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

Here’s how I can help you:

C: consulting

I’m the author of 20 books and over 2,000 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.

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 . . .

Guiding you to the right agent and/or traditional publisher
I’ve developed hundreds of relationships with editors and agents over my 40 years to help you make the right connections.

Helping you find the best independent publisher if you choose to go that route
I’ll help you avoid the numerous scams and cons in the independent publishing work. I’ll help you find the best print and eBook publishers at the best price.

I charge 2 cents per word for critiques and provide 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.

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 offer . . .

Writing letters, promotional material for individuals and organizations

Rewriting current materials

Ghostwriting from interviews with you
In each of these areas, I’ll work closely with you in putting your message or story into publishable, marketable form, while preserving your “voice.” (I’ve worked with first-timers to New York Times best-selling authors.)


I charge 4 cents per word for substantive/content editing. This is broad-stroke editing of content, structure, flow. (It does not include line editing for grammar, spelling or punctuation. I would highly recommend Christian Editor Connection for line and proof editing.)

I charge 10 cents a word for writing and rewriting ($100 minimum)

For ghostwriting I charge 50 percent of contracted book revenue or $60 per hour for interviewing and reseraching, then 10 cents per word for writing.

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.

You may pay with a check or money order. (For some reason, PayPal hates me!)

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4 Responses

  • Jean Fan says:

    Jim, I am introduced by Elizabeth Delaney. I am very sorry that I have to ask you a question before everything else. Are you a conservative or liberal?

    • jameswatkins says:

      Hi Jean, I’m too conservative to be a Democrat and too liberal to be a Republican, so I guess I’m an Independent. Most of all, I’m trying to live out the teachings of Jesus.

  • Jean Fan says:

    Jim, how do I get hold of you to have an initial discussion about the publication of my manuscript?

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