James B. Houston

Copy, Content, Strategy

Fueling profitable web marketing, bestselling books, and powerful PR campaigns.

You can't be everywhere at once.
Your copy can.

The written words that represent your business are your employees who never clock out.

They need to be making an overwhelming case for why the person reading them should take interest in your product or service... and then take action.

If they sound good, that's nice - but that's not enough.

Listen to how advertising legend David Ogilvy makes this point:

"When Aeschines spoke, they said, 'How well he speaks.' When Demosthenes spoke, they said, 'Let us march against Philip.'"

That's where I come in: to inspire action.

Tell me what your goals are - for the year, for the quarter, or just for the project.

Do you need more click-throughs and conversions on your website? More traffic? Do you need a press release that will never see the inside of a trashcan? How about a white paper or eBook that leaves no doubt in your prospects' minds that you're the expert they need?

Are your internal communications crystal-clear, or could they be confusing and slowing things down?

I've got you covered.

Whether you need new copy from the ground up, or just a fresh pair of expert eyes on something that's almost ready to go live, let's talk about it.

I have deep experience in the publishing and beverage industries, so if you're involved with these we can hit the ground running.

In another industry? I'm a fast-reading, detail-obsessed, Ivy League-tested research fiend, and in no time I'll be up to speed on the facts and the language of your business and your audience.

Contact me now to get your project underway today.

"I've had the pleasure of working with James for about a year now. He is always responsive, professional, prompt, and receptive to feedback. He never misses a single deadline and often turns his assignments in early. When I have a high profile or challenging assignment, I know I can trust him to produce high quality copy that captures the message clearly and succinctly. Several people in my office are responsible for sending out copy assignments, and James is definitely one of our favorite writers to work with."
-Anna Mesick, Marketing Communications Manager at Corwin Press

Here's My Story

  • Freelance copywriter, content writer, copy editor. Author of Amazon #1 in-category bestselling book. [link]
  • University of Pennsylvania '05, degree in English, concentration in writing.
  • "Payroll" work experience: Journalism, book publishing, wine sales, winemaking. Killer results in all of them, from New York Times bestsellers to beautiful Merlot.
  • San Francisco transplant (NYC born and raised).
  • All-around nice guy, obsessed with copywriting mastery (and with deadlines).

There's more to it - feel free to ask anytime. Otherwise, we'll fill in some blanks when we start working together.

Niches? Yes, I've got those. With deep experience in book publishing, wine and craft beer, I have a distinguished list of delighted clients in these industries.

But let me emphasize three things:

  • I love doing research... lots and lots of it.
  • I can and will (quickly) learn everything that matters about your product or service, and everything that matters about your prospects or target audience.
  • I can and will write to them in the voice that is persuasive music to their ears.

I'll get you the results you want.
Let's talk about what they are.

"Since 2012, James has handled a wide variety of copywriting assignments for us with the highest degrees of promptness and professionalism. Most importantly, his copy has brought the results we wanted and then some. His background in winemaking really makes a difference in the level of compelling detail that infuses his wine copywriting. Highly recommended."
-David Perelman, CEO/Founder at JWINES

"I've been working with James Houston for over two years and I cannot recommend him highly enough. He has written press releases and other copy for my PR clients and I've never had a client who was not thrilled with his work. This is a high level of excellence to maintain, but James has never let me down. I'd be delighted to talk to anyone further if they would like to hear more."
-Marian Brown, Principal, Marian Brown Public Relations

Portfolio

Publishing

It's not news that the publishing industry is changing. But no matter how a book is written, published or sold, it needs great copy underpinning its marketing and PR efforts to be successful.

I've worked for a "Big Five" NYC publisher, so I know what it takes to meet the high expectations for big releases. I'm also the author of a small-press book that rode a wave of Kindle sales to #1 Amazon bestseller in its category, so I'm well-versed in publishing's e-future.

Whether it's a 45-page .pdf or a 450-page hardcover, I can ghostwrite your whole project or just create the press releases, jacket copy, catalog copy, onesheets, and anything else your great book needs to get the success it deserves.

Fine Beverage

Getting people interested in wine, beer, coffee, tea and other delicious beverages means painting vivid pictures of the experiences they deliver.

I worked as a winemaker for three years, getting my hands (very) dirty in Bordeaux, New Zealand, South Africa, and America. I've worked on picking crews and overseen crushpad and cellar operations. I've also proven myself selling wine, at the leading retailer in Manhattan.

These experiences translate to "from the ground-up" understanding and compelling detail that will infuse the copy I give you about any fine beverage. And this will get your readers thirsty for what you're offering.

Other work

I have many other samples covering a wide range of content and formats. Please feel free to contact me and request more.

"James is a creative thinker with a great news sense, deep knowledge of pop culture, and passion for the written word who knows how to craft compelling copy. I highly recommend him."
-Dee Dee DeBartlo, Owner and President, DeBartlo & Co. Book Publicity & Marketing

"James is a gifted writer. He did an amazing job of combining facts and narrative to create compelling, high quality articles which resulted in significant web traffic. My only hesitation in recommending him is that he may have even less time to write for our site."
-Jim Finley, Founder, AmericanWineryGuide.com

"James is a whip smart writer who has a gift for writing selling and compelling copy. I've used him to write press materials and even for copy editing and he is always on time, provides great value, and delivers outstanding service. I couldn't recommend James more highly."
-Gretchen Crary, Principal, February Media

Let's get started.

Contact me to discuss your project today.

Email: james@jamesbhouston.com

Phone: 646.820.3792

View James Houston's profile on LinkedIn