Sunday, March 20, 2016

Write-to-Publish Faculty Interview: James Watkins, Website Class and Publishing Rep

Tell us a about your continuing class at Write-to-Publish, “Creating a WordPress Website to Promote Your Message.” Sounds like a hands-on class.

Indeed! Students will build their very own WordPress Website while in class. Having a Web presence is absolutely essential in today's publishing world. When a book proposal goes before a publications board, the first thing the editing and marketing people do is google the author's name. If that person doesn't pop up, the author doesn't exist and they move on to the next proposal. So, every writer needs a blog/Website, Best of all, you will have a potential audience of over two billion Internet users!

Can you say something to encourage those who would like to attend your class but are fearful?

I've used several Web editing programs, and WordPress is by far the easiest to use. I've taught this class at colleges and conferences, and not one person has left in tears--just a great site! I will guide students step by step, click by click in making a memorable website. I'll also teach good design principles and how online writing differs from "in print" writing. But wait, there's more: sites for free, royalty-free photos. The only thing worse than no site is an ugly, boring site! Before coming to class, be sure to sign up at (not .org) and bring your lap, username and password to class

Anything else you would like to add?

The actual usage of WordPress is for beginners, but the instruction on good design,writing online, and how to promote your site will be helpful for those at any level. Online writing is very different from the traditional in print publications, although the "online" style is found more and more in print. So there's something for everyone!

You are representing Wesleyan Publishing House (WPH), ACW Press and Light from the Word (LFTW). Can you give us a little info about each one and what you would like to see and hear from those who meet with you?

I'm an acquisitions editor for WPH, a royalty publisher. I'm looking for nonfiction book proposals that help Christians become fully-devoted followers of Jesus Christ. (Books are around 40,000 words in length.) I'm not looking for children, fiction, memoir, poetry or End Time books.  

I also represent Light from the Worda daily devotional magazine. If I see some very good writing the illustrates a biblical truth with powerful anecdotes rather than teaching (and preaching), I will pass it on to the editor who may assign you seven scriptures to illustrate. 

For WPH and LFTWvisit for complete writers' guidelines.

And I'm an editor with ACW Press, an independent publisher. We provide the highest quality editing and design for the lowest possible price with all packages including a complete edit, custom cover and interior design and ISBN. We've published everything from highly technical nonfiction to novels to collections of poetry. If you're a speaker, it essential that you have a book to send home with your audience members!

So, I can get you into print--one way or 

I've been in this crazy publishing business for 40 years, so I'm also available if you just need some advice, critique or direction. Despite being an editor, I'm actually quite harmless!

Learn more about Jim at his website.

Write-to-Publish meets June 8-11 in the Chicago area. 

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