed Mitchell -- "The Destiny Relic"
George Held -- "Under the Escalator"
Deborah Gaal -- "The Dream Stitcher"
Grace Acres Press
Marty Essen -- Encante Press
Kama TImbrell Communications
Barbara C. Wall -- The Barrett 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 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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