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Jim Cox Report: November 2022

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

Well, it's November 2022 and I have now turned 80 years old. I'm a little slower, a little deafer, a little less agile than I used to be when I (to quote Bob Dylan) wore a younger man's clothes. But my love of books and fascination with publishing industry trends remains undiminished.

By the way, I've just found out from a grateful author that I'm on YouTube. It's an interview that I did some two years ago or so. If anyone wants to see what I look like here is a direct link to it:

One of my favorite perks from having been in the book review editorship game for the last 46 years is that I seem to be on a lot of 'automatic' lists to receive updates on various aspects of the publishing industry, library science, and American readership demographics. Here is an inherently interesting new study sent to me by Carolyne Blackburn (Digital Third Coast) that will be of particular interest to authors, publishers, librarians, booksellers and bibliophiles:

Bookworm Nation: American 2022 Reading Habits

Good morning, James,

A new study is shedding light on Americans’ reading habits in 2022. The study found that 93% of people say they have read a book this year, with the average reader tackling 5 books in 2022.

So what and how are they reading? Highlights include:

Top 3 genres: Fiction (54%), fantasy (38%), and mystery (38%)

71% prefer paperback books over eBooks; more women than men prefer the paper option

92% of adults wish kids would read more, and 88% of adults say they themselves would read more often if they had more time

2022 Best Sellers Americans want to read: #1. I’m Glad My Mom Died, #2. “Fairy Tale” and #3. “Where the Crawdads Sing”

Where do Americans buy their books in 2022? The study found the majority (2 in 3) rely on major retailers like Barnes & Noble and Amazon, while 40% borrow books from the library, and others turned to used bookstores online (1 in 3 people).

For more insights about Americans’ reading habits, take a moment to review the full study via the link

If you have any questions, or interest in sharing this data with your audience, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Thank you,

Carolyn Blackburne
Media Relations
Digital Third Coast

Here are reviews of new books that will be of interest to authors, dedicated bibliophiles and anyone else with an interest in the history of publishing:

Story and Structure: A Complete Guide
Leon Conrad, author
Jason Chuang, illustrator
The Squeeze Press
9781906069254, $39.95, PB, 528pp

Synopsis: With the publication of "Story and Structure: A Complete Guide", published author Leon Conrad reveals the untold story of just how story works. Using just six primary symbols, Conrad outlines eighteen story structures and shows how they all optimally solve the problems which give rise to them.

"Story and Structure: A Complete Guide" also demonstrates the much wider application of story, presenting new insights into story as a dynamic force of life, allowing the reader to access more harmony and flow in their life.

Critique: Offering a complete course of instruction for authors, novelists, storytellers, creative writing teachers, folklorists, narrative therapists, anthropologists, poets, and non-specialist general readers and bibliophiles interested in how story works will all find "Story and Structure: A Complete Guide" useful and informative as they rethink ideas of story and storytelling. An ideal textbook for Creative Writing courses and workshops, "Story and Structure: A Complete Guide" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note #1: Leon Conrad ( is the author of History Riddles, Odyssey: Dynamic Learning System (with David Pinto), and Aesop the Storyteller. He is a storyteller and story structure consultant, based in London, UK.

Editorial Note #2: Jason Chuang ( is an illustrator and storyteller based in Taiwan and the UK. His practice focuses on the exploration of human emotions through the creation of symbolic imageries, coating them with elements of the absurd and poetry.

Immersive Storytelling for Real and Imagined Worlds: A Writer's Guide
Margaret Kerrison
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781615933419, $29.95, PB, 264pp

Synopsis: What gets your heart rate going more: reading a story about dinosaurs, or being chased by one? The emerging discipline of immersive storytelling recognizes the power of creative works that put the viewer at the center of the action.

With the publication of "Immersive Storytelling for Real and Imagined Worlds: A Writer's Guide", theme park designer Margaret Kerrison shares tips and tricks for writers on teams tasked with bringing a narrative to life.

How do you take an idea from inspiration to manifestation? How do you move from telling a story to creating a world? "Immersive Storytelling for Real and Imagined Worlds: A Writer's Guide" is a richly illustrated instructional guide and 'how-to' manual -- the first of its kind written specifically for writers and in which Kerrison lays out the craft of immersive storytelling by using case studies to show what works, and highlights the essential role of the writer on a complex creative team.

For aspiring (and experienced) screen writers ready to take the kernel of an idea and turn it into a full-fledged experience, "Immersive Storytelling for Real and Imagined Worlds: A Writer's Guide" presents the ideal blueprint.

Critique: A complete and comprehensive course of real world practical and illustrated instruction under one cover, "Immersive Storytelling for Real and Imagined Worlds: A Writer's Guide" is impressive in its 'user friendly' commentary, organization and presentation. While unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Screen Writing collections and supplemental curriculum course lists, it should be noted for students, academia, novice/professional screenwriters and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Immersive Storytelling for Real and Imagined Worlds: A Writer's Guide" is also available in a complete and unabridged audio book format (Dreamscape Media, 9781666611236, $22.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Born in Indonesia and raised in Singapore, Margaret Kerrison received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. Her career spans 14 years of experience in television, film, digital media, games, brand storytelling, location-based entertainment, and immersive experiences. She has worked as a Story Lead, Story Consultant, and Writer for multiple projects around the world, including Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, Star Wars: Launch Bay, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, Avengers Campus, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, National Geographic HQ, and the NASA Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex's Journey to Mars: Explorers Wanted. She was a Disney Imagineer from 2014-2021. She is currently a Sr. Experiential Creative Lead for Airbnb. She has a dedicated website at

"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:

Scott Wisherd
Karen Norheim
Charles Beadle -- "Dark Refuge"
E.M. William -- "Polaris Coyote"
Lance W. Lee -- "Family Matters"
Carol LaHines -- "Distant Flickers"
Brian T. Boyd -- "Replace Your Income"
Nan Wisherd -- "The Communist Chasm"
Michael Oborn -- "Educating Will Kimball"
Donn G. Ziebell -- "Gorky, Russia; First Man In"
Steve Saroff -- "Paper Targets: Art Can Be Murder"
Benjamin Abelow -- "How the West Brought War to Ukraine"
Matt Ritter -- "California Plants: A Guide to Our Iconic Flora"
John Parry -- "Straight Lady: The Life & Times of Margaret Dumont"
Matthys Levy -- "Heat: A Tale of Love and Fear in a Climate Changed World"
Rob Couteau -- "The Role of the Least-Aspected Planet in Astrocartography"
Andrew Achenbaum -- "Safeguarding Social Security for Future Generations"
William L. Randall -- "Fairy Tale Wisdom: Stories for the Second Half of Life"
Next Hat Press
Pacific Street Publishing
Hannibal's Boxing Media
Donovan's Literary Services
Elizabeth Frazier -- Waldmania! PR
Joanne McCall -- McCall Media Group

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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