Author Archives: jameswatkins

About jameswatkins

Author and speaker

Top ten things I (Jim) am giving up for Lent

April 1st, 2014 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (7 Comments)

Overcoming Fear and Worry
I have in my right hand, direct from my home office in Corn Borer, Indiana, today’s category:

Seriously, though, I did try to give up dark chocolate for the 40-plus days leading up to Easter. It was an agonizing 40 minutes! This year, I’m attempting to give up something even more near and dear to me: fear.

As a self-employed freelance writer, speaker, editor and college instructor, fear has been a constant companion. In Freelance Land, it’s always “feast or famine”! So, while fear is an occupational hazard, Jesus claims it’s a spiritual hazard. Twenty-one times, the Gospels record Jesus telling His followers to “not be afraid” or “not fear” or “have courage” or “take heart” or “be of good cheer.” Twenty-one times! The “Greatest Commandment” to love God and our neighbors only gets eight mentions. So, by numbers alone, “fear not” is also a pretty great commandment.

Fear indicates I’m not trusting God

Jesus teaches:

      “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them” (Matthew 5:28-32).

Fear requires as much effort as trust

Fear is an emotional black hole that attempts to not only swallow up peace and joy, but energy and creativity. So, I’m trying to expend my energy on trust rather than fear, since both require the same effort.

Fear borrows trouble from tomorrow

      “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 5:34).

Tomorrow, it looks like I don’t have any paying work. Today, however, I have meaningful work. Today I have money in the bank and bills are paid. Today I’m healthy.

One of the best pieces of advice for the best-selling book Jesus Calling is to keep the door to tomorrow shut tight.

So, for Lent, I’m giving up fear. It’s going to be harder than giving up dark chocolate, but I’m praying for God’s strength and grace to give it up for forty-plus days. And, hopefully, make it a life-long lifestyle.

Copyright © 2010 James N. Watkins. All rights reserved.

Related posts
Lent and Easter devos, humor, more . . .
Overcoming Fear and Worry

‘Upgrading’ Hope&Humor

March 24th, 2014 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

websiteevolution

Happy anniversary!

On April 12, I’ll celebrate 17 years online. Over three million guests from over 120 countries have accessed over 350 articles, book excerpts, cartoons, original music and videos.

However, 17 years in Internet time is 17 million years! So, it’s time to “upgrade” to a new look and platform. My current site looks like a scene from “Hoarders,” so hopefully this format will be easier to navigate with everything easy to find and always up to date. And you can now comment on each post and page. (Right now, I’ve updated and posted the 50 most popular pages from the last several years. Some pages did seem 17 million years old!)

Help spread the encouraging word

You can help spread the hope and humor by telling your online friends about www.jameswatkins.com (same address as before), post a recommendation on Facebook and Twitter, as well as following new posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday with the RSS feed to the right. And if you find any glitches, leave a comment and I’ll fix it right away.

You can also click to provide a tax-deductible donation to the cause of hope and humor.

Thanks for seventeen years of following hope and humor!

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well” (3 John 2).
jimlogo2

I’ve got issues

January 11th, 2014 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

James Watkins, author, speakerI wrote a newspaper column for three papers for 15 years and addressed:
9-11: In remembrance (Numerous posts)
Abortion: Is it a life or a choice?
Ancient prophet warns of conspiracy theories
Are Islam, Christianity “peaceful” religions?
Are there really ghosts?
Are you absolutely sure there are no absolutes?
Artificial intelligence and the image of God
Candidates need to follow “Yellow Brick Road”
Capital punishment: serious questions
Dealing with school shootings
Defining words, defining morality
The “democratization” of the media
Does DNA disprove evolution
Euthanasia and “dying with dignity”
Gun control advocates naive
Hard times for “hard news”
Hope for cultural change
Is it 1984 in America?
My plan to eliminate taxes
NASA announces Mars mission The cost in perspective
“Peace on earth” in pieces
Pro-life from womb to tomb
Race relations by the numbers
Running new “pledge” up the “flag” pole
Rx for gun control
To angry voters
Taking the terror out of terrorism
Top ten ways to reduce national debt
‘Twas the Night Before Voting
The Un-Tied States of America
Vampires, werewolves real!
Verify! Verify! Verify!
We are strong! We will survive! (9-17-01)
Were founding fathers Christian?
When is war “just”?

Hope and mental health

February 1st, 2007 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

“Hi, I’m Jim. I struggle with mental health issues.”

Yep, I have clinical depression, ADD, OCD and, just to keep things interesting, I’m on the very mild end of the autism spectrum. So, here are some hopeful posts on mental health that I trust will be helpful and hopeful:

Are authors in their “write” mind
Charles Spurgeon’s struggle with depression
Dealing with death and grief
Emotions real but not reality
Hope and help for suicidal thoughts
Hope for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease
“It’s the Most Difficult Time of the Year” Surviving the stress of Christmas
Jesus, ADD and me
Mood altering hugs
I’m a mess. You’re a mess. (Audio)
You may depressed if . . .

From my daughter, Faith, the licensed therapist:
From fairy tale to horror story Excerpt from Recovering Love
Mental health resources
Ten signs of addiction

I am so grateful that God has chosen someone with mental health issues to share hope and humor. God’s grace is amazing . . . and ironic!

If you found this post helpful, please share it on your social networks. Thanks!

On love, marriage, sex . . .

January 30th, 2007 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


Welcome to my annual salute to love, marriage and sex. If you’re single, dating, engaged, married, divorced, widowed or “it’s complicated,” there’s something for you! Enjoy.

Many of the posts below are from my books on love and sexuality, including The Why Files: When Can I Start Dating?. And check out my cartoons on love.

Love
Falling in love—and getting back up
“There must be a higher love”
Looking for love in all the right places
Men and women are different!
Men are dirt
No hablo, estrogen! Becoming bilingual in relationships
Breaking up without breaking down

Marriage
Children who marry their parents: the psychology of courtship
Top ten reasons I’m not divorcing my wife
Top ten secrets to staying married

Sex
A case for polygamy?!
Can I become a virgin again?
“Coming Out” My sexual identity crisis
Cure for common cold: sex
Fifty Shades of Beige “Reel” sex is never as good as real sex
Guy’s guide to cars . . . and sex
The hidden habit: masturbation
Sexual identity issue Excerpts from my books on sexuality as well as recent posts for LGBTQs and straights
Three secrets to XXX-ceptional sex
Top ten turn-ons for women
Why are guys such boobs about breasts?

If you enjoyed this post, please share it on your social networks. Thanks

Love, marriage, sex . . .

January 28th, 2007 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Welcome to my annual salute to love, marriage and sex. If you’re single, dating, engaged, married, divorced, widowed or “it’s complicated,” there’s something for you! Enjoy.

Many of the posts below are from my books on love and sexuality, including The Why Files: When Can I Start Dating?. And check out my cartoons on love.

Love
Falling in love—and getting back up
“There must be a higher love”
Looking for love in all the right places
Men and women are different!
Men are dirt
No hablo, estrogen! Becoming bilingual in relationships
Breaking up without breaking down

Marriage
Children who marry their parents: the psychology of courtship
Top ten reasons I’m not divorcing my wife
Top ten secrets to staying married

Sex
A case for polygamy?!
Can I become a virgin again?
“Coming Out” My sexual identity crisis
Cure for common cold: sex
Fifty Shades of Beige “Reel” sex is never as good as real sex
Guy’s guide to cars . . . and sex
The hidden habit: masturbation
Sexual identity issue Excerpts from my books on sexuality as well as recent posts for LGBTQs and straights
Three secrets to XXX-ceptional sex
Top ten turn-ons for women
Why are guys such boobs about breasts?

If you found this post helpful or humorous, please share it on your social networks. Thanks!

20 encouraging posts

January 28th, 2007 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


If you’re having a “terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad day,” here’s some hope and humor.

Are you listening to Goliath or God?

Feeling inadequate, ill-equipped, in the dark?

Finding still water in the storm: The Book of Joe

Finely-aged believers

From bad to worse to . . . astonishing

God as “comedy” writer

God, I Don’t Understand: Unanswered Prayer, Unfulfilled Promises, Unpunished Evil

God is never late—but he sure is slow

God is such a drama king

God’s will is not lost: for those trying to find it

Having the last laugh

Holy hardships!

How to walk on water

“I’m a mess. You’re a mess.”

Is it a hangnail or hand grenade?

It’s Sunday, but Jesus is comin’

Keeping your dreams alive

My life as a human tether ball

Squeezing Good Out of Bad

When dreams die

Your life as a “comedy”

Turn your “shaft” into a mine

If you found this hopeful, humorous or helpful, please share it on your social networks. Thanks!

“Terrible . . .” quote from Judith Viorst in my favorite children’s book by the same name

Photo: Rebecca Harris

Killing orphans and widows: a lexicon of literary lingo

January 15th, 2007 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


Publishing is a bloody business. Editors kill widows and orphans, set deadlines and issue kill fees. Graphic designers maintain a morgue and bleed in the gutter. And printers are racists demanding color separations.

So don’t be a dummy. Here’s a free guide to the literary lingo you need to know to survive in the business.

But first, these books may also be helpful in your writing. Click to read free excerpts.


A

Acknowledgments: The section of a book in which the author gives recognition or honor to the people who have influenced in the creation or publication of the book or who has made an impact on the life of the author.

Acquisitions Editor: The person at publisher who is the first to approve or reject a submitted book proposal. (See also First Reader.)

Advance: Money paid to writer to prior to book’s release. Author will not receive any royalties until income exceeds advance.

Advanced copies: Books sent to magazines, TV/radio producers, websites prior to publication in hopes of reviews and interviews.

Allegory: Narrative in which characters and settings represent larger moral, ethical issues. (Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory of the struggles of the Christian life.)

Align: To line up type or graphics

Ampersand: & sign

Angle brackets: <> characters

Annotate: Provide additional comments or explanations to a text

Antagonist: The person(s) in conflict with the protagonist (hero). It can also be nonhuman (Moby Dick), nature (The Perfect Storm), society (1984), etc.

Appendix, Appendices: Additional material usually found at back of book that provides additional information not included in body of book.

Arabic Numerals: 0123456789 (not Roman numerals I, II, III, IV etc)

ARC (Advance Readers Copy): Bound review copies with final covers sent magazines, TV/radio producers, prominent websites in hope of reviews, endorsements or other pre-promotion.

Artwork: Any photos, illustrations, or type included in the copy for print.

Ascender: part of lower-case letter above the upper half of the vertical in letters such as b, d, h, l

Associated Press Style Book: Industry standard of style for newspapers, magazines and online content. Significantly different from book’s counterpart, Chicago Manual of Style.

Author’s copies: Complimentary copies given to an author on publication (Ask for 50!)


B

Backlist: Books in a publisher’s catalog that are not being actively promoted but are still in print and available for sale. (Most of Jim’s books!)

 

Back Matter: Pages following body of book that include appendix (appendices), index, references, or additional notes.

Balloon: Circle or bubble enclosing copy in an illustration

Banner: Title extending across page width.

Bar Code: An arrangement of numbers and lines at different widths that can be scanned in order to register the price of a book and certain information about it. Also known as a UPC or Universal Product Code.

Baseline: Imaginary line for the bases of letters

Bed: The base on which the paper is held in a press “To put paper to bed”

Bind: To join the pages of a book with thread, wire, glue or other means.

Bleed: Printing that reaches the edges of a printed page after trimming or crosses the interior margins.

Blog: A web-based journal in which writers post opinions, reviews, thoughts, images etc. for readers.

Blow up: v. To enlarge a photo, graphic or drawing; n. the actual enlargement

Blurb: Promotional description of a book or author usually on the cover of book or other advertising.

Boiler Plate: Generic, repetitive form of writing.

Bold Type: Text that appears darker and thicker than normal font.

Book packager: Company that solicits work from various authors, then produces a product pitched to publishers. The Life Application Bible was created by a book packager.

Brand: What an author is known for; what reader expects from him/her. (John Grisham’s brand is legal thrillers.)

Bullet: • Dot preceding text

By-line: Name of writer or photographer printed with a magazine or newspaper article:


C

Camera-ready copy (CRC): Text and all graphics ready for reproduction

Cap line: Imaginary line across the top of capital letters

Caps: Abbreviation for capital letters (See Upper case.)

Caption: Title or description under an image.

Caret marks: Mark-up on hard copy by editor noting a correction can be found in margin of manuscript. (Obsolete now with comment feature in word processors.)

Case wrap: Hardcover book with laminated cover rather than dust jacket

Category: See Genre.

Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS): Style guide which sets the standard for the entire book publishing industry.

Climax: The moment of greatest intensity in a work of fiction.

Co-author: A “visible” ghost writer who has name on cover as “with.”

Collate: Organize printed pages in order specified.

Colophon: Publisher’s logo on the title page and spine of a book.

Color separation: Creation of magenta (violet), yellow, cyan (blue) and black plates from a full-color photo. Used in four-color printing.

Column Inch: One column wide by one inch deep; used to measure area in newspapers to pay authors and calculate cost of display advertising.

Column Rule: Light vertical line used to separate columns of type

Comb Bind: Insertion of “teeth” of a flexible plastic comb through holes punched along the edge of a stack of paper to bind books.

Complication: A situation which increases the conflict in fiction.

Compose: Set copy into type (also Typography)

Competitive Markets: Other books in print that are similar to the book you are proposing. (Stress how yours in unique!)

Condensed: Style of typeface in which the characters are compressed giving an elongated appearance.

Conflict: Struggle hero faces in fiction. It can be human, nature, cultural, religious, ignorance, spiritual, etc.

Co-publishing: Author and publisher split cost of publishing. (Avoid ones that demand author buys a large number of copies!)

Content Editor: Sometimes called Developmental Editor; looks at overall content, organization, flow, tone of voice and—for fiction character development and story arc; focuses on the work as a whole rather than spelling and grammar. Often rewrites or rephrases content for clarity.

Copy Editor: Often called Line Editor, focuses on correcting grammatical, spelling, style, and punctuation errors.

Copyright: The ownership of any intellectual property that is protected by law. Since 1978, once a work is put in fixed, retrievable form, it is protected. Ownership is documented with “copyright,” the © symbol, the year of publication, and the name of the author, photographer, etc.

Copyright Page: Page at the beginning of a book that contains copyright and publication information as well as attributions.

Cover Design: Images, illustrations, and text of a cover of a book which is used to visually attract the reader.

Crop: To trim an image by eliminating portions that are insignificant to the overall effect desired.

Critique: Suggestion that is made to the author about altering or editing the text.

Crossover: 1. Writing that crosses genres such as a Christian book that reaches the general market. @. Art that crosses the margin of two pages (“Bleeding in the gutter.”)

Crowd sourcing: Developing an idea or piece of work from the contributions of many individuals.


D

Deadline: Date on which article is due to publisher. (Cross this line, you’re dead!)

Deckle Edge: Paper left ragged as it comes from the papermaking machine. Also called feather edge.

Defamation: See Libel/Slander

Dénouement: Outcome of a plot; resolution, final outcome

Descender: the part of a lowercase letter that extends below the line such a p, g, j, q, y.

Demographic: A specific group of people whom an author addresses when writing, advertising, and selling product; may include gender, age, marital status, spiritual maturity, or any other unique characteristics. (Be as specific as possible in pitch.)

Desktop publishing Programs that digitally layout pages such as PageMaker.

Digital Printing: Digital typesetting, layout and printing that allows for cheaper printing costs and for on-demand printing.

Dingbat: Designs within text: arrows, crosses, stars, etc.; called Wingdings in Word

Disclaimer: Statement that relinquishes a party of responsibility or affiliation with all of a book or a certain component of a text.

Distributor: Company or individual who sells products to retailers instead of directly to the consumer.

Display type: Larger type; normally 18 point or larger.

Domain Name: A registered URL or Web address for a particular individual or company.

Double-page spread (DPS): Material on left-hand side continues across interior margin to the right hand side

DPI: Dots per square inch; a measure of resolution for monitors, printers and scanners, typically 60, 300 and 1200. The higher the density of dots,the clearer the image.

DRM: Used to protect the contents of an eBook file. DRM is usually applied after eBook file conversion.

Drop Cap: The first letter of a word that begins a paragraph which is enlarged to the point that it drops down into the first few lines of a paragraph. The letter is flush with the margins of the paragraph.

Dummy: Mock-up of the layout at finished size.

Dust Jacket/Dust Cover: Printed and coated paper cover folded around a hardcover book to protect the surface of the book.


E

eBook: Book in electronic format that can be read on eBook readers, smart phones, and desktop computers/laptops. Two major file types are ePub and Mobi.

Earning out: The point at which copies of the book are sold so that the agreed royalties cover the amount of the publisher’s advance

Elevator Pitch: A short, succinct, one-breath description of your proposed book.

Em: Square unit with edges equal to the chosen point size, named from the letter M which was the widest letter (Em dash)

Emboss: Creation of an impression by pressing an image into paper.

End Cap: The end of aisle display in bookstore. Considered prime selling location.

Endorsement: Promotional statement by influential individual or an organization that recommends a book.

End Notes: Same information as footnotes, but at back of book

End papers/sheets: Blank pages at front and back of a book pasted to the cover boards

eProof: Copy of an eBook before it is approved by the author and publisher.

ePub: The most universal eBook file type, used for iPad/iPhone, Nook, etc.

eReader: A portable, electronic device which is used to download and display digital files of books for a reader.

Escalators: Bonuses paid to the author based on the work meeting certain sales goals set out in the writer’s contract. For example, at 100,000 copies, royalty increases from 18 to 20 percent.


F

Face: Abbreviation for typeface.

Finished Size: Final size of a printed book.

First edition: First print run. (I’m not sure what the big deal is about “first editions.” Nearly all my books are first editions!)

First reader: Often a freelance editor who works for an Acquistion Editor. He or she is the very first person to approve or reject a book proposal before it moves on to acquisitions.

Flashback: Revelation of past event in current time of story.

Flash Fiction: Very short stories usually less than 2,000 words but as short as five words. The classic example: For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.

Flush left: Copy aligned with left margin.

Flush right: Copy aligned with right margin.

Flyer: One-sheet for promotional distribution.

Folio: 1. Actual page number in a publication. 2. A single page.

Foil: Character in fiction who brings out characteristics of hero. Barney Fife is Andy Taylor’s foil.

Font: Style of lettering and symbols such as Times New Roman, Helvetica.

Foreshadowing: Subtle clue of what is to happen further into story.

Foreword: Introduction to book, often by well-known/respected author.

Footnote: Reference, attribution, or explanatory information at bottom of a page and referenced through the use of a superscript character next to the word the footnote corresponds.

Formatting: Process of designing the layout of a manuscript for the final production of the book.

Four-color process: Printing in full color using four printing plates of magenta, yellow, cyan and black.

Freeconomics: Marketing strategy of giving away free content to inspire sales.

Front Matter: Pages that precede the main body text of a book, usually numbered with Roman numerals. Includes, in order:

      Title page
      Copyright notice page
      Dedication
      Contents
      Foreword
      Preface
      Acknowledgements
      Introduction


G

Galley: Long metal tray used to hold type after it has been set and before the press run. Obsolete with desktop publishing and offset or digital printing.

Galley (proof): A copy of typeset book to be reviewed authors, editors, and proofreaders. Today, they are usually PDFs.

Genre: Categories that books fit in to depending on the subject matter. Examples include fiction and its subcategories (romance, fantasy, mysteries) and nonfiction (biographies, cooking, self-help, etc.)

Ghostwriter: A person paid to write or co-write a book who does not get credit on cover or in acknowledgement. (Considered by some as unethical.)

General market: Any book outside a specialty market, such as Christian and general market.

Gilding: Gold leaf on the page edges.

Gloss finish: Coated paper with shiny surface

Glossary: Usually found at the end of a book, contains significant terms from the text with their definitions.

Grayscale: Images that are composed of only black and white with the gray shades in between.

Gutter: Middle margin of book or magazine


H

Hairline: Very thin line, rule

Half-tone: Photo or illustration broken into a pattern of dots of varying size. Light areas have small dots, dark areas have large dots

Hard copy: Output of a computer printer as compared to digital data

Hard News: Newspaper writing that includes simply who, what, where, when, why and how. (“Just the facts, m’am, just the facts.”)

Hardcover: Book that has a hard, durable cover to the book instead of a soft cover

Header: Information that appears at the top of every page that generally includes the title of the book on one side and the chapter title on the other.

House style: Copy editing rules for spelling, punctuation, etc. used in a publishing house or publication, also called Style sheet.

Hyperbole: Intentional exaggeration, often for humorous effect. Jesus used it in Pharisees “straining gnats and swallowing camels.”


I

Ellipsis (ellipses): Punctuation mark(s) consisting of three dots . . . used when omitting a word, phrase, line, paragraph, or more from a quoted passage. AP style specifies no spaces between; Chicago Manual of Style mandates spaces. The ending of a cut quote would be. . . . (No space between last word and period.)

Image area: Part of paper which can be printed

Impression: Putting an image on paper

Imprint: 1. Name and place of the publisher and printer normally required by law. 2. A specialty division within a publisher. (Tommy Nelson is an imprint of Thomas Nelson)

Index: A list of words that contains a list of specific subjects with the correlating page numbers to which they are referenced. The index generally appears at the end of a book. (You already knew that, but it’s an important book of some books.)

Influencers: Prominent authors, experts, social media personalities who can help promote book through endorsements, reviews, recommendations.

Interior graphics: Refers to the pictures, figures, and diagrams within the text of a book.

Inverted Pyramid: Structure of a newspaper article with first paragraph including who, what, where, when, why and how. Each subsequent paragraph includes lesser and lesser important information. An editor can cut article at any point, and still have a complete article with all necessary information.

Irony: Figure of speech in which words are used in such a way that their intended meaning is different from the actual meaning of the words.

ISBN: The International Standard Book Number is a unique 13-digit number that identifies a book’s publisher, title, author and edition.

ISSN: International Standard Serial Number used to identify periodicals worldwide.


J

JPG: Computer file format specifically for photos and images. Because it compresses file then renders in original, images tend to bleed.

Justify: Alignment of text with both margins.


K

Keyword: A word or phrase that is used when searching online search engines in order to find all related results to that keyword.

Kerning: Spacing between characters on a line. (Not essential to know, but a great Scrabble word.)

Keyline: Outline drawn on dummy showing position of an illustration

Kill fee: Payment due to a writer if publisher doesn’t publish assigned work; percentage of original payment.


L

Laminate: n. Clear, hard covering on page or cover; v. Apply the coating.

Landscape: Format in which width is greater than height. Opposite of Portrait.

Layout: Plan or design for how a page or cover will look once printed

Lead: The first paragraph(s) of article that immediately reveals the topic, sets tone, and offers a reader benefit. (Most book and article editors only read a few paragraphs, so make this your very best writing!)

Libel, Slander: Intentionally publishing—including posting—false information with malice injuring someone’s reputation with falsehood. (Yes, all the laws of print apply to online.)

LCCN: Library of Congress Control Number; assigned to a book that is likely to be acquired by the Library of Congress to be circulated in libraries.

Lead or Leading: Originally strips of lead inserted between lines of metal type added between lines of type to provide spacing between lines. For instance, 12/14 would designate the font size and amount of leading.

Leaf: Sheet of paper

Line Editor: Focuses on grammatical, punctuation, and style issues; often serves as fact-checker.

List Price: The full value price of a book, usually printed on the back cover.

Literary Agent: A person who submits appropriate book proposals to publishers for authors; negotiates contracts between the author and a publishing company; assures royalties are paid according to contract.

Lower Case: small letters (Fun fact: In the ancient days of hand setting type, there was a case for small letter at the bottom and a case for capital letter on the top, thus upper and lower case.)


M

Manuscript: The complete text of a book.

Mark up: Copy prepared with typesetting instructions.

Matte Finish: Flat finish without gloss.

Mechanical: Camera-ready art.

Memoir: Differs from autobiography in that it tends to be more personal reflections, written in narrative style rather than chronological nonfiction.

Metaphor: Figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable; often an extended simile.

Midlist: Denotes books which are not by A-list authors nor heavily promoted, but worthy of publication. (Example: All of my books are midlist.)

Mobi: eBook file type used on Amazon’s Kindle and the Mobipocket eReader

Mock-up: Rough visual for a design, dummy.

MS: See Manuscript.

Morgue: Photo files


N

Niche: A specific market that is defined by a particular interest or subject matter.

Nonexclusive Contract: A contract in which the publisher does not retain the exclusive rights over an author’s published material.

Nut graph: Nut-shell paragraph or sentence, usually following lead that summarizes the essence of story without divulging every detail.


N

OCR (Optical Character Recognition): Converts a scanned image into digital codes that can be edited by word processor or typesetting program. (Watch out for mistakes with O and 0, capital I and lower case i.)

Offset Printing: Technique that transfers an inked image from a plate to a rubber blanket and then to the page.

One-Sheet: Single-sheet condensation of book proposal.

Onomatopoeia: Words that imitate the sound of the thing: buzz, hiss, crush, crash, etc.

Out of Print: A book that is no longer available for sale. Most publishers consider “in print” to include eBooks and other online editions.

Option: The negotiated right of assignment for plot, characters or place in a book.

Orphan: Single word on its own at the top or bottom of a page. i>. (Thus the title, Killing Widows and Orphans.

Overs: Additional printing to compensate for spoilage (Often 10 percent of the print run.)

Over the transom: Term derived when doors had a window—transom—that opened above it. Thus, it describes unsolicited submissions tossed through it.


P

Page Count: Total number of pages in a book.

Pagination: Numbering of pages in a book.

Parable: A short story that teaches a moral or spiritual lesson, especially one of the stories told by Jesus Christ; also Aesop’s Fables.

PDF: Portable Document Format of a document that cannot be edited or tampered with in any way.

Perfect Binding: Form of binding in which the edges of the pages are glued to a cover at the spine.

Pica: Unit of measure in typesetting. One pica = 1/6 inch

Personification: Attributing human characteristics to something that is not human (a thing, an animal, or an abstraction).

Plagiarism: Using quotations from other works without attribution or gaining permission. Some publishers consider it plagiarism when authors quote themselves without reference to previous work.

Plate: Paper, plastic or metal sheet carrying an image to printing press

Platform: Modes you can market your book for a publisher: email list, social media, speaking, website, etc.

Plot: Direction of a story’s main events and incidents; how they relate to one another. (See Story Arc.)

PNG: Computer file format preferred over .jpgs for graphics since it maintains its high resolution. JPGs “bleed.”

Podcast: Content via digital audio file available online or subscription service for downloading to computer or mobile device. Usually about a special subject with regular episodes.

POV (,strong>Point of View): Perspective from which story is written: first-person, third-person, omniscient third-person.

Portrait: An upright image or page where the height is greater than the width and the opposite of Landscape layout

Preachy: Condescending, patronizing, moralist rants that come across as judgmental and ungracious. (Not a good thing!)

Preface: Author’s introduction. Usually replaced with introduction or first chapter.

Pre-press: Anything done to prepare for the manufacturing of the book, such as editing, typography, layout changes, resizing, etc.

Press Kit: A packaged set of promotional materials that are sent to media for publicity.

Press Release: Written document promoting a book or event sent to media outlets for publicity.

Print-on-Demand: The printing of books as needed one at a time on million-dollar “copy machine.”

Print-Ready: The final manuscript of the book in a PDF file format. At this stage the book is ready to be sent to the printer.

Proof: Printed copy of the book that is used to check for errors in the text, layout, or design of the book before it is sent to the final printing stage.

Proof Reader: Usually, the last person to check for errors before book, article or post goes to print.

Proposal: Marketing package of manuscript to agent/publisher, includes cover letter, details and sample chapters.

Protagonist: Main character facing the conflict—antagonist—in a novel, short story.

Pseudonym: Pen name

Pub Board: A committee at a publishing house made up of editors and marketers who make decisions what to publish—and not. (What’s the difference between a pub and a pub board? Drunken Englishmen often make better decisions.)

Publication Date: Date that a book is scheduled to be released to the public.

Publicist: Professional hired to promote the book and circulate press releases.

Publicity Tour: This is a tour that an author takes in order to promote their book. Publicity tours often include book signings, interviews, and book readings.

Publishing Services Provider: Aids in the publishing steps, including editing, layout/design, book manufacturing, etc.

Purple Prose: Ornate, flowery writing with excessive use of adjectives, adverbs and metaphors. (Not a good thing!)


R

Recto: Right-hand page of an open book. Traditional side to start a story or chapter

Resolution: Measurement used to express image quality. Measured in dots per inch.

Retail Price: The price a book is sold at in stores.

Reversion of rights: Publisher returns rights to author when book goes out of print. (Make sure you get this in every contract. Also agree that rights return when print book goes out of print. Otherwise a public go retain rights forever as long as its an eBook.)

Review copy (See ARC, Advanced Reader’s Copy).

Retail Price: Price a book is sold at in stores.

Rights: What you are offering the publisher for your manuscript. To describes them, think of it as home ownership:

      All: You sell the house
      First: You rent the house for the first time
      Reprint: You open a B&B.
      One-time: You rent the house for just one time per guest

Remainders: 1. Books not selling well that are sold at deep discounts. 2. Rock band called “Rock Bottom Remainders” featuring Dave Barry, Stephen King, Amy Tan and others.

Royalty: Percentage of sales revenue from a book that is paid to the book’s author.

Run: Number of books printed at one time (also edition, printing)

Running Header: Content at top of page of book, title of book, chapter title


S

Saddle Stitch: Refers to binding of a magazine or booklet by placing staples through the fold.

Sans Serif: Typeface that has no small strokes—or feet—at the end of main stroke of the character such a Helvetica or Calibri. (This site uses Helvetica.)

Satire: Use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and critique failings, particularly politics and other topical issues.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Using keywords to raise ranking with search engines

Self-Publishing: Financing and producing book with funding of author.

Serif: Small cross stroke—or feet—at the end of the main stroke of the letter such as Times New Roman and Georgia.

Shelf Life: How long an unsold book stays on the sales floor before being returned to publisher. (In today’s economy, books have the shelf life of milk.)

Signature: Large sheets of paper which, when folded and trimmed, become smaller pages of a book. Usually sheets containing sixteen pages.

Simile: Comparison of two different things using the words like or as. (A metaphor is often referred to as an “extended simile.”

Slush-pile: Term used to describe unsolicited manuscript submissions.

Small Caps: Capital letters of equal size type to the lower case letters

Social networking: Using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, other platforms in increase audience and deepen relationship with readers. (Make sure less than 10 percent of posts are promotions for your work. It’s about “social” networking!)

Softcover: Often called paperback; cover made of card stock, often laminated

Source File: Original file used as the source for design, eBook conversion, layout, editing, etc.

Speculative Fiction: Genre encompassing science fiction, fantasy, or anything beyond “real” world.

Spine: Edge that holds book together with glue or thread

Spine out: Describes a book being displayed in book store with just spine visible. (Cover out is preferred, so when visting books stores, always turn your book cover out!)

Spiral Bind: Continuous wire or plastic looped through holes punched along bound edge.

Spoilage: Anticipated paper waste during printing.

Stet: Proof correction cancels a correction i.e. let the original copy stand.

Story arc: The flow of a novel or short story. Here’s how Nancy Lynn McLane plots it:

      1. Defining event: must be something the character cares about
      2. Raise the stakes: the call to action; the character tries to resist
      3. Rising action: pulls the character into the activities
      4. No turning back: must resolve problem; can’t get around it
      5. Exceptional event: character is over his/her head, although actions may appear successful
      6. Dark moment: all seems lost or moral dilemma demands a choice; character must sacrifice
      7. Climax/resolution: the final confrontation: problem/obstacle is overcome or resolved; loose ends tied up.

Subhead: Bold-face heading within text.

Submission: Proposed article or book.

Subplot: Subordinate plot in fiction that coexists with the main plot.

Subscript: Small characters set below the normal letters.

Superscript: Small characters set above the normal letters.

Syntax: Proper organization of sentence structure. (Avoid sinful syntax!)


T

TOC (Table of Contents): Listing of sections, chapter titles and page numbers.

Tag line: Short, pithy description of author. (Mine is “Hope and Humor.”)

Target Audience: (See Demographic.)

Template: Standard layout with basic page and layout dimensions.

Thumbnails: Sketches or small versions of an image.

Tone (Voice): Personality or style of writing: academic, dramatic, humorous, warm, etc.

Trade Publishing: Publishing intended for the general consumer market.

Traditional Publishing: Publisher is responsible for all editing, design, printing and distribution and assumes all costs. Publisher pays a flat fee (work for hire) or a royalty on sales—usually net.

Trim Size: Final dimensions of a book page after the book is printed, bound, and trimmed.

Typesetting: Formatting a book or articles, usually with desktop publishing.

Typographer: Designer of printed matter; chooses font, sizes, layout


U

UC/lc: UPPER and lower case letters

Understatement: Intentional minimizing of something that is much larger or graver. (My aunt referred to London bombings as “Rather unpleasant.”)

University Press: Owned and run by a university with academic titles

Unsolicited: Manuscript sent without being sought by publisher.

USP: Unique Selling Point): A feature that makes a book uniquely marketable.

UV Coating: Thin plastic coating on cover cured with ultraviolet light.


V

Vanity Press: Derogatory term for often shady self-publishers with poor quality work, additional expenses. Often requires commitment to large press run. Run!

Verso: Left hand page of open book.

Virtual assistant: Someone who assists clients with office tasks while working offsite by computer.

Virtual Book Tour: Similar to a publicity tour, but is online with ads, interactive events, often with book giveaways.


W

Webinar: Seminar that is broadcast live on Internet, allows participants to interact and share comments through chat.

Wholesaler: Company, group or an individual who will buy large quantities of books from a publisher for a discounted rate and then sell them to a retailer at a midlevel rate.

Widow: Single word left on the last line of a paragraph which falls on a new page.

Word Wrap: Automatic adjustment of words on a line to match the margins. Eliminates RETURN key on typewriters.

Work for Hire: Author is paid flat fee for all rights, no royalty. (It pays the mortgage, but try to avoid this!)

Copyright © 2019 James N. Watkins

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Squeezing good out of bad

January 10th, 2006 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Squeezing Good Out of Bad
James N. Watkins
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Trade size (6×9) 112 pages
ISBN: 978-0-578-01006-9

Life is filled with lemons! So here are top ten ways to squeeze the good out of those life-puckering situations. And James Watkins is a great guide since he’s felt the squeeze of cancer, unemployment, family crises and chronic nose hair. Join him on the journey with hope and humor.

Browse
Chapter 5 on pain

Listen
Jim’s talk that summarizes Squeezing Good Out of Bad.

Buy
• Amazon.com Paperback or ebook
• Barnes and Noble Paperback

Hope & Humor launches April 1997

April 12th, 1997 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

My Hope & Humor web site launched on April 12, 1997, with just a handful of articles. Here’s a peek at the original site.

Since then, it’s been an honor to welcome over 7 million guests from 120 countries with articles, book excerpts, cartoons, humor columns and videos. Enjoy!