When attorney Tom Word Jr. isn’t practicing law at McGuireWoods, he’s writing books for charity.
Word is nearly finished with his latest self-published book, “My Heroes,” a collection of essays about the Virginia business people he admires most.
“These are people I have known, represented or been at college with over the years who I admire for their character and what they achieved,” Word said.
Word is bypassing the traditional publication model by using a publish-on-demand service.
“You can publish a book for $500 and it will be listed on Amazon and marketed and that’s all the investment besides your time,” he said. “The royalty is about half of what they sell the book for.”
Amazon.com offers publishing-on-demand through its subsidiaries CreateSpace and BookSurge. Instead of publishing a large initial run of thousands of books, units are printed to order
Word, who has been practicing law for about 40 years, said he is donating the royalties from the new book to the Community Foundation. That organization manages endowments for other groups.
He hopes to have the book ready by the end of summer, and he has been working on it for the past five years or so.
The book will profile 12 individuals, including prominent furniture company heads from Southwest Virginia. Word is a native of Christiansburg.
One of those men is Clyde Hooker, the recently deceased former CEO of Hooker Furniture Company in Martinsville, Va. (You can read more about Hooker in a Roanoke Times story here.)
World also writes about John D. Bassett III, CEO and Chairman of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company.
“[Bassett] has defied gravity in the furniture industry that has been pretty much wiped out by Chinese imports, but his company is profitable and has a huge hoard of cash and can manufacture domestically and compete with the Chinese,” Word said.
Other figures include Fred Durham, a co-founder of the Dover Corporation; Wallace Stettinius, former chairman and CEO of Cadmus Communications; and Elisabeth Scott Bocock, founder of the Historic Richmond Foundation.
And one chapter is devoted to his father.
Word said it is personal character that makes all of his subjects worth writing about.
“The fact they are driven by something further than an ego and a desire to make money. They are company builders, and most of them were major philanthropists,” Word said.
Al Harris is a BizSense reporter. Please send news tips to [email protected].