Gift of a Kindle Leads to an On-the-Road Freelance Business by T.M. Jacobs

Gift of a Kindle Leads to an On-the-Road Freelance Business by T.M. Jacobs

I am often asked how I ended up starting a writing business. I’ve been writing since childhood. By the age of 10, 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, and customer service, had conversations with graphic designers about the latest design software, and became familiar with 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 17 favorable reviews from various newspapers and magazines.

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 and 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 loved the feel of them in my hands, and wasn’t ready to give that up. I just didn’t understand 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.

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—professional 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 was born. Now, 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 20 professional editors and ghostwriters, and have taken our business on the road—literally. My fiancé (and 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, and hearing and seeing their excitement as their book comes together, is priceless, and the stories of how people came up with their story 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.

And, all of this started with my first Kindle.

T.M. Jacobs, a native to the shoreline area of Connecticut, now resides in various locations along the east coast with his fiancé, traveling and working from their RV motorhome. He has published nine books, and over 400 articles in various newspapers and magazines, teaches classes on writing and publishing, and currently is the owner of Jacobs Writing Consultants. He is the founder and former editor for Patriots of the American Revolution magazine and has been a freelance writer for over 30 years. His book, The 1864 Diary of Civil War Union Soldier Sergeant Samuel E. Grosvenor: A first-hand account of the horrors at Andersonville Prison is a biography of Grosvenor who kept a small diary while in the Andersonville Prison. This title was featured on C-SPAN2 TV.

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