Before becoming a writer, Thomas A. Williams taught literature in the University of North Carolina System. During his teaching career, he published in scholarly journals, but soon decided he was more interested in simply writing. With the decision to “branch out”, he started sending his articles out to publishers, and sold his first article, "How to Teach about Poetry" to Teacher's Scholastic magazine. Williams also soon had his first book, Mallarmé and the Language of Mysticism, published by the University of Georgia Press. After this, he continued to send out his material to publishers, and soon managed to sell an article to Esquire magazine that was also highlighted on the front cover, giving Williams increased public exposure.
Williams also had a desire to try editing and publishing his own books and periodicals. In 1979, he purchased a weekly newspaper and subsequently increased circulation by 400%. Williams then sold this newspaper, and founded and published numerous North Carolina-related magazines, including Tar Heel: The Magazine of North Carolina, The New East magazine, NC East Magazine and Washington Magazine. He also published Welcome to Wilmington, a newcomer guide, and the North Carolina Travel and Tourism Guide.
Williams next started Venture Press, a home-based book publishing company, designed to publish his own books. This endeavor proved successful for him. This success included his publications How to Make $100,000 a Year in Desktop Publishing and How to Publish Your Poetry, which both became Writers Digest Book Club selections. Williams later expanded Venture Press into Williams & Company, Publishers, and began to publish books by other writers as well. From his career experiences, Williams was able to learn all perspectives of the publishing business, and currently is still in active in this profession.