Press & Publicity
‘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.
Karl 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.
Key note speaker at this year’s Literary Conference, Audrey Niffenegger, shares her latest projects, ideas and ingenious management of her own novels into ebooks in an interview with Free Word.
Audrey’s latest project, a ballet adaptation of her story The Raven Girl, opened at the Royal Opera House on the 24th May. Click here to read the full interview with Audrey.
Elen Lewis of writers’ group and creative organisation 26 interviews TLC Director Rebecca Swift about the role of TLC, client success stories, tips for new writers, common writing mistakes, and why editorial assessment shouldn’t be viewed as a luxury, but as an essential first step in preparing writing before sending it off, or out into the world.
An extract from the interview with Rebecca Swift:
What’s your favourite advice for better writing?
‘I’m not a fan of shorthand advice for writers, as I think everyone must learn the hard way by trial and error if they are to really find their own way and style and that can take years. However, if I had to choose a single piece of advice, I suppose I’d say unless you know exactly why you aren’t doing, then push for economic prose. I say this as most people tend to overwrite, by which I mean they use excessive adjectives and include too much unnecessary information – almost trying too hard. Strip back to the essentials of what you are saying, think about what that is and keep hold of it; then say it as economically as you can – but without your prose being dull.’
Read the full interview here.
On September 14 TLC Director Rebecca Swift appeared at the Porlock Arts Festival to talk about TLC, and all things Emily Dickinson.
Of her appearance, the festival blog stated:
‘On stage in the evening we had Rebecca Swift and Tom Hodgkinson. Rebecca spoke passionately and with great warmth about American poet Emily Dickinson. She seems to have been an unusual lady but the extracts of her poetry that Rebecca read revealed a wonderful and extraordinary language of expression and description. I know of several people who have been inspired to seek out more of her poetry. Rebecca also spoke briefly about her role as co-founder of The Literary Consultancy, the UK’s leading manuscript advisory service – a must for anyone wishing to publish their work!’
Read the official festival write-up in full here.
Rebecca’s book on Dickinson, Poetic Lives: Dickinson, can be purchased here.
TLC’s conference, Writing in a Digital Age proved to be a great success and we would like to thank all of our speakers and delegates who were part of making it a fascinating and productive event. We will be collating more information about its highlights: podcasts, film clips and photographs, etc., so make sure to sign up for the TLC newsletter and follow us on twitter or Facebook.
Here are some of the latest articles about the conference from Bookbrunch, The Guardian, Gulf News, The Bookseller, The Times Literary Supplement, Intelligent Life, The Huffington Post, Publishing Perspectives and 1000heads.com.
Orange Prize-winning novelist Linda Grant
That community had suddenly become relevant to her in an practical and personal way. From then on, she realised that if she treated Twitter right, it would treat her right too. And she didn’t even have to push sales messages out there for her readership to grow.
Molly Flatt comes out and says it like it is: Trying to establish yourself online once you have completed your manuscript, for the sole purpose of flogging said manuscript, will feel like bashing your head against a brick wall.
TL Conference Delegate Laxmi Hariharan‘s recent blog post about TLC’s Writing in a Digital Age conference was picked up by the Huffington Post this morning. As a self-published author herself, Laxmi’s article focuses in particular on the session with bestselling self-published author Robert Kroese. Laxmi writes, “Rob @robkroese is funny, genuine and as one of my fellow delegates commented, “he is one of us”. He likens the league of published authors to an elite night club, with gatekeepers, who decide who gets in and who does not. It struck a chord with me, and I suspect with many of the other ‘waiting to be discovered’ wannabes.”
Laxmi has put together her own quiz with ten points inspired by Robert Kroese’s self-publishing masterclass.
1. Do you want to be discovered or somewhere along the way have you discovered yourself?
2. Do you write to be published or do you write to be read?
3. Are you an entrepreneur, at heart? Do you normally jump in and think of the consequences later. Are you pragmatic about failure–enough to pick yourself up and move on swiftly to the next?
4.Do you like to experiment, and cannot resist a challenge? Do you thrive under pressure, and when the odds are stacked against you?
5.Are you impatient, probably a control freak? In fact, you want to control your own destiny, so keep checking in with the stars to find out what’s going to happen in your life, so you can steer it the way you want.
Click here to finish the quiz and read Laxmi’s full article in the Huffington Post.
Publishing Perspectives, the online journal of international publishing news and opinion, wrote about TLC’s Literary Conference on the 17th January. Publishing Perspectives investigates cutting edge publishing stories from all around the world.
Writing about the Canon Tales event, which is a key part of the conference, Publishing Perpectives writes, “The Japanese practice of “Pecha Kucha” (literally “chit chat”) in which architects rapidly present their work in 20 images for 20 seconds each, will be adopted at a new digital conference in London this summer. And that won’t be the only aspect of this conference that is different. Unlike so many previous events, Writing in a the Digital Age is aimed at authors, both those hoping to find a publisher and those writers who are already published but who need advice about the new digital landscape.”
Click here to read the full article.
The Canon Tales event will include ten of the most exciting publishers and agents in the UK, who will present their love of literature and what excites them, and the stories behind some of their favourite discoveries, through a series of rapid-fire visual images. A unique and hugely entertaining experience that will get you up close to the key people behind the slush pile. Click here to read about a previous Canon Tales event.
May 2011 the Karolina held a live webchat session with Guardian readers. Click here to read her frank and concise answers about what goes into literary agenting.
Melville House is an independent publisher located in Brooklyn, New York. Just before Christmas 2011, MobyLives (the Melville House blog) featured an interview with TLC director Rebecca Swift, about TLC, writing and editorial values, and the various ways a writer might land themselves a publishing deal today. Click here to read the interview.
18th January, Mobylives also posted an article about TLC’s upcoming Literary Conference in June. Ellie Robins, who blogs for Mobylives, writes “There’s a world of opportunity for authors now, but there’s also very little guidance and rather a lot of unscrupulous souls. Any event that seeks to redress that balance gets our vote.” Click here to read the article.