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Jim Cox Report: September 2011

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

One of the most important responsibilities a reviewer has is to provide a copy of the review to the authors and/or publishers who furnished them with free copies of reviewed book. Out of the more than 700 reviews generated at the Midwest Book Review each month there will inevitably be a handful of authors and/or publishers that will not be receiving copies of reviews and notification letters because there are no working snail mail or email or website addresses to send them to.

I'm used to that.

What is bothering me these days is Amazon Encore. When used by authors to publish their books Amazon Encore does a reasonably competent job. The problem is that unlike other POD (publish on demand) companies there is no working address to contact them with. The address given as being for Las Vegas, Nevada has resulted in the post office returning more than a dozen such attempts at publisher notification letters in past couple of months. Here's the most recent example:

Ordinary World
Elisa Lorello
PO Box 400818, Las Vegas, NV 89140
9781935597360, $13.95,

It's hard to put together a life that is in total shambles. "Ordinary World: The Sequel to Faking It" follows Andi Vanzant as she copes with the recent and sudden death of her husband. Putting up a strong face, she finds that keeping it all locked away for so long carries many problems. "Ordinary World" is a fine 'real world' example about coping with life's challenges, finding the power to find friendship, and ultimately moving on through life. "Ordinary World" is an excellent read that shouldn't be missed and is highly recommended.

Because I have no other address for the author Elisa Lorello or for Amazon Encore I can only hope that the author will see this review when it is posted on the Amazon web site in our capacity as a content provider for

This underscores a broader point. If you are an author publishing through a POD company, be sure to include in your contract a provision that the POD company will notify you of any reviews that are generated and sent to that publisher. Don't just assume it will happen. Make it a part of the contractual obligation the POD company has toward you as its author client. And if you are using Amazon Encore, make certain that the Midwest Book Review has a workable snail-mail or email address so that we can send you a copy of our review and not just hope that you'll notice it on the Amazon web site.

Stephanie Barko is an experienced, professional book publicist -- and a good one. Every self-published author and small press publisher should read her article about some common critical mistakes those new (and some not so new!) make when it comes to preparing a book to be presented to the reading (and buying!) public. You'll find it at:


I'm briefly (very briefly!) mentioned in it.

It's that time of year again! The Audiobook Publishers Association (APA) has officially opened its call for entries for The 2012 Audies competition. I've been one of the Audies Awards judges for more than a dozen years now. There's been some changes over the years. Here's some information provided by the APA that you might find useful:

The 2012 competition is going mostly digital The majority of categories for the 2012 Audies Competition will be managed digitally. With continued appreciation to for generously providing service and support for this initiative, the Audies will continue becoming more efficient for publishers and judges alike.

What categories are NOT going digital? Entries into the following categories will still be submitted as CDs:

Package Design
Multi-Voiced Performance
Audio Drama

Planning to submit your titles digitally? Please make sure to visit and find your title in their catalogue before selecting “digital” as your submission format. Finding out at the last minute that your title is not available on Audible creates a great deal of extra processing for staff and delays our judges’ ability to listen to your title(s).

What if my title is not available through Audible? If you are submitting a title that is not currently available on Audible, please continue to submit your titles as CDs, regardless of the category. Visit The Audies Competition online for details – here you will find the complete list of categories, rules, eligibility and the entry procedure.

A final deadline is October 14, 2011 – for titles issued from August 1, 2011 through October 31, 2011

Now on to some reviews of 'how to' titles for writers and/or publishers:

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

How to Write & Publish a Scientific Paper, seventh edition
Robert A. Day & Barbara Gastel
130 Cremona Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911
9780313931972, $29.95,

You may have the best science, but there are hoops to jump through to get your work known. "How to Write & Publish a Scientific Paper" follows Robert A. Day & Barbara Gastel as they walks readers through the ins and outs of scientific paper publishing. A crucial step in a scientific career, Day & Gastel offer much wisdom in cutting through the red tape to avoid missteps, ethics, presenting your work, and the accepted scientific writing style. "How to Write & Publish a Scientific Paper" is a strongly recommended addition to any novice and aspiring person of science's personal library collection.

Now for some Q&A commentaries:

Subject: Gratitude
Date: 5/12/2011 5:48:10 P.M. Central Daylight Time

Dear Jim,

I have just written a book and am in the process of researching how to best publish and market it myself. I recently discovered your website and have read every single article under the section Advice for Writers/Publishers. I’ve also followed many of the other links. It has been very helpful in removing some of the fog, though it has also inspired new questions.

I appreciate that you put this together for people like me. Thank you. Yesterday I started reading the archives of Publish-L and Pub-Forum, which I also found through you.


John Huebsch

It's always nice to be thanked for the hard work we do here at the Midwest Book Review in behalf of authors and publishers like John.

You'll author and publisher folk will find "Advice for Writers/Publishers" (an archive of instructional articles on pretty much every aspect of the publishing process -- including marketing and publicity) at:

Help yourself! Think of it as kind of an on-line, "do-it-yourself", publishing workshop and seminar

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review

In a message dated 7/7/2011 1:22:10 P.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:

Jim, I have a letter from Amazon somewhere that explains this Owning-of-Reviews policy. Basically it says that, once posted they (Amazon) may use the reviews as they wish BUT that they do not restrict the use or reprinting of the review by the reviewer. In other words, the reviewer still owns all rights to do what they will with it.

I only mention this because so many who review for Amazon think they can't let the author put the review (or even portions thereof) on their Web sites or in their blogs, when they could not only do that, but they could actually sell that same review to their local newspaper--if they wanted and if the newspaper editors don't mind that they aren't getting first publishing rights. It would be only ethical to let them know.


Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Instructor for the renowned UCLA Extension Writers' Program
Author of the multi award-winning series of HowToDoItFrugally books:
Web site:

Thanks Carolyn. I'd like to add this little nugget to my next Jim Cox Report and ask for other people's input as well.

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review

In a message dated 7/7/2011 9:35:38 P.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:

Good evening, Mr. Cox

I read your article about publishing and if you don't mention if I ask your some questions about the business. Since a small publishing house is interested in my manuscript. I appreciate your advice and honesty.

1. If a work becomes published must it be copyrighted by the publisher (in my name)?
2. Is it normal industry policy to ask the author for money up front?


Vester Howard lll

Dear Vester:

Your writings should be copyrighted in your name to protect your interests both financially and as your intellectual property. Whether such copyrighting is carried out by a publisher or by an author is a matter of how the publishing contract is written.

Traditional commercial publishers (the Simon & Schusters, HarperCollins, or Penguin-Putnams of the publishing world) do not require authors to pony up money to publish their work.

But Publish On Demand (sometimes referred to as Pay On Demand!) companies, author subsidized publishers, and vanity presses most certainly do. This is the realm of legitimate self-publishing and illegitimate scam artists. Be very careful, do your homework to establish the legitimacy of such a publisher and their 'up front financing' requirements from authors.

Just last week I had a phone conversation with a self-publishing author who found me on the internet. She had paid out $6000.00 to have her book published. It was a scam, pure and simple. She was calling me to ask if anything could be done. It was my sad opinion that her money was gone and gone for good.

So beware and be careful.

Jim Cox
Midwest book Review

Finally we have "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:

Anonymous -- (Los Angeles, CA)
Joanne Conrad
Autumn Stanley
John T. Landahl
John Paul Leonard
Samantha M. White
Laurence W. Mazzeno
Megan Denise Whitfield
Krista Everson -- "Remember"
Daniel Shortell -- "Where's Unimportant?"
M. Juanita Taylor -- "The Man With Pointy Teeth"
Robyn Salkow & Sherianne Angel -- "Methuselah"
Laurie Loveman -- "The Demise of the Horse Fairy"
JoAnne Williams -- "Escaping the Volunteer or Victim Role in Your Relationship"
C K Books
Birch Brook Press
Ash Tree Publishing
Moon Over Vaudeville
Downstream Publishing
Books We Love Publishing Partners
Dee Burks -- TAG Publishing
Barry Parker -- Stardust Press
Denise Meyer -- Emery Books
Brett Gadbois -- Belltown Press
Andrea Lemieux -- Sapien Books
Gerald Stone -- Chautaugua Press
Wesley Murphy -- Lost Creek Books
Betty Mackey -- B. B. Mackey Books
Maureen Harrison -- Excellent Books
Luci Mott -- Ingalls Publishing Group
Thomas P. Tweed -- Plowshare Media
Martin Watkins -- Windcall Publishing
Francine Trevens -- TNT Classic Books
Allegra D'Adamo -- Other Islands Press
David B. Riley -- Science Fiction Trails
Gary & Carolyn Alder -- GCA Ventures
Laurie Monopoli -- The Learning Station
Warren Nelson -- Sioux River Song Farm
Father Bernard Reiser -- Reiser Relief Inc.
Sherry Linger Kaier -- The Artists' Orchard
Patricia McGarvey -- Medical Manor Books
Pat Battaglia -- International Puzzle Features
Wendy H. Stein -- Two Dolphins Publishing Group
Karen Villanueva Author Services
Elizabeth Waldman Frazier -- Waldmania!
Maryglenn McCombs -- MM Book Publicity

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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