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Jim Cox Report: March 2022

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

Because I specifically designed the Jim Cox Report to be of maximum practical use to authors seeking to be published or who are self publishing, novice publishers seeking ideas on how to sell their books, and dedicated bibliophiles, booksellers and librarians who, like me, are interested in every aspect of the publishing industry that provides them with their books, I seek out for review purposes pretty much every instructional guide and 'how to' book on writing, publishing, and the marketing of books.

But even I don't get them all and every once in a while when one slips by me it will be picked up by one of the 81 volunteer reviewers who utilize the Midwest Book Review as a forum for their own reviews and critiques. When one of those titles is germane to the theme and purpose of the Jim Cox Report, I not only run that review in one or more of our established monthly book review publications under the reviewer's byline, but I also present it here in my monthly review column for the benefit of my own readers.

Now here is just such a review of a book that is of particular, special, and practical interest to writers and publishers from a skilled and knowledgeable reviewer that regularly contributes to the Midwest Book Review:

Self-Publish a Book in 10 Steps and Market It
Hank Quense
Strange Worlds Publishing
9781733342469, $1.99 ebook

Diane C. Donovan, Senior Reviewer
Donovan's Literary Services

"Self-Publish a Book in 10 Steps and Market It" by Hank Quense takes the effort of publishing a book a step further than most by making the marketing aspect just as important as the acts of writing and publishing.

Writing a book is only the first hurdle. Equally formidable is the task of publishing it and seeing that it receives all the due attention required in order to reach its potential audience.

Hank Quense reviews all these keys to success in each of these areas, exploring the pros and cons of different avenues of publication and promoting self-publishing with an eye to explaining the accompanying challenges authors will face in placing more of the decision-making (and work, and profits) in their own hands.

He creates an integrated plan that includes a graphical outline of the ten steps covered in his book, treating publishing and marketing tasks as a "unified topic" (as they should be, but too often are not, in competing books).

Quense emphasizes that "Self-publishing means the author must undertake ALL the tasks a publisher would do if the author sold the book to the publisher," and he outlines each of these tasks, which are essential ingredients in the formula for success.

Chapters assume no prior knowledge of any part of the process, whether it is defining an ISBN number and how to gain and use it to not just obtaining but effectively employing early book reviews in the promotion process.

Each step is clearly outlined, defined, and covered with an attention to best practices and clear understanding. Quense is also candid about obstacles self-published authors face.

Quense notes that book stores are a tough nut to crack for self-published authors, especially if it’s a first book and the author has no name recognition. Most book stores in this country use Ingram as their distributor. If your book is distributed by Ingram, is returnable and has the industry standard discount (55%), there is a chance book stores will order your book and put it on their shelves for a while.

However, book stores will not know about the book’s existence unless you tell them about it. Contacting book stores one at a time is a mind-numbing activity, especially if you pursue out-of-area and out-of-state book stores. The only cost-effective way to query these stores is by using email.

With its progressive survey of the steps needed to perform specific tasks to tackling pre- and post-launch marketing, Quense's methodical assessments and information represents one of the best choices on the market for self-published authors to understand the entire process, to foster recognition and success.

In this digital book format (Kindle), "Self-Publish a Book in 10 Steps and Market It" is highly recommended; especially for first-time aspiring authors who may have a manuscript in hand, but need the nuts and bolts on what to do next.

Editorial Note: Hank Quense has been self-publishing books for over 12 years. His non-fiction books cover fiction writing (Creating Stories), self-publishing (How to Self-publish and Market a Book), marketing (Book Marketing Fundamentals) and author business (Business Basics for Authors). He also lectures on these subjects in schools, libraries and on webinars. He recently launched his Insights Series, a set of short ebooks that address issues that all writes and authors face.

"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:

Julie Scolnik -- "Paris Blue"
Estelle G. Watts -- "Meanderings"
David Elkind -- "Treble Damages"
Stephanie Cotsirilos -- "My Xanthi"
Mark Reutlinger -- Murder with Strings Attached
Ruth Lopez-Yanez -- "I Had a Dream: Songs of an Immigrant!"
Kyle Branche -- "Rock n' Roll Puzzlers: 70 Word Search Super Challenger Puzzles +7"
David Stern -- Neptune Press
Sneed Collard -- Bucking Horse Books
Elizabeth Waldman Frazier -- Waldmania PR

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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