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Home / Jim Cox Reports / Jim Cox Report: January 2007
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Jim Cox Report: January 2007

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

The Midwest Book Review is now beginning its 31st year. I think that means we have entered the corporate equivalent of middle age. But it's never too late to learn something new in the book review/book promotion game.

For example:

We permit folks to contribute postage stamps to the Midwest Book Review as a way of expressing their support and appreciation for what we try to do here in behalf of authors and the small press community. In the mails came a postage stamp contribution from Jack Eadon, an author who wanted to say 'thank you' for our having reviewed his book "Latent Image". Enclosed with his letter were two sheets of 39 cent postage stamps.

Those two sheets of stamps stopped me dead in my tracks and made call in my staff to look at what Jack had done.

Using something called 'Photo Stamps' from, Jack had created two sheets of twenty stamps. One sheet of stamps has each stamp announcing 'Jack Eadon', 'Out To Make It', 'Based on a True Story', 'New!! Collectors' Edition', all against what I'm assuming is the dust jacket illustration for his next book.

The second sheet of 20 stamps has 'Jack Eadon'; 'A Consequence of Greed", against a blue background and what looks to be the top of a pen and which must serve as the cover art of that particular book.

My staff (and Jack's letter) assured me that the postage stamps were legitimate and accepted by the post office just like any other American postage stamp.

What a terrific way to get a bit of promotion for an author's book! Especially since authors and publishers must (even in this day of the email) occasionally use postage stamps -- if only to pay their bills! And why not use a stamp that advertises your book! Jack included the website address:

My advice (and I have no connection to -- I'd never even heard of them prior to getting Jack's letter) is to go to this website and check it out as a possible addition to your own resource collection for book promotion ideas.

If you do try your own hand at it -- send me an example of your book promotion postage stamp. I think I might start a collection of them!

Now for the latest batch of "how to" books for authors and publishers in a section I call:

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

The Writing Game
W. A. Harbinson
BookSurge Publishing
1419644378 $19.99 1-886-308-6235

W. A. Harbinson's "The Writing Game: Recollections Of An Occasional Bestselling Author" isn't simply another instruction manual on how to write better or how to get published. It is instead, a candid autobiographical account of being a professional writer with more than thirty years of experience at making a living in the highly competitive and volatile publishing industry. That experience includes the writing of more than fifty novels, as well as a wealth of short stories, magazine articles, screenplay adaptations, and radio plays. This is a graphic and detailed account of living a life and pursuing a career fraught with the possibilities of artistic and financial failure. Enhanced with superbly articulated accounts of his dealings with editors, other authors, and show business celebrities, "The Writing Game" is as entertaining as it is engaging, and a 'must read' memoir for anyone who contemplates embarking upon a professional writing career for themselves.

Cite It Right
Julia Johns & Sarah Silvia
Source Aid
1284 A Main Street, Osterville, MA 02655
0977195708 $26.99

Now in an updated second edition, Cite It Right: The Source Aid Guide to Citation, Research, and Avoiding Plagiarism is a guide written especially for students and researchers. Cite It Right spells out exactly how to give credit where credit is due in circles where being "by the book" in one's references and citations is absolutely critical to earning good grades, furthering one's career, creating a professional-quality paper, and avoiding even the slightest possibility of unintentional plagiarism. Chapters briefly refresh the reader about the basics of researching and writing papers, but the four main chapters of Cite It Right are particularly devoted to the express guidelines required by four different professional organizations: the Modern Language Association, the American Psychological Association, Chicago Manual of Style, and Council of Science Editors. Though not sponsored or endorsed by any of these groups, Cite It Right meticulously spells out each group's precise format guidelines, including their individual terminologies, specific examples, and the format expected for different types of citations. A "must-have" for anyone preparing a scholarly work, especially if for one of these big four writing styles.

Wabi Sabi for Writers
Richard R. Powell
Adams Media Corporation
57 Littlefield Street, 2nd floor, Avon, MA 02322
1593375964 $12.95 1-800-872-5627

Wabi Sabi for Writers is a philosophical source of inspiration for intermediate to advanced writers. Author Richard Powell, who studied at the Kootenay School of Writing under such acclaimed authors as Margaret Atwood and David McFadden, Wabi Sabi for Writers emphasizes that while perfection is great to strive for, the struggle to create flawless beauty is in essence a false idea in an imperfect universe - absolute "perfection" is impossible, yet imperfection contains within its own sense of timeless beauty. Written in a soothing style of narrative flow, Wabi Sabi for Writers applies ancient Japanese aesthetic to modern practical principles and suggestions, and is filled cover to cover with tips, tricks, and techniques for improving one's writing production rate. From the value of personally experiencing and connecting with nature, to applying the concept of "yugen" in hinting at depths below the surface and engaging the conscious mind to puzzle over the unseen, Wabi Sabi for Writers is an invaluable and inspirational tool for promoting personal fulfillment as well as improved quality in one's writing.

Joseph Harris
Utah State University
7800 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322-7800
0874216427 $19.95

Written by Duke University Writing Program director Joseph Harris, Rewriting: How to Do Things with Texts is a guide written especially for college students and professionals seeking to refine their academic writing technique. Leaning away from the static ideas of thesis, support and structure and toward a more naturally flowing and dynamic writing style, Rewriting challenges the reader to think of writing an adaptive, social activity and shape one's written intellectual opinions and discussions accordingly. Presented strategies for coaxing a more persuasive and intuitive tone into one's logical academic written arguments include forwarding (taking words, images, or ideas from text and putting them to use in new contexts), countering (suggesting different ways of thinking rather than simple nullification of a given ideal), and much more. Recommended for intermediate to advanced academic writers for its solid recommendations to make prose more readable, immersive, thought-provoking and natural-sounding.

Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace
Sarah Bolme
Crest Publications
PO Box 481022, Charlotte, NC 28269
0972554653 $17.99

Written by Sarah Bolme, the co-founder and director of Christian Small Publishers Association, Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace is a straightforward guide for publishers, self-publishers and authors seeking to promote quality books specifically among Christians. Chapters discuss basic steps such as securing distribution and garnering book reviews, how to connect with Christian retail stores and churches, harnessing the power of the Internet, reaching out to special markets such as the Christian homeschool market, eBooks, and markets for Spanish-language Christian books, and much more. Contact information and URLs for stores and websites enhances this experience-tested, high-quality "how to" guide. An absolute "must-have" for anyone involved in marketing Christian books, though the general tips, tricks, and techniques will prove useful for marketing mainstream books as well.

The Well-Fed Self-Publisher
Peter Bowerman
Fanlove Publishing
3713 Stonewall Circle, Atlanta, GA 30339
0967059860 $19.95

Award-winning author and self-publishing expert Peter Bowerman explains how to do-it-yourself publish and earn a solid living in The Well-Fed Self-Publisher, a how-to guide that especially focuses upon the steps of the process and how to maximize profits. Self-publishing can potentially be much more lucrative than landing a publisher, since publishers all too frequently come with meager royalty rates, a typical 18-24 month wait to publication, the loss of book rights, and minimal or nonexistent help with marketing. The Well-Fed Self-Publisher covers how to develop a "marketing mindset", find reviewers willing to spread book publicity, get in the big bookstore chains, build a cash-generating website, minimize dependence on the unreliable mainstream media, filter through the print-on-demand hype, and much more. A "must-have" for anyone considering self-publishing as a career.

I'm now going to conclude this issue of the "Jim Cox Report" with our "The Midwest Book Review Postage Stamp Hall Of Fame & Appreciation" roster of some very nice people. The these wonderful folk have decided to say thank you and 'we support the cause' that is Midwest Book Review and our goal of providing a forum and format for small press publishers and self-published authors. The folks make this gesture by donating postage stamps -- which we use the stamps when sending out those tear sheets and publisher notification letters. So a big first-of-the-year Midwest Book Review 'thank you' of our own to:

Faaiz Kermani (United Kingdom)
Jill Ronsley - (Canada)
Homa Pourasgari
Tom McNair
Paul Salsini - "The Cielo"
Max Cohen - "Beyond Mysticism"
Joseph S. Spence Jr. - "Trilogy Moments for the Mind, Body & Soul"
Nicholas Clarke - The Bold Strummer Ltd.
Linda Purpura - Traitor Dachshund, LLC
Victor - Highland Publications, Inc.
David Palmer - Parent Guide Books
Jan Axelson - Lakeview Research
Charlsie Russell - Loblolly Writer's House
Sharen Forsyth - Bangzoom Publishers
Pamela M. Griffith - W.E. Griffith Publications
Linda Aschbrenner - Marsh River Editions
Kurt Florman - End Table Books
Alan Mande - Inner Eye Publishing
Brandon Wilson - Pilgrim's Tales, Inc.
Cheri L. Hallwood - Forever Young Publishers
Carol J. Marshall - Creatrix Resource Library, LLC
Linda Myers - Linbrook Press
Manatee Press
Sidney T. Black Publishing
WordTech Communications, LLC
Sia L. Michels - Science Naturally!
The Vegetarian Resource Group
E. Raymond Rock - Southwest Florida Insight Center
Anonymous - Madison, Wisconsin
Elizabeth Waldman Frazier -- Waldmania! (twice!!)

If you'd like to receive the "Jim Cox Report" directly (and for free), just send me an email asking to be signed up. If you have books needing review or postage needing donating, just send them directly to my attention.

If you have a book you'd like considered for review, then send a published copy (no galleys or uncorrected proofs), accompanied by a cover letter and some form of publicity release to my attention at the address below.

So until next time, I bid you 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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