James L. Rubart Credits Wife for His Success

By Diana Savage, director of the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal conference

Jim Rubart’s wife, Darci, bought him a plaque that said “Future Award-Winning Author” and told him to hang it in his writing room. That was years before Jim ever believed he’d be published.

Then in 2002, Darci felt led to go on a fast. Without know why or for how long, she obeyed. Halfway through the third day, Jim sensed the Lord saying, “I’ve given you the desire and ability to write. When are you going to step into your destiny?”

Jim told Darci, “I know why you’re fasting. I’m supposed to be a novelist.”

She stared at her husband. “Wait a minute. I’m hungry for three days, and you get the answer?”

JamesLRubartPinableThree years later Jim finished his first novel and submitted it to four contacts he had in the publishing industry. Everyone rejected it. But the following spring, 2006, he attended a writers conference and made new connections.

Eventually Jim published his first novel under the byline James L. Rubart and became the best-selling and Christy-award-winning author of Rooms, Book of Days, The Chair, and Memory’s Door.

At the 2015 Northwest Christian Writers Renewal, Jim will lead a WriteCoach Lab and serve on a marketing panel of experts on Friday, May 15:

Discover and Sharpen Your Brand1) Discover and Sharpen Your Brand (WriteCoach Lab) – Do you know what your brand is as a writer? Need help developing it? As a best-selling author and owner of an ad agency/marketing firm, Jim Rubart will give you personalized help in defining your brand and learning specific ways you can promote it.

Market Like the Pros Panel2) “Market Like the Pros” Panel (Workshop) – Along with moderator Dennis Brooke and fellow panelists Carolyn McCready and Grace Fox, Jim will help you learn how to get your labors of love the attention they deserve. The panel will address marketing for both traditional and indie writers. Bring your questions and be ready for concrete ideas and inspiration.

Although James L. Rubart is the owner of Barefoot Marketing, a Pacific Northwest marketing and consulting firm, he gives his wife the credit for his writing success. “Darci’s talked me off the ledge so many times, she’s got a lawn chair set up out there,” he says. “It’s cliché to say it, but there’s no question I wouldn’t be where I am without her.”

To benefit from Jim’s wisdom and experience—along with his willingness to give credit where credit is due—sign up today for the 2015 Northwest Christian Writers Renewal!


DianaSavageDiana Savage, a graduate of Northwest University and Bakke Graduate University, sold her first article when she was still in college, and she’s been writing ever since. Now the principal at Savage Creative Services, LLC, she is also director of the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal conference. Her latest book is 52 Heart Lifters for Difficult Times.

Quantum Marketing: The Two Parts of Making an Ad Memorable

NCWA blog welcomes Jim Rubart!

Do you remember any of the ads from this year’s Super Bowl?

When I asked myself that question, the first ad that popped into my cranium was the one with the kid who couldn’t find a bathroom to pee in so he ends up peeing in the pool.

Do you remember it too? If yes, you’ll have my admiration if you can tell me what kind of business the ad was for. If you can tell me the name of the company who ran the ad I’ll be eternally impressed.

No clue? You’re like most people, but it’s not your fault. It’s the fault of the company who allowed an ad agency to spend $3.5 million(!) to run an ad for a company no one would remember (not to mention the $100,000+ they spent on production of the ad).

The Good and the Bad

The good is that they designed a memorable ad. They shocked BROCA enough that two months later I imagine many people still remembered the ad. The bad is that viewers had no idea who the ad was for.

When we market ourselves, we must do two things:

1. Make ourselves stand out. As I’ve said multiple times: Do it differently. Do it uniquely. If all the other cows in the field are black and white, you need to be purple. (Thanks for the visual, Seth.)

2. Make our products (us or our novels or your store) central to the theme of the ad.

It stuns me how rarely marketers do this. One more Super Bowl example: I still remember an ad from over ten years ago, but I can’t tell you the company is unless I look it up: The Cat Herders.

This ad won numerous awards, including an Emmy Award nomination. Why? It nailed my first point. But failed miserably on my second, which makes me wonder why it was lauded as excellent advertising. (If you remember the ad, can you tell me who the company is who ran it?)

Call me whacky, but I’m of the opinion that to win an award, an ad must cause the viewers to remember the company it is advertising.

Do It Differently

So don’t do it like the big boys. Whether you’re working with your publisher, or you’re a bookstore working with your ad agency/media reps, or you’re working on marketing materials for yourself, make the merchandise the focus.

I promise it’ll make it a heck of a lot easier for your customers to make a purchase if they know what the product is.

(BTW, the companies in the two ads I mention are, respectively, TaxAct.com and EDS―Electronic Data Systems, founded by H. Ross Perot.)


Jim Rubart and Dennis Brooke will be conducting the Orientation and Special Session: “How to Pitch Your Ideas to an Editor or Agent” at Northwest Christian Writers Renewal Conference. Click here for more information.

This post first appeared on Christian Fiction Online Magazine. Used by kind permission.

James L. Rubart is the best-selling, and award winning author of ROOMS, BOOK OF DAYS, and THE CHAIR. During the day he runs Barefoot Marketing, helping authors make more coin of the realm. In his free time he dirt bikes, hikes, water skis and take photos. No, he doesn’t sleep much. He lives with his amazing wife and teenage sons in the Pacific Northwest and still thinks he’s young enough to water ski like a madman. More at www.jameslrubart.com Or e-mail him at: jim@jimrubart.com