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Named to "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this #SharingwithWriters blog is a way to connect with my readers and fellow writers, a way to give the teaching genes that populate my DNA free rein. Please feel free to add to the conversation using the very tiny "comment" link. For those interested in editing and grammar, go to http://thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Celebrating 43 Years with a Treasured Quotation and a Self-Google Reminder!

I especially love Jim Cox's newsletter because "business" often turns into a lovely literary essay or a neat how-to article or just a reminder. This one (printed with his permission) is a bit of all three.  Thank you, Jim for being around and happy 43rd Anniversary for helping writers get reviews and sell more books!

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends and Family:

Every now and then I come across a genuinely inspiring and quotable quote. Like this one that is a part of the descriptive introduction for Karen Swallow Prior's "On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books" as part of that book's Amazon.com entry:

"Reading great literature well has the power to cultivate virtue. Great literature increases knowledge of and desire for the good life by showing readers what virtue looks like and where vice leads. It is not just what one reads but how one reads that cultivates virtue. Reading good literature well requires one to practice numerous virtues, such as patience, diligence, and prudence. And learning to judge wisely a character in a book, in turn, forms the reader's own character."

I couldn't say it better and just wanted to share it with you.

This month (September 2018) marks the 43rd year of the Midwest Book Review, and me as it's editor-in-chief. At the ripe old age of 75 -- (76 come this November 6th) -- that means that I've been the editor-in-chief of the Midwest Book Review for more than half my life!

To celebrate this 43 year milestone (and just for fun) I went and looked us up on the internet with some Google searches. I really don't know what it means, if anything, but here is what I found:

1. Just typing the Midwest Book Review into the Google search box came up with so many entries that I got tired of clicking on all them after about 15 minutes or so. I was amazed at how many web sites that I had never heard of referenced the Midwest Book Review in terms of specific reviews from us or the services we provided, or the interviews I have given over the years.

2. I then typed in James A. Cox but ran into a lot of James A. Cox's out there. Then I tried James A. Cox + Midwest Book Review and got pages and pages of entries. And my ego being what it is, spent all too much time browsing through them -- blew another hour or so!

3. Then it occurred to me to enter Jim Cox + Midwest Book Review and while a lot of earlier entries turned up there were a fair number of new ones including one for a magazine interview I did for the Pennsylvania Literary Journal: Volume 9 (Spring 2017) which is apparently still for sale at:

and notes that "This issue includes an interview with Jim Cox, who has been editing the "Midwest Book Review" for over four decades, publishing thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of book reviews, with a focus on books from small presses that typically struggle with finding interested reviewers. Jim opens up about the realities of making a living from operating a review publication. His insight is essential to any author interested in self-promotion, and who is interested in how the review process looks from the other perspective. "

I also found still another long forgotten interview that I did with Marya Calvani for Blogcritic back in June 2008. You can find it at:

It's nice to be well thought of pretty much throughout the publishing industry down through all these many years.

But my own ego aside, the little exercise I went through this morning is something I would recommended all authors and publishers do in their own behalf at least once a year. For one thing, you could come across references to your work or reviews of your books that you might otherwise never know of.

Incidentally, I just plugged Midwest Book Review into the Amazon.com search box and it came up with 427 results. Not too shabby!"


Those who would like to partake of Jim's wisdom and frequent review of books written specifically to help writers may subscribe to his newsletter at the MidwestBookReview.com website.  His daughter, Beth, also writes one with a focus on tech that will help writers.  You may reach him at at mwbookrevw@aol.com. Be sure to browse the site for great reviews and whole lists of resources useful for authors.


Howard-Johnson is the author of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. She is also a marketing consultant, editor, and author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers including the award-winning second editions of The Frugal Book Promoter (where she talks more about choosing and the advantages of winning contests and how to use those honors)  and The Frugal Editor. Her latest is in the series is  How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically. Learn more on her Amazon profile page, http://bit.ly/CarolynsAmznProfileGreat Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers is one of her booklets--perfect for inexpensive gift giving--and, another booklet, The Great First Impression Book Proposal helps writers who want to be traditionally published. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including one she encourages authors to read because it will help them convince retailers to host their workshops, presentations, and signings. It is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. In addition to this blog, she helps writers extend the exposure of their favorite reviews at TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com. She also blogs at all things editing--grammar, formatting and more--at The Frugal, Smart, and Tuned-In Editor (http://TheFrugalEditor.blogspot.com )

Celebrating 43 Years with a Treasured Quotation and a Self-Google Reminder

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