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Jim Cox Report: May 2015

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

So you have at last gotten a review (and a good one!) on your book. What do you do with it?

The answer is a great many things as part of your multifaceted marketing program. But I want to focus on just one of those applications by giving you a 'real life' example of how one author did it with a review the appeared in our "Children's Bookwatch". Here is the email correspondence in sequential order beginning with our usual author/publisher notifications that their books have been reviewed:

Dear Ms. Dizon:

I'm very pleased to announce that the February 2015 issue of our online book review magazine "Children's Bookwatch" features a review of "The Underground Labyrinth".

The review has been provided to the Helen C. White Library's "Cooperative Children's Book Center" (University of Wisconsin, Madison) where it will be made available to school and community librarians throughout Wisconsin's public school systems and community libraries. This review has also been provided to the Cengage Learning, Gale interactive CD-ROM series "Book Review Index" which is published four times yearly for academic, corporate, and public library systems.

Here is the review:

Children's Bookwatch: February 2015
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Underground Labyrinth
Louella Dizon
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781502301475, $18.99,

The summer is off to a terrible start for Jinny, with bad weather and a cancelled birthday party. It hardly seems a year ago that she had gone on an adventure with her sister Jada, the rebel fairy Minacrist, and the magical people they met within the secret fairy kingdom of New York City. But when a mysterious river man appears with a special key, Jinny, Jada, and their neighbor, Sam, are pulled into a race against time. A sickness has struck the kingdom, turning good fairies into evil, and the children must join forces with Minacrist and their elfin friends to find the source of the Black Power...before the Black Power destroys them. "The Underground Labyrinth" is the second volume in Louella Dizon's outstanding and entertaining 'The Crowded Kingdom" series for young readers. This highly recommended, 142 page action/adventure fantasy is a fun and imaginative read from beginning to end. It should be noted that "The Underground Labyrinth" is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).

You have complete permission to utilize the review in any manner you deem useful for marketing and promotion.

Additionally, this review will be archived on our Midwest Book Review website for the next five years at

Please send an email notification to my attention at for your future titles as they are published and become available to the reading public.

Incidentally, although our bylaws prohibit accepting money from authors or publishers (in order to avoid any conflict of interest issues), we did amend it to allow authors and publishers who wanted to make a gesture of support and appreciation for what we try to do here at the Midwest Book Review in behalf of the small press community to donate postage stamps "for the cause". So if you'd like to send a check or money order as a donation to our Midwest Book Review postage stamp fund, please feel free (but not obligated!).

I look forward to your next new title.

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

In a message dated 2/8/2015 12:56:41 P.M. Central Standard Time:

Thank you very much for letting me know. I was so delighted and honored to have had both The Underground Labyrinth and The Crowded Kingdom in the Midwest Book Review that I gave The Midwest Book Review quite a shoutout on my Crowded Kingdom website, which you can read here:

As you can see, it is not just the reviews that are a precious resource, but the advice and the other helpful links, so I hope other book lovers and hopeful writers take note.

The third volume is already in progress, but in the meantime, thank you and the whole team for your support of authors and independent publishers.

Kind regards,
Louella Dizon San Juan

Subject: Dear Louella -- from Jim Cox
Date: 2/9/2015 10:59:47 A.M. Central Standard Time

Dear Louella:

Thank you for your very kind words. They are much appreciated.

I will be using your web site article as an example in my monthly column ("Jim Cox Report") that I write for the publishing industry for the benefit of other authors and small press publishers as to how to effectively utilize and showcase reviews on their own web sites.

You did a terrific job on yours!

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review

One of your most powerful marketing tools is your web site. And one of the most potent marketing aspects are positive reviews that you can showcase on your web site. Louella Dizon is very much an exemplary case in point!

Now some more reviews of 'how-to' books of special relevance to writers and publishers:

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Novel Writing: A Writers' and Artists' Companion
Romesh Gunesekera & A. L. Kennedy
Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781780937106, $24.95,

A collaboration between Romesh Gunesekera (whose first novel "Reef" was shortlisted for the 1994 Booker Prize and is the author of six novels including "The Sandglass" which won the inaugural BBC Asia Award" and "Heaven's Edge" which was cited as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year) and A L Kennedy (Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Warwick, UK, and whose novels include Everything You Need (1999), The Blue Book (2011) and Day (2007) which won the Costa and Saltire Book of the Year), "Novel Writing: A Writers' and Artists' Companion" is a 240 page compendium that is packed from cover to cover with practical tips for aspiring novelists on how to write and publish their novels. Deftly organized and presented in three major sections the provides an introduction to the forms and history of the novel and helps you plan and research your masterpiece, develop characters and compelling narratives and your own authorial voice; contains guest contributions from Philip Pullman, Louise Doughty, Glenn Patterson, Jeanette Winterson, Jonathan Franzen, Stevie Davies, Doris Lessing, Tash Aw, Elif Shafak, Anne Enright, Tim Pears, Anita Desai, Tim Lott, Amit Chaudhuri, Andrea Levy, Alan Hollinghurst, Bernardo Atxaga, Hanan Al-Shaykh, Michèle Roberts, Joan Brady, Lynn Freed, Evelyn Toynton as well as a number of the 2013 list of the Best of Young British Novelists including Kamila Shamsie, Tamima Anam, Naomi Alderman, Ned Beauman, Jenni Fagan and Joanna Kavenna; and offers practical advice on collaborative writing, overcoming writer's block, editing and rewriting and finding an agent and a publisher for your work, "Novel Writing: A Writers' and Artists' Companion" will prove an invaluable instructional reference and guide for the beginner, and has a great deal of value for even the more experienced author. Very highly recommended for community and academic library Writing/Publishing reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Novel Writing: A Writers' and Artists' Companion" is also available in a Kindle edition ($12.99).

The Accidental Indexer
Nan Badgett
Information Today, Inc.
143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055-8750
9781573875141, $39.50,

An index is an indirect shortcut derived from and pointing into, a greater volume of values, data, information or knowledge. In publishing, it is a detailed list, usually arranged alphabetically, of the specific information in a publication. In "With The Accidental Indexer", author Nan Badgett draws upon her many years of experience and expertise in providing indexing services to publishers, authors, and corporate clients to create a definitive and comprehensive 240 page instructional guide to the indexing profession. "the Accidental Indexer" offers an informed and informative overview of the field, describes a range of specialties, insights from professional indexers, and a wealth of savvy advice on starting and running a freelance indexing business.. From practical strategies for staying on deadline, to maintaining work life balance, to collaborating and subcontracting, to creating new work opportunities, "The Accidental Indexer" will prove to be an invaluable and enduringly useful reference. "The Accidental Indexer" includes other resources, including useful forms and checklists-on such topics as training and professional development, promoting professional indexing services, managing multiple projects, contracting with clients, and ensuring index quality. "The Accidental Index" should be considered mandatory reading for anyone aspiring to indexing professionally and would well serve to inform authors and publishers as to the value and processes involved with the creating of indexes for their books. "The Accidental Indexer is very strongly recommended for personal, professional, community and academic library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections.

Also highly recommended by a Midwest Book Review volunteer reviewer is:

The Bloomsbury Introduction To Creative Writing
Tara Mokhtari
Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781472578433, $29.95, 272pp,

Synopsis: Covering a wide range of forms and genres, "The Bloomsbury Introduction to Creative Writing" is a complete introductory manual for students of creative writing. Through a structured series of practical writing exercises - perfect for the classroom, the writer's workshop or as a starting point for a portfolio of work - the book builds the student writer from the first explorations of their own voice, through to mastery of a wide range of genres and forms. "The Bloomsbury Introduction to Creative Writing" covers such genres as: autobiographical writing; short fiction; poetry; screenwriting; writing for performance; and writing for digital media. With practical guidance on writing scholarly critiques of the aspiring writer's own work and a glossary of terms for ease of reference, "The Bloomsbury Introduction To Creative Writing" will prove to be an essential manual for any introductory creative writing course and a practical companion for more advanced writers.

Critique: It should be noted that Tara Mokhtari is a lecturer in Creative Writing, Literature and Communications at universities in the USA and Australia. She draws upon her many years of experience and expertise to provide what is essentially a complete course of instruction in one volume that can be used for self-study or as a textbook for a workshop or classroom Creative Writing curriculum. Thoroughly 'user friendly' throughout, "The Bloomsbury Introduction To Creative Writing" is also available in a hardcover edition (9781472578440, $94.00). It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Bloomsbury Introduction To Creative Writing" also comes in a Kindle format ($15.49).

Julie Summers

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:

Ken & Liz Moore
Bob Adamov -- "Missing"
Marco Leroc -- "Screw College Debt"
Debbie Jespersen -- "Ayala's Dreams"
Gay Wasik-Zegel -- "Stop Means Stop"
Kathryn Kappler -- "My Own Pioneers"
Jerzhy Knuteman -- "The Vatican Files"
Elaine C. Pereira -- "I Will Never Forget"
Janet Kay Darling -- "The Timeless Love"
Terry Wooten -- "The Stone Circle Poems"
Alpha A. 'Berry' Fowler III -- "Organs of Greed"
Julie Mahler Harris -- "The Wish of the Well-Witcher"
Carolyn Carmody -- "The Nantucket Lightship Mystery"
Reginald Down -- "The Nine Lives of Pinrut the Turnip Boy"
Jane Ellen Freeman -- "Jeremiah Lucky and the Guardian Angel"
Janet K. Brennan -- "A Dance in the Woods: A Mother's Insight"
Mina Mauerstein Bail -- "Max & Voltaire: Getting to Know You"
Richard Lloyd Dewey -- "Joseph Smith and The Latter-Day Saints"
Robert F. McNally -- "I Had Jelly on My Nose and A Hole in My Breeches"
Letty Sustrin -- "The Teacher Who Would Not Retire Loses Her Ballet Slippers"
Elm Books
Regent Press
Material Media
TM Books & Video
Sartoris Literary Group
Decadent Publishing Company
Carl Ross -- Blueline LLC
Mark Weiman -- Regent Press
Sheryl Johnston -- All Things Literary
Elizabeth S. Varnai -- Vista Court Books
Amanda Mulholland -- Royal Fireworks Press
Elizabeth Waldman Frazier -- Waldmania!
Barbara C. Wall -- The Barrett Company Communications

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 at 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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