TLC leads Pete Smith through a Gateway to success

May 01, 2013 | Other News

‘TLC’s editorial advice was outstanding, as was their support through the traditional publishing environment,
out in to self-publishing which seemed the best place for my hybrid memoir/ inspirational business book ‘All you Need is Love.’ My story ended up being featured on Amazon’s Gateway. One thing is very clear, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity to make my book work without the advice and support of TLC’

Pete Smith, All you Need is Love

I guess like everyone else writing a book I experienced those mood swings from ‘this is hopeless’ to ‘I think this could be really interesting’. Most of that you simply have to deal with on your own; maybe get some help from a writer’s group along the way. However, there comes a point when you need to know how good your work is. That point will vary from writer to writer, but there is a moment when you know you need a professional insight: a proper, independent professional assessment. That was how I first came across TLC. It was late on in the writing process. I knew I was walking a tightrope between different types of book, and that it fell between various genre stools. The initial support and advice I got from TLC was outstanding. Firstly, the TLC reader Karl French, immediately grasped the problem I had been struggling with and articulated it far better than I could. He explained that the publishing industry tends to think in terms of genres, and doesn’t really have a way of looking at books that don’t fall neatly in to one or another. He said that this attitude to genre applied in general to agents as much as to publishers. He then gave a huge amount of advice about the content and structure of the book, but was also incredibly supportive as to its underlying merit.

All You Need Is Love – Pete SmithKarl and Rebecca Swift, Director of TLC, made it clear that although they couldn’t see a clear road to publication for what was an unusual book, they were nonetheless willing to help and advise me in the process as they liked the work. Rebecca offered excellent advice on how to target particular agents and the sort of cover letter that might work, but before long I think we both knew that Karl’s original assessment was spot-on: agents were looking for specific types of book and this didn’t fit. So self-publishing loomed as an option, and as soon as you look at that road the Amazon products Createspace and Kindle Direct Publishing stand out. Rebecca pushed me hard to get the book professionally copy-edited; something I was initially reluctant to do – partly because of the cost, but more due to the emotional side. It felt as if I was drifting towards vanity publishing and I wanted to be published. It was difficult because self-publishing was not my original goal. In the end I took Rebecca’s advice on getting it copy-edited and proofread, and was stunned at the result. My basic English is fairly good, but there was hardly a paragraph that wasn’t marked up by the copy-editor. Ouch!

My relationship with Amazon developed and I found myself being featured in their homepage Gateway. I am delighted. One think is clear I wouldn’t have had this opportunity without the advice and support of TLC. You can work out what you think for yourself here.