World Book Day: Retired businessman writes on a daily basis
Thomas Jobling loves watching as his stories take on a life of their own.
The retired businessman and yachtsman has written three novels – Chasing Shadows, Arthur’s Dead and A Letter to a Lucky Man, as well as a history of East Antrim Boat Club, an event management guide for yachting events, and a number of short stories.
His writing career started in the 1960s when he penned East Antrim Boat Club’s weekly results for the East Antrim Times and this developed into covering events across Ireland and the UK for leading magazines. He later became a feature writer while also holding down a job as a national sales manager for Ireland.
After retiring, he took creative writing classes at the Crescent Arts Centre and Queen’s University.
He published his first novel in 2014. His second book was also self-published but his current work has been produced through a publisher.
Tom says he usually writes on a daily basis.
Challenges for authors, he says, are: “Turning hard-earned words into hard fought for (£) returns. For self-publishers it is doubly difficult as the high street outlets generally avoid self-publishers, treating them as competition.
“Writing what you know is a starting point, but for me it is about understanding who your audience is and how to reach them. Once published, you must not sit back and allow the publisher to do (or not do) the marketing alone. Create a sales plan, create an online presence. After Covid, organise ‘meet the author’ and ‘book signing’ events.”
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