Sam Pearce

Author, Sam Pearce
Working as a self-publishing consultant in sunny Southampton, I have an absolute passion for books!

As the founder of SWATT Books, I help independent authors through to process of self-publishing, from finding qualified editors and cover designers to registering their publishing imprint and getting their books listed in over 7k retailers worldwide in print and eBook.

Having worked with over 80 authors to help them publish nearly 100 titles since 2015, I finally got around to writing and publishing my first book last year "Stress-Free Self-Publishing". Like many first-time authors I immediately got the writing bug, and the very day that SFSP went on sale I started planning and writing this book. I also have plans to explore writing fantasy fiction for my next book project.
Award Category Finalist
Award Submission Title
From Broken to Brave
"From Broken to Brave" is the story of the many turning points in my life, both good and bad; and the valuable lessons I learned from each one. From the pain of suicide, the loss of identity and the humiliation of mental and physical abuse; to the courage to start a new life, the fear of repeating past mistakes, and the tribulations of starting a new business.

I have written this book as a beacon of hope to show that no obstacle is permanent, no heartbreak unrecoverable, and nothing is ever broken forever.
My Submission

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I am a profoundly private person. I don’t believe in airing my personal life for the world to see. It’s the reason why I’m not very active on social media outside of my business, and why I’m rarely the life and soul of the party (unless I have to be).

I guess that is common for a lot of people; however, I can sometimes take that to extremes. There are of course a few people close to me that know certain things about my past and my life, but no one – not even my parents or my husband – know the full story. Not one person other than myself is aware of all the pieces and how they have fitted together over the years to make me the person I am today.

Looking back on my life I don’t really know if that was ever an intentional choice or if that’s just the way I developed. Whether it was a defence mechanism or just an in-built personality trait; like how some people are naturally outgoing or charismatic. But things started to change in my mind regarding that point not all that long ago.

Whilst writing my first book, Stress-Free Self-Publishing, which was published in May 2019, a couple of my beta readers, as well as a good friend who is a book writing mentor, pointed out that there was nothing about me in the book apart from the very sparse author bio I had reluctantly added to the back matter. Even that I had just taken from my website and padded out slightly. When I asked why did this matter when the book was meant as a how-to guide, everyone’s response was similar... it helps readers to get to know more about you and connect with you as a real person. The more human you appear as an author, the more they will engage with the content of your book.

Being the rather stubborn and headstrong person that I am, I didn’t relent very much in regards to adding anything personal to Stress-Free Self-Publishing. However, it did plant the seed of starting to see how other people might find value in my experiences... if I would just be willing to open up and share them. The more I thought about the idea, the more it grew on me. I had always wanted to help people in any way I could, and here was a way that I could help others that I had never considered before – by sharing some of my experiences in the hope that someone else could learn from my mistakes.

I decided to put this theory to the test by presenting a 4Sight to one of my local 4Networking groups. 4Sights are an opportunity to give a brief presentation on any chosen topic (as long as it’s not a sales pitch) at my business networking group of choice, 4Networking. The 20-minute talk touched on a few memories and lessons that have eventually formed chapters 4, 9 and 10 of this book.

It was the most difficult talk I have ever given! This was the first time I had spoken about these experiences out loud, and I was doing it to a roomful of fellow business owners who I only saw maybe once a month, if ever. I had one or two friends in the room who I had asked to come along for support, but for the most part I barely knew anyone in the audience of 20 all that well.

As I started to speak, I kept thinking to myself: “How are these people going to react? What will they think of me after this? Will they think less of me? Am I going to ruin the professional reputation that I have worked to build with these people?” Despite my thoughts running a mile a minute and my emotions in turmoil over digging up past memories, I made it to the end of the talk. There was a stunned silence followed by genuine, heartfelt applause; and I had to choke back tears of relief.

I went on to explain that what I had just shared was going to form part of a new book that I was writing, intended to help people cope with similar experiences, and asked if they found any value in what I had just shared. The answer was a resounding yes. So not five days after Stress-Free Self-Publishing hit the shelves, I started writing the initial manuscript for From Broken to Brave.


Despite this rather secretive preamble, my life has not been particularly extraordinary. At the tender age of 42, I can appreciate that it’s not been that long either. I’m also acutely aware that there are people in this world who have had a far worse time in life than I have, but I have had more than my fair share of tough times and bad experiences. My family moved around a lot when I was a kid which meant that I found it very difficult to make new friends (despite the practice) and as a result I was bullied mercilessly all the way through school. As you will soon read, particular circumstances led me to become addicted to drugs and on the edge of suicide. I have been completely broke, ending up relying on food banks and begging for my next meal.

But this book is not a “woe is me” story. No. With the benefit of hindsight, I’ve been able to glean the powerful and profound lessons that these and many other experiences have taught me about life as well as running a business. Some have been more obvious than others; some have taken me decades to learn and even longer to live by. But they are the lessons that have shaped who I am and the way I view the world.

I want to share some of these experiences with you in the hope that the lessons I have learned will somehow help you. My wish is that, by drawing back the curtain on my life and sharing some of my story, you may find answers to questions that you are facing in your own life. Or perhaps you will find the strength and resolve to cope with similar situations that I have overcome. Maybe you will simply find solace in knowing that you’re not alone; that someone has walked in your shoes before you and not only survived but thrived.

Though many of the experiences and stories that I am about to share with you are very dark, I have written this book as a beacon of hope to show that no obstacle is permanent, no heartbreak unrecoverable, and nothing is ever broken forever. In these pages you will learn of some of the pain, loss, fear, setbacks, and what at the time felt like insurmountable odds, that I have faced to get to where I am right now; but also come to know that despite all that has happened in my life (or maybe because of it) I am the woman I am today. Confident, strong and successful, whilst also remaining caring, gentle and committed to helping better both myself and the world around me.

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realise it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfil it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.
– Mother Teresa; Roman Catholic nun, missionary and humanitarian