More from Jim on Publishing
In my last post, I mentioned April Fool’s day 2014, the day that dawned following over ten years’ service to my erstwhile employers, Day One Christian Ministries. In my tenure there as director of publications and marketing, I had gained a good sense of the publishing world, its strengths and its weaknesses, and how it could maybe benefit from having things done differently. I enjoyed working with editors and with graphic designers, and it was both pleasing and productive to develop so many new lines of books. I’ve mapped out some of these things in my portfolio in one of my websites [HERE].
Working in publishing significantly connected me with some fairly well-known authors, including people like John Blanchard, John MacArthur, Andy McIntosh, Roger Ellsworth and many others (you could see a part list HERE–there are over seventy names in it–but since then extended to more than one hundred). Some of them said some kind words [HERE], especially Dr. John Blanchard (pictured, right, with his wife, Pam) who wrote:
“Integrity and Efficiency”
Two words come immediately to mind when I think of Jim and Sue Holmes—integrity and efficiency. When you add gracious courtesy to those you have a combination that encourages you to work with them, as I have in South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. Their experience and expertise will be of great benefit to authors who choose to partner with them and I commend them warmly to any who consider doing so.
Dr. John Blanchard, Evangelist, Author and Christian Apologist
All said and done, I now found myself in the somewhat unenviable position of having been let go of, with a significant workplace injury (which my employers at Day One knew well about and for which they refused to take any responsibility), though, thankfully, with a green card and the right to reside and work in the USA.
Making a Plan
“Well, Sue,” I remarked over my mug of tea. Her gentle face was showing some anxiety and I knew that I would have to work to keep her from stressing overmuch. “It has to be publishing in one form or another. That’s what I know best, and I am happy to be guided by the principle of Ecclesiastes 9:10—Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” Around this time, John Lehman, an associate minister at a nearby church, had come into my life. He had, he explained, written a long letter that he wished to convert into a book and wished it to be a blessing to his family members. I looked it over, and it was very promising. Now that I have gotten to know John, we can enjoy a good laugh about how I helped to get the book “out of him.” See the graphic above on the right; John is much better looking than the patient undergoing the X-Ray and I hope I would not be mistaken in real life for the doctor! He and his wife, Suzie, are pictured below. John now has three beautifully produced books—the first on parenting, the second on marriage, and the third on fitness, all with engaging titles: It’s Apparent…You’re a Parent; I Do or I Don’t; and Fit for the Master.
As good J C Ryle said, “The best way to do something is to do it.” So I decided that the best way to start was by pushing ahead in some projects, feeling my way forward using social media and making myself as useful as I was able to. Principles lead to empiricals. “Just try doing it,” I counseled myself. One of the concerns driving me was to establish fair competency in website building and development, so while working on some editing projects for P&R Publishing, I also forayed into the world of Google-Sites and WordPress, soon finding the latter to be quite powerful, and that even eCommerce was not as complex as it might first seem. With thanks, under God, for free online tutorials and perusing numerous FAQs, it was not long before I found my way forward in developing websites for other people to help them promote their writing ministries. These include www.fitforthemaster.fit, www.deborahhoward.net, www.timothyjcross.org, www.lifelineminibooks.com, www.twelvedaysofchristmas.org, www.exposingthefederalvision.org, and several other ones.
An Unexpected Phone Call
An email that dropped into my in box from an online form submission from one of my websites was very interesting, and even more so when I phoned the man from whom it originated. “I represent a publishing family,” he said, “And in doing due diligence, we wish to establish whether you might be the right person to help in their publishing ministry.” It was an extra surprise, a pleasant one, too, to learn that the publishing family was none other than that of Tedd and Margy Tripp. Tedd (pictured here) is well known for his remarkable book Shepherding a Child’s Heart, a manuscript derived from a doctoral thesis that nobody wanted to publish when he first wrote it, so it ended up being self published (under the quickly thought-up name of Shepherd Press). Now with a sales history of well in excess of a million copies, it is a book that has challenged, blessed, and guided countless parents and teachers over the years. To cut a long story short, following a weekend visit to northern Pennsylvania, there commenced a relationship between me and Shepherd Press that enables me to be of service in the promotion and development of the ministry, and to help in recruiting new authors and rolling out of new resources. That’s just one of the various things that I love doing. You can find out more about Shepherd Press HERE and HERE .
Waging War on Worry!
Because the Shepherd Press work is flexible and part-time, there are many other things that I do in publishing. Like when Simon Robinson, my good friend in England, told me that he had been writing some notes all about anxiety. “I think we should make a book of it,” I ventured. “If you could get to 31 readings, it could even become a daily reading book.” Simon warmed to the idea immediately and soon after we were exchanging emails and sharing ideas. The outcome not long afterwards was a book in a black and red cover with an anxious man regarding people holding the book—the man on the cover that is—with 31 easy-to-read chapters, complete with Bible reference, application points, and a suggested prayer to pray—even if just to prime the pump, as it were–all to strategically help readers get over the worry factor.
So, why do I publish… That’s a great question. Perhaps it’s something like ink (rather than blood) in my veins.
So I am not yet done in sharing these thoughts. There is more to say about this ministry of publishing, especially inventing new and more efficient and effective ways of doing it, so I will add to this short cluster of posts and share some interesting insights into what I do and how I do it—and especially how the paradigms are changing!