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Beth Cox Report: January 2018

Dear Loyal Readers, Authors, and Publishers,

Happy New Year! After a hectic Christmas season, things have finally calmed down a bit here at the Midwest Book Review.

The post-Christmas months are typically when the volume of review copy submissions to the MBR reach their lowest point in the annual cycle. Less competition means also means it's the best time of year to get a title reviewed!

Is your New Year's resolution to write a book? If so, then I have a couple links you might like to investigate. The first is a guide to transforming one's blog into an ebook:

and if you're interested writing as a full-time career, you'll very likely need to master the art of the query letter - that is, correspondence designed to inquire whether there is interest in paying for your written work before you invest precious time and resources into writing it. Here's an excellent guide, offered by Mr. Martin Cavannagh:

In that spirit, January's Link of the Month is WikiHow, an all-around handy website. Although WikiHow is general purpose, you'll also find plenty of how-to tips specific to writing and publishing there. Just type "write a book" in its on-site search engine!

Finally, here's three Reviews of the Month, selected in honor of three fine books we were privileged to browse at the MBR:

Good Arguments
Richard A. Holland Jr. & Benjamin K. Forrest
Baker Academic
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780801097799, $17.99, PB, 160pp,

The collaborative work of Richard A. Holland Jr. (Assistant Professor of Apologetics and Theology at Liberty University School of Divinity in Lynchburg, Virginia) and Benjamin K. Forrest (Associate Dean of the College of General Studies and Professor of Christian education at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia), "Good Arguments: Making Your Case in Writing and Public Speaking" offers a brief introduction to making effective arguments helps readers to understand the basics of sound reasoning and to learn how to use it to persuade others. Practical, inexpensive, and easy-to-read, "Good Arguments" enables students in a wide variety of courses to improve the clarity of their writing and public speaking. "Good Arguments" will equip readers to formulate firmly grounded, clearly articulated, and logically arranged arguments, avoid fallacious thinking, and discover how to reason well. "Good Arguments" is supplemental text that is especially suitable for use in Christian colleges and seminaries and includes classroom discussion questions. Whether preparing sermons for the pulpit, opinion pieces for publication, or a persuasive book on any given social or political issue, "Good Arguments" will prove to be exceptionally 'user friendly' in tone, organization and presentation. While very highly recommended for community, seminary, and academic library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists that "Good Arguments" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Age of Netflix
Cory Barker & Myc Wiatrowski, editors
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9780786497478, $29.95, PB, 256pp,

In 2016, Netflix (with an already enormous footprint in the United States) expanded its online streaming video service to 130 new countries, adding more than 12 million subscribers in nine months and bringing its total to 87 million. The effectiveness of Netflix's content management lies in its ability to appeal to a vastly disparate global viewership without a unified cache of content. Instead, the company invests in buying or developing myriad programming and uses sophisticated algorithms to "narrowcast" to micro-targeted audience groups. Collaborative compiled and co-edited by the team of Cory Barker (who is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University) and Myc Wiatrowski (who is an analyst of business and culture and associate instructor in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University in Bloomington), "The Age of Netflix: Critical Essays on Streaming Media, Digital Delivery and Instant Access" is a collection of ten new and informative essays by contributors that explores how Netflix has become a cultural institution and transformed the way we consume popular media. A collective body of seminal scholarship, "The Age of Netflix: Critical Essays on Streaming Media, Digital Delivery and Instant Access" is a critically important and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library Mass Media and Contemporary Telecommunications reference collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Age of Netflix: Critical Essays on Streaming Media, Digital Delivery and Instant Access" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49).

Why Cops Die (And How to Prevent It)
Gerald W. Garner
Charles C. Thomas, Publisher
2600 South First Street, Springfield, IL 62704
9780398092030 $32.95

Assembled by a police chief who spent 15 years as a sergeant, Why Cops Die (And How To Prevent It) is a manual filled cover to cover with advice for countering threats to a law enforcement officer's safety. Although Why Cops Die is written especially for police officers, anyone who needs or wants to understand just how dangerous police work is can learn from the anecdotes, case studies, and solid guidelines that responsible cops use to protect their lives and the lives of others. From the importance of always searching for the next threat, to properly handcuffing and controlling prisoners, to using light to one's advantage (such as giving one's eyes a chance to adjust to light changes, and not letting light frame one's silhouette into an inviting target), to avoiding deadly accidents while cleaning one's firearm and much more, Why Cops Die is brimming with lifesaving information, and is an absolute "must-have" for aspiring and practicing law enforcement professionals everywhere, as well as for public, college, and police libraries.

That's all for the January 2018 Beth Cox Report. Take care!

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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