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Jim Cox Report: February 2024
Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:
One of the earliest and continually popular articles (and one that has been numerously reprinted in books and author organizational newsletters) is "How to Spot a Phony Book Reviewer" and avoid getting ripped off by con artists.
In that spirit I want to recommend that all authors and publishers become aware of an organization called the Writers & Publishers Network that offers a vital and updated informational service for protecting your work and your financial investment in writing and publishing in this new era of Social Media & Facebook.
Protect Your Business Page from Facebook Scam
By Kathleen Kaiser
In recent months, we've witnessed an alarming increase in Facebook scams targeting business pages. Scammers, posing as Meta employees, are attempting to steal accounts by sending deceptive messages. These fraudulent messages claim that your account is in violation and will be deactivated within 24 hours unless you fill out a form provided in the link.
It's crucial to be vigilant and aware of this scam. Remember, Meta will never contact you through Facebook Messenger for account issues; they will always communicate via email. Additionally, authentic links from Meta will never redirect you to a URL outside the official Meta domain.
The scammers aim to acquire your business page and sell it to the highest bidder. They extract details from the deceptive forms, lock you out of your account, change passwords, and even alter your page name. Once compromised, unfortunately, there's no recourse to recover your page, resulting in losing your hard work and curated content.
To safeguard your business page, consider the following proactive measures:
1. Enable Two-Step Authentication: Activating two-step authentication ensures an extra layer of protection to your account; you can do this in your security settings.
2. Promptly Report and Block: If you receive suspicious messages, report them immediately to Meta and block the sender. Authentic communications from Meta will never pressure you to fill out forms through a no-reply message.
3. Identify Scam Warning Signs: Be cautious of messages containing misspelled words, as scammers use them to avoid triggering Meta's algorithm. Also, verify the URL in any provided link – authentic Meta links will always lead to the official Meta domain.
4. Secure Connected Accounts: If you have linked your business page to Instagram or Twitter, be aware that a compromise could also impact these accounts. Activate two-step authentication on these connected accounts for added security.
Stay informed and proactively protect your online assets from these malicious activities. If you doubt a message's authenticity, trust your instincts and report it to Meta for verification.
Writers & Publishers Network
When I wrote Kathleen for permission to reprint her information in my Jim Cox Report (which she gracefully granted), she also send me this follow-up message:
Thank you, Jim.
The Writers & Publishers Network is expanding and we want to be sure as many people as possible stay on top of the many scams out there.
Since I sent this four people emailed back that they had received these notices. Sadly, one man followed their directions and has now lost all of his accounts. Facebook won't do anything to help because he filled out the fraudulent forms.
I appreciate you passing this on.
President, Writers & Publishers Network
C0-Host, TalkingBookPublishing.Today podcast
Publicist of the Year 2016, Book Publicists of Southern California
Quote of the Month:
"So many books, so little time." - Frank Zappa
Website of the Month:
Firefax by A.M. Vergara
Now here is a review of a newly published book that will be of special interest and relevance to writers, publishers, and dedicated bibliophiles:
Big Ideas from Literature
Alain de Bolton, series editor
Anna Doherty, illustrator
The School of Life
9781915087485, $29.99, HC, 168pp
Synopsis: Great stories are often universal: our very souls shine with new ideas when we read them. Books can be so powerful, helping us through tricky times, offering us wisdom we haven’t learnt yet, showing us that there are people like us, or showing us the opposite, that other people live very different lives. Books can be a friend when you need one the most and you can use them to help and inspire others, too.
"Big Ideas from Literature: How Books Can Change Your World" helps children ages 9-12 to discover key ideas that lots of different books are trying to teach through the stories they tell -- and helps the growing child develop empathy and resilience.
"Big Ideas from Literature" teaches children (and adults!) about the history of literature, from the first ever story that was written down to the invention of books just for children. The best children’s books become our dearest friends and companions.
Children discover characters from a diverse range of books that include J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Young Dark Emu: A Truer History by Bruce Pascoe -- and learn how these stories can help them better understand the world around them.
Critique: "Big Ideas from Literature" is the third volume in the Big Ideas series ("Big Ideas for Curious Minds" and "Big Ideas from History") from The School of Life and introduces young readers to the classics, as well as modern children’s fiction. Nicely illustrated throughout by the artistry of Anna Doherty, "Big Ideas from Literature" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as a core acquisition for family, middle school, and community library collections.
Editorial Note #1: The School of Life (https://www.theschooloflife.com) is a global organization helping people lead more fulfilled lives.
Editorial Note #2: Alain de Botton FRSL (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alain_de_Botton) is a Swiss-born British author and public speaker. His books discuss various contemporary subjects and themes, emphasizing philosophy's relevance to everyday life. He published Essays in Love (1993), which went on to sell two million copies. Other bestsellers include How Proust Can Change Your Life (1997), Status Anxiety (2004), and The Architecture of Happiness (2006). He co-founded The School of Life in 2008 and Living Architecture in 2009. In 2015, he was awarded "The Fellowship of Schopenhauer", an annual writers' award from the Melbourne Writers Festival, for that work.
Editorial Note #2: Anna Doheny (https://annadohertyillustration.com) is an illustrator and author from Edinburgh and based in Cambridge, U.K. Besides book illustration, she also works in science communication illustration. She is graduate of Children's Books Illustration MA, the Cambridge School of Art and Illustration BDes, DJCAD.
"The Midwest Book Review Postage Stamp Hall Of Fame & Appreciation" is a monthly 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 to our postage stamp fund this past month:
Sandy Grubb -- "Just Like Click"
Milana Marsenich -- "Idaho Madams"
Tushar Choudhary -- "The Climate Misinformation Crisis"
Matthew Pallamary -- "The Thinning Veil: 13 Twisted Tales"
John & Jo-Anne Keenan -- "Talk Read Sing Play"
Elizabeth Frazier -- Waldmania! PR
In lieu of (or in addition to!) postage stamp donations, we also accept PayPal gifts of support to our postage stamp fund for what we try to accomplish in behalf of the small press community.
Simply log onto your PayPal account and direct your kindness (in any amount and at your discretion) to the Midwest Book Review at: SupportMBR [at] aol.com (The @ is replaced by "[at]" in the above email address, in an attempt to avoid email-harvesting spambots.)
If you have postage stamps to donate, or if you have a book you'd like considered for review, then send those postage stamps (always appreciated, never required), or a published copy of that book (no galleys, uncorrected proofs, or Advance Reading Copies), accompanied by a cover letter and some form of publicity release to my attention at the address below.
All of the previous issues of the "Jim Cox Report" are archived on the Midwest Book Review website at www.midwestbookreview.com/bookbiz/jimcox.htm. 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!
Midwest Book Review
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James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
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Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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