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Friday, December 05, 2008

PIA/GATF Is Now Printing Industries of America











On November 16, 2008, the Boards of Printing Industries of America
and the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation approved the renaming of
PIA/GATF to Printing Industries of America, as well as a new logo and
tagline.


The new logo depicts the technology, artistry, and dynamic growth of
the industry, while the new tagline, “Advancing Graphic
Communications,” captures the organization’s innovative,
forward-thinking approach.


This change is the result of a comprehensive, 14-month branding
research project. The goal of this project was to strengthen and
streamline the messaging to the graphic communications industry, its
suppliers, partners, customers, and lawmakers and to better reflect the
activities within the organization.


A number of changes will be taking place as a result of this
initiative, including the renaming of the organization’s website from www.GAIN.net to www.printing.org. Plus in 2009, the website will be completely revitalized and re-launched with a more user-friendly format

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Ghostwriting & Book Producing - PUBLISH-L

PROMO: Ghostwriting & Book Producing - PUBLISH-L | Google Groups
I hope all parties, ghostwriter, client and publisher, realize that
there are substantial issues presented in this relationship in terms of the proposed Google settlement. The settlement agreement does not define "authors" in anything but the broadest of terms and would certainly include a ghostwriter (as well as an editor and potentially other parties). Therefore, in any agreement with a ghostwriter, the unresolved issues in this settlement, which are expressly left up to the underlying agreement between and among the parties, have to be addressed. If your ghostwriter agreement was drafted before this settlement, it is likely already out of date and should be reviewed by an experienced publishing attorney so that it can be appropriately revised. Without such revisions, all parties may be in for some very unwelcome surprises.

Read "How Does The Google Settlement Affect You?" on my site. {Ivan Hoffman} Click on "Articles for Writers and Publishers."

And if you do not have a valid, written and signed ghostwriter
agreement, well then you have bigger problems than the above to resolve.

This posting and any articles referred to in this posting are not
legal advice and are not intended as legal advice. This posting and any articles referred to in this posting are intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information. This posting and any
articles referred to in this posting do not create any attorney
client relationship and are not a solicitation.

IVAN HOFFMAN, B.A., J.D.
Attorney at Law
Lawyering With Integrity. Proudly in my 35th year of practice.
Entertainment Law, Publishing and Writing Law, Copyrights,
Trademarks, Internet Law, Web Design Law, Intellectual Property
Law. *A Winner of 8 Prestigious Web Site Awards.*
http://www.ivanhoffman.com

Thursday, November 20, 2008

WhatTheyThink Blog » Blog Archive » Getting press operators more involved at PrintPlanet

Patrick Henry Says:
August 6th, 2008 at 3:21 pm

How about a webinar featuring a panel of PrintPlanet’s most knowledgeable regular posters on press-related topics? Gordon Pritchard and Offset Guy come immediately to mind, and there are others. Give them some provocative talking points, and they will do the rest. I volunteer to moderate.

PrintPlanet is a tremendous resource. I wrote about it years ago, not long after Dave Mainwaring launched it, and its forums have been gems of inside information ever since. PrintPlanet is the place to go for the kinds of straight talk and unvarnished opinions that can’t get an airing anywhere else in the graphic arts trade media. A press-focused webinar will encourage other press operators to add their voices as well.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lean Manufacturing for the Small Shop

WhatTheyThink Environment & Sustainability Section » Blog Archive » New Book: Lean Manufacturing for the Small Shop
By Gail Nickel-Kailing on November 12th, 2008

 Lean manufacturing principles are also green manufacturing principles; here is a book that tells you not only what to do, but how to do it.

Lean Manufacturing for the Small Shop, Second Edition, Gary Conner, Society of Manufacturing Engineers (2008)

Thousands of people at hundreds of companies have used the Shingo-Prize-Award-winning first edition of “Lean Manufacturing for the Small Shop” as their how-to guide to shortening delivery times, eliminating waste, improving quality, and reducing costs.

Monday, November 10, 2008

GOOGLE SETTLEMENT: HOFFMAN'S NEW ARTICLE

From: Ivan Hoffman

Publishers and authors alike (and other parties with "copyright interests") need to be aware that this is only a settlement *among the publisher-author classes and Google*. The settlement itself leaves some parties apparently uncovered, such as perhaps some illustrators for example, and significantly, leaves authors and publishers to resolve many questions between them that are contractual in nature. Given that you are all using or have signed agreements that were drafted before this settlement including author-publisher agreements as well as illustrator agreements and perhaps other agreements, it is likely that those agreements need to be substantially revised to cover issues presented by this settlement. These should all be reviewed by an experienced publishing attorney to have them comply with the issues left unresolved by the settlement and as to which, the settlement agreement expressly refers the parties to their respective agreements.


In this regard, I have written a brief overview of some of the contractual problems presented by the settlement and you can read about these at http://www.ivanhoffman.com/settlement.html


**Please feel free to forward this notice to your associates and colleagues if you feel they may be interested in this.** Thanks.


This posting and any articles referred to in this posting are not legal advice and are not intended as legal advice. This posting and any articles referred to in this posting are intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information. This posting and any articles referred to in this posting do not create any attorney client relationship and are not a solicitation.


If you no longer wish to receive these educational mailings from me, you have the right to be taken off my list by simply replying to *me* (DO NOT REPLY TO "ALL") and asking not to receive such further mailings from me and I shall be happy to comply. If you are receiving this posting as a member of any other list, you should contact the administrator of that list.



IVAN HOFFMAN, B.A., J.D. Attorney at Law Lawyering With Integrity. Proudly in my 35th year of practice. Entertainment Law, Publishing and Writing Law, Copyrights, Trademarks, Internet Law, Web Design Law, Intellectual Property Law. *A Winner of 8 Prestigious Web Site Awards.* http://www.ivanhoffman.com

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Fwd: [PUBLISH-L] Jim Cox Report: November 2008

From: MWBOOKREVW@aol.com
Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2008
Subject: Jim Cox Report: November 2008

Dear Friends & Family:

Some people write and publish because they seek to make money at it.
Others write and publish because they have a cause to promote.
Personally, I've always felt that it was the best of all possible
worlds if I could do what I wanted to do while improving the world a
bit and supporting my family at the same time.

I'm turning 66 on November 6th and have now been at this business of
being editor-in-chief of the Midwest Book Review for what amounts to
half of my life time. Therefore I count myself among the truly
fortunate in having been able to do something that I really have
enjoyed doing on a daily basis for a living, and that this work is
adequate to my creative and practical needs, and, judging from the
responses of what now has cumulatively amounted to thousands of men
and women over the last three decades of my life, has been generally
perceived as being of genuine service to aspiring authors, novice
publishers, conscientious librarians, struggling booksellers, and
grateful members of the reading public.

I'm now semi-retired with my daughter and her two stalwart associate
editors taking over more and more of the daily chores of running the
Midwest Book Review. I've even received my first Social Security
check this past month. Nevertheless, I will continue in my role as
Editor-in-Chief for as many years as I have the health to permit it.
It's clear to me now that I will always have the interest and the
motivation to do so. I find that life as the editor-in-chief of the
Midwest Book Review -- even in these troubled times -- is a good one.

But enough of my personal musings. You folk who read the "Jim Cox
Report" are really looking for writing and publishing "tips, tricks &
techniques" to help you accomplish your own literary and professional
goals in the wonderful world of publishing.

I've followed a recent discussion thread about how to deal with malicious
reviews when they are posted on Amazon.com with great interest. I
have some very
firm opinions about the Amazon review system. These opinions are based upon my
being among the first to post reviews on Amazon back when Amazon
originally made it
possible to do so. The practice of posting reviews on Amazon now stretches over
many years and includes tens of thousands of reviews from the Midwest Book
Review and our freelance publicists.

Opinion #1: The five star system is completely arbitrary, and because it is,
the value of such a system is both defective and dysfunctional. A quicky
rating system, whether in the form of stars, thumbs up or down, or any of the
other commonly employed symbols, actually serves as a disservice to
authors and
publishers because it acts as a kind of visual short-cut for the public so
that they don't have to read through the reviews themselves to determine
whether the reviewers are competently providing a positive or negative
recommendation. Unfortunately Amazon requires their stars, therefore
almost all of our
reviews get five of them on the basis of the books in question being able to
survive our selection process and receiving positive recommendations from
their assigned reviewers.

Opinion #2: Posters of reviewers are not held to any kind of standard with
respect to competence or civility. This is reflected in how so many positive
reviews and so many negative reviews are presented without a foundation of
cited justifications. All too often reviewers confuse nastiness with
competency
in panning a book, with others confusing platitudes with justifiable (and
justified) praise. Therefore anyone who relies on reviews as part of their own
book selection process should remember that reviewers, like authors and
publishers, fall into three basic categories: The Good, The Bad, and
The Mediocre.

Opinion #3: There simply are not enough places where authors and publishers
operating with limited budgetary resources can present their books to large
masses of the reading public -- especially in the sheer numbers that
Amazon can
turn out -- and therefore those authors and publishers of limited means must
invest in time and effort what they lack in financial capital to take
advantage of Amazon as a marketing tool to bring their titles to the
attention of
customers. Simply boycotting Amazon is ultimately self-defeating as a
marketing strategy for most authors and publishers.

As to how to handle a truly nasty review? My advice is to drown it out with
positive reviews. Take advantage of Amazon blogs, and all manner of
other online
guerrilla marketing strategies and techniques. Among those remember to include
utilizing the "Other Reviewers" database housed and maintained on the
Midwest Book
Review website at _http://www.midwestbookreview.com_
(<http://www.midwestbookreview.com>http://www.midwestbookreview.com)

Incidentally, this "Other Reviewers" section of my website includes all of
those MBR freelance and volunteer reviewers that have book review websites of
their own and who utilize the Midwest Book Review as a secondary forum for the
purpose of expanding the readership of their reviews.

Finally, I want to close with what I feel is the central and critically
important role of the book reviewer. A book reviewer should have as his or her
"mission statement" the task of helping writers to write better, publishers to
publish more effectively, bookstores and libraries to stock their shelves more
successfully, and readers to read with greater satisfaction.

Now here are some reviews of the latest 'how to' books for writers
and publishers to have recently crossed my desk:

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

A Book Inside
Carol Denbow
Plain & Simple Books
PO Box 1506, North Bend, OR 97459
<http://www.BooksByDenbow.Weebly.com>www.BooksByDenbow.Weebly.com
9780615199245, $18.95, www.amazon.com

It seems that every season there are more and more 'how to' books
being published for aspiring writers yearning to be published. One of
the latest is also one of the best. "A Book Inside: How To Write,
Publish, And Sell Your Story" is a succinct 104-page compendium
packed from cover to cover with practical, real-world information,
strategies and techniques dealing with the necessity for completing a
saleable manuscript, compiling its pages into book form, identifying
and selecting an appropriate publishing option, selling the book in
traditional and non-traditional markets, and publicizing, promoting,
and marketing the book without significant capital expense. Carol
Denbow writes with a particular, experienced-based expertise as the
author of three books and the editor of nine websites including 'A
Book Inside' online. Especially appropriate for, and recommended to,
the novice author needing to master the 'learning curve' for become a
successfully published author in today's highly competitive
marketplace, "A Book Inside" is a welcome and highly recommended
addition to personal and professional Writing/Publishing reference shelves.

Writer's Block Busters
Velina Hasu Houston
Smith & Kraus, Inc.
PO Box 127, Lyme NH 03768
9781575255972, $17.95, <http://www.smithandkraus.com>www.smithandkraus.com

'Writer's Block' is the term used to describe the condition of being
unable to come up with any ideas -- and well articulated ideas are
the core source of any professional writer's livelihood! Drawing upon
her many years of experience and expertise, Velina Hasu Houston
(author of more than 20 plays, and who is the Professor of Theatre,
Director of Dramatic Writing, Resident Playwright, and Associate Dean
of Faculty at the University of Southern California School of
Theatre) offers "Writer's Block Busters: 101 Exercises To Clear The
Deadwood And Make Room For Flights Of Fancy". This compendium of
succinct 'things to do' will break through this often encountered
author's nemesis and trigger the flow of creative ideas. Superbly
organized and thoroughly 'user friendly' in form and format,
"Writer's Block Busters" should be considered a high priority
addition to the reference shelf of anyone seeking to make their
living through the written word.

Time To Write
Frank Milligan
Quill Driver Books
1254 Commerce Avenue, Sanger, CA 93657
9781884956768, $16.95,
<http://www.quilldriverbooks.com>www.quilldriverbooks.com

As we grow older, one of the best ways to create an enduring legacy
for future generations is to record in writing our own life stories,
our experiences, observations, values, the products of our
imaginations and our perspectives. Frank Milligan draws upon his
experience and expertise in publishing fiction and nonfiction, as
well as teaching creative writing and business writing in "Time To
Write: Discovering The Writer Within After 50", a comprehensive and
'user friendly' instruction guide that will take aspiring older
writers with an initial concept or idea and walk them through each
stage to crating a finished, ready-to-publish manuscript. "Time To
Write" is a 304-page compendium of practical tips, techniques,
insights and shortcuts that will enable the reader's writing, talent,
desire and drive to crate a written document with a minimum of
distraction. Although specifically intended for older readers, "Time
To Write" has a great deal of value for younger writers seeking to
put their own ideas and stories down in a publishable form.

Success
Maralyn D. Hill & Brenda C. Hill
Infinity Publishing.com
1094 New Dehaven Street, #100, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2713
6322 South Sky Court, Gilbert, AZ 85298 (author)
0741448483, $14.95, <http://www.BooksByHills.com>www.BooksByHills.com

It isn't necessary reinvent any wheels when it comes to the writing
and publishing of books. Not when there are so many experts in the
field who have produced so many notable, practical, informative,
reality-based instructional guides for aspiring authors seeking to be
published, and novice publishers seeking to produce commercially
viable works in the highly competitive marketplace. Expertly
co-authored by Maralyn and Brenda Hill "Success: Your Path To A
Successful Book" is a combination seminary and do-it-yourself
workshop that covers cogent information on writing, marketing, and
publishing. Of special note setting "Success: Your Path To A
Successful Book" apart from other instruction manuals are the
sections concerning journaling, writing in tandem, and understanding
target markets with respect to book sales. The section focusing
specifically on publishing covers agents, traditional publishing,
print-on-demand options, ebooks, and the 'vanity presses'. Enhanced
for beginners with additional material dealing with contact
information and experience based tips by Maralyn and Brenda,
"Success: Your Path To A Successful Book" features workbook pages for
notes and notations by the reader. "Success: Your Path To A
Successful Book" is a thoroughly 'user friendly' and strongly
recommended addition to personal and community library
Writing/Publishing reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Autobiographer's Handbook
Jennifer Traig
Holt Paperbacks
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9780805087130, $15.00, <http://www.henryholt.com>www.henryholt.com

It has been said that everyone has one good book in them. "The
Autobiographer's Handbook: The 826 National Guide to Writing Your
Memoir" is a collection of tips and advice from masterful writers on
putting down one's life story onto paper, and in a format that would
be appealing to read for your audiences. A basic writing course with
a focus on memoirs, "The Autobiographer's Handbook" is a must for
someone who wants the world to read their story.

The Art of The Personal Letter
Margaret Shepherd
Broadway Books
1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
9780767928274, $16.00, <http://www.randomhouse.com>www.randomhouse.com

The personal letter is a lost art in this day of quick e-mails and
instant messaging. "The Art of the Personal Letter: A Guide to the
Connecting Through the Written Word" is a guide to bringing back this
lost skill and putting it to its best use, and doing what the
internet can't do, provide personality and feeling through the words.
With advice and tips to making one's letter something to be cherished
and loved, "The Art of the Personal Letter" shows that snail mail
isn't dead yet
and still has quite the value in the world of fast communication.

--
{snipped by Dave Mainwaring}

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
<http://www.midwestbookreview.com>http://www.midwestbookreview.com

--
My thanks to Jim Cox for permission to share his reviews on the blog.

Dave Mainwaring

Monday, August 04, 2008

Jim Cox: Midwest Book Review, / Report: August 2008

Our thanks to Jim Cox for his permission the share his reviews.
Dave Mainwaring
-----------------
The wonderful world of publishing continues to evolve. Some of the changes are due to technological advances, some are the result of an increasingly grim economic environment, still others seem to be the end product of a combination of technology and economics.

One case in point is how an increasing number of publishers are switching from a print catalog of their titles to an online catalog of their books. A few publishers have now replaced snail-mail submitted Reviewer Request Check List forms with on online form for which reviewers are provided with a special link to access it.

While there remains an abundances of snail-mail publicity releases, more and more PRs are going out as emails. This seems especially true among freelance publicists.

Follow-up contacts to ascertain the review status of books submitted are currently split fairly evenly between telephone calls and emails.

I see a distinct trend toward substituting publishing industry traditionally printed materials (catalogs, letters, publicity releases) with electronic versions of these once mainstays of book review solicitations.

Some publishing houses have asked me to send our tear sheets (copies of the reviews we do) to them via email. Apparently it's a time saver for them at their end because they can just do a simple "copy & paste" into their databases (and do email notifications to their authors) without having to first having to type in the review manually from a physical tear sheet.

All of these changes and the trends they represent are less than ten years old. This past decade in which the publishing industry has been transformed in so many major and minor ways with the advent and advance of computer technology.

Sometimes it all makes me feel me feel my age! I began in an era of electric typewriters and the Rolledex. An era of filing cabinets and rotary phones and three-by-five index cards.

But there is an upside to all these newfangled ways of conducting a book review operation. Back in the days of typewriters and rolledexs, I did business with approximately 175 publishers (mostly the New York houses and the major university presses, with a smattering of small presses and a rare appearance of a self-published author). Today the number of publishers I deal with exceeds 1600 publishers. The bulk of these being self-published authors of one kind or another, with another 60 or so being publishers from other countries.

Only the Internet could make possible our reviewing books published in India, England, Ireland, Japan, Australia, etc. in the numbers that we do now These folks send us email PRs to which I provide an email response. They snail-mail me their book(s). When reviewed I email them an electronic version of our publisher notification letter (which includes a copy of the review).

None of that was possible just a decade earlier. Now it's fairly commonplace. Every month within the pages of one or more of our book review publications there will be reviews of titles published in other countries. Sometimes these reviews include snail-mail addresses overseas, sometimes just the publisher's website address, occasionally the contact information will be that of an American-based distributer.

That's why one of the trends I see in the publishing industry is that of globalization. Not just in the production of books (like expensive coffee-table art books being printed in South Korea) but in the marketplace that makes these books known to and available to an American citizenry, as well as readers anywhere else in the world.

What prompted all this is my having just received two beautiful (and beautifully published) Chinese/English bilingual architectural books from a publisher in mainland China. These are the first from this particular publisher -- who found the Midwest Book Review website on the Internet, then sent me a PR e-mail asking if I was interested, and to which I sent an e-mail response inviting the submission. A couple of weeks later they arrived in our mail room.

That's publishing industry globalization in action!

Now here are my opinions and assessments with respect to the new 'how to' titles for authors and publishers to have crossed my desk this past month.

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper
SARK
Three Rivers Press
c/o The Crown Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
9780307341709, $18.95, www.crownpublishing.com, 1-888-523-9292

Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy is a personal growth teacher, an artist, an inspiration speaker, a bestselling author, and under the pen name SARK has written and compiled "Juicy Pens, Thirsty paper: Gifting The World With Your Words And Stories And Creating The Time And Energy To Actually Do It", a compendium of creative games and techniques that aspiring writers will find to be invaluable in the practice of their chosen craft. There are any number of excellent 'how to' books on how to write better, more effectively, and even more profitably. The unique focus of "Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper" is an emphasis of practical 'how to' exercises to generate ideas, become inspired by people and things, make time to write within the context of a busy schedule, deal with writer's block and 'bad writing blues', -- even tips on getting published. Enhanced with personal anecdotes, uplifting quotes, interviews with artists, and more, "Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper" is a welcome and recommended read for all novice authors and holds a great deal of benefit for experienced writers as well.

The Half-Known World
Robert Boswell
Graywolf Press
2402 University Avenue, Suite 203, Saint Paul, MN 55114
9781555975043, $15.00, www.graywolfpress.org

Writing fiction requires a combination of expertise, talent, experience, and imagination. In "The Half-Known World: On Writing Fiction", Robert Boswell (the published author of five novels and an instructor in creative writing at the New Mexico State University, the University of Houston, and in the Warren Wilson MFA program) draws upon his more than twenty years of personal experience and earned expertise to compile nine compelling informed and informative essays on the craft issues facing every literary writer and author. Comprising this extraordinary compendium of observation, insights and advice are Process and Paradigm; Narrative Spandrels; On Omniscience; Urban Legends, Pornography, and Literary Fiction; The Alternate Universe; Politics and Art in the Novel; Private eye Point of View; You Must Change Your Life; and the title piece, The Half-Known World. Enhanced with a two and a half page listing of referenced works at the end, "The Half-Known World" will prove to be a fascinating and educative read for anyone who aspires to literary success as a writer of deftly crafted fiction.

The Power of the Darkside
Pamela Jaye Smith
Michael Wiese Producations
3940 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Suite 1111
9781932907438, $22.95, www.mwp.com

A world where everything goes according to plan isn't terribly interesting at all; a good antagonist is essential to a great story. "The Power of the Darkside" is a guide for screenwriters who want to craft a truly memorable and believable villain, someone viewers will talk about as much as they talk about the hero. And a good hero, of course, needs an excellent villain. Sound and wise in its advice on the shadier side of the script, "The Power of the Darkside" is a must for aspiring writers and for community library collections.

Now for some Q&A from the Midwest Book Review email box:

In a message dated 1/30/2008 9:51:03 A.M. Central Standard Time, Jodi5565@aol.com writes:

Dear Mr. Cox:

Several books I've read about writing covers and queries recommend comparing my manuscripts to similar, successful, published books. How can I find statistics about how successful a comparison book was for its publisher? I wouldn't want to compare my manuscript to a title that didn't sell well. Also, does the comparison book need to be published by the publisher to whom the cover or query is addressed? This would mean I'd need to find a comparison book per publisher. The cover or query is supposed to be limited to one page, but when I include a comparison paragraph I have trouble keeping the letter to one page. Is the comparison a commonly expected part of a cover or query, or is it optional? Thank you for reading my questions and for any advice you can offer.

- Jodi L. Daly

Dear Jodi:

That kind of information is usually considered proprietary by publishers and usual not available to casual inquiries by others. Your best bet would be to try and determine how a particular book did in the marketplace by looking at its ranking on Amazon.com

With respect to comparing your book with other successful titles by other authors in your promotional materials, I wouldn't do it. Leave such comparisons to book reviewers and literary critics.

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review

In a message dated 2/11/2008 1:27:23 P.M. Central Standard Time, aeonix1@mac.com writes:

I checked Amazon, and I can't see where this occurs. Is this one of
the MBR publications? If so, it would make sense for MBR to sell
their publications to those who want to buy it. After all, MBR does
need a source of revenue.

To which I responded as follows:

The Midwest Book Review does not sell our reviews to Amazon.com or anybody else. They are all given away for free to anyone who wants them -- especially to the publishers (and through them the authors) of the books that make the final cut here at the Midwest Book Review and get reviewed in one or more of our nine monthly book review publications.

When our reviews are posted to Amazon (for whom we are a content provider and have been for great many years now) they always carry a credit citation of either Midwest Book Review, or the title of one of our various publications (The Bookwatch; California Bookwatch; Children's Bookwatch; Internet Bookwatch; Library Bookwatch; MBR Bookwatch; Reviewer's Bookwatch; Small Press Bookwatch; Wisconsin Bookwatch).

The reviews posted on Amazon by our volunteer reviewers (like Harriet Klausner) which appear in either Reviewer's Bookwatch or MBR Bookwatch are by posted those reviewers with that particular reviewer's name as the citation credit.

In the past, Amazon has had two eccentric assertions concerning the book reviews posted on their website:

1. They claimed ownership of all reviews posted by readers.

2. They tried to offer for sale some of those reviews.

With respect to the first assertion, all rights to a review belong to either the reviewer that made them or the publication that paid the salary for that reviewer to write them for that publication. Unless the reviewer has specially sold or otherwise given up ownership rights to the review. I've never heard of that happening.

With respect to the attempt at making money ($9.95!!!) from selling a review, that makes no fiscal sense at all. The market for such a thing would be an author and/or publisher wanting to use that Amazon posted review for a marketing campaign. But (at least with respect to the Midwest Book Review) all publishers (and through them the authors) are provided the review for free -- and accompanied by a publisher notification letter outlining all the various places that the review has been posted or published.

The Midwest Book Review gives those authors and/or publishers automatic and complete permission to utilize the review in any manner they deem useful in their efforts to publicize, promote, and market their book.

So what's the incentive to pay out cold cash for a review that they've already gotten for free?

Then there's the little matter of anybody being able to simply do a 'copy & paste' of a posted review from off the Amazon website and onto their own computer.

Still, Amazon has been trying to sell reviews for a few years now -- and not with any success that I've ever heard about.

I think maybe the fiscal logic behind their attempts is that kind of logic that underlies those Nigerian SPAMS -- send out a couple of million emails and perhaps a few scattered and naive people can be tricked into parting with some cash.

Bottom line -- The Midwest Book Review provides Amazon with our reviews because it increases the audience for them in behalf of our reviewers, the publishers, and the authors. We've never charged anyone (especially not Amazon) for doing this. It's part of fulfilling our mandate to promote literacy, library usage, and small press publishing.

And posting reviews on Amazon (along with our reviews appearing on such other online databases as Lexus-Nexus, Goliath, Book Review Index, etc.) helps to make us a very popular book review resource for the publishing community.

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review

I'm now 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:

Leland W. Cross
Henry Hoffman
Fran Smith -- "Friendly Feathers"
Debra Purdy Kong -- "Fatal Encryption"
Maureen Cain -- "Let Your Dough Ri$e"
Annette Haws -- "Waiting For The Light To Change"
Sam Moffie -- "The Organ Grinder And The Monkey"
Thomas A. Leenerts -- "There Is Only You Beholding You"
Roswitha McIntosh -- "The Mad Man And His Mistress - History in the Making"
Chery A. Bazzoui -- "Runaway Grandma"
Avail Press
Best Fairy Books
Enrichment Books
Dark Sky Publishing
Broad Reach Publishing
Clumsy Ducks Publishing
Safe Goods Publishing
Cable Publishing Inc.
RMJ Publications
Kunati Books
Glenda Selvage -- Axios Press
Liana C. Lovell -- Mystic Publishers
Lily G. Stephen -- Blooming Rose Press
Edward R. Wood -- "Summertime Books"
Bill Klemm -- Benecton Press
Leila Joiner -- Imago Press
Barbara Peters -- Poisoned Pen Press
Susan Alcorn -- Shepherd Canyon Books
Alyce Barry -- Practically Shameless Press
Kate Miller -- Terrific Science Press
Brian Stepanic -- Panic Press
Betty Hugh -- Clay Dog Books
Kathy Stevens -- Global Advance
Janet Terrill -- W.S. Beetle & Company
John Errett -- Free Enterprise Press Inc.
Maryglenn McCombs -- Oceanview Publishing
Wayne E. Stahre -- Habitation of Chimham Publishing
Mary Kay Lazarus -- MKL Public Relations
Elizabeth Waldman Frazier -- Waldmania!
Nigel J. Yorwerth -- Yorwerth Associates
Anonymous -- Studio City, California

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 or uncorrected proofs), 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
http://www.midwestbookreview.com

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Graphic Arts and Printing Career Resources

Graphic Arts and Printing Career Resources: "Graphic Arts and Printing Career Guide



VOCATIONAL
INFORMATION CENTER



Graphic Arts and Printing Career Descriptions

Explore careers in Graphic Arts with the following links to job descriptions, which include information such as daily activities, skill requirements, salary and training required. To learn more about Graphic Arts and the Graphic Arts Industry, follow the related links below the career descriptions section."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Print Buyers International 3rd Annual Print Buyers Conference

September 10 - 12, 2008
The Sheraton Boston Hotel
Boston, MA


Produced by Boston Print Buyers, a Division of Print Buyers International"

How to Convince Your Boss to Send You to the 3rd Annual Print Buyers Conference

You know you need the education and professional connections at our September Conference - but your boss doesn't understand.

So we've put together the Top 10 Reasons to Attend to help you state your case.

  1. You'll learn how to save money, time and resources on your print projects

  2. You'll hone your skills in print and cross-media campaigns

  3. You'll unlock the secrets of going green and improve the payback on your printing budget

  4. You'll learn when to use digital vs. when to use offset

  5. You'll network with hundreds of print buying professionals and benefit from their insights

  6. You'll learn what new printing technologies are around the corner - and what new media you need to master

  7. You'll meet printers, paper people, direct mail specialists and other service providers whose services might just match your needs

  8. You'll get great value for your dollar - no other print buyers conference offers so much knowledge for so little money

  9. You'll sneak away to Fenway Park and snag your boss some red-hot Red Sox memorabilia

  10. You'll return to work with a terrific handle on the best resources, information and technologies from the people who know print buying best

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Powerful global conversations, Relevant knowledge is exchanged with blinding speed, For businesses on the Inernet

Markets are Conversations" on the Inernet, MainZone Cafe, Dave Mainwaring's business networks:

"The emergence of email groups, webboards, on-line people to people networks and Web 2 models has now enabled powerful global conversations. Relevant knowledge is exchanged with blinding speed. For businesses 'Markets are Conversations' on the Inernet.


Now anyone connected to the internet has access to and can participate in a virtual marketplace and once again achieve such a level of communication between people. Anyone can bypass formal hierarchies. This can totally rattle organizations and businesses. They often fear their loss of holding 'command and control' of knowledge management."

Ink Companies Price Hike

Boston Herald to cut up to 160 jobs, outsource printing: "Ink companies announce price hike

Flint Group North America Publication Inks Division announced a crude oil surcharge of $.10 per pound, effective July 1. The increase is in response to rapidly increasing raw material, energy and freight costs, and will affect all heatset, coldest and newspaper inks sold in North America, Flint said.

Meantime, Central Ink Corp. said it will hike its prices July 1, also citing raw materials costs. The increase includes an extra $0.12 per pound on all non-heat black inks, an 8 percent increase on all non-heat colors and a 6 percent increase on all heatset inks."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Margie Dana's Print Buyers Conference 08

Margie Dana's Print Buyers Conference 08: "Margie Dana’s Print Buyers International (PBI). PBI is an international organization focusing on the needs of print buyers, while creating a forum that unites buyers with printers and suppliers throughout the graphic arts industry.

PBI is our umbrella organization that includes Boston Print Buyers (BPB), our member-based professional association that caters to those who purchase or oversee the purchase of print and other media. PBI is not a replacement for Boston Print Buyers.

BPB continues to be an active, member-driven division of PBI. Boston Print Buyers will continue to hold regular dinner programs in the Boston area."

Print Buyers International more accurately reflects our association's market and global reach.

Why "Print Buyers International"?

There are three reasons:

  1. Our weekly enewsletter, Margie's Print Tips, is currently read by industry professionals worldwide, throughout 26 countries. We have been marketing globally since the Tips began back in 1999.

  2. Print buyers the world over share many of the same issues, including a universal need for more education about the industry. PBI provides this education through numerous channels.

  3. Printing is global - and print buying is, too. As they evaluate printing resources worldwide, print buyers need and deserve information to help in their decision-making process. PBI strives to provide this information to help buyers everywhere.

PBI's Mission Statement

In recognition of the fact that print buyers around the world share the same issues, face the same challenges, and seek the same information about the printing industry, Margie Dana's Print Buyers International (PBI) strives to serve this group of professionals.

We will serve them through programs, conferences, and a variety of online communications tools, to bring them relevant news and information that will enhance their working relationships with providers of printing and the related graphic arts.

In doing so, we hope to open doors between print customers and service providers in the industry, in ways that build bridges and strengthen business relationships the world over.

--

Get a Clear Edge on Print Buying Success
3rd Annual Print Buyers Conference

September 10-12, 2008
Sheraton Boston Hotel

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Gene Weingarten - Corrections: Yamp Sox - washingtonpost.comnks Thu

Gene Weingarten - Corrections: Yanks Thump Sox - washingtonpost.com:

By Gene Weingarten
Sunday, June 22, 2008; Page W32

"If you are like I, you are pretty sick of reading articles about how the financially-troubled newspaper industry is making desperation budget cutting moves: Downsizing its products, laying off staff, buying prostitutes for advertisers, and so forth. But believe me, you'd be even sicker of it if you were INSIDE a typical American newsroom these days, where it's sometimes hard to hear over the 200 decibel background drone of human whining.

"How good a copy editor would you be?
See how many of the 57 errors of fact, grammar, syntax and style in this column you can catch, and then read the corrections below."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Editorial Observer - In a Changing World of News, an Elegy for Copy Editors - Editorial - NYTimes.com

Editorial Observer - In a Changing World of News, an Elegy for Copy Editors - Editorial - NYTimes.com: "Ouch. Copy editors are my favorite people in the news business, and many I know are still alive and doing what they do. As it happened, I couldn’t find anything about them on the fifth or any other floor. A call later confirmed that the museum has essentially nothing about how newspapers are made today, and thus nothing about the lowly yet exalted copy editor.

I was one for a long time, and I know that obscurity and unpopularity are part of the job. Copy editors work late hours and can get testy. They never sign their work."

Friday, May 09, 2008

Printable | Self Guided Tutorials



FREE library of FusionPro Desktop training videos!

Basic Functionality l Advanced Functionality l Impositioning l JavaScript Rules l

Here you'll be able to find an abundance of on-demand, detailed, and narrated videos to help you use the full power of FusionPro Desktop. Please be sure to contact us if there are additional topics where a video tutorial is desired. Enjoy!

Basic Functionality

This set of videos covers the typical day-to-day use and functionality of FusionPro Desktop. Topics include working with data files, wizards, and colors, these short tutorials will get you up and running in a matter of a couple of hours."

Advanced Functionality

Moving beyond the basics, this group of videos helps the viewer learn to use the extra features and power of FusionPro Desktop. After spending an hour or so watching these tutorials, the user should start to become more comfortable with creating complex templates and rules.

Impositioning Functionality

The final step for most printers is also one of the powerful features of FusionPro Desktop - the ability to impose the output, regardless of format, during composition. The RIP's resource time is expensive and these videos show how easy it is to use FusionPro Imposer to deliver imposed output to your RIP, resulting in shorter 'first page out' times.

JavaScript Rules

Don't let the name fool you! These videos are designed for everyone from the brand new user who knows very little about business rules to the experienced programmer who simply needs information on the FusionPro-specific functions and objects.

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Midwest Book Review, Internet and Web resource for publishers, writers, librarians, booksellers, and book lovers of all ages and interests.

The Midwest Book Review

Established in 1976, the Midwest Book Review publishes several monthly publications for community and academic library systems in California, Wisconsin, and the upper Midwest:

We post all our reviews on the Internet with a number of thematically appropriate areas of the Internet such as alt.books.reviews and Pub-Forum. Our reviews are also available through Internet bookstores such as Amazon.com.

The Gale Research Company of Farmington Hills, Mich., has contracted with the Midwest Book Review to provide electronic copies of all of book reviews we publish in our library newsletters, on the Internet, and develop for our weekly television programs. In addition to making our reviews available to library systems nationwide in their print, magnetic tape, and diskette series, the Gale Research Company uses these reviews in their Book Review Index interactive CD-ROM series, designed for use by community, university, and corporate libraries nationwide in the U.S. and Canada.

We also produce a short wave radio book review commentary, the KNLS Bookwatch, that goes out every month to Europe, North America, South America, and the Pacific Rim. It's a lot of fun -- I read my book review commentary into the phone here in Oregon, Wis. My director records it on his studio equipment in Nashville, Tenn., and then pipes it to the KNLS broadcast studio in Anchor City, Alaska. From there it is beamed up to a satellite for worldwide distribution.

We also serve as an Acquisitions Consultant for Dane County Library Services, which is responsible for 52 southern Wisconsin community library systems.

The Midwest Book Review is an organization of volunteers committed to promoting literacy, library usage, and small press publishing. We accept no financial donations from authors or publishers for our services.

Publisher Information

The Midwest Book Review gives priority consideration to small press publishers, self-published authors, academic presses. Please follow the instructions for submitting books.

Reviewer Information

Ever wanted to be a reviewer? Learn how you can become a reviewer for the Midwest Book Review!

An Unabashed Invitation!

We intend to become a major Internet and Web resource for publishers, writers, librarians, booksellers, and book lovers of all ages and interests. If you have a Web site that you think would interest book lovers, librarians, publishers, and booksellers, we would be very interested in hotlinking your site to the steadily expanding Midwest Book Review resource hotlinks. E-mail your URL to the Midwest Book Review so that your site can be examined.

Good luck and good reading!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Jim Cox Report: March 2008

Date: Mon, 03 Mar 2008 10:40:37 -0600
From: James Cox

Jim wrote:

I've added two new and informative articles to the "Advice for Writers & Publishers" section of the Midwest Book Review website at http://www.midwestbookreview.com. One is called 'Blogs As A Book Marketing Tool' and the other is 'Publishers Judge Books By Their Covers'.

I've written a foreword to a new 'how to' book on the craft of book reviewing. It's to be called "The Slippery Art Of Book Reviewing", favorable cites either myself or the Midwest Book Review four times, and is due out about May from Twilight Times Books. I'll write more extensively about it when its published and available to folks who aspire to do what I do for a living.

I've also completed a rather extensive Q&A on book reviewing in general, and the Midwest Book Review in particular, for Behler Publications to use in one of their upcoming 'how to' titles for writers and authors that is tentatively titled "The Writer's Toolbox" and will be out later in the summer or early fall.

I'm also scheduled as an interview guest on a couple of up-coming Internet podcasts.

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Writing As A Small Business
Nash Black
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781432716257, $19.95 www.outskirtspress.com 1-888-672-6657

Earning a living as a professional writer is a business. Writing freelance is the equivalent of being a self-employed small business owner and operator. As such, meticulous attention must be made to how that business is structured, operated, and kept track of. Failure to keep aware of the proverbial 'bottom line' can lead to financial and professional disaster. Enter Nash Black's 196-page instructional guide and reference "Writing As A Small Business" covers what every aspiring (and practicing) professional author needs to know about the financial side of their work including whether or not to incorporate or operate as a sole proprietorship, the keeping and storage of financial records, filling out state and federal tax forms, avoiding audits, handling advances with respect to royalties, grants and gratuities; safeguarding the computer from hackers and online viruses, and generally protecting the financial rights and aspects of a written work -- before and after publication. Enhanced with bibliographies of thematically appropriate informational resources on the subject of the economics of professional writing, a glossary of terms, and an index, "Writing As A Small Business" is a critically important, thoroughly 'user friendly', instructional guide that should be on the personal reference shelf of every aspiring writer seeking to financially support themselves and their loved ones through their writing regardless of the genre, category, or discipline they are writing in and for.

Good Writing for Journalists
Angela Phillips
Sage Publications
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218
9781412919173, $39.95 www.sagepub.com 1-800-818-7243

Written by journalist and college teacher Angela Phillips, Good Writing for Journalists is a no-nonsense guide to improving the quality of one's nonfiction writing. Chapters cover genres ranging from profile writing and interviews to direct reporting, news analysis, investigation, sports writing, personal and opinion columns, "lifestyle" writing, and more. A large portion of Good Writing for Journalists is devoted to sample journalistic pieces that exemplify positive and memorable qualities, all the better to see Phillips' teachings in use. Enthusiastically recommended especially for journalism students and majors.

ACTS Of Teaching
Joyce Armstrong Carroll & Edward E. Wilson
Teacher Ideas Press
PO Box 6926, Portsmouth, NH 03802-6926
9781591585176, $45.00 www.teacherideaspress.com 1-800-225-5800

The art of writing is a learned skill honed through practice. Now in an extensively updated and significantly expanded second edition, "ACTS Of Teaching: How To Teach Writing" by academicians Joyce Armstrong Carroll and Edward E. Wilson (both of whom are Co-Directors of Abydos Learning International) is a 501-page compendium of instruction on all aspects of the art and craft of teaching aspiring authors how to write effectively regardless of the genre or discipline they are writing in or for. After an informed and informative introduction, "ACTS Of Teaching: How To Teach Writing" is dived into two primary sections dealing with 'Process' and 'The Theory and Pedagogy'. An overview of writing as a process beings with 'Prewriting: More Than the Beginning', continues on with 'Writing and Organizing', 'Writing as a Social Act', 'Grammar and Correcting', 'Grammar through Revision', Grammar through Reformulation', 'Postwriting and Publishing', and 'Assessment'. "ACTS Of Teaching: How To Teach Writing" continues with a major and detailed chapter on the way the brain works in the writing process, before going on to address such issues as 'Learning How to Learn', 'Early Literacy', 'Research', and 'Writing as a Mode of Learning. Enhanced with an extensive and extended bibliography, "ACTS Of Teaching: How To Teach Writing" also features nine highly relevant appendices (note especially the first one offering a List of Genres), and a comprehensive index. "ACTS Of Teaching: How To Teach Writing" is note only very highly recommended as an educational curriculum guide and supplement for the teaching of writing in a college or university level course, it is also invaluable reading for any aspiring writer seeking to become as effective as they can be within the demands of any scientific discipline, literary genre, or commercial enterprise they might find themselves working in.

Off the Page
Carole Burns, editor
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393339885, $14.95 www.wwnorton.com

Off the Page: Writers Talk About Beginnings, Ending, and Everything in Between is an anthology of interviews with a diversity of authors describing the creation process of a literary work. Joyce Carol Oates begins and ends her writing process creating and reworking the beginning of a book; A.S. Byatt assembles a novel from "blocks of color"; and E.L. Doctorow crafts a story from a specific and compelling image that often springs to mind without context. From the intersection of sex, love, and literature (Martin Amis insists that good sex is impossible to write about!) to the reader's part in the creative process (or at least, the effect that readers' imagined reaction has on the mind of the author), Off the Page runs the gamut of influences and effects upon the evolution of a book. Originally typed directly on interviewer Carole Burns' computer as she listened to the interviewees and posted in real-time on the Web, Off the Page is undeniably authentic in his honest portrayal of the authors' mission to write literature worth reading.

Now for some Q&A from the Midwest Book Review email box:

In a message dated 11/19/2007 2:59:37 P.M. Central Standard Time, admin@readerviews.com writes:

Jim, I'm curious. :-) I note the reviews you post on amazon don't acknowledge the actual reviewer. Is there a reason why not?

You also mention in the guidelines you always give 5 stars. Curious on that one too. I notice some of the reviews we've done, as well as you have, our reviewers give low stars - even as low as 1 or 3. This is usually due to poor editing, grammar issues, no character development, etc. Basically, those books that are self-published and the author just didn't do any more with it than run it through the spell-check.

I'm still in the learning mode on all this.

Irene Watson

Dear Irene:

The reviews we generate 'in-house' with our staff members are only given the citation of Midwest Book Review on Amazon. The tear sheets we furnish the publishers (along with their notification letters) will have a more detailed citation as to which of our nine publications the review appears in.

The freelance and volunteer reviewers (like yourself and those you represent) are responsible for posting their own reviews to Amazon. Including their own judgement as to how many stars to award. This is because some of them don't wish to post on Amazon, while others are quite happy to.

With respect to the 5 Star notation for our in-house reviews for Amazon, it is because any book deemed defective is rejected for review in our initial screening process. Then any book deemed by the reviewer to be too flawed to be recommended to its intended readership is also rejected for inclusion into our publications.

I've always felt that a 5 Star point system is so subjective as to be meaningless. One person's 3 is another person's four, and a third person's 5. If I had my way, there would be no such point system, but the reader would discover in the course of reading the review whether or not the reviewer was recommending the book as worth the prospective reader's time.

However, Amazon requires a rating be assigned to any review posted with them. Therefore any book that makes it through our initial screening process when it is competing with more than 2,000 titles a month being submitted for review consideration by making the final cut and receive a review assignment, and the staff reviewer feels is recommendable to the intended readership for that particular book, is automatically awarded a 5 Star rating when posted on Amazon.

Each review will always have a line or two specifically recommending it to what he or she has deemed to be its intended or desired readership. That's the 'failsafe' against "5-Starring" flawed or substandard books in the Midwest Book Review process.

Because we are content providers for Amazon (as well as several other online book review databases) we are obliged to post all of the in-house generated reviews that make it into the pages of The Bookwatch; The California Bookwatch; The Children's Bookwatch; The Internet Bookwatch; The Library Bookwatch; The Small Press Bookwatch; and The Wisconsin Bookwatch.

The MBR Bookwatch and Reviewer's Bookwatch are the two publications set aside for the volunteers and freelancers. It's up to the individual reviewers (who own all rights to their reviews and for whom we merely serve as a forum) to decide if they will post their reviews on Amazon, and if so, what rating to assign them.

For a select number of our volunteer reviewers (including those that you represent) who want us to (because it will expands the readership for their reviews) we also make their reviews available along with our own in-house reviewers available to such databases as Lexus-Nexus, Book Review Index, Goliath, and others aimed at academic, corporate, governmental, and public libraries and librarians.

Your questions are good ones and come up once or twice every year from either new publishers or visitors to the Amazon website. Therefore I'll be including this little Q&A in one of my "Jim Cox Report" columns for the small press community.

I recently went up on the Amazon website and found that there are currently more than 34,000 reviews from the Midwest Book Review posted there. That's a rather impressive number when you think that it does not reflect our individual reviewers such as Harriet Klausner who post their reviews on Amazon independently of us, or those Midwest Book Review reviews that were deleted from Amazon when the books went out of print and were otherwise dropped from Amazon.

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review

In a follow-up inquiry, Irene asked a further question about Midwest Book Review operations:

In a message dated 11/20/2007 10:04:52 A.M. Central Standard Time, admin@readerviews.com writes:

Thanks Jim for being so patient with my questions. Now the "big" one....lol. Being you give free reviews, where does the money come from to pay your editorial staff? I want to know the secret!

Irene

Dear Irene:

Here is the closely guarded secret to becoming a financially successful book reviewer.

Marry rich!

Otherwise you'll have to depend on getting foundation grants based on a mission statement mandating the purpose of promoting literacy, library usage, and small press publishing -- and in the case of the Midwest Book Review -- then getting those grants renewed every year for the past 31 years.

Plus the selling of review books to libraries and bookstores, as well as giving them away to charities.

Owning the building which houses the Midwest Book Review and having staff members who work for minimum wage plus their room & board is also a big help (that's me as editor-in-chief, my daughter Bethany as managing editor and webmaster, my wife Nancy and a young man named Jason as assistant editors). While everyone else on the editorial staff volunteers their time and labor for the sheer love of literature.

Especially those among them who never aspired to writing the great American novel, but modestly enjoy the power of life and death over those who do!

By the way, I've covered this subject of how the Midwest Book Review is funded on a more serious note from time to time in my monthly "Jim Cox Report". They are all archived on the Midwest Book Review website, and subscription to the "Jim Cox Report" is available for free via email upon request. If you don't get them already, you might want to sign up for them because I talk about the inner workings of the Midwest Book Review now and then.

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review

I'd also like to note that Irene Watson now utilizes two of our monthly book review publications for the columns of reviews and reviewers that she edits:

Her 'Reader Views' column is part of our "MBR Bookwatch" and started a couple of months ago.

And debuting in our March 2008 issue of "Reviewer's Bookwatch" will be found her review column 'RebeccasReads'.

Here's another inquiry that comes in every so often.

In a message dated 12/3/2007 4:08:09 P.M. Central Standard Time, RDAVIDH218 writes:

I'm in need of a book distributor, and someone to market the book; the publisher doesn't provide this service

-- David Hughes

Dear David:

Go to the Midwest Book Review website at http://www.midwestbookreview.com

Click on Publisher Resources

You will find a subsection dedicated to distributors and wholesalers. You'll also find a list of freelance book publicists and marketeers. One of them might be appropriate for you.

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review

The Midwest Book Review is designed to be of specific and practical use to writers, publishers, booksellers, librarians, and the general reading public. If you've got a question or a need concerning writing, publishing, or book marketing, then you'll most likely be able to find the answer and/or a resource to help you out. If not, I'm as near as your computer keyboard -- email me any time and I'll do my best to help.


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!

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI, 53575
http://www.midwestbookreview.com

Thursday, February 14, 2008

PUBLISHING: Survival of an industry of expression

PUBLISHING: Survival of an industry of expression: "VILNIUS - It was a bad omen. The first material to be printed in a Baltic language was a Lutheran manuscript that appeared in Estonian in 1525. But due to the seething religious hostilities of the day, it never reached the readers and was destroyed immediately after publication.
Ever since this time, published materials in the Baltic region have been abused and censored over the centuries, becoming a front line in the eternal war for the hearts and minds of the masses.
The first printed texts in Latvian also appeared around 1525, then in Lithuanian a little later, but the efforts were scrappy and it was another 10 years before a complete book emerged - the Wanradt-Koell catechism from the year 1535, published in Estonian."


Active registered publishers

Lithuania: 500
Latvia: 400
Estonia: 351

books from major publishing houses—are full of typos and editing gaffes?

Dick Margulis writes on
words / myth / ampers & virgule:

"Have you noticed lately that the books you buy—I mean books from major publishing houses—are full of typos and editing gaffes? I see this complaint often. I make this complaint myself from time to time."

-- snipped --

Mostly, there isn’t much you and I can do about this, other than producing books outside the mainstream publishing industry and building up an appreciation for high-quality books.

There is one category where individuals can make a difference, though. If you teach a course—especially at the college level—and you are unhappy with the quality of the course textbook, say something.

Complaining to a publisher that their wurstmakers fell down on the job isn’t going to change the publisher’s process or business model; it will just lead to hiring different wurstmakers. But suggesting to the buyer that you switch to a different brand of sausage will catch the publisher’s attention. I guarantee it. Write a letter to whoever was responsible for choosing that textbook. Explain the problem with the quality, and suggest that a competing book from a different publisher be selected for the following year’s students. Send a copy of the letter to the president of the publishing company. Hit where it hurts—in the wallet.

--

About Dick Margulis:



Once you’ve finished the champagne, it’s time to switch hats and convert your opus into a product. Don’t know where to start? Freelance editor and typographer Dick Margulis can help.

Dick’s first editing job was chief copy editor for his junior high school newspaper–unpaid, of course–46 years ago. But his interest in typography predates that by a couple of years. He got serious about it in seventh grade.

In the intervening decades, Dick has been a butcher, a baker, and a candlestick maker–yes, all three–and, along the way, has had paying gigs as an advertising copywriter, a magazine columnist, a book editor, a technical writer, a marketing writer, an herbarist [sic], a Web designer, a compositor, a lithographer, and a few other things he’s already forgotten. But through it all, he has remained true to his passion of clear communication through careful editing and appropriate typographic design.

It’s All Online

"It’s All Online
from The Writing Center by Midge Raymond

When it comes to selling books these days, it’s all about the Internet. Forbes’ Best of the Web features a few literary blogs that have gotten the attention of readers and have had “an impact on the way books are talked about and sold like never before.” Probably among the best features of such sites (like the popular Bookslut) are their informal styles and the fact that they discuss books not reviewed in the New York Times (yes, these books do exist, and are worth reading)."


--

For Internet-addicted writers…
from The Writing Center by Midge Raymond

This Emerging Writers Network blog is, refreshingly, geared specifically toward writers new to the marketplace. The site’s host, Dan Wickett, is out there for the Everywriter, claiming no qualifications other than “a long history of reading literary fiction, in large volumes, and the dedication to passing along my views on such, at as rapid a pace as I can, until the writers of such fiction get more recognition.” It’s well worth a visit, with links to author web sites, literary blogs, and literary magazines — plus news and contests.

Another fun site is 52stories, a site that features a new photo every week to serve as a writing prompt…a great way to overcome writer’s block as well as see your work online — 52stories will publish the stories received by its Friday evening deadline.

And, saving the best for last, San Diego Writers Online is now live! Stop by and join — this new forum will connect writers looking for read-and-critique groups, book clubs, reading and writing events around town, and lively online discussions.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Staples Ends Ties With Asia Pulp & Paper

Green-Minded Staples Ends Ties With Asia Pulp & Paper: "Green-Minded Staples Ends Ties With Asia Pulp & Paper
Source: Copyright 2008, Wall Street Journal
Date: February 7, 2008
Byline: Tom Wright

"Office-supplies giant Staples Inc. has severed all contracts with Singapore-based Asia Pulp & Paper Co. Ltd., one of the world's largest paper companies, in a move that shows concerns over forest destruction and global warming are having an impact on big U.S. paper buyers.

Until recently Staples sourced about 9% of its total paper supply from APP and used the paper for its own Staples-branded stock, mainly photocopy and office paper. Staples had stuck with the company even as other large paper sellers in the U.S., Europe and Asia, including Office Depot Inc., stopped buying from APP in recent years because of alleged environmental misdeeds. Staples had hoped that continuing to buy from the company would prompt APP to improve its environmental record."

Monday, February 04, 2008

Jim Cox Report: February 2008

From: James Cox, Midwest Book Review
--

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

The mission statement for the Midwest Book Review is quite simple. Promote literacy, library usage, and small press publishing. I review 'how to' books for librarians in a regular monthly book review column called "The Library Science Shelf". This often includes books from the publishing arm of the American Library Association. I've recently received some information from freelance publicist Emily Howe on behalf of the ALA that should be noted not only by librarians, but by authors and publishers who in my opinion should regard libraries as an important part of their market. Here it is:

From: Emily Howe
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2008 10:19 AM
To: 'mbr@execpc.com'
Subject: Hey, Jim: Library Information! :)

Hey, Jim (the multi-media library jackpot!),

It was great hearing a little about what you do. Here's the information about the FINRA grants to American libraries to provide unbiased investing information and money management resources to the American public. As you know, savings rates are down and credit card debt is up in many American families. There is a critical need for financial education ­ for the American public.

People might not immediately think of their local library as the first place to go to receive this financial education, but The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation and the American Library Association (ALA) recently announced 13 grants, totaling more than $853,000, to public libraries and library networks across the country, giving millions of library patrons and their families, greater access to unbiased investing information and resources.

If you have any questions, you can reach me at 212-245-0510 or at ehowe@pro-mediacommunications.com.

Sincerely,

Emily Howe (On Behalf of the ALA)

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Smart Investing @ your library® to Provide Local Communities with Unbiased Investing Information and Resources

FINRA Investor Education Foundation and the American Library Association Announce $853,000 in Grants to Libraries Nationwide

Washington, DC— The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation and the American Library Association (ALA) today announced 13 grants, totaling more than $853,000, to public libraries and library networks across the country, giving millions of library patrons and their families, greater access to unbiased investing information and resources.

The grants are awarded as part of a new program, Smart Investing @ your library®, which is administered jointly by the Reference and User Services Association, a division of ALA, and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

"Libraries are an ideal conduit for individuals looking for unbiased information on investing," said FINRA Foundation Chairman Mary Schapiro, who also serves as FINRA's CEO. "It is our hope that library patrons from small towns to large cities have access to the resources they need to help them make important financial decisions."

Grants last from one to two years, although the projects are designed to be sustained following the conclusion of grant funding. ALA will provide ongoing assistance to the projects throughout the grant period, with a particular emphasis on helping libraries evaluate their progress and engage target audiences through effective marketing and outreach strategies.

"The ALA believes that libraries are places for self-help and lifelong learning," said ALA President Loriene Roy. "Investor education has an impact on people of all ages and economic circumstances, and the grants will assist libraries with the resources needed to provide unbiased investor education resources and programming in their communities."

Smart Investing @ your library® addresses the growing need for reliable investor education at the grassroots level. Increasingly, individuals are responsible for their own retirement planning and for navigating complex financial decisions virtually every day. Even knowing where to turn for quality information can be a challenge. Participating libraries will use available technology, along with more conventional approaches, to reach patrons at library facilities, at home via the Web, at the workplace, and at myriad community locations. Investor education opportunities and materials will be available to patrons at no cost.

The grantees cover urban, suburban and rural communities in equal measure. They will use grant funds to establish online and in-person programs, partner with community organizations, augment library collections, train staff and engage in promotional efforts so that diverse audiences have access to effective financial education resources. The grant recipients are:

• Alliance Library System, East Peoria, IL, $100,000; to offer onsite and Web-based workshops to provide investor information, establish a Smart Investing presence in the virtual world, and to operate a Smart Investing outreach van that will travel to community events and libraries throughout the Alliance's 14,000 square-mile service area in central Illinois.

• Ames Public Library, Ames, IA, $77,672, to partner with Iowa State University Extension to tailor online and on-site investor education classes for (Generation X, Boomers and the Silent Generation) and to train public service librarians on the use of investing information tools and databases.

• Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee, WI, $73,370; to improve personal finance collections available at all library branches and online through the library's Web site, to provide advanced training to library staff in the use of print and electronic investment resources and to establish Smart Investing partnerships with organizations serving women, minorities and senior citizens.

• Naperville Public Library, Naperville, IL, $77,848; to create online video tutorials on the use of financial databases, improve the accessibility of investing research tools on the library's Web site, train adult services librarians in investment research strategies and provide high school and college students with money management skills in preparation for financial independence.

• Natrona County Public Library, Casper, WY, $17,600; to provide a five-part investor education series for young adults, host inter-generational community forums on retirement preparedness and augment the library's collections on personal finance and investing.

• Newton Free Library, Newton, MA, $46,100; to sponsor a sustainable, inter-generational retirement planning club for women in partnership with community organizations and to train reference librarians on financial literacy in partnership with the Boston College Center for Retirement Research.

• Orange County Library District, Orlando, FL, $96,360; to organize an eight-part bilingual series on basic investing themes for Hispanic families, to provide investor education video-on-demand for library patrons and staff and to create a bilingual "eGuide" on personal finance for users of the library's Web site.

• Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento, CA, $60,000; to organize an extensive lunchtime lecture series that provide information to investors and moderated book groups (with concurrent youth activities) for professional women ages 20 to 64.

• Schaumburg Township District Library, Schaumburg, IL, $31,000; to produce and market an investor education portal for the library, inclusive of videos introducing teen and adult patrons to investing-related library collections and reference services; and to create a traveling multimedia exhibit (and share it with other Illinois libraries) that will provide a high-impact visual lesson about investing.

• Southeastern Libraries Cooperating, Rochester, MN, $99,830; to partner with public television station KSMQ to broadcast 13, half-hour segments entitled Financial Connections in rural and small-town communities, with corresponding library-based programming and Web-based events and resources.

• Timberland Regional Library, Tumwater, WA, $99,044; to produce, market and distribute a multimedia series of Ten Minute Topics about investing in partnership with community television and the Service Corps of Retired Executives; to train information services librarians from 27 branch facilities throughout a 7,000 square-mile rural region; and to upgrade the investing collections available online and at each branch library.

• Winfield Public Library, Winfield, KS, $16,600; to employ a women-helping-women approach of providing educational and supportive services in a format that will encourage better saving and investing practices; to partner with the Chamber of Commerce in reaching out to women small business owners and respond to their learning needs; and to create a series of reference finding aids on investing topics, allowing library patrons to access quality resources efficiently.

• Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, Youngstown, OH, $57,950; to partner with community agencies in undertaking a coordinated financial literacy initiative for the county's low- and moderate-income families, with a focus on Earned Income Tax Credit preparation assistance and helping parents save and invest for their children's education.

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation supports innovative research and educational projects that give underserved Americans the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for financial success throughout life. To date, the FINRA Foundation has approved $14.7 million in grants and an additional $10.2 million in direct investor education programming. For details about grant programs and other FINRA Foundation initiatives, visit www.finrafoundation.org.

FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. Created in 2007 through the consolidation of NASD and NYSE Member Regulation, FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services. FINRA touches virtually every aspect of the securities business — from registering and educating all industry participants to examining securities firms; writing and enforcing rules and the federal securities laws; informing and educating the investing public; providing trade reporting and other industry utilities, and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and registered firms. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.FINRA.org.

Established in 1876, the American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world. Its mission is "to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all." For more information, visit www.ala.org.

Emily Howe
Senior Account Supervisor
ehowe@pro-mediacommunications.com
Pro-Media Communications
244 5th Avenue, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10001
(212) 245-0510; (212) 245-1889 Fax; www.pro-mediacommunications.com

Now on to reviews of some new 'how to' titles for authors and publishers.

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

The Art Of The Poetic Line
James Longenbach
Publicity Department
Graywolf Press
2402 University Avenue, Suite 203, Saint Paul, MN 55114
9781555974886, $12.00 www.graywolfpress.org 1-651-641-0077

Poet and literary critic James Longenbach presents The Art Of The Poetic Line, a discussion of the function of the line in metered, rhymed, syllabic, and free-verse poetry. Drawing upon classic examples ranging from Shakespeare and Milton to Ashbery and Gluck, The Art of the Poetic Line demystifies ambiguous elements in creating poetry to evoke mood and experience. "Poems are poems because we want to listen to them. Some poems have a prominent argument; some poems don't. But all poems live or die on their capacity to lure us from their beginning to their ends by a pattern of sounds. This is why a poem we don't understand may seem wonderfully satisfying, and this is why a poem we understand all too well may also seem wonderfully satisfying. A poem may harness the power of meter, rhyme, syntax, and line to establish and disrupt a pattern of sounds, and a poem may with equal integrity reject the power of meter, rhyme, syntax, and line. But the poet needs to understand what she is rejecting as well as what she is harnessing." Highly recommended for poetry connoisseurs, and an absolute must-read for poets and would-be poets of all walks of life.

How To Publish Your Poetry
Helene Ciaravino
SquareOne Publishers
115 Herricks Road, Garden City Park, NY, 11040
0757000010, $15.95 www.squareonepublishers.com

Poetry is an especially difficult field in which to be published. An ideal instruction manual for aspiring poets seeking to have their poetry published, "How To Publish Your Poetry: A Complete Guide To Finding The Right Publishers For Your Work" by book editor, freelance writer, and published poet Helene Ciaravino has compiled a step-by-step 'how to' instruction manual that will materially assist the complete novice to publishing to have their poetry put into print and made available to as large a readership as possible. Writers of poetry seeking publication will be able to maximize their chances for becoming published; will learn how to create an effective submission package; avoid common mistakes in their attempt to become published; learn how to craft a cover letter for their manuscript that will attract the attention of acquisition editors; utilize a simple but practical seven-step system for becoming published; minimize the time, effort, and financial costs of becoming published; take advantage of available resources for the aspiring poet; learn about a diversity of outlets for poetry; and benefit from honing their skills at the craft of writing poetry. Of special note is what Helene Ciarvaino has to say about self-publishing with respect to poetry. Especially recommended for academic and community library Writing & Publishing reference collections, anyone contemplating becoming a published poet should give "How To Publish Your Poetry" a very careful reading. It is a veritable gold mine of practical, useful, time-tested information, ideas, and instructions.

Bylines: 2008 Writer's Desk Calendar
Sylvia Forbes
Sylvia Snowflake Press
PO box 522, Fayette, MO 65248
9781933509044, $13.95 www.bylinescalendar.com

I first became aware of Sylvia Forbes desk calendars for writers last year when I reviewed the 2007 edition of "Bylines". Now aspiring and practicing writers and authors have available to them the new "Bylines: 2008 Writer's Desk Calendar" as an indispensable and invaluable work-a-day reference that will provide useful daily structure for achieving their writing goals and ambitions. Enhanced with the inclusion of literary holidays to celebrate, goal planning suggestions, monthly task lists, pages for conference notes, listings of author birthdays, and extra pages for note taking such as marketing tips and email addresses, this new 2008 edition has been expanded to include a reproducible submission tracker form specifically designed for novice authors and professional freelancers seeking to keep track of manuscript and book proposal submissions to publishers; pages for phone numbers and for tracking writing expenses, plus fifty-three new inspirational and thoughtful essays by successful writers. Simply stated, the "Bylines: 2008 Writer's Desk Calendar" is enthusiastically recommended as the single most practical, utilitarian, and motivational resource any aspiring or practicing writer could have.

Webster's Business Writing Basics
Editors of Merriam-Webster
Federal Street Press
25-13 Old Kings Highway North, #277, Darien, CT 06820
1892859270, $9.98 www.federalstreetpress.com 1-877-886-2830

Webster's Business Writing Basics is a no-nonsense, easy-to-use handbook, self-improvement guide, quick reference, and all-around practical resource for business writers of all venues. From fifty different sample professional letters, to a straightforward handbook of grammar, style, and punctuation guidelines, tips on how to effectively use email in business, "netiquette" fundamentals, and much more, Webster's Business Writing Basics is enthusiastically recommended for anyone in or aspiring to join today's modern workforce. An especially invaluable reference for businesspeople who just graduated from college (the scholarly tone of most college writings differs from the brevity necessary to business writing), and businesspeople who may have learned English as a second language.

The Writer's Journey
Christopher Vogler
Michael Wiese Productions
3940 Laurel Canyon Boulevard, #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781932907360, $26.95 www.mwp.com 1-800-833-5738

Originally published in October 1998, "The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers by Christopher Vogler is now available in an updated and expanded third edition and continues to justifiably lay claim to being one of the most relied upon and influential instructional reference works for aspiring writers -- especially screenwriters. Drawing from the late Joseph Campbell's groundbreaking work, Vogler explores the historic and fundamental relationship between modern storytelling and classical mythology, and in the process reveals a set of useful myth-inspired storytelling paradigms, as well as step-by-step guidelines to plot and character development. This newest edition of a writer's reference classic includes a revised chapter that looks back on the 'Star Wars' phenomenon and an analysis of all six of the feature films as an epic on the theme of father-son relationships. There are new illustrations and diagrams providing additional perspectives to mythic principles. Of special note is the final chapter 'Trust the Path', an inspiring call to adventure for those aspiring writers seeking to discover themselves through their writing. A basic component of any personal, professional, academic, or community library basic writing reference collection, "The Writer's Journey" will now be of benefit to a whole new generation of movie executives, screenwriters, playwrights, literary critics, academic scholars, writers of fiction and non-fiction, students of pop culture, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the adaptation of ancient myth to contemporary storytelling.

The Complete Guide To Writing Science Fiction
Dave A. Law & Darin Park, editors
Dragon Moon Press
c/o Hades Publications Inc.
PO Box 1714, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2P 2L7
9781896944395, $24.95 www.dragonmoonpress.com

A comprehensive, deftly edited, 311-page 'how to' instruction guide for writing in the science fiction genre and any of its many subgenres, "The Complete Guide To Writing Science Fiction: Volume One" is a collection of superbly presented essays and articles by knowledgeable and successful writers ranging from Piers Anthony, to Orson Scott Card, to Tina Morgan. Beginning with Darin Park's 'Timeline: A History of Science Fiction', there are specific chapters dealing with the science and technology in science fiction, world building, the creating of aliens, the use of humor and drama, writing graphic novels in the genre, and even what to do with your science fiction short story or novel once it is written. Whether an aspiring writer yearning to break into science fiction, or even an experienced author with some publication credits in the genre, "The Complete Guide To Writing Science Fiction" will prove to be invaluable reading and instructive reference.

Beyond The Internet
Barbara A. Chernow
Bernan Press
4611-F Assembly Drive, Lanham, MD 20706-4391
9781598881738, $19.95 www.bernanpress.com 1-800-865-3457

"Beyond The Internet: Successful Research Strategies" by Barbara A. Chernow (a career encyclopedist, researcher and reference book editor who founded Chernow Editorial Services, Inc. specializing in producing professional books for a variety of publishers) is a critically important instructional reference book for aspiring authors, as well as anyone else engaged in a research project of any kind. Relying solely on the internet for acquiring information will prove to be inadequate because while the internet is a valuable research tool, the majority of documents and resources in the collections of libraries and archives have not been digitalized and made for internet access. Therefore writers and authors who must research their material need to be able to utilize all available resources at their disposal. "Beyond The Internet" was written for just that purpose and covers all the elements and factors relevant to the research process for best results. Thoroughly 'user friendly' itself, "Beyond The Internet" should be considered essential reading for all aspiring authors and is a core addition to any professional, academic, and community library Research Reference collection.

The Writer Within You
Charles Jacobs
Caros Books
16 Pinecrest Drive, Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677
Atlas Book Distributors
30 Amberwood Parkway, Ashland, OH 44805
9780979363603, $19.95 carosbooks@gmail.com 1-800-537-6727

Specifically written to be of value to retirees and other senior citizens, "The Writer Within You: A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing And Publishing In Your Retirement Years" by author, editor, and publishing consultant Charles Jacobs provides the aspiring author with practical, detailed, useful and relevant information and guidance on how to write books and articles in six different genres, select the best publisher for a specific book and market, and how to promote their finished work. All of these principles and procedures are relevant for writers of any age, but are of specific utility to those ages 55 and older who have a wealth of life and career experiences to draw from in what they choose to write. While "The Writer Within You" is a stand-alone, single-volume, comprehensive instruction manual whose chapters cover becoming a writer, writing your book, publishing your book, marketing your book, marketing your book, writing and placing your articles, writing and promoting on the internet, and commercial writing. It should also be noted that Jacobs has created a retirement writing website at http://www.retirement-writing.com; plus a Retirement Writing Blog at http://www.retirement-writing.com/blog. You can even download a free sample chapter from the book at http://www.retirement-writing.com/press_room. If you are a senior who wants to try your hand at writing books and/or articles, the begin with a careful reading of Charles Jacobs' "The Writer Within You".

A Book Is Born
Nancy C. Cleary, et al.
Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing, Inc.
15115 Highway 36, Deadwood, OR, 97430
97819332279504, $24.00 www.wymacpublishing.com

The collaborative effort of Nancy C. Cleary and twenty-four published authors, "A Book Is Born" reveals what it is really like to earn a living as a writer. A after a brief foreword and introduction, "A Book Is Born" is divided into two main sections: Part One - '24 Mom Authors Tell All' in which the contributing authors provided informative examples of going through pre-publication work, author platform-building, pitching manuscripts and story ideas to prospective publishers, post-publication publicity and marketing demands upon the author, and even the 'post-partum'-like depression that afflicts many authors after their book is finished, in print, and available to the reading public. Part Two - 'The Secret to Publishing' is actually a writing/publishing curriculum of instruction complete with visual examples for every step of the publishing (and getting published) process. Of special note in this do-it-yourself curriculum for aspiring authors are the Four Principles every writer should understand and apply; the Universal Laws which are essential to a book being written; and Insider Secrets on the four publishing options available to writers -- and determining which particular one is best suited for them. "A Book Is Born" is especially 'user friendly' reading and an invaluable addition to every aspiring writer's reference collection and professional reading list.

Now for some Q&A from the Midwest Book Review email box:

In a message dated 10/26/2007 4:41:46 P.M. Central Daylight Time, PrevMeasures writes:

I am writing to you as a PMA member who has sent two novels to Midwest Book Review in the last year, neither of which has been reviewed by MBR so far. I'm wondering whether you can tell me what went wrong. We read carefully all the material on your website about what to send and did our best to comply with the guidelines, sending review copies and complete publicity kits for each book. Allan N. Press, Ph.D. -- PMI Books

Dear Allan:

I'm happy to respond because you did nothing wrong, nothing amiss. Both of your titles arrived with the appropriate accompanying paperwork and passed the initial screening process with no difficulty.

The problem lay solely in the dilemma facing all of the small presses that submit their books to the Midwest Book Review. That problem is that, because we are so well established and known throughout the publishing community as being particularly friendly to self-published authors, POD published authors, and small press publishers, we are inundated every month with more than 2,000 titles -- and have a roster of 76 reviewers to try to cope with those kinds of numbers.

Even so, we are able to collectively generate roughly 600 to 700 reviews a month. That's with our reviewers averaging about 9 or 10 book reviews each. Some only come in with one or two, a few come in with 20 or 30 or more, but the collective average for book reviews each month ranges somewhere between that 600 to 700 figure.

Even so, that also means that an average of 1300 to 1400 books never make the final cut and obtain review assignments. Not because they were flawed or inferior, but because there were simply too many of them for our available resources to handle.

So why, when the odds are stacked so highly against them, do so many folks try their luck and submit their books to the Midwest Book Review?

1. Because the odds against them getting reviewed elsewhere are even higher.

2. Because we have a reputation of trying our best to accommodate "the little guy".

3. Because we do succeed about one-third of the time.

And for those one-third who make it and get reviewed, that review hits what amounts to a multimedia book review jackpot.

In addition to the review appearing in one or more of our nine monthly book review publications, it is also tagged to Amazon and other online databases, archived on the Midwest Book Review website for five years, posted to thematically appropriate Internet discussion groups and websites, and is faithfully forwarded to the publisher for use in their own promotion and marketing efforts.

There are three or four categories of books that have a particularly tough time because of the sheer numbers of competing titles in their particular areas. They are (in no particular order):

1. Poetry
2. Fiction
3. Biography/Memoir
4. Self-Help

Still, just look at the review columns devoted to these particular subjects and you'll find that every month some dozen or more such titles in each of these categories do make it through and get reviewed.

Because yours is not an uncommon experience, I will be sharing this correspondence in an upcoming "Jim Cox Report" for the benefit of other publishers who might have the same questions you did.

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review

I'm now 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 generous folk decided to say thank you and 'support the cause' that is the Midwest Book Review by donating postage stamps this past month:

Maly M. Kiendl
Robert J. Noonan
Morrie Warshawski
Lisa Earle McLeod
Megusta Publishing
Gerard L. Cullen -- "Areozoo"
Peter F. Crowley -- "Outdoor Follies"
Shelley Parsons -- "Quieting the Storm"
Phyllis Collmann -- "Rose's Triumphant Return"
Donald P. Meyer -- "Jennifer's Plan"
Kelly Lyons -- "One Million Men"
Vivek -- "Lies, Lies and More Lies"
Jeanie Okimoto -- "Winston of Churchill"
Tim Bramlett -- "Sharkey Explores the Unknown"
Ok Soon Schroeder -- "Journey from the Han River"
Bob Gebelein -- Omdega Press
Larry Uri -- Storywright Books
Beth Boyrs -- StarMist Books
E. Andrew Martonyi -- Schoolside Press
Deltina Hay -- Dalton Publishing
Deana Riddle -- Community Press
Lee Hall -- Babbling Books
Ron Kaplan -- Kapland Records
Cathy Feldman -- Blue Point Books
Jocelyn Munroe -- Big Tomato Press
Sylvia Forbes -- Snowflake Press
Linda Austin -- Moonbridge Publications
Wright Giles -- RiverHouse Books
Tolya L. Thompson -- Savor Publishing House
Stacy Kannenberg -- Cedar Valley Publishing
Chris Davis -- Lighthearted Press
Yossi Leverton -- Hachai Publishing
Pat mcDonough -- Terra Sancta Press
Elizabeth Waldman Frazier -- Waldmania!

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 or uncorrected proofs), 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!

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI, 53575