All about Your Editor


Since I am suggesting here that my professional services may be valuable to you, let me tell you what you should know about what I know and what I do.


I decided early on that I wanted to earn my living “with words and books.” And  I have done just that, although I took the usual detour that many writers take: I first became a teacher of literature. 


I earned an AB (Phi Beta Kappa) degree and an MA from the University of Georgia. These were followed by a  Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina. My dissertation, Mallarmé and the Language of Mysticism, was published by the University of Georgia press. A somewhat later book, Eliphas Lévi: Master of  Occultism was published by the University of Alabama press.


With this background, plus Fulbright and Ford Foundation Fellowships, I began teaching comparative literature and French literature in the University of North Carolina system, where I  rose to the rank of full professor at East Carolina University.


I decided to branch out into the world of freelance writing. I began sending out queries and soon sold my first article, “How to Teach about Poetry” to a magazine called Teacher’s Scholastic. I got myself an agent and sold a short story or two. The breakthrough came when I sold an over-the-transom article to Esquire magazine that managed to be featured on the front cover.  With that credit in my portfolio, I was a made man in the freelance business.


Later, I decided that I wanted to try my hand at editing and publishing books and periodicals. In 1979 I resigned my tenured professorship to buy a weekly newspaper, The Mecklenburg Gazette (in Davidson, NC). I was editor and publisher, and, as it turned out, I was a pretty good at the job. I increased circulation by 400% and advertising revenues by an even larger percentage over a three-year period before selling the Gazette to one of the newspaper chains. 


I started and published many magazines, including Tar Heel: The Magazine of North Carolina (a statewide magazine), The New East Magazine, NCEast Magazine (regional magazines) and Washington Magazine (a city magazine). I published Welcome to Wilmington, a newcomer guide, and the North Carolina Travel and Tourism Guide. I wrote extensively for my own magazines. As editor, I worked closely with hundreds of other writers, helping them reshape their work into publishable articles and books.


I started Venture Press, a book publishing company, to self-publish some of my own books. This worked well. Titles such as Kitchen Table Publisher and How to Publish Your Poetry became Writers Digest Book Club selections. 


I did my own typography and book design.


I now write, publish and sell my own books, and I do one-on-one editing, design, and consultation and for others.


Fellow writer, I am glad to know you, and I wish for you—and can help you achieve—the success you seek.




My Books:


1. Mallarmé and the Language of Mysticism : University of Georgia Press. 

2. Eliphas Levi: Master of Occultism. University of Alabama Press

3. The Bicentennial Book. Era Press

4. We Choose America. Abeka Books. (with editorial cartoonist Eugene Payne, winner        of the Pulitzer Prize)

5. Tales of the Tobacco Country. Era Press

6. How to Make $100,000 a Year in Desktop Publishing. Betterway Publications.             (Writer's Digest Book Club Selection.)

7. How to Publish Your Poetry. Venture Press. (Writer's Digest Book club selection.)

8. The Self-Publisher's Handbook of Contacts and Sources Venture Press. 

9. Ten Books Your Can Write & Publish for Pleasure and for Profit Venture Press.

10. The Query Letter That Never Fails. Venture Press. 

11. Kitchen Table Publisher. Venture Press. Fifth edition, revised and expanded.

12. Poet Power! The Practical Poet's Complete Guide to Getting Published. Sentient Publications. 

14. How to Publish Your Own Magazine, Guidebook or Weekly Newspaper. Sentient Publications. 

15. Get Paid to Write! How to Make Money Writing for Magazines, Newspapers and the Internet. Sen tient Publications. 

16. How to Write Your Book. Venture Press

17. ABC for Writers and Self-Publishers. Venture Press


18. He Kindly Stopped (novella). Venture Press.

19. The Man Who Almost Lived Forever. (Short story) Dude Magazine

20. The Man Who Would Be Pope

21. The Editor (Novel, in progress)

Let's get acquainted. Call me at (912) 436-2208 and say hello!

                                              —Tom Williams