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Success story Tina Seskis


Tina SeskisTina Seskis is an irresistible subject for a Success Story because she lives just up the road from WritersServices in north London and because her success as a writer is like a textbook illustration of how to do it.

Seskis was born in Hampshire, England and grew up in an atmosphere of self-help. Her father amongst other things built a boat in the front garden on their commuter belt housing estate and took them all over the world with his free air travel and limited budget. She tried selling bacon butties with her granny in the Halfway Hut at Wentworth Golf Club and door-to door encyclopedia selling in the US before settling down to study business at the University of Bath.

After university, she went on to work in marketing and advertising for more than 20 years and it was this experience which stood her in good stead when she found herself with a book to market. This was a book which she'd had the idea for whilst on holiday in Venice. Here's its brilliant starting-point:

'It's funny how easy it is, when it really comes down to it, to get up from your life and begin a new one. All you need is enough money to start you off, and a resolve to not think about the people you're leaving behind.'

The writing wet swimmingly and soon she had a manuscript to sell. But life doesn't necessarily go according to plan and seven literary agents turned her down, so at the end of 2011 she decided to go it alone: ‘I worked out the pros and cons of starting up my own company and there were so many more pros, I thought if I do it and fail, at least I've tried.'

This is where her marketing knowledge really helped, as she knew how to publicise her book and has been remarkably successful in building its sales. Within a year she had sold 100,000 ebook copies and 10,000 in hardback and she's just got herself an agent and signed a three-book deal with Penguin.

So what's the second secret of her success? The book has had stunning reviews, and is a genuinely page-turning commercial novel, as this review suggests:

'Does anyone else get that tingly feeling when they are just a few chapters into a book and they just know that they are in for an amazing read? One Step Too Far is one of those. Tina Seskis is an extremely clever author, she has produced a story that is so intricate and tightly plotted that the reader really has no choice to keep reading ..... just another chapter, and another, and another. The clever structure of the novel allows us to learn a little bit more, piece by piece as the author begins to introduce the other characters and their own version of events. Not once did I guess how this excellent story would turn out, there were times when I thought that I'd got it all sussed, but Tina Seskis throws another spanner in the works many times, causing the story to take twists that I could never have imagined. One Step Too Far is intriguing and compelling, it is paced well and will most certainly stay in my head for some time."

And Seskis also has a really good website. So, all it takes is a good idea, real writing talent, marketing nous and determination. Makes it sound easy, doesn't it?'

Tina Seskis' website


Our last three Success Stories: Jax Miller, Gillian Flynn and Darren Shan.

A list of the others

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List price: £7.99
Publisher: Penguin
Sales rank: 22,783