Jeff Gerke: 60-Minute Consultation Session
Jeff Gerke is a multi-published novelist and a Writer's Digest fiction craftsmanship author. He entered publishing in 1994 when he received a three-book contract for his first novels. He then took a position with that same publishing house as an editor, and that began his dual career as author and editor, during which he has edited nearly every type of fiction and has authored more novels and non-fiction books. In 2008 Jeff launched his own small publishing company, which he ran nearly singlehandedly for five years, before selling it to concentrate on freelance editing, his own fiction writing, and, curiously, his digital artwork. Jeff is a sought-after teacher at writers conferences across the nation. In person or in consultation, he specializes in helping novelists get unstuck and on track for success. His multiple fiction craft books for Writers Digest include The First 50 Pages, Plot Versus Character, and Write Your Novel in a Month. He lives in Colorado Springs with his wife and three children.
Consultation Time: 30/60 minutes
Connection Method: Phone, Skype, Facetime, etc (customer's choice)
Jeff is available to consult on these topics:
Brainstorming Fiction (plot, structure, ideas, character creation, inner journey, writing the beginning, fiction craftsmanship, overcoming story snags)
Jeff Gerke is a fiction expert. All areas of craft, structure, and execution of a novel are his specialty. And if you want someone who is very good at detecting weaknesses and strengths in your story, getting you unstuck, diagnosing where things may be going off the rails, understanding why you may be receiving rejections from publishers or agents, and learning how to get it all working at its best, a brainstorming session with Jeff is just what you need.
Running a Small Publishing House (advantages, tools, systems, disadvantages, freelancers)
Jeff Gerke launched his own indie publishing house in 2008, published more than 40 titles—doing virtually everything himself, but using freelancers for key parts—won several awards, landed multiple positive reviews by Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, and finally selling the house in 2013. If you're hearing the attractive call of independent publishing, you'll be greatly helped by a consulting call with someone who has done what you're wanting to do.
Print on Demand Printing (pros and cons, options and capabilities, costs and challenges)
If you're going to be creating print versions of your book, you need a printer. You can use a traditional offset printer, which has its pros and cons, or you can use a Print-on-Demand (POD) solution. Jeff Gerke ran his own small publishing house for five years using nothing but POD. A consultation with him will show you the pros and cons, capabilities and limitations, costs and challenges of going with either style of printer.
Freelance Editing (getting started, adding clients, working with publishers vs. working with individuals, tax issues)
There has never been a better time to be a freelancer in the book publishing industry. Never, as in never in the history of mankind. With the advent of digital publishing and print-on-demand printing, anyone can be a published author. But the wisest of these indie authors understand that they need an editor to make their writing the best it can be. Jeff Gerke has been editing fiction and nonfiction for publishers and individuals since 1999, and he's been a freelancer for more than ten of those years. If you're wanting to hang out your own shingle as a freelancer—and believe me, we need more good freelance editors!—a consultation call with Jeff will teach you the secrets of getting started, adding clients, working with publishers vs. working with individuals, tax issues, and more.
Understanding Christian Publishing
If your writing would be a fit for the Christian worldview, the faith-based publishing industry might be for you. Jeff Gerke has been working inside, outside, and all over the Christian publishing world since 1994 as a novelist, staff editor, nonfiction author, freelancer, imprint manager, and publisher. He knows the power, the advantages, the ministry, and even the foibles of sacred publishing, and a consultation call with him will give you an invaluable perspective on succeeding there.
TESTIMONIALS FOR JEFF GERKE
Jeff Gerke edited two of my novels and was very easy to work with, professional, and offered many creative and insightful ideas to make the book better. One of these books, Time Lottery, won the Christy Award for best fiction in its genre. It would not have been an award-winning book without Jeff's help.
- Nancy Moser, Author of Time Lottery
I've had the privilege of working with Jeff through three novels in the past few years, and each time has been a fantastic experience. His editorial insights into each book's weaknesses have been dead-on, and resulted in much stronger books. He has been a joy to work with, easing the pain of rewrites with creative suggestions and a sense of humor. Through the revision process with Jeff I have always felt respected and heard, and knew that his goal matched mine—to create the best book we could.
- T.L. Higley, Author of Fallen from Babel
I worked with Jeff on my second novel, which was a complex historical fiction. I was a bit lost when I turned it in—I knew it needed polishing but wasn't sure where to start. He was able to encourage me even as he explained the shortcomings in the manuscript. He coordinated with another editor to make sure I got all the support, insight and tools I needed. His advice was spot-on, and his positive attitude made me want to work harder. I've relied on his wisdom many times, and found his experience on both sides of the publishing business to be an incredible asset. Jeff has always been a selfless encourager, professional, upbeat, humble, and an important asset to my team. I envy the next writer who gets to work with him.
- Ginger Garrett, ECPA Christian Book Award Finalist, Author of Dark Hour
In the five years I've known him, Jeff Gerke has proven himself to be a man of vision who's called to promote excellence in Christian fiction. Jeff has a heart for discovering and encouraging new writers, and a passion for coming up with new avenues through which we can share stories rooted in the greatest story ever told.
- Angela Hunt, Author of The Immortal
In my professional relationship with Jeff Gerke, I found him an enjoyable yet demanding editor with great insight into storytelling and character development. Undergirding it all was his faith and commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ. I look forward to working with him again.
- Miles Owens, Daughter of Prophecy
Jeff Gerke made the recent process of editing my fourth novel nearly painless. His professionalism and expert guidance helped give my work the clean, sharp edge I was looking for. Jeff's observations were spot- on, and his communication style was clear and helpful. When Jeff and I differed on how a passage should be edited, we were able to come to a comfortable compromise—every single time. I appreciate his willingness to listen to my concerns and his helpfulness in the navigation of touchy passages. Jeff deserves great credit for the success of my latest release.
- Annette Smith, Author of A Bigger Life
I worked with Jeff on my first published novel The Personifid Project. He helped me to increase the manuscript from what was essentially an over-long novella to a full length novel, in part by throwing ideas at me that helped my creativity. He was great at pointing out the weaknesses in my writing (while also giving plenty of encouragement for the good stuff!) with straightforward communication that enabled me to better myself as a writer. I learned a lot in that time of editing with him that I continue to use in my other works. Jeff's sense of humor and his professionalism made him a pleasure to work with.
- R.E. Bartlett, Author of The Personifid Project
Jeff Gerke is a great editor. Anyone working with him would benefit considerably from his expertise.
- Janet Benrey, Author and Literary Agent
Years ago, I dreamed of being a published novelist. Thanks to Jeff Gerke's editorial insight, I now have six novels in print and more on the way. Jeff has seen the publishing industry from all sides, so he understands what it takes for a writer to sharpen craft and get past the slush pile. He doesn't pull punches. He tells it like it is. Most important, he has a knack for knowing which tool an individual author needs to take it to the next level. I know—because he did that for me!
- Eric Wilson, author of Expiration Date, Facing the Giants, and Field of Blood