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Jim Cox Report: September 2013

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

A relatively new phenomenon in the reviews being generated by some of our volunteer reviewers is the seemingly and increasingly automatic final sentence that goes something like "It should also be noted that X is also available in a Kindle edition ($)."

Among my own monthly editorial chores is going over all the submitted reviews and checking their "info blocks" to insure the inclusion of ISBN, price, publisher contact info, etc.

In doing so I routinely use the Amazon web site as a kind of data base to obtain missing prices, verify ISBNs, double check publisher addresses, etc. In doing so I've noticed that a bit more than half the time a print edition book I'm checking out on Amazon will also have a Kindle edition.

Last year I accepted a Life Time Achievement Award In Publishing from the west coast based Ebook Publishers Association. So I've been keeping an eye out on the digital publishing phenomena.

Based on what I've seen happening within the publishing industry, coupled with continuing advances in digital publishing software, and the increasing percentage of the reading public (especially among ages 18 to 30) reported as doing their pleasure reading on electronic devices such as Nooks and Kindles, I've come to the conclusion that authors, especially those that self-publish, should always have a ebook version of their print titles.

I fully expect that print books (hardcover and paperback) will continue to be a substantial part of publishing for at least the next two decades (about what's left of my own personal life span), but that digital publishing will continue to inexorably increase it's market share of book buyers at the expense of traditional print publishing.

Indeed, digital publishing has already wiped out print publishing of things like encyclopedias and multi-volume reference works that used to be the mainstay of publishers serving college and library systems.

There are two major reasons for the success of the ebook and the gradual decline of the print book.

1. Ebooks are dramatically cheaper than their print counterparts.

2. Ebook readers are getting better and better with the younger generations being completely comfortable with them.

One other observation:

Audio book publishing is alive and well and in a swift transition from the CD format to MP3 downloads.

This trend is so substantial and established that last year (and again this year) as a judge for the annual Audiobook Publishers Association's "Audies" award I've chosen to ask for assignment to the only 3 out of more than a dozen different categories of audio books that are still available in a CD format. The rest of them are in an MP3 download format only.

So a bit more advice for authors (and again, especially for self-published authors), give serious consideration to producing an audio book edition of your titles. As with having an ebook edition, and audio book edition could be an excellent additional revenue source for you.

There are some excellent "how to" instruction books on creating ebooks and audio books. For example:

How To Write And Publish Your Own eBook
Jim Edwards & Joe Vitale
Morgan James Publishing
1225 Franklin Avenue, Suite 325, Garden City, NY 11530-1693
1600371523, $19.95 1-800-485-4943

The collaborative work of Jim Edwards and Joe Vitale, "How To Write And Publish Your Own eBook...In As Little As 7 Days" is a complete, methodical, step-by-step instruction manual in publishing ebooks. Both Edwards and Vitale are drawing upon their enormously successful careers publishing ebooks and now share their particular body of expertise to reveal all of the steps and processes that will enable publisher to expand their revenue streams through the inclusion of a line of ebooks. "How To Write And Publish Your Own eBook" is particular recommended to the attention of self-published authors and small press publishers wanting to participate in the growing ebook market which shows strong promise of becoming more and more economically viable as the internet and the lap top computer become as commonplace with young generations as print publications and audiobooks are to their elders. Any author and any publisher considering expanding into the ebook market with their titles should give a careful reading to this superbly organized and presented 'do-it-yourself' manual.

Self-Publishing in Audio and Making Money from the Start
Julian Padowicz
BFI AudioBooks
1397 Hope Street, Stamford, CT 06907
1881288153 $12.95 1-800-260-7717

Audio books (which got their start as books on tape for the visually impaired) has evolved into a significant element of the book publishing industry, attracting a vast consumer public to the delights and convenience of the audio book as they travel, work, or simply relax. Just as in print publishing, the conglomerate companies are finding themselves with an increasing competition in audiobook publishing from the independent publisher. In Self-Publishing in Audio and Making Money from the Start, author and publisher Julian Padowicz instructs the listener with the techniques and "how-to" information necessary to successfully producing and marketing an audiobook. Because recording technology advances, the start up and production costs have significantly decreased allowing almost anyone to produce, duplicate, and profitably market an audiobook. the start up and production costs have is essential listening for any writer or aspiring audiobook publisher seeking to expand into this whole new world of publishing.

Now on to other stuff!

Here are reviews of some new books of special interest to writers and publishers:

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Shakespeare for Screenwriters
J.M. Evenson
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111
Studio City, CA 91604
9781615931415, $19.95,

Shakespeare for Screenwriters uses wisdom and writings from The Bard to provide a powerful template of success considering how Shakespeare created compelling character that have intrigued audiences for centuries. It's the first book to use Shakespeare's works to consider the basics of screenwriting success, examining stories, characters and scenes and providing commentary on everything from untried heroes struggling to succeed against all odds to creating exceptional settings. Any film or drama writing looking to learn from a 'master' could do no better than this guide.

And this from one of our volunteer reviewers (note that it's in an ebook format):

On Self Publishing
Derek Haines
Amazon Digital Services
B00EU6GUGS, $3.99,

A seasoned writer and early publisher of his own books, Haines gathers his thoughts to share his experiences in the publishing world. Writers will find invaluable advice on self-publishing, writing, and book promotion, delivered in the unique style owned by Haines.

Explanations are in depth regarding the advantages of blogging, creating websites, and the principles of social media. Sprinkling his words of wisdom with humor makes learning about the world of self-publishing a pleasurable read.

I recommend On Self Publishing by Derek Haines, for passionate writers who are searching for sensible advice and useful suggestions about writing and self-publishing.

Mary Crocco, Reviewer

Here is "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:

Yuri Shestopaloff
Donald W. Krause
Henry Hoffman -- "The Veiled Lagoon"
Mindy Killgrove -- "Meet Me At Fountain Park"
Donald W. Kruse -- "Jasper Has Left The Building!"
Roderick J. Robison -- "Middle School Millionaires"
River Stream Media
Nan Wisherd -- Cable Publishing
Janice L. Haber -- Phantasea Books
Terry McNiff -- JP Reammard Publishing
Kelsey Schendel -- Sweet Memories Publishing
Brian Magee -- American Humanist Association
Russell G. Rodrigue -- Double R Books Publishing
Barbara C. Wall -- The Barrett Company
Elizabeth Waldman Frazier -- Waldmania!

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. 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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