About me

Photo of Gary S. James
Gary James, APR

Gary James is a professional editor and writer in Asheville, NC, offering full-service book production.

In 1983, I landed a job as Continuity Director at a local radio station. It was like working at WKRP In Cincinnati. Complete with a production studio. I wrote 30-40 ads a week. I won my first ADDY award (now the American Advertising Federation awards) at WSPB 1450AM-WMLO 106.3FM in Sarasota, FL.

In 1986, the  FM director was dating a woman who had a fledgling ad agency. She offered me a copywriter position.  We won lots of awards, and I created a public relations department utilizing what I learned working at Merlin Group, LTD, a theatrical press agency in New York City.

From there, I was offered a position at a newly formed agency as creative director. I established a P.R. Department there, too. We won more awards.  Now, I was copywriting, writing proposals, writing news releases, handling accounts, and media budgeting. However, the owner had, shall we say, “financial issues,” and at one point, all eight employees had one week before the money ran out.

Three weeks later, I started an advertising and P.R. Agency with the art director; we did alright, but the hours were long, and writing all the copy, managing the accounts, and handling media relations became very stressful. I sold my share and moved on.

I shifted back to public relations, this time full-time, as an Information officer/PR Guy at a Behavioral Health organization. Great people and excellent experience, and an opportunity opened up to join a central national agency that specialized in nutraceuticals, supplements, and food clients. I did more account management than writing and traveled a lot: I was doing trade shows and events 12-15 days a month.

After both my parents had passed (and a lot of time was spent caretaking), we felt it was time to leave Florida. We moved to Washington, DC, where I landed a position at a top-notch ad agency as creative director. That went pretty well until 9/11. And since 70% of our business was tech, the crash of 2002 led to layoffs.

The art director and account manager from that agency and I hobbled together a start-up.  I wrote more copy. I managed clients again. We won more awards. But, frankly, D.C. had become a bit of a nightmare.

Asheville, NC, in 2005,  looked like someplace to land and out of the mainstream. I was warned, “Bring your job with you,” as anything outside the service industry was hard to come by (and still is).

I started jamesgang creative communications as an independent. I mainly focused on what I’d done for 30 years. I worked in collaboration with other indies and directly with clients, producing annual reports, ad and P.R. campaigns, collateral print and publications, websites, and blogs.

In 2015, I decided it was time to do something else. After three decades of writing, editing, creative direction, production, and account management, I wanted to learn more about the business of publishing. I learned how to use Word® to build books, then moved to new software that integrates production and learned the ins and outs of getting a book formatted and online, including eBook Metadata, distribution channels, and all the parts of the process of taking a manuscript from a word document to a completed finished publication.

Fun Facts about me.