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Jim Jackson’s Just for Authors

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Individual Assistance      Classes     

Need Individual Assistance?

Don’t we all periodically need help? And I enjoy helping other authors out, so what exactly are we talking about here?"

Fans of my "Revision and Self-Editing" course value my outside-the-box solutions to plot problems and my ability to spot alternatives that will strengthen a scene. Maybe a fresh look will crack the issue.

My work on the "Indie Publisher" course gave me a new realization that I can often diagnose and fix Word document and eBook formatting issues that befuddle others. Sometimes it can be as "simple" as needing to change a link in an ebook or on a website. Sometimes it’s the frustration of having a picture that’s too large or too small.

Maybe you have a problem that involves math. I’m pretty good with numbers; they were how I made my living back in the day.

I know a lot mostly because I scewed up a lot and had to figure out how to fix my problem. Maybe I can help you fix yours.

So how does this work?

Send me an email at author@jamesmjackson.com and tell me what’s going on. I’ll get back to you and let you know if it sounds like something I might be able to help with. If so, I’ll let you know what I need from you. Maybe a simple telephone call will do. Maybe you’ll have to send me a file to check out.

And if I can help you out, you determine how much that was worth to you. You click on the graphic on the right, decide how many "books" you want to buy (at $5) and after transaction fees that I pay for, the rest ends up in my account.

If I’ve helped you out, you can reward me by buying me a book (or two or ten). Click on the graphic below, which takes you to the "Buy me a Coffee" website where you can choose how many "books" to send me. Each is worth $5.

They accept payment using credit cards or Stripe. I’m picking up the cost of the credit card fees. Buy Me a Coffee takes 5% of whatever remains and sends me the rest.

Buy Me a Book

Thank You.


Here’s where I provide you with great things satisfied customers said about my work.

Problem is, this is a brand new service, and you may be one of the first.

But what do you have to lose? If I can’t help, you’ve only wasted a little bit of time explaining the problem (and I often solve mine right after I’ve explained it to someone else - don’t you hate it when that happens?). And if I can help, you decide what it was worth to you.

You read this far. You know you want to give it a try. Send the email. I hope you'll be as satisfied as this author:

Jim - As I expected, you had the perfect solution to my dilemma on [topic discussed] THANK YOU!!! (D.K.)


The class uses Groups.io, allowing students to complete lessons when it is most convenient for them. Lessons are provided as Groups.io messages and are also downloadable as PDF or .rtf files. Homework and my responses are posted in the class Groups.io folder.

Revision and Self-Editing

This 4-week online course provides students a practical approach to revising a completed novel. The homework assignments work best using a completed draft novel.

Here's a sample schedule:

  • Optional (and strongly encouraged) pre-work before class starts
  • Day 1: Introductions
  • Day 2: Lesson #1 - First Steps - Read Through
  • Day 4: Lesson #2 - Point of View Considerations
  • Day 6: Lesson #3 - Opening Your Novel
  • Day 8: Lesson #4 - Self-Editing Structure
  • Day 10: Lesson #5 - Scene by Scene
  • Day 12: Lesson #6 - Ebb and Flow
  • Day 14: Lesson #7 - Deepening Characters
  • Day 16: Lesson #8 - Dialogue
  • Day 18: Lesson #9 - Making the Details Count
  • Day 20: Lesson #10 - Scene Pacing
  • Day 22: Lesson #11 - Closing Your Novel
  • Day 24: Lesson #12 - Checking the Nits
  • Day 26: Lesson #13 - Miscellaneous and Last Thoughts
  • Day 28: Last day to turn in homework and receive feedback

Student Comments

Jim’s course delivered much more than promised: a soup-to-nuts revision system that starts from a bird’s-eye-level and progresses to the best prose-polishing system I’ve come across. Plus, Jim critiques the accompanying series of practices exercises with humor and expertise. Highly recommended.

~ Nancy G. (published author)

Jim Jackson's class on self-editing was exceptional. He concluded the class with the words "when you publish your novel" and never implied "if." I think that attitude sums up his treatment of and belief in his students. Whether a first-time novelist like me or a more experienced writer, he treated us all with the same respect, constructive comments, and positivity. After following his excellent lessons and exercises, I now have a much clearer path on how to move forward with my manuscript. He has saved me hours and hours of work, and the editing process is not as daunting as I first thought before the class began.

~ Sally M. (pre-published author)

Jim provides in-depth, straightforward instruction, with homework that generates honest reflection on your work, all to the good.

~ Chris K. (published author)

As a writer, I've taken advantage of critique groups and manuscript swaps, but found that I was hitting a wall with regards to the value I could take from the feedback. This course helped me think more intentionally about different aspects of the process of writing. It provides space to reflect on the layers of revision as well as providing tangible feedback on how to prioritize structural issues and how to identify possible problems and get "unstuck."

~ Gabi S. (pre-published author)

Indie Publication

This 6-week online course provides students a practical approach to revising a completed novel. The homework assignments work best using a completed draft novel.

The lessons are spaced to allow students time to complete the homework assignments. Here's a list of the lessons:

  • Introductions
  • Lesson #1 - Questions You Should Answer
  • Lesson #2 - Comparing Traditional and Indie Publishing Workflows
  • Lesson #3 - Business Formation and Records (part 1)
  • Lesson #4 - Business Formation and Records (part 2)
  • Lesson #5 - Creating and editing an eBook File (part 1)
  • Lesson #6 - Creating and editing an eBook File (part 2)
  • Lesson #7 - Creating and editing an eBook File (part 3)
  • Lesson #8 - Creating a Word Document to Convert to ePub
  • Lesson #9 - Creating a Word Document to Convert to PDF
  • Lesson #10 - Inventory Accounting
  • Lesson #11 - Tax Filing Fun
  • Lesson #12 - ISBN, LOC, Copyrights
  • Lesson #13 - Exclusive vs. Going Wide
  • Lesson #14 - Taking your eBook Live
  • Lesson #15 - Creating Your Paperback
  • Lesson #16 - Creating Book Covers
  • Lesson #17 - Audiobooks
  • Lesson #18 - Estate Planning
  • Lesson #19 - Miscelleaneous and Final Thoughts

Student Comments

Jim Jackson’s Indie Publishing course gave me just what I wanted – a step-by-step guide to setting up my author business and publishing my first book. In a month of jam-packed lessons, he laid out the decisions to make and the factors to consider, along with clear detailed how-tos and hands-on exercises. He quickly answered every question and provided feedback to every post. And when someone hit a glitch, he had a gift for spotting the problem and helping them solve it. It’s a terrific course, and Jim’s a great teacher.

~ Kathy W.

Jim Jackson's Indie Publishing class packed everything an author needs to set up their own author business and publish their novel. The step-by-step instructions - including screen shots - are golden. I could never have patched this information together no matter how many Google searches I did. On top of the excellent material, Jim is a great teacher, open to all questions, and promptly responding. I give this class five stars!

~ Debra K.

Jim Jackson is an extraordinary teacher who thoroughly covers major aspects of self-publishing. Once I completed the course, I felt empowered to begin the journey.

~ Michele L.

I just finished a fabulous Indie Publishing class taught by Jim Jackson. It's a soup-to-nuts look at how to set up your author business and then publish ebooks, paperbacks and audiobooks. All that's left for the author is to write the books!

~ Nancy G.

Jim Jackson’s Indie publishing class should be part of every writer’s toolbox. If you’re considering taking the class because you have questions, take it and you’ll find your answers.

~ Jennifer P.

Jim Jackson is an excellent teacher who combines comprehensive, information-packed lessons with knowledgeable and supportive responses to class members' questions. He is also funny and infinitely patient. I knew almost nothing about indie publishing before I took his class. Now I have a good understanding of the many tasks involved in publishing a book on my own, so I can decide in the future whether to choose that path.

~ Jane L.

Jim rocks! He’s the Indie guru. He’s offers an impressive depth of information, and a lot of how-to examples. Warning: there is homework. Jim's lessons not only made me smarter, they made me confident about knowing which independent publishing tasks I can handle myself, and which ones I will delegate to others. I give him five-out-of-five stars, but wish I could give six.

~ Judy C.

Jim Jackson has created a great, in-depth introduction to the world of indie publishing. When you finish his course you will be well on your way to setting up your author business and launching your first book. I took the course to help me make the decision between trying traditional publishing and doing it myself. Jim gave me all the tools I needed to make that decision.

~ Sharon P.L.

Jim Jackson’s Indie Publishing Class is a must for any author considering publishing their own work. The class is taught by the knowledgeable and experienced publisher of the Sisters in Crime Guppy Anthology. A wealth of downloadable detailed class materials and feedback gives the prospective indie publisher an inside look into the field and covers the gamut of questions and issues to consider before jumping into indie publishing.

~ Susan B.

This class has been wildly useful, beyond all expectations, in the depth and breadth of information covered and your patience in answering questions and walking us through solutions. I learned from classmates' questions as well and am grateful to everyone for things they noticed and brought up.

~ Deanne D.

Recommended Books

The Writing Craft:

The Writing Craft: (Cont.)

Writing Technique:


Blogs for Authors

I recently changed how you can read my blog. Google’s integration with my website became increasingly unworkable. (They haven’t updated their integration for years.) You can still find the blog in its entirety at 2centsb4inflation.blogspot.com.blogger.com and sign up to receive new blogs automatically. Below are selected blogs.

  • Waiting . . .  (Being an author means learning how to wait, and do it well) 5/2022
  • Voices in my Head  How those who write by the seat of their pants discover who the bad guy should be. 11/2018
  • A Sense of Place  One approach for choosing setting when you have a lousy memory. 4/2018

| Ant Farm   | Bad Policy   | Cabin Fever   | Doubtful Relations   | Empty Promises   | False Bottom   | Furthermore   | Granite Oath   | Hijacked Legacy   | Low Tide at Tybee   | One Trick at a Time |

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Last Updated 5/17/2024
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