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Jim Cox Report: October 2012

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

Simple Fact: Amazon continues to be the 800 pound gorilla of online book selling.

I started posting reviews almost as soon as Amazon started doing business so many years ago. That's what makes their cavalier treatment of the Midwest Book Review so bewildering. They routinely post our reviews of their various Amazon Digital Publishing imprints. All this while they also continue to be haphazard and unpredictable in allowing traditionally published authors and publishers to post reviews from the Midwest Book Review on the Amazon web site.

But while they may dominate online book selling, they are not without competition. So I decided to have my web master prepare an instruction on how authors and publishers can post reviews on their chief competitor: Barnes & Noble.

How to Post Reviews on Barnes & Noble's Website

Be aware that B&N has rules for its Customer Reviews, available on its website at

Note that the Help button on their site leads to this link as one of their Frequently Asked Questions. Once you are confident that your review is according to their rules:

1) Go to the B&N website at

2) Create an account with B&N. Do this by clicking on the "My Account" at the top of the website, then click on the "Create an Account" button and follow the steps indicated.

3) Click on the "My Account" button, and then sign in to your new account.

4) Find the book you want to review on B&N via the site search engine.

5) Click on the hyperlink to review the book

6) Fill in a star rating, review headline, review text, etc.

7) Click on the "submit" button.

That's all there is to it.

Remember that if you have a review from the Midwest Book Review, you already have automatic and complete permission to utilize that review in any manner you deem useful in your efforts to publicize, promote, and market your book -- and that most assuredly includes posting on the B&N web site.

Every now and then I'm sent an article of interest to writers, publishers, and bibliophiles. Here's one of particular interest that I've archived on the Midwest Book Review web site as part of the section "Advice for Writers & Publishers":

Are Books Doomed to Extinction?

Here are reviews on titles of interest to writers, publishers, and the occasional bibliophile:

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Putting Your Best Book Forward
Ellen Reid
Little Moose Press
269 S. Beverly Drive, #1065
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
9780984144136, $19.95,

There is a viable alternative for frustrated authors unable to interest the major houses in publishing their work -- self-publishing. But there's far more to publishing your own work than turning a manuscript into a book. Once that's done (and it's by far the easiest part of the process), you must then market your book by persuasively bringing your book to the attention of your intended readership. Every aspiring author considering self-publication would be well advised to give a close and carefully reading to Ellen Reid's "Putting Your Best Book Forward: A Book Shepherd's Secrets to Producing Award Winning Books that Sell". This 115 page compendium is packed solid from cover to cover with practical advice, instructive commentary, and a wealth of 'tips, tricks & techniques' for becoming a successfully self-published author. "Putting Your Best Book Forward" will show aspiring authors how to go about setting up their own publishing company, how to get their book into bookstores, take advantage of online marketing opportunities, digital publishing, and so much more. Of special note is the chapter dedicated to 'The Seven Deadliest Mistakes New Authors Often Make'. Deftly written and thoroughly 'user friendly', "Putting Your Best Book Forward" is enthusiastically recommended reading for any and all aspiring writers hoping to make a successful career as published authors.

Sell Your Book Like Wildfire
Rob Eager
Writer's Digest Books
c/o F+W Media
4700 East Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236
9781599634210, $16.99,

Sell Your Book Like Wildfire: The Writer's Guide to Marketing & Publicity provides first-time authors with a powerful reference to selling a book and comes from a marketing expert who explains how to use the best promotional methods to get a book noticed. From building a brand and securing speaking engagements to creating a fan base using social media to generate excitement, this covers all the basics to selling more books, and is a pick for any author - particularly self-published writers who need more insights on the marketing side of the biz.

2013 Writer's Market
Carol Tice,
Writer's Digest Books
c/o F+W Media
4700 East Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236
9781599635934, $27.99,

The 2013 Writer's Market continues to remain the best printed resource available for making the most of one's writing career, identifying sources for publication that range from magazines and book publishers to contests, awards, and more. Introductory chapters provide essays on everything from self-promotion to locating freelance opportunities online, while pages packed with concrete, annually-updated information include such basics as editor names, notes on bylines and payment policies, fiction and nonfiction needs, and more. No general or public lending library should be without this key reference.

You Can't Make This Stuff Up
Lee Gutkind
Da Capo Press
c/o Perseus Books Group
11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142
9780738215549, $16.00,

You Can't Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction - from memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything Between provides a comprehensive guide to creative nonfiction and pairs writing exercises and analysis of techniques used by the best writers with excerpt examples from a range of works, tips for getting published, and more. It's a top pick for writers seeking inspiring, practical accounts of how prose can be created, marketed, and more. From ethical questions on turning nonfiction into creative writing to handling the fine line between fact and fiction, this covers common pitfalls and provides concrete approaches to success.

The Gutenberg Revolution
Richard Abel
Transaction Publishers
35 Berrue Circle
Piscataway, NJ 08854-8042
9781412849524, $24.95,

Johannes Gutenberg (c. 1398 February 3, 1468) was a German blacksmith, goldsmith, printer, and publisher who introduced printing to Europe. His invention of mechanical movable type printing started the Printing Revolution and is widely regarded as the most important event of the modern period. It played a key role in the development of the Renaissance, Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution and laid the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses. Gutenberg was the first European to use movable type printing, in around 1439. Among his many contributions to printing are: the invention of a process for mass-producing movable type; the use of oil-based ink; and the use of a wooden printing press similar to the agricultural screw presses of the period. His truly epochal invention was the combination of these elements into a practical system which allowed the mass production of printed books and was economically viable for printers and readers alike. Gutenberg's method for making type is traditionally considered to have included a type metal alloy and a hand mould for casting type. The use of movable type was a marked improvement on the handwritten manuscript, which was the existing method of book production in Europe, and upon woodblock printing, and revolutionized European book-making. Gutenberg's printing technology spread rapidly throughout Europe and later the world. "The Gutenberg Revolution: A History Of Print Culture" by publisher Richard Abel is a 200 page descriptive history of the impact of Gutenberg's invention upon 15th and 16th century culture. Able begins with a brief overview of western culture prior to 1450, then follows with chapters specific to Gutenberg's 'printing revolution' on the last half of the 15th century, the spread of printing and its consequences during the 16th century, then the role of printing in the 17th century. Of special note is Richard Abel's 'Epilogue: Closing Remarks and Summary'. Enhanced with the inclusion of an extensive bibliography and a very useful index, "The Gutenberg Revolution: A History of Print Culture" is a truly informative read and should be considered a mandatory acquisition for academic library Writing/Publishing reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

In response to a suggestion by a grateful author whose book we had reviewed, I had our web master set up a PayPal account for the Midwest Book Review for postage stamp fund contributions. We now offer this new PayPal account as an alternative way to give, for the convenience of our many wonderful patrons!

Our email address for Paypal Midwest Book Review postage stamp contributions is:

To give a gift to the MBR, simply go to PayPal and send your goodwill to this email address. Please keep in mind that this email is dedicated solely to the PayPal account. If you want to send me an email message, just use the same email address as always.

I have no idea how PayPal works -- or much else about the nuances of internet-based operations. That's the responsibility of the MBR's managing editor and webmaster, my daughter Bethany Cox. But we already have our first $10 postage stamp fund contribution via the PayPal system!

Speaking of which, here "The Midwest Book Review Postage Stamp Hall Of Fame & Appreciation" 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 postage stamps this past month:

Rebecca Hamilton (our first PayPal postage stamp fund contribution!)
Don Castle
Harry Munns
Michael S. Broder
Kikuko Otake -- "Masako's Story"
Judy Bridges -- "Shut Up & Write!"
M. Kileen Prather -- "Journey To Port"
C. Michael Bennis -- "Signs of Destiny"
Daniel Berman -- "The Newest Story of O"
Sam Armato -- "I'm Afraid That Won't Do"
Catherine Lawton -- "Journeys to Mother Love"
Dian & Tom Griese -- "TurboCharged Recipes"
Morris Ackerman -- "One Penny Orange Mystery"
Jonathan Russell -- "When Eyes Meet Over the Minestrone"
Lloyd Burlingame -- "Two Seeing Eye Dogs Take Manhattan!"
Adam Marianski -- "Home Production of Vodkas, Infusions & Liqueurs"
Elyse Cregar -- "Hanna's Courage: A Story of Love and Betrayal at the Battle of Gettysburg"
Baskerville Publishers
Meg Jeske -- TBT Publishers
Brian Shureb -- Ironcroft Publishing
Yossi Leverton -- Hachai Publishing
Dale Carlson -- Bick Publishing House
Beth Blenz-Clucas Publicity
Barbara Wall -- The Barrett Company
Elizabeth Waldman Frazier -- Waldmania!
Penny C. Sansevieri -- Author Marketing Experts

If you have postage to donate, or if you have a book you'd like considered for review, then send those 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. 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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