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Beth Cox Report: July 2013

Dear Loyal Readers, Authors, and Publishers,

Summer is merrily chugging along, and I enjoy bicycling in the beautiful, sunny weather while it lasts. I always bring a bottle of tap water with me to stay hydrated. Wisconsin is a little (in)famous for its cold weather in winter, but not everyone knows that we can get fiercely hot summers too!

Today, I'll address a website issue that I deal with regularly. While we do send email or tear sheet copies of our reviews to book publishers (and sometimes authors), every so often, I receive an email from someone asking for help with finding a specific book review on our website. We have an on-site search engine just for that purpose (look for the "Search this Web Site" box in the white column on the left-hand side of most pages, including our home page), but not everyone intuitively understands how to make optimal use of it. For example, I received this email inquiry a few months ago:

In a message dated 4/5/2013 3:07:06 P.M. Central Daylight Time, Betty Shubert writes:

I am an author-publisher who recently received a wonderful review from you.

Because, I am now into marketing & am very proud of your review, I need to know how best to refer people to see my review . I followed info given in your announcement letter to me, to go to your website: ...I did, but up came a lot of choices..none indicating how to quickly access my title for the review.

Potential book buyers would not have the patience for this .( even I, can't take the time ) There must be a better way!...Please inform.

Thank you!,

Betty Kreisel Shubert
Costume Designer - Fashion Historian
Author-Illustrator of the book:
"OUT OF STYLE...A Modern Perspective of
How, Why and WHEN Vintage Fashions Evolved"

To which I replied:

The easiest way to find a book on our website is to use the search engine. It works the same as Google, but just for our website. You can type in a book's ISBN number (no hyphens, just the straight 13 digits), or you can type "[Book Title]" + "[Author's first name]" + "[Author's last name]".

Or you can just go directly to the newsletter and the month/year given you in the announcement letter. If it says to go to the March 2013 Small Press Bookwatch, go to our home page, click on "Small Press Bookwatch", and click on "March 2013" of the Small Press Bookwatch index page. Once you're at the proper newsletter, do a CTRL-F search for the book's title or author.

Once you find the review, you can copy, paste, and distribute it to any thematically appropriate venue, as long as a brief credit line to the MBR is included. One great place to start is by posting our review in the Editorial Reviews section of your book's Amazon listing. Here's a good article on our site about doing exactly that:

I'd also like to mention that the "How to Post Editorial Reviews on Amazon" article above has recently been updated with the following helpful addendum:

UPDATE: The AuthorCentral feature of Amazon at

can also be used to post editorial reviews. This tip is courtesy of Warren Redlich, Esq.,

Now, I will be the first to admit that our on-site search engine has its limits. However, it is also the most economical search engine we can find, and money is tight at the Midwest Book Review. Thankfully, PayPal gifts from many generous individuals have helped us enormously with our website hosting and search engine expenses this year!

Our on-site search engine is provided by a company named FreeFind. Their website is

I'm naming them the Link of the Month for their positive features. They're very low-cost; in fact, they're free for small websites. We at the MBR need to pay a modest fee only because our many online back issues of newsletters make our website much larger than it might appear at first glance.

FreeFind is also extremely easy to incorporate into one's website even (especially!) for people with zero computer programming experience. Adding the FreeFind search engine to our site was as simple as registering an account, then pasting in a little bit of HTML code into our website pages. No software downloads or installations necessary!

On to the Review of the Month, which will be formally published in our August monthly newsletters. We get uncountably many quality books, graphic novels, and audiobooks, music CDs, and DVDs for review here at the MBR; I'm drawing special attention to this one because it is particularly useful for those in the writing or publishing trade, among other business fields:

Successful E-Mail Marketing Strategies
Arthur Middleton Hughes and Arthur Sweetser
Racom Communications
150 North Michigan Avenue, #2800
Chicago, IL 60601
9781933199160 $49.95

Successful E-Mail Marketing Strategies from Hunting to Farming describes strategies to effectively promote one's product or service without resorting to unpopular e-mail "spamming". As the titular metaphor suggests, instead of "hunting" for sales by sending out millions of emails, marketing efforts should instead focus on using email to cultivate positive relationships with subscribers, also know as "farming". Chapters discuss useful tips, tricks, and techniques, from crafting attention-grabbing subject lines, to determining how much email is enough, to adding an interactivity component to one's emails, viral marking, and much more. A solid resource packed with useful ideas, Successful E-Mail Marketing Strategies is an excellent choice for college library Business shelves, and a "must-have" for marketing professionals everywhere in today's increasingly technology-driven world.

Everyone hates spam email, yet email is an invaluable, low-cost tool to connect with customers - exactly what struggling writers and publishers need. The key is to ensure that your emails aren't intrusive or unwanted, through the judicious use of mailing lists that the recipients choose to sign up for. Successful E-Mail Marketing Strategies is an excellent starting point for making the most of the Digital Age!

That's all for this month's Beth Cox Report. Now, I have to buckle down and assemble a month of reviews into the August newsletters. It's a two-day job, but when you're self-employed like me, you can't make excuses if the boss demands an all-nighter!

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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