Jim Feldkamp Reveals What it Takes to Succeed as a Professional Book Editor

Professional book editor Jim Feldkamp demonstrates what he believes it takes in life to succeed in the often highly competitive editing field.

A copy editor with experience at multiple publishing agencies, Jim Feldkamp specializes in national security, foreign affairs, history, and travel. Celebrated for his work as a professional book editor, Jim Feldkamp explains what he believes it takes to succeed in the field.

“As a former FBI agent, I have over 25 years of experience working within national security,” explains Jim Feldkamp, speaking from his home in Northern Virginia.

Jim Feldkamp has a master’s degree in international affairs and has written a celebrated university textbook, titled Theory and Politics of Terrorism. “Today, I teach courses on subjects primarily surrounding terrorism,” explains Feldkamp, “and have edited numerous books on the same topic via Oxford, Routledge, and Lynne Rienner Publishers.”

With expertise in law, international security, and the Middle East, Jim Feldkamp says that he enjoys speaking and writing about terrorism, history, and current affairs alike. “I also enjoy speaking and writing on what you might call ‘useless male trivia,’” adds Jim, laughing.

Part of a combination of what he believes it takes to succeed as a professional book editor, Jim Feldkamp suggests that his focus on terrorism, international security, history, law, current affairs, and more allows him to provide a unique appreciation of the world. Feldkamp’s personal background, too, he says, also has a significant bearing on his successful book editing career. “Born under a rock and subsequently raised by wolves, I still managed to graduate from university,” he jokes.

“However, realizing that the circus wasn’t in town, I opted to forgo the normal route,” Feldkamp goes on, “of applying for a job, and, instead, I joined the U.S. Navy.”

Here, Jim Feldkamp would enroll in flight school before being assigned to the EA-6B ‘Prowler’ – the navy’s carrier-based electronic attack aircraft. “After flying in Desert Storm and on other adventures around the world,” Feldkamp recalls, “I resigned from active duty to become a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

Jim Feldkamp would soon become a founding member of the Joint Counter-Terrorism Task Force in Norfolk, Virginia. Very quickly gainfully employed in the wake of 9/11, Feldkamp was, however, recalled to active duty some years later in 2007 to establish the international outreach office for the Office of Global Maritime Situational Awareness.

“Establishing the Office of Global Maritime Situational Awareness’ international outreach office, I coordinated information-sharing among federal agencies, foreign governments, and the international shipping industry,” Jim Feldkamp explains, “to increase maritime safety and security.”

Today, and in addition to teaching, Jim Feldkamp also provides enrichment speeches onboard international cruise ships. Feldkamp has now both lectured and delivered enrichment speeches across Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean on topics ranging from military history to the rise of the Vikings in Scandinavia.

Recently, Jim Feldkamp returned from a Clipper yacht race around the world. “Well, almost around the world!” says the retired naval officer.

Jim Feldkamp and team were in the Philippines, he says, when COVID-19 broke out, leading to a mad dash back to the United States. “Incidentally,” he points out, “that was where Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan died in his circumnavigation around the world 500 years ago.”

“Oh, the irony!” adds professional book editor Jim Feldkamp, wrapping up.

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