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Beth Cox Report: December 2016

Dear Loyal Readers, Authors, and Publishers,

Almost always, when The Midwest Review passes over a book for review consideration, it's simply because of "too many books, not enough reviewers, and not enough hours in a day". Over the years, we have noticed that review copy submissions tend to follow a seasonal cycle: they peak before Christmas, then sharply drop off.

This means that, if you'd like to get your book reviewed in 2017, right now is the best time to submit it to the Midwest Book Review, while you're up against much less competition! Our full submission guidelines can be found on our website at

I've recently updated our guidelines to read "there is an approximate 4 to 6-week window of opportunity for a book to be assigned out for review" - the turnaround time window used to be much longer, but we've since become more efficient at managing our workload.

The rise of email has been especially helpful; it's swifter, cheaper, and easier to notify publishers/publicists/authors of their reviews by email. It's typically more convenient for them too, since an emailed review is easier to copy or quote online than a review printed on paper. There's no data entry required!

However, there are a few publishers who still require reviews sent on letterhead stationary - or who don't seem to have a contact email address set aside specifically for marketing and publicity. We still have to send out some review notification letters by post office mail, just to make sure that our reviews don't end up in the publisher's spam filter.

So the days of letter mail aren't completely over yet, and we will always have a practical use for donated U.S. stamps, or contributions toward the MBR Postage Stamp and Website Maintenance fund. I give my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has lent their direct support to the MBR; because of you, I can continue reviewing books for a living, instead of working at a gas station or fast-food restaurant.

As social media becomes ever more integrated into our society, even holdouts like me are starting to incorporate into our everyday lives. December's Link of the Month is Autism Speaks, a website that I learned about through social media:

To quote their mission, "Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions."

Now for the Book of the Month. It's The Ex-Offender's Re-Entry Assistance Directory, an absolutely invaluable resource for helping ex-offenders who have served their prison time rebuild their lives and avoid recidivism:

The Ex-Offender's Re-Entry Assistance Directory
Ronald L. Krannich, Ph.D.
Impact Publications
9104 Manassas Drive, Suite N, Manassas Park, VA 20111
9781570233678 $29.95 pbk / $18.99 Kindle

The Ex-Offender's Re-Entry Assistance Directory is a reference and resource created especially for American ex-offenders and who have served their prison sentences and seek to successfully return to society as law-abiding citizens. Ex-offenders often find themselves unprepared to deal with the challenges of finding housing, navigating a job market that is quick to reject them, social barriers, and more. The Ex-Offender's Re-Entry Assistance Directory includes information about 39 gateway websites covering housing and employment opportunities, 1,000+ re-entry assistance programs in each state, 50 free downloadable re-entry handbooks and curricula, a 5-page, 13- category, 95-item checklist for re-entry preparation, and much more. Partly directory, and partly an empathetic source of guidance and encouragement, The Ex-Offender's Re-Entry Assistance Directory is worthy of the highest recommendation for public library collections and the bookshelves of ex-offenders as well as professionals who work with them.

That's all for the December 2016 Beth Cox Report. Happy New Year!

Bethany Cox
Managing Editor
The Midwest Book Review

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

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