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Jim Cox Report: May 2006

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

It seems that the older I get the faster time goes by. At sixty-three I can't party as hard or work as long as I could at 23. Fortunately at 63 I'm the boss, where at 23 I most definitely wasn't! So if I need a nap in the afternoon -- I can! But before I nap today it's time for the next installment of the "Jim Cox Report"!

Dorothy Molstad is a freelance publicist (Molstad Marketing/PR) and sends me books in behalf of her author and/or publisher clients from time to time. Quite a while ago I invited her to provide me with a succinct entry about her services that I would have my webmaster add to the "Publisher Resources" section of the Midwest Book Review website at where we have a subsection devoted to freelance publicists and marketing resources for self-published authors and small press publishers.

This is what she did and her listing has been up in that resources subsection for a long time now. Then she informed recently informed me that she has a new gig and wanted to modify her listing with us:

In a message dated 4/12/2006 9:28:28 A.M. Central Standard Time, writes:

"Jim, a couple of changes….now a marketing manager for Voyageur Press, an imprint of MBI Publishing; over 25 years experience; different phone number…651-342-0447"

Now this had me just a tad confused, so I emailed her back to ask if she was still freelancing as well. To which she responded:

"yes yes yes...still doing freelance as Molstad Marketing/PR; just wanted to update the bio info and phone number; and I do get referrals from your web site so Thanks!"

With that clarification, I then directed my webmaster to make the requested modification update and notify Dorothy accordingly. That being done she then responded with:

"Thanks so much; did just get two clients this past week, one from Canada, one from UK as a result of the posting on your site!" -- Dorothy

The reason I bring all this up is to show by way of example how the Midwest Book Review website is designed to be more than a database of reviews for librarians and bookstores, or a one-stop resource of instruction and resources for neophyte authors and novice publishers, or even a diverse and primary resource of special interest and value for book lovers and bibliophiles.

It is also designed to be of practical value for freelance publicists, reviewers, editors, anthologists, illustrators, indexers, printers, academicians, journalists, and anyone else connected to the wonderfully diverse world of publishing.

So if you offer a professionally appropriate service to the publishing community, you are invited to submit a descriptive summary of yourself and your service(s) for listing and linking in the appropriate sections of our website. We make that standing offer in order to continue having the Midwest Book Review website be as valuable and as up-to-date an online resource as possible for the authors, publishers, librarians, and the general reading public who are our primary focus.

When making a submission request, be sure to include the following:

Company Contact Person (that would be you)
Company Name (you need to call yourself something)
Company Address
Company Phone Number (local and/or toll free)
Company website & email addresses
A one-paragraph descriptive summary of your services
A one-paragraph descriptive summary of your qualifications or credentials

Then I and my webmaster visit your website and determine its appropriateness for inclusion on one of our "Publisher Resource" subsections. If we do list you, then you are sent an email announcement to that effect.

As with all our other services to the publishing community, there is no charge or fee. This is in order for us to be able to avoid any conflict of interest issues.

And should you (such as in Dorothy's case) wish to modify your listing, you may do so at anytime by simply emailing me accordingly.

Now on to other stuff:

An advanced reading copy of the newest edition of Dan Poynter's "how to" book for self-publishing has just arrived. I'm listed in the index twice. No surprise there. Dan and I go back to the very beginning of my becoming a book reviewer. When the finished book comes out in September, I'll be giving it a review -- and noting my inclusion when doing so. But I can tell you now that no "how to" reference collection for aspiring authors can be considered complete with the inclusion of Dan Poynter's book -- especially this newly updated and expanded edition.

But for now, here's what I've been reviewing for April 2006:

"The Writing/Publishing Bookshelf":

The Business Of Writing For Children
Aaron Shepard
Shepard Publications
1102 Olympia Avenue NE, #18, Olympia, WA 98506
0938497111 $10.00

The Business Of Writing For Children: An Award-Winning Author's Tips On How To Write, Sell, And Promote Your Children's Books by journalist, travel writer, and former Vatican employee, Aaron Shepard is a remarkable guide to writing a marketable and influential children's book. Shepard really delves into every necessary dimension of how to write the best children's book possible, what is most effective approach to take, how to publish what you've written, what resources are needed, etc. The Business Of Writing For Children is very strongly recommended to all aspiring or struggling children's authors as this compendium of practical and seasoned advice and instruction is sure to provide precisely the information needed to for success.

How To Write Fiction Like A Pro
Robert Newron Peck
Maupin Press
PO Box 90148, Gainsville FL, 32607
0929895851 $15.95

A very highly recommended introduction to writing at a professional level, How To Write Fiction Like A Pro: A Simple-To-Savvy Toolkit For Aspiring Authors by Robert Newton Peck (the author of over sixty published books) is an quite innovative and thoroughly "user friendly" instructive guide for all novice writers seeking to properly and effectively write a successful work of commercially viable fiction. Introducing conceptual and creative tactics which Peck has previously employed with considerable success, How To Write Fiction Like A Pro has a light format which is easy-to-follow for even the most inexperienced novelist. How To Write Fiction Like A Pro is an excellent addition to the reference collections of all aspiring or working authors of fiction stories for its informed and informative content and intriguing comprehensive ideals. If you dream of one day writing the "great American novel", then begin with a quick and careful reading of Robert Peck's How To Write Fiction Like A Pro!

And then this came in:

Subject: An idea for the Jim Cox Report and book confirmation request
Date: 4/24/2006 11:22:18 P.M. Central Standard Time
From: Verakaikobad

Dear Mr. Cox,

I hope my email finds you well. I thought I'd send you an idea about next month's Jim Cox Report. Maybe you could speak on the phenomena of why some authors choose to send their books to fellow authors who work within the same genre for review....or what the benefits or disadvantages are of such a practice.

My numerology book (and some stamps) must have reached you by now. I would deeply appreciate it you could confirm its safe arrival. Have a most wonderful day Mr. Cox, and thank you.


Vera Kaikobad

Her numerology book did indeed reach me and is reviewed in "The Metaphysical Studies" column of the April issue of our "Small Press Bookwatch". The stamps are being used to send out the April tear sheets and publisher notification letters. As to her suggested question about the benefits or disadvantages of authors sending out review copies of their books to other authors who published in the same genre as the work in question, here's my take:


If the review is positive, that author reviewer will add value to your marketing campaign in the form of his own reader fan base recognition, and contribute to building up your own name-brand recognition to readers with an interest in your particular genre or topic. You will also, as a self-published or small press published author, find it easier to approach any larger publishers for your next book if that author reviewer is published by them. You will also find getting your book into distributors, bookstores and libraries easier if they already carry the author reviewer as well.


If the review is negative, you will have difficulty in knowing whether it was panned because of legitimately detected flaws, or if the author reviewer is simply jealous and looking to shoot you down as a potential competitor.

This is a phenomena all-to-often encountered with those "reviews" that find there way onto the website where competing authors post negative comments under pseudonym disguise.

Vera also sent me this little email:

Dear Mr. Cox,

Thank you so very much. You are most helpful and gracious.

I appreciate all the time and effort that goes into all this, I am grateful for the courtesy and assistance that you show to all the authors who send in their books to Midwest Book Review.

I don't know where we self-published authors would be without the Midwest Book Review. The Midwest Book Review is so very crucial to our writing lives.

God bless you, Sir.


Vera Kaikobad

It is so nice to be appreciated for what we do in this world.

Now it's my turn to express appreciation for the generosity of so many wonderfully supportive people by listing the latest enrollees into "The Midwest Book Review Postage Stamp Hall of Fame & Appreciation".

Keven McQueen
Thomas C. Renzi
Robert Parson Crosby -- "Get Unstuck from Fundamentalism"
John Jourdane -- "Sailing with Scoundrels and Kings"
Steven M. Ulmen -- "Hawkins County"
Jerry Holt -- "The Killing of Strangers"
Betty Dowdell -- "How to be a Christian without being Annoying"
Denny Miller -- "Toxic Waist?...Get To Know Sweat"
Merry C. Battles -- "Christmas Meditations on the Twelve Holy Days"
Tucson Clinic of Botanical Medicine
Sue -- Center for Natural Healing
Kelly -- Soft Stone Publishing
Beverly -- International Jewelry Publications
Betsy Dinkin Malthes -- Peter's Pride Publishing
LaVonne Ewing -- PixyJack Press
Jody Hornor -- Electric Canvas
Diane Rapaport -- Quill Pen Press
Kelly Gehart -- Momentum Books
Gen LaCreca -- Winged Victory Press
Sandra Ingerman -- Moon Tree Rising Productions
Meredith Rutter -- VanderWyk & Burnham
David Smitherman -- Palari Publishing
Brian Shureb -- Ironcroft Publishing
Doug Savage -- Galahad Publishing
Farhad Shirzad -- Ibex Publishers
Michele Palmisano -- Sunflower Publishing
MyLinda Butterworth -- Day to Day Enterprises
Deborah Robson & Rebekah Robson-May -- Nomad Press

You can receive the "Jim Cox Report" directly (and for free). Just send me an email and ask to be signed up. The same holds true to receive (again, for free) any or all of our online book review magazines -- or any particular or individual book review column for that matter.

Well that's a wrap for this month. If you like to have your book considered for review or have some postage stamps to donate in support of what we try to accomplish in behalf of the small press community, send them to:

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575

So until next time it's goodbye, good luck, and good reading!

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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