Midwest Book Review

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Midwest Book Review
Organization logo
Formation 1976
Legal status Active
Purpose Book reviews
Headquarters Oregon, Wisconsin
Region served
California, Wisconsin, upper Midwest
Official language
James A. Cox
Website Official website

Midwest Book Review is an organization that maintains several book review publications. Established in 1976, the organization's Editor-in-Chief is James A. Cox. Midwest Book Review produces nine book review publications per month, with a goal of encouraging literacy, library usage, and small press publishing. It selects for review about 600 books out of an average of 2000 titles submitted each month. The organization has a focus on serving community and academic libraries, booksellers, and the general reading public.

All reviews produced by Midwest Book Review are indexed by Gale Cengage Learning's publication "Book Review Index".


Midwest Book Review was established in 1976.[1] The Editor-in-Chief of the organization is James A. Cox.[2][3] The review puts out nine publications on a monthly basis, with a focus on community and academic library organizations, booksellers, and the general reading public.[4] The organization maintains a website at www.midwestbookreview.com.[5]

Publications produced by the organization include: The Bookwatch,[6] California Bookwatch, The Children's Bookwatch,[7] Internet Bookwatch,[8] Library Bookwatch,[9] MBR Bookwatch, The Midwest Bookwatch,[10] The Reviewer's Bookwatch,[11] Small Press Bookwatch,[12] and The Wisconsin Bookwatch.[13] The Children's Bookwatch is a newsletter made as a resource for librarians.[14] Some reviews from Reviewer's Bookwatch are provided in greater depth at the organization's website.[15] Midwest Book Review is made up of volunteers,[4] and frequently seeks additional individuals to serve as book reviewers for the organization.[16] The organization is located in Oregon, Wisconsin.[17] It has a motivation of increasing literacy, public utilization of libraries, and fostering small press, to which it gives priority.[4][18] Of the 1,500 books submitted to Midwest Book Review for consideration per month, the organization chooses to review approximately 450 of them.[19][20]

A visitor to the website Amazon.com emailed Cox in 2006 and asked about the organization's practice of giving all reviews posted to the site a five-star recommendation.[21] Cox replied explaining that he disagreed with the star-rating system in general, and noted, "If a book isn't good enough to pass our initial screening then it doesn't get reviewed in the first place."[21] In 2007, an author asked Cox about the organization's position with regard to Amazon.com ratings.[22] Cox explained, "for a book to make it all the way through the Midwest Book Review process. ... it merited the highest recommendation available under the Amazon rating system. Inferior books, flawed books, substandard books are assumed to have been weeded out and never made it to the 'finish line' of publication in one of our book review magazines."[22]

In a 2001 interview with The Denver Post, Cox stated that Midwest Book Review considers submissions from print on demand (POD) publications.[23] "When 1st Books, iUniverse and other POD titles cross my desk, I make sure to look at them, not out of regard for these publishers - but out of regard for the authors," said Cox.[23] Cox does not believe that book reviewers should be fee-based, and said, "Any reviewer that wants money from you for any purpose whatsoever is operating a scam, engaging in unethical behavior that is in violation of the publishing industry etiquette norm."[24] In 2008, Midwest Book Review had gained reviewers as a result of cutbacks in print media publications.[25] Cox noted, "The drastic cutbacks in newspaper and magazine space for reviews has redounded to the benefit of the Midwest Book Review and other online review sites. These displaced reviewers have turned to us as an outlet for their reviews previously published in print sources. Over the past few years we have gained at least ten reviewers this way."[25] After stating that charging fees is a scam, Cox began charging a reading fee in 2011. Initially fees were only charged for e-books, but since then has expanded to include any "ebooks, pre-publication manuscripts, galleys, uncorrected proofs, ARCs, and pdf files".[26]


Every review produced by Midwest Book Review is indexed to the review index maintained by Gale Research.[27] Book Review Index indexes reviews for the Midwest Book Review publications Bookwatch and Children's Bookwatch.[28] Online Computer Library Center described the website of the Midwest Book Review as "a resource to locate book reviews, resources and advice for writers and publishers".[29] Writing and Publishing: The Librarian's Handbook published by the American Library Association recommends Midwest Book Review as a resource for information for writers.[16]

Midwest Book Review is listed as a resource, in Doris Booth's Writer's Handbook of FAQs.[4] According to The Complete Guide to Self Publishing by Tom Ross and Marilyn Heimberg Ross, the reviews of the organization "are welcomed and respected".[30] In Book Design and Production, author Pete Masterson listed the organization as a resource.[31] He noted that the website for Midwest Book Review has "lots of useful information" for authors.[31] Mayra Calvani of Blogcritics noted that the organization is "popular among small publishers, self-published authors, and academic presses".[25]

See also


  1. Connelly, Valerie (2007). Calling All Authors. Nightengale Press. p. 156. ISBN 1-933449-43-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Moses, Alexandra R. (March 4, 2002). "Joe Joe Rawlings: a new literary hero for children". Associated Press. p. Section: Entertainment News.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Cantu, Hector (June 25, 2003). "Parents might be surprised by dark side of new 'Harry Potter'". The Dallas Morning News. A. H. Belo Corporation.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Booth, Doris (2004). Writer's Handbook of FAQs, Second Edition. Authorlink. p. 98. ISBN 1-928704-34-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Mason, Dick (July 5, 2008). "Storytelling comes naturally to fantasy writer". The Observer. La Grande, Oregon: Western Communications, Inc.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. OCLC 321345897
  7. OCLC 13100762
  8. OCLC 80547565
  9. OCLC 65356742
  10. OCLC 13212440
  11. OCLC 54958751
  12. OCLC 80547560
  13. OCLC 65356746
  14. Woodall, Martha (June 11, 2001). "Who said improving vocabulary had to be scary?". The Philadelphia Inquirer. p. E01; Section: Philadelphia Business.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. St. Petersburg Times staff (February 25, 2004). "Hometown Citrus". St. Petersburg Times. Florida. p. 4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. 16.0 16.1 Smallwood, Carol (2009). Writing and Publishing: The Librarian's Handbook. American Library Association Editors. pp. 25–26. ISBN 0-8389-0996-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Local Book News". Sarasota Herald Tribune. Sarasota, Florida: The New York Times Company. May 23, 1999. p. 5F.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Pryor, Alton (2002). Publish It Yourself. Stagecoach Publishing. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-9660053-5-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Sansevieri, Penny C. (2002). Get Published Today! No More Rejections. Pennsylvania: Infinity Publishing. p. 133. ISBN 0-7414-1111-3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Poynter, Dan (2004). The Self-Publishing Manual. Para Publishing. p. 182. ISBN 1-56860-115-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. 21.0 21.1 Cox, Jim (June 2006). "Jim Cox Report: June 2006". Jim Cox Report. Midwest Book Review. Retrieved 2010-01-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. 22.0 22.1 Cox, Jim (June 2007). "Jim Cox Report: June 2007". Jim Cox Report. Midwest Book Review. Retrieved 2010-01-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. 23.0 23.1 Halls, Kelly Milner (December 9, 2001). "'Print-on-demand' publishers reject 'vanity' label". The Denver Post. p. DD-02; Section: BKS.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Weber, Steve (2007). Plug Your Book! Online Book Marketing for Authors, Book Publicity through Social Networking. Weber Books. p. 52. ISBN 0-9772406-1-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Calvani, Mayra (June 1, 2008). "Interview with James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief, The Midwest Book Review". Blogcritics. Newstex. p. Blogcritics.org Books. Retrieved 2009-12-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "MBR: Author/Publisher Information". www.midwestbookreview.com. Retrieved 2016-02-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. Rose, M. J. (1999). The Secrets of Our Success. Deep South Publishing. p. 78. ISBN 0-7394-1018-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. Ferguson, Dana (2005). Book Review Index: 2005 Cumulation. Detroit, Michigan: Thomson Gale. pp. xii, xiii. ISBN 0-7876-7841-4. ISSN 0524-0581.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. OCLC 439279392
  30. Ross, Tom; Marilyn Heimberg Ross (2002). The Complete Guide to Self Publishing. Writers Digest Books. p. 322. ISBN 1-58297-091-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. 31.0 31.1 Masterson, Pete (2005). Book Design and Production. Aeonix Publishing Group. p. 296. ISBN 0-9669819-0-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

External links