Kindle Gift Creates A New Business
I’m often asked how I ended up starting a writing business. “What else would I be doing?” is my standard response. “I’ve been writing since childhood.” By the age of ten I began “publishing” what I called “The Funniest Newspaper in America.” Of course it was a limited edition as there were only three issues ever printed, and by that I mean written on spiral notebook paper and stapled together. I had one faithful subscriber—my grandmother. Amazingly one copy still exists today!
Fast forward to 1994, I took a job with a publishing house and learned all the ins and outs of the business. I spent time in the editorial department, with the sales team, customer service, had conversations with graphic designers about the latest design software, and learned much of the publishing lingo. I left in 1996 when I released my first book, Goodspeed’s Folly: The Life William Henry Goodspeed and His Opera House, and formed my own publishing company, TMJ Publishing. The Goodspeed book received seventeen favorable reviews from various newspapers and magazines (at this time the internet was just getting started).
From there I began to land small gigs writing about Connecticut shoreline history and eventually put my “hard-knocks” journalism education to use with a local paper covering town meetings, events, and writing features about prominent citizens in the community.
Everything changed during Christmas 2010 when I inherited a Kindle, which had belonged to my late uncle. At the time, I was not a fan of e-reading. Having grown up with “real” books, I still had an appreciation for how they felt in my hands and wasn’t ready to give that up. I just didn’t get why people would want to read off of a device. Somewhere along the way, I converted. I’ve since read hundreds of books on Kindle and I’m on my third Kindle device. For the record, I still read traditional books too (and lots of them).
One thing I quickly learned was that e-readers offer a wealth of unknown authors. Another quick lesson was a lot of these authors were by-passing what is for certain the most crucial part of the writing process—editing!
In 2012 I reached out to a few editors with a one-page business plan for an editing consulting business. From these meetings, Jacobs Writing Consultants, LLC (now JWC Publishing) was born. Today I’m doing what I love most—helping hundreds of authors, from novice to seasoned, reach their publishing dreams.
We’ve grown to a group of twenty professional editors and ghostwriters and have taken our business on the road—literally. My wife (and now co-owner) and I travel in our motorhome visiting writing groups and giving presentations on the “Importance of Editing,” “Your Writing Is Your Business,” and “How to Create Income Through Writing.”
Working with authors, hearing and seeing their excitement as their book comes together, is priceless. The stories of how people came up with their ideas are usually worthy of a book themselves. We get to meet people from all walks of life and hear so many amazing stories, fiction and nonfiction alike. We have worked with some New York Times Best Selling authors, award-winning writers, illustrators, publishers, and professional book sellers. A few writers we worked with had nothing more than a title kicking around in their head. A few months later, they had their story out on paper ready for the next step.
I think the lesson here is to be open to change. Had I simply shelved the Kindle, refusing to become a reader who uses an electronic device, my business wouldn’t exist. All the authors who we’ve helped would have sought advice and knowledge elsewhere—and who knows what the results may have been. Me downloading a few books and exploring what Kindle had to offer was the catalyst for JWC Publishing.
We would love to hear from you! Please feel free to reach out and tell us about your book project!
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