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Jim Cox Report: September 2012

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

First up is a time-sensitive announcement. Volunteer reviewer Gary Roen has asked the Midwest Book Review to spread the word about a children's writing contest:

Subj: Trouper's Teachings Writing Contest

Announcing - Trouper's Teachings Young Author's Writing Contest

I thought you might be interested in this writing contest for kids 8 to 18. The deadline is December 1, 2012. If you know any young people who like animals and want to be a published author, please pass this on.

Kyle, Dot and Trouper

Dot Lee

Kyle L. Miller
VP Florida Publishers Assoc.

Next, I thought I'd describe my trip to Santa Barbara, California (August 17th through 19th) to attend the second annual Global Ebook Awards event to receive a "Life Time Achievement in Publishing Award".

The event planners flew me there and back in first class. It has been eleven years since the last time I'd flown anywhere. Times have changed! Security measures were in full force. Schedules ran late. I also had to tell my wife that she was correct in making me take a cell phone along with me. I had to use it to notify the event folk that I'd becoming in two hours later than originally scheduled. As it turned out, I was also two hours late getting back home on Sunday as well.

But the actual flights themselves were quite nice. The airports only moderately confusing. And I was able to read three novels (two going out, one coming back).

I was greeted at the airport, taken to a tuxedo shop and fitted for my monkey-suit, treated to a bit of a tour of downtown Santa Barbara (a truly lovely little city), and escorted to a rather elegant restaurant on the beach where I got to dine while looking out over the Pacific Ocean.

The next day (Saturday) I was taken to breakfast out on a fisherman's pier that was originally built around 1885 to unload sailing ships. Great food and more magnificent views of the ocean.

More touring around Santa Barbara, another lovely lunch at an upscale Mexican restaurant, a visit to a very nice little bookstore, then off to the campus of the University of California - Santa Barbara.

That's where I gave a one hour workshop/seminar on the topic of 'How to Get an eBook Reviewed'. We were in a kind of faculty/alumni union building. The room assigned to me held about 90 people and was packed full. Later the event planners told me that they had to turn away about a dozen or so people because there simply was no room for them.

The highlight of the hour for me was that I met my West Coast Editor Diane Donovan for the first time in 34 years. Although Diane is the editor for three of my nine monthly book review publications, for some three and a half decades we had only been voices on the phone and email correspondents. It was a very joyous "first" meeting indeed!

One of the themes I'd touched upon was that the Midwest Book Review itself was a microcosmic example of the macrocosmic trends in the publishing industry as it is evolving from traditional print formats to include digital publishing formats. When the Midwest Book Review began it was a weekly radio show. Then it expanded to include a weekly television program. Then in 1980 was added print publications in the form of book review newsletters for library systems. Then in the mid-1990s those print publications went digital as all nine of them became online e-magazines.

Judging by the applause, the subsequent handshakes, the requests for photos with me, and the follow-up reports received by the event planners, my little workshop/seminar was very well received.

Then came the awards event itself.

I had hurried into a changing room after my workshop to get into that tuxedo. It fit perfectly. But I had two problems. I couldn't get those little shirt studs to work and so resorted to the plain old white buttons. Then while I got the cummerbund on okay, I simply could not figure out how the bow tie worked. So I entered the awards event without a tie. It all turned out okay though because when I got called up to the podium to receive my award and give a 3 minute acceptance speech, I started off by pulling the bow tie out of my pocket and explaining my 'wardrobe malfunction'. It all got a very big laugh. It seems I wasn't the only guy in that sea of tuxedo clad attendees to have wrestled with the darn thing!

The award itself is a medal hung from a blue ribbon -- just like at the Olympics. Across the top its says "Jim Cox" and underneath it says "2012 Lifetime Achievement Award", and in the middle is a picture of planet Earth with a giant letter E superimposed. I have it hanging in full view from a peg in my office where I can see it every day.

After the awards ceremony there were more 'meet & greet' handshakes, photo ops, and while the dinner was fabulous and fancy, I had virtually no appetite due to the adrenaline coursing through me that started with my workshop and carried full force through the rest of the event. But I was able to sit at a table with Diane and reminisce about all the years we had worked so well together even though we'd never actually met face-to-face before that very day.

I was kindly lodged in the home of one of the event organizers (a truly lovely place surrounded by flowers and flowering trees). Sunday morning saw me back at the Santa Barbara airport and then on the way home.

I arrived home late but very happy on Sunday night.

It was a lot of fun. I've already been asked to come back next year. But I've made one new condition in response to that request -- No More Tuxedos!

Now let's got on to something of more concrete value to the small press publisher and in response to a commonly asked question concerning the "Sale of Review Copes":

With respect to reviewers selling review copies -- our reviewers are all volunteers and the only compensation they receive for their time, expertise, and effort is that they get to keep the books they review. Those books become their property to dispose of as they deem fit.

What publishers receive in exchange is automatic permission to utilize reviews of their books in any manner they deem useful in their marketing campaigns.

Such an arrangement is standard within the publishing community.

I recommend that authors and publishers read the several articles I've written on book reviewing, the book review process, how to spot a phony book reviewer, what to do with a review when you receive one, etc. that you will find archived on the Midwest Book Review web site at:

Those new to publishing (especially self-published authors) might also find "Other Reviewers", a database of freelance reviewers, book review magazines and publications, book review websites, etc. that I've compiled over the years. You'll find that at:

Now on to reviews of new "how to" books on writing and/or publishing:

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Self Publishing
A. William Benitez
Positive Imaging, LLC
9016 Palace Parkway, Austin, TX 78748
9780984248094, $19.95,

Concise, succinct, comprehensive, methodical, 'user friendly', "Self Publishing: Writing A Book And Publishing Books And eBooks For Yourself And Others" by A. William Benitez is a 200 page instructional compendium specifically designed for showing novice authors how to turn their manuscripts into either traditional print publications or digital volumes. Offering sage advice ranging from the value of backing up the writing and editing to choosing a marketable title; to tips on self-editing, layout and formatting; to practical advice on using CreateSpace, Kindle, Smashwords, and Clickbank; to creating quality covers and even setting up a publishing service company of your own, "Self Publishing: Writing A Book And Publishing Books And eBooks For Yourself And Others" will prove an enduringly valued and highly recommended instructional reference for all aspiring writers seeking to publish their own material in a highly competitive market.

The Art of Styling Sentences
Ann Longknife, Ph.D, & K. D. Sullivan
250 Wireless Boulevard
Hauppauge, NY 11788
9780764147838, $9.99,

What separates good writing from the bad is flow, and flow is created by good structure. "The Art of Styling Sentences" is a grammar and style guide from Professor Ann Longknife and K. D. Sullivan as they present a comprehensive study on forming good structure, and creating a more comprehensive and engaging writing style. "The Art of Styling Sentences" is a must for any literary arts collection or for anyone trying to improve their artistic techniques in general.

Writing Screenplays
Jessie Coleman & Paul Peditto
Self-Counsel Press
4152 Meridian Street, Suite 105-471
Bellingham, WA 98226
9781770401044, $19.95,

Movies are becoming the medium of choice for sharing stories. "Writing Screenplays" is a guide to those who want to learn screenwriting as a new avenue for their stories, such as prevalently, turning one's memoir into play and promoting it to make it more than words on paper, but into a living breathing film. "Writing Screenplays" is a must for those who want to adapt their life's work into more mediums and take it further, recommended.

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

James Adcock
Sandra Heptinstall
Anonymous -- Idaho Falls, Idaho
Cindy Juckette -- "Pockets"
Ann Warner -- "Counterpointe"
Chris Karlsen -- "Golden Chariot"
Sherrill s. Cannon -- "Gimmee-Jimmy"
Leslie C. Ferdinand -- "Wicked Allure"
Louis Gros -- "Survivor of Buchenwald"
L. H. Knickerbocker -- "Jockey on a Crocodile"
Anthony Caplan -- "Latitudes: A Story of Coming Home"
Trudy M. Davies -- "Butterfly Dreams: Milo's Adventure"
Thomas P. dePalolo -- "The Amazing Adventures of Paddy Platypus"
Craig Davis -- "A Time for Poncey: And Other Stories Out of Skullbone"
Librado Press
Footpath Press
ELV Enterprises
V-Wind Publishing
Owl About Books Publisher
WordTech Communications
Jeff Grygny -- Dendrite Press
Joel Thurtell -- Hardalee Press
Steve Thieme -- Inkwater Press
Erica Denlinger -- Pensiero Press
Jiyoung Ahn -- Star Bright Books
Hart Getzen -- AAA Reality Games
Judith K. Ivie -- Mainly Murder Press
Jean Sheldon -- Wellworth Publishing
Jeanne Devlin -- The Roadrunner Press
David Parker -- Darwin Bay Publishing
Francie M. Berg -- Flying Diamond Books
Esther Nelson & Davida Hirsch -- Granny Press
Russel G. Rodrigue -- Rodrigue & Sons Company
John R. Guevin -- Biographical Publishing Company
Liz Murray & Anna Pope -- Book Publishing Company
Barbara Wall -- The Barrett Company
Kirsten Kamm -- Kamm Book Publicity
Elizabeth Waldman Frazier -- Waldmania!
Lora Lisbon -- Blessingway Author Services
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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