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Jim Cox Report: March 2024

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

Basic to the commercial success for any book is that it be brought (favorably) to the attention of its intended readership. In today's world that means posting information and reviews for that book on the internet in as many thematically appropriate places as possible -- and that means more than just having it listed on Amazon and/or Barnes & Noble.

For information on posting a review on other web sites in addition to Amazon and Barnes & Noble -- here are some relevant and informative links that should be of direct help and service:

1. Top 5 Book Review Sites Every Author Should Submit To

2. How to Post Book Reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and the iBookstore

3. The Best Book Review Sites For Enthusiastic Readers

4. The 13 Best Book Review Sites and Book Rating Sites

5. 30+ Top-Notch Book Review Sites

Now why would I (as the editor-in-chief of the Midwest Book Review) want to provide information to authors, publishers, and publicists on how they can secure reviews elsewhere? Because first and foremost the Midwest Book Review has a mission statement that includes teaching people how to effectively market their books to the ultimate benefit of not only the author and/or publisher, but to bring their books to the attention of librarians and the general public for their benefit as well.

Quote of the Month:

"If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking." - Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

Website of the Month:

Project Guttenber

Now here are reviews of some newly published books that will be of special interest and relevance to writers, publishers, and dedicated bibliophiles:

You've Got the Time: How to Write and Publish That Book in You
Ken Wachsberger
Azenphony Press
9780945531135, $20.00, PB, 279pp

Synopsis: Whether you are writing a book for credibility and back-of-the-room sales, to transform your life, or to prove to your high school principal that you can do it, with the publication of "You've Got the Time: How to Write and Publish That Book in You" by professional book coach Ken Wachsberger will guide aspiring writers step by step to publishing success.

Of special note are the chapters on: How to prepare your writing "space"; Finding time in a busy lifestyle; Labeling and organizing your digital files; Freewriting your way to a table of contents; Turning prose into poetry; Choosing your platforms; Getting the word out (publicity); Negotiating your contract; and more.

Critique: Packed from cover to cover with sound advice that include a wealth of invaluable tips, tricks, and techniques for any writer aspiring to become a successfully published author, "You've Got the Time: How to Write and Publish That Book in You" is a complete and comprehensive DIY instruction course on writing for publication. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "You've Got the Time: How to Write and Publish That Book in You" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Writing/Publishing collections and workshop/curriculum studies lists. It should be noted that "You've Got the Time: How to Write and Publish That Book in You" is presently available in a digital book format (Kindle, $0.99) from Amazon.

Editorial Note: Ken Wachsberger is an award-winning author/editor/book coach. He is an educator, member of National Speakers Association and National Writers Union, and renowned expert on negotiating book contracts. (

Writing Beyond Writing
Tim Brookes
Percentage Possibility Publications
9780990442813, $49.95, HC, 172pp

Synopsis: The outcome of a life's work as a successful writer and a dozen years of researching the world's indigenous and minority writing systems, "Writing Beyond Writing: Lessons from Endangered Alphabets" by Tim Brookes is an entirely original exploration of writing itself.

As the world's leading investigator of rare alphabets, Brookes examines the world's fascinating and often stunning disappearing minority scripts and shows that writing can and often does have qualities we have forgotten -- iconic qualities, community values, spiritual qualities, even magical qualities.

Brookes considers the ways in which we in the West have increasingly defined writing as something abstract, purely symbolic, merely a mechanical tool for representing the sounds of speech, and asks what is lost when writing is reduced to such a narrow and colorless definition.

Brookes also shows that just as many cultures around the world are reviving their embattled traditional alphabets, even in the West the old division between writing and art is being healed in surprising ways -- and right under our noses!

Critique: A fascinating, informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking study that will have a particular and special value for readers with an interest in the history and evolutonal of the alphabet and written languages, as well as the cultural implications of diverse writing styles from antiquity down to the present day. A bibliographer's delight and unreservedly recommended for community and college/university History of Writing collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists, this large format hardcover edition of Tim Brookes seminal and ground-breaking work, "Writing Beyond Writing: Lessons from Endangered Alphabets" from Percentage Possibility Publications is also readily available for students academia, and non-specialist general readers in a paperback edition (9780990442882, $32.50).

Editorial Note: Tim Brookes ( has acted as a publisher or publishing consultant for more than 75 books. Offering editing and publishing services, he is also the creator of endangered alphabet games.

Once Upon a Tome: The Misadventures of a Rare Bookseller
Oliver Darkshire
W. W. Norton & Company
9781324074786, $17.99, PB, 256pp

Synopsis: Some years ago, Oliver Darkshire stepped into the hushed interior of Henry Sotheran Ltd (est. 1761) to apply for a job. Allured by the smell of old books and the temptation of a management-approved afternoon nap, Darkshire was soon unteetering stacks of first editions and placating the store's resident ghost (the late Mr. Sotheran, hit by a tram).

A novice in this ancient, potentially haunted establishment, Darkshire describes Sotheran's brushes with history (Dickens, the Titanic), its joyous disorganization, and the unspoken rules of its gleefully old-fashioned staff, whose mere glance may cause the computer to burst into flames. As Darkshire gains confidence and experience, he shares trivia about ancient editions and explores the strange space that books occupy in our lives?where old books often have strong sentimental value, but rarely a commercial one.

By turns unhinged and earnest, "Once Upon a Tome: The Misadventures of a Rare Bookseller" is the colorful story of life in one of the world's oldest bookshops and a love letter to the benign, unruly world of antiquarian bookselling, where to be uncommon or strange is the best possible compliment.

Critique: With the publication of "Once Upon a Tome: The Misadventures of a Rare Bookseller" by Oliver Darkshire we are welcomed to Sotheran's ( one of the oldest bookshops in the world, complete with its weird and wonderful clientele, suspicious cupboards, unlabeled keys, poisoned books, and some things that aren't even books -- all presided over by one deeply eccentric apprentice. A bibliophile's delight and firmly laced with humor throughout, "Once Upon a Tome" is a memoir that is inherently fascinating, impressively informative, and a fun read from start to finish. A 'must read' pick for anyone who has every daydreamed of owning a bookshop of there own, "Once Upon a Tome" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and college/library Bookseller Biography/Memoir collections. It should be noted that "Once Upon a Tome" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.17).

Editorial Note: Oliver Darkshire (@DeathByBadger) is an antiquarian bookseller at Henry Sotheran Ltd, and the voice of @Sotherans twitter account. He lives in Manchester, England, with his husband and his neglectfully curated collection of books.

"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:

Lenore Poyer
Elis Gunawan
Joseph Everett
Michael D. Hill
Michael J. Panzner
Bill Ried -- "Two Degrees"
Barton A. Stewart -- "Contraption"
Michelle A. Paris -- "Eat Desert First"
Kenneth Silver -- "Wake Up the Night"
Norman Brewer -- "January 6: A Novel"
Andrew Oghena -- "Hail Mary Ever Virgin"
Kathleen Kastner -- "Karma Cats to the Farm"
Erica Miner -- "Aria for Murder: A Julia Kogan Opera Mystery"
Jon H. Gutmacher / Marshal T. Justice -- "The Old West & Times Gone By"
Barry Frangipane -- "Paris for Life: Notes from a Lifetime in and out of Paris"
Savory Adventures, LLC
Ann Licater -- Cul De Sac Mystic Productions
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] (The @ is replaced by "[at]" in the above email address, in an attempt to avoid email-harvesting spambots.)

If you have postage stamps to donate, or if you have a book you'd like considered for review, then send those postage stamps (always appreciated, never required), or a published copy of that book (no galleys, uncorrected proofs, or Advance Reading Copies), accompanied by a cover letter and some form of publicity release to my attention at the address below.

All of the previous issues of the "Jim Cox Report" are archived on the Midwest Book Review website at If you'd like to receive the "Jim Cox Report" directly (and for free), just send me an email asking to be signed up for it.

So until next time -- goodbye, good luck, and good reading!

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

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

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