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Jim Cox Report: March 2010

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

Writing professionally and publishing commercially are businesses to which authors and publishers commit their financial resources, time and energy into trying to make a profit. That's why it is as important to master the 'learning curve' in organizing, selling, marketing, promotion, and all the other aspects so fundamentally necessary to any and all successful business enterprises. In a great many ways, selling books is no different than selling shoes or soap suds -- especially in this era of the internet.

Here are some 'how to' titles that I would highly recommend to the attention of any aspiring author and/or publisher wanting to support themselves by writing and/or publishing.

The Business Shelf

Amazon Income
Sharon L. Cohen
Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc.
1405 SW 6th Ave, Ocala, FL 34471-0640
9781601382993, $24.95,

Amazon was formed out of the aspiring dreams of an entrepreneur, and people can use Amazon to blossom their own aspiring dreams. "Amazon Income: How Anyone of Any Age, Location, and/or Background Can Build a Highly Profitable Online Business with Amazon" " is a guide to starting one's own business through, the internet market place which has taken to being a place where trade happens. Amazon has reached its size and success by embracing any agreement that can be mutually exclusive, and Sharon L. Cohen hopes to help readers link in with this philosophy. "Amazon Income" is a top pick for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Get Seen
Steve Garfield
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9780470525463, $24.95

Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business adds to the 'New Rules of Social Media' series and examine success stories of companies using online video. It provides a series of plans and tools businesses can use to successfully market to their customers on the social web, teaching readers how to record, edit and export videos as well as where to post them. Any business interested in video blogging applications and potentials needs this.

Presentation Zen Design
Garr Reynolds
New Riders
1249 - 8th St., Berkeley, CA 94710
0321668790, $34.99

Presentation Zen Design offers a range of design tricks and tips to enhance a presentation, offering guidelines and basic principles for achieving overall harmony and balance using Zen simplicity. From preparing a talk to simplifying data and making your own images 'pop', PRESENTATION ZEN DESIGN: SIMPLE DESIGN PRINCIPLES AND TECHNIQUES TO ENHANCE YOUR PRESENTATIONS will reach a wide audience, from students to business and computer professionals and managers alike.

Hip & Sage
Lisa Haneberg
20 Park Plaza Suite 1115A, Boston, MA 02116
9780891062455, $19.95

HIP & SAGE: STAYING SMART, COOL AND COMPETITIVE IN THE WORKPLACE is for any career library and offers keys to using the new technologies that are changing how business gets done. Professionals seeking to learn these new strategies will receive keys to the knowledge younger workers have, and how to place new practices into the goals of communicating, connecting and collaborating. Business libraries will find this outstanding.

Friends With Benefits
Darren Barefoot and Julie Szabo
No Starch Press
555 DeHaro Street, #250, San Francisco, CO 94107
9781593271992, $24.95

Friends With Benefits: A Social Media Marketing Handbook packs in keys to marketing, blending real-world case studies with insights on how to use websites and social media marketing campaigns to reach customers. From monitoring discussions to using viral videos and Twitter, this offers a review of social media overall and how to fit a business objective into its progression.

The Art of Strategy
Avinash K. Dixit and Barry J. Nalebuff
W.W. Norton
500 - 5th Avenue, New York NY 10110
9780393337174, $17.95

THE ART OF STRATEGY: A GAME THEORIST'S GUIDE TO SUCCESS IN BUSINESS AND LIFE shows how to apply the basics of game theory to everyday situations, using real-life examples and case studies to show how game theory can inform business and personal interactions alike. Ten scenarios highlight strategic interactions and offer keys tying games to business, from changing a game to your advantage to manipulating information in a strategic interaction. Business libraries need this.

201 Tips to Start and Build Your Own Business
Jay Miletsky
Course Technology
c/o Cengage Learning, Inc.
200 First Stamford Place, Stamford, CT 06902
1435455487, $14.99

201 Tips to Start and Build Your Own Business comes from a career entrepreneur who tells how to handle finances, market a company, acquire and work with business partners - everything needed to know when starting and building a business, from the author's own personal experiences as a successful entrepreneur. These are solid discussions of major issues affecting running a business and make for a fine pick for all kinds of collections, from business to general-interest.

Now here are some Q&A's on writing and publishing:

In a message dated 3/20/2009 7:58:52 A.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:

hi jim,

yes, i understand that they aren't required.
i just do not want to appear cheap, even if i'm closer to broke then i want to admit.

like many others, i truly appreciate the work you and your staff does, which is why i don't want to be offensive, if that makes sense.

thank you

Dear Tracy:

Don't worry about appearing cheap or offensive by only being able to make a modest postage stamp donation gesture of appreciation and support for what the Midwest Book Review tries to do in behalf of struggling authors.

There are lots of folks who, because of this dismal economy, are only able to send me an email to say "thank you" -- and I'm one of those who truly believe in that old saying "It's the thought that counts."!

What ever you can do is just fine by me -- remember that "Widow's Mite" story? There was a wealthy Pharisee praying ostentatiously in the Temple and making a large and publicly viewed offering. This was followed by a poor widow praying privately and who made an offering that was but a single copper coin.

Observing all of this Jesus is recorded as saying that the Widow's contribution was greater in the eyes of God than that of the rich man -- because that single copper coin was all that she had.

There's another old dictum that I'm partial to. It goes "From each according to their ability to give. To each according to their need."

Taken all-in-all, that's not a bad way to treat each other as we sail through our lives as mutual passengers on the ship we call Planet Earth.

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review

In a message dated 4/13/2009 11:39:39 A.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:

Hi Jim,

I'll resend them. This is the second time that I'm aware of that this has happened. For future submissions, I'm going to send them Fed Ex ground and check in with you in ten days. Then if you don't have them we'll have the name of the person who signed for the package. Will that work?


Dear Anna:

I always advise authors, publishers & publicists to check on the review submissions ten working days after popping them into the mails, FedEX, UPS, etc. Then ask 3 questions:

1. Did the book arrive safely.
2. What is its status with respect to the book review process.
3. Is there any further information or assistance you can offer.

This follow-up can be accomplished by either phone or email. Email is easier on the schedule of the reviewer -- but either means of communication is quite proper.

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review

In a message dated 4/13/2009 8:04:11 P.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:

Jim Cox,

I am sorry to hear Bullets and Bandages was passed over without a closer look into the real meaning of the story. It seems like I just can't get a break, no matter how hard I try.

Best Regards,
Robert J

Dear Robert:

Here's one resource you might try. Go to the Midwest Book Review website at

Click on "Other Reviewers"

This is a very large database that I've constructed over the years of freelance book reviewers, book review magazines and publications, book review websites, etc.

I've vetted them all so that they all legitimate. A few are 'pay for play' and charge a few (like Foreword Magazine), but most are free.

Go down the list (and it's a long one), and when you see one that looks promising, click on it. You'll be zapped to their particular website. Reading their website and you'll be able to tell if they are thematically appropriate for your particular title -- along with whatever their submission guidelines might be.

Good luck!

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review

As is customary, I'm going to conclude this issue of the "Jim Cox Report" with "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:

Catherine J. Frompovich
Rachel Blumenthal
Donald Louria
John Cravens
Bill Shaner
Stephen L. Kanne
Dan Cobb -- 'The Mine'
Jill Lauren -- 'That's Like Me!'
Paul Clayton -- 'White Seed'
Mike Brogan -- 'Madison's Avenue'
Donahue Silvis -- 'The Indebted'
Elizabeth Hills -- 'The Body Love Manual'
Jodi Lorimer -- 'Dancers on the Edge'
Barbara Ebel -- 'Operation Neurosurgeon'
Barbara J. Allen -- 'Phantom, Out of the Shadows'
Sheila L. Jackson -- 'Through the Eyes of God'
Blair Mountain Press
Great River Books
Otter Creek Press
Winterlake Press
Kim Silhanek -- Varzara House
Nan Wisherd -- Cable Publishing
Sheila Waldman -- Tristan Publishing
Cheryl Hudson -- Hudson Publishing Group
Frances Wilkins -- Memory Minder Journals
Amy Kaufman -- Writings
Jennifer Holdt -- Alamaden Books
Ray Rhamey -- FtQ Press
D. Kinza Christenson -- Peebles Publishing Unlimited
Debra Pratt -- Harbor House Law Press
Eric R. Voth -- ERV Productions
A. William Benitez -- Positive Imaging LLC
Charles A. Barrett -- The Barrett Company
Peg Booth -- Booth Media Group

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 Advanced 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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