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Jim Cox Report: January 2012

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

I want to begin with expressing gratefully acknowledging all the folks who gave me such strong expressions of support with respect to Amazon's out-of-the-blue decision to bar professional reviewers from posting reviews on the Amazon web site and thereby putting the burden of such postings on the authors and publishers receiving professional reviews and wanting them posted on Amazon.

The good news is that authors and publishers are being able to do so with consistent success. Here's a typical email that I've been getting relevant to this issue from an author for whom Amazon had previously deleted our review as part of their infamous overnight purge:

In a message dated 12/29/2011 10:56:56 A.M. Central Standard Time, writes:

Hello Mr. Cox:

We just had our conversation about Amazon's ridiculous removal of reviews. Would you please send me copies of the review for my book:

AUTHOR: Alana Cash
PUBLISHER: Hacienda Press (Private)
ISBN: 9781449996321

Thank you very much.


Alana Cash

I responded with:

Sent: Saturday, December 31, 2011 10:00 AM
Subject: Re: Amazon review - please send me the review

You will find the review archived on the Midwest Book Review at:

Click on "Dunford's Book Shelf". It's the fourth one in this book review column. Feel free to do a 'copy & paste' and make as many copies as you like.

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review

Then Alana responded with:

Subject: Re: Amazon review - please send me the review
Date: 12/31/2011 4:40:39 P.M. Central Standard Time

Thank you, I have posted it on Amazon. I will make a point of finding other places too.

Happy New Year!


It should also be noted that there is one serendipity for the Midwest Book Review as a consequence of Amazon's abrupt decision barring Midwest Book Review from posting reviews directly on their web site is that it has freed up the equivalent of one complete work week per month for our web master to do other chores here at the Midwest Book Review.

To conclude this follow-up report on Amazon's new policy I want to pass along an informed and informative email I received on the subject from Aggie Villanueva:

Sent: 12/27/2011 10:33:17 A.M. Central Standard Time

Aggie Villanueva here, hoping your Christmas holidays were the best ever. And now we all look forward to a wonderful and prosperous 2012 starting fresh with our marketing plans.

Information to all Reviewers/Authors Who Post on Amazon

I thought this would be a great time to share some information with you. This info pertains not only if you are a book reviewer, but to all authors as well.

Many of you know, even requested I write my book Amazon Categories Create Best Sellers (launching Feb 2012). Though the book’s topic contains the most complete compilation for utilizing Amazon’s categories to gain bestseller status, it also touches on all the related Amazon marketing areas.

And throughout my research one related topic surfaced constantly, that of Amazon deleting thousands of book reviews, many times without explanation of the perceived violation.

I purposefully participated in a lot of discussion around the web and searched Amazon help files about this. And, though this is all covered in my upcoming book, I wanted to give a thumbs up to all my author/reviewer friends.

Aggie Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that this is absolutely NOT official information. It is garnered from what I could put together on my own, hopefully to some benefit to my friends. I am absolutely the last person who can explain legal/copyright matters, but based on what I learned, I may have a few suggestions that can prevent your book reviews from disappearing.

I cover this more in depth in an upcoming February blog post at my PAC Blog, as well as in the book, but without going into all the details again, here are two simple rules that could protect new reviews from vanishing and/or Amazon threats to pull your book from their site.


Because Amazon claims total and irrevocable ownership of every review on their site, I deduce that this means you cannot reprint in full any review you wrote there. SO, I’m suggesting to make sure you write a different review to post on Amazon, or a shorter version. Then you may go into more detail with the review everywhere else and not risk Amazon claiming you are in violation or their restrictions.


When you love a review your book got on your Amazon sales page, when you quote it elsewhere online for marketing purposes make sure that you use ONLY a few sentences as you would with any other Fair Use limitation. Otherwise you may be in violation not only of Amazon review ownership, but also some of their other restrictions about adding URLs for marketing purposes, etc.

If you want to be kept informed about this and related marketing matters, subscribe to the PAC Blog. You can also see discussions and related links for the last years’ worth of author/reviewers discussions here.

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

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

The Good of the Novel
Liam McIlvanney and Ray Ryan, editors
Continuum International Publishing Group
80 Maiden Lane, Suite 704
New York, NY 10038
9781441182876 $19.95

The Good of the Novel is an anthology of specially commissioned essays by learned authors exploring the essence of a novel - what truly distinguishes this literary art form from drama or poetry? What invaluable lessons, emotions, and truths are best portrayed through the novel's format? And in the era of the Internet, when anyone with a keyboard can and will distribute their option, what is role is a literary critic to play? The specific works of notable authors are discussed at length, including "Atonement" by Ian McEwan, "Hotel du Lac" by Anita Brookner, "Intimacy" by Hanif Kureishi, and more. A thoughtful, honest, and strenuous critique of the literary medium itself as much as of individual novels, The Good of the Novel is an excellent choice for literary studies shelves, as well as a supplemental resource for aspiring writers seeking to better understand the gravitas of their craft.

The College Student's Guide To Writing A Great Research Paper
Erika Eby
Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc.
1405 S.W. 6th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471
9781601386052, $24.95,

Part of every college student's experience is the repeated necessity of writing research papers. "The College Student's Guide To Writing A Great Research Paper: 101 Easy Tips & Tricks To Make Your Work Stand Out" by Erika Eby is a 288-page compendium of practical advice, insightful commentary, and 'real world' instructions on the art, science and craft of writing effective research papers beginning with an informed discussion on just what a research paper is and what should be discovered before even starting one. Next is cogent advice on how to get started with a research project; then developing a thesis statement; doing the actual research; organizing and outlining the sourced information comprising the paper; avoiding plagiarism and proper citing methods; writing the introduction, body and conclusion of a research paper; formatting and page referencing; and finally the proofing and editing of the paper. Enhanced with sample research papers, helpful internet links, a glossary, a bibliography, and a comprehensive index, "The College Student's Guide To Writing A Great Research Paper" is of special and indispensable value for all college students regardless of their particular majors. It would also prove invaluable for anyone doing research for publications outside of academia as well and therefor highly recommend for personal and community library Writing/Publishing reference collections and supplemental reading lists as well.

Writing And Selling Articles For Profit
L. Perry Wilbur
Piccadilly Books, Ltd.
PO Box 25203, Colorado Springs, CO 80936
9780941599917, $15.95,

In "Writing And Selling Articles For Profit", L. Perry Wilbur draws upon his years of experience and expertise as the author of 31 books and the sale of more than 5,000 freelanced articles (resulting his winning five George Washington Honor Awards from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge) to develop a compact 175-page compendium of tips, tricks and techniques for making money by writing and selling articles on any subject. Included are informed and informative instructions on picking marketable topics, turning ideas into saleable articles, writing effective query letters to prospective publishers, working with editors, getting paid, acquiring the rights to photos, marketing articles abroad, and so much more! Of special note is the instructive advice on avoiding common pitfalls as a writer of articles for publication. Covering all aspects from initial research to the finished copy, "Writing And Selling Articles For Profit" will prove an invaluable and thoroughly 'user friendly' addition to aspiring and practicing writers seeking to earn a living by and from their written work.

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:

Ed Johnson
Grigor Fedan
Joanne Conrad
Artie D. Knapp
Kia Heavey -- "Night Machines"
Shelia bolt Rudesill -- "Baggage"
Helena Smole -- "Balancing the Beast"
Mike Mefford -- "Whole World Blind"
Henry Hoffman -- "Bridge to Oblivion"
Norwood Holland -- "Sleepless Nights"
Brian Kittrell -- "The Circle of Sorcerers"
Carol Stevenson -- "Colleen Morre's Doll Castle"
Barbara J. Dzikowski -- "Searching for Lincoln's Ghost"
Russell Ferrell -- "Acrocanthosaurus: The Bones of Contention"
Robin Ymer -- "Mythical Voyage: The Tale of the White Ponca"
Oak Tree Press
Hopewell Publications
WordTech Communications LLC
Ela Villar -- Kaladar Books
Paul Carrollton -- Zoa Press
Sue Miller -- Antelope Press
T. Bre Jackson -- DemmeHours, Inc.
Laura Wharton -- Broad Creek Press
Tim Stanley -- 2 Timothy Publishing
Bethe Lee Moulton -- The Glide Press
A. William Benitez -- Positive Imaging
Charlsie Russell -- Loblolly Writer's House
Sneed B. Collard III -- Bucking Horse Books
Eileen McDargh -- McDargh Communications
Evander Lomke -- American Mental Health Foundation
Stephan B. Weinstein -- Imagination Children's Books Publishers
Julia E. Antoine -- Envision Business & Computer School Publishing

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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