Does your manuscript need some CPR?

Does your writing need some CPR?

For forty years—I started when I was seven years old—I’ve been teaching and mentoring writers in getting published in print and pixels.

• I’ve taught writing across the United States and around the world in conferences as well as 15 years at Taylor University teaching Freelance Writing and Online Communications.

• And I’ve worked in the traditional and independent publishing world as an editor helping first-time and New York Times best-selling authors get their book manuscripts into print. I current work for EA Books, a great partnership publisher (like self-publishing but with a coach by your side every step).

• I have an undergraduate degree in theology and graduate work in communications.

Here’s how I can help you and what others are saying:

    “I cannot adequately express what a blessing it was for Jim Watkins to serve as the content editor for my manuscript. Jim excels, not only in delivering a quality final product, but he goes above and beyond to ensure that the process from beginning to end is achieved with timeliness and professionalism. For Jim, the goal is to serve the Lord and the writer to the best of his ability. Although my task was challenging, it was truly a joy to be shepherded by an individual who encouraged me and made me feel like my work was his greatest priority.”
    Jay Mills, author of Game On! A Coach’s Game Plan for Discipleship

I ghosted an autobiography for a New York Times best-selling author. I organized her life story and wrote virtually every word, so it was nice to read “her” reviews:

    “[She] is a fabulous author. It’s written as if she is sitting at the kitchen table sharing parts of her life.”

    “Beautifully written with the same spunk she portrayed in her first book. As good as the first one.”

    “I’m having a hard time putting it down. She is such a great writer!”

    “She was born to write. Her life was so very interesting and she described it so well.”

C: consulting

I’m the author of over 20 traditionally published books and over 2,500 articles. Four of my books have won national industry awards such as Christian Retailers Choice award and an award of merit in Christianity Today‘s book of the year contest. The best comment from a CT judge was, “Jim is no author. No, it’s like he’s sitting across from you at McDonalds sharing Diet Cokes.” (Okay, I can live with being “no author.”)

I’ve also worked full-time at Wesleyan Publishing House as a book, magazine and curriculum editor, then as editorial director over the denomination’s curriculum products. While there, I earned four Evangelical Press Association awards for most-improved and best periodicals internationally. I recently won my fifth EPA for reporting on race relations for a national magazine.

I am currently developmental editor at EA Books

It’s been a joy to work with hundreds of individual authors in titling, organizing and marketing their articles, self-help books, technical manuals and several Bible commentaries.

I offer personalized help in . . .

Critiquing book manuscripts and proposals
This includes analyzing the manuscript as a whole for logical flow, consistency in tone and voice, readability and relatability, as well as marketability.

Book development and marketing
I’ll work with you in addressing the work issues discovered in the critique.

Social media coaching for websites, Facebook and Instagram
I’ll help you identify your brand and work with you in creating an online presence that attracts both readers and editors. I can also offer hands-on help setting up your website and social media.

I charge 2 cents per word for critiques which include a written report identifying work areas and suggestions for possible markets.

I charge $60 per hour for coaching ($20 minimum).

Email me for a free initial discussion of your project.

P: publishing assistance

I can guide you through the process of writing book proposals, preparing your book for production and publishing your book, whether you are going through a traditional or independent publisher. I have worked with Concordia House, HarperCollins, Group, Moody Publishing, Tyndale House, Wesleyan Publishing, Zondervan and many other publishers. For 20 years I served as editorial consultant and editor with ACW Press, one of the first Christian self-publishing companies. I also have good contacts with both agents and publishers, so I can assist you in networking. (The three secrets to publication are 1. Network, 2. Network and 3. Network.)

I offer personalized help in . . .

Critiquing your book, proposal

I charge 2 cents per word and provide a written report identifying work areas and suggestions for possible markets.

Guiding you to the right agent and/or traditional publisher

Free! I’ve developed hundreds of relationships with traditional editors and agents over my 40 years to help you make the right connections. I’d be glad to give you direction. Simply email me at (And, no, I don’t get any commissions for recommendation of publisher or agents. That would be a huge red flag!)

Working with you as you self-publish your book.

As mentioned, I’m an editor with EA Books, an excellent, ethical and economical independent publisher. In full disclosure, I do receive a commission on all projects, but I am absolutely committed to no pressure. Really, I’m a terrible salesperson!

Email me for a free initial discussion of your project.

R: rewriting, researching

Many people have a story, but don’t want to go through what Malcolm Gladwell claims are the 10,000 hours to become proficient in a craft. So they turn to co-authors or ghostwriters.

I’m not limited to books, but have written promotional materials for Indiana Wesleyan University, World Hope, the Wesleyan Church Corporation and more as well as other nonprofits such as chambers of commerce, arts councils and philharmonic orchestras.

I’m also a certified nerd who, while on summer break in junior high, read the entire World Book Encyclopedia. I love to help writers and speakers research historical data, find word meanings in Hebrew and Greek and find appropriate anecdotes.

I can help you with . . .

Writing letters, promotional material for individuals and organizations

Rewriting current materials

I charge 10 cents a word for writing and rewriting ($100 minimum) for any kind of promotional writing, books, articles, etc. (And, no, I won’t write your term paper.)

Developmental editing

I’ll help you with title, content, structure, flow, etc. (I do this through EA Books. It doesn’t include line editing/proofreading for grammar, spelling or punctuation, etc.) For details on prices, visit the EA Books website.

Email me for a free initial discussion of your project.

Let’s bring your writing to life with some CPR!

I’ll be happy to provide references if you wish.

I charge half of written cost upfront and then the second half only after you’re completely satisfied.

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