Tellwell's 2016/2017
Publishing Guide
Learn the five steps to publishing a book, the pros and cons of self-publishing, and how distribution and royalties work.
Learn how to publish.
Meet the Team

Learn about cover design and interior layout with lead designer Jordan Mitchell

jordanmitchell1. How would you describe your role at Tellwell?

As lead designer, my primary role is the creation of book covers and interiors for our talented authors. Because I’ve worked on literally hundreds of books in my 5+ years in the publishing industry I’m also a resource for any design-related questions or concerns that our Publishing Consultants or Project Managers may have. If that doesn’t keep me busy enough, I’m also involved in the design and appearance of Tellwell’s web presence, client-facing materials and any other internal or external assets that other members of Tellwell’s team may require.

2. What’s your favourite part of the job?

I’ve always found figuring out an attractive and effective way to communicate what an author’s story is about within the constraints of a book cover to be incredibly rewarding.

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Tips & Tricks

Tips for writing an effective back cover blurb

You’ve written a book, so how hard can it be to write a couple more paragraphs for the back cover? It may seem easy in theory, but, writing a condensed yet enticing summary can be quite the feat. As an author, you know the contents of your book inside and out, but what does your audience need to know to convince them to read the book?

Here are some tips to write an effective and engaging back cover blurb:

Think of your back cover blurb as a roadmap for readers.

It’s your job to highlight the key things they will get from the book.

  • Start with a hook, something interesting to grab the reader’s attention right from the start. A poignant quote, pressing question, or pithy summary may be a great place to start. This is essentially the “pick-up line” of your book, so grab your audience’s attention with something powerful.
  • Your blurb should include context or background information to set the stage. For non-fiction, this could establish the premise of the book, and for fiction, this might be the setting of the book.
  • Next, you’ll need to introduce the main character(s) of the book along with some detail about their role in the plot development. Use adjectives that would help to characterize while keeping the description succinct.
  • Now that you’ve established a premise, you’ll want to tease the reader with the main conflict or problem in the book. For non-fiction, this could identify controversy, challenges or struggle in the book, and for fiction, this could hint at the climax of the story – although avoid spoilers.
  • It can be quite effective to end the roadmap with a twist or cliff-hanger to intrigue your audience. The twist could be phrased as a question or a dramatic statement, which tells your audience that reading the book will answer it.
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Tips & Tricks

Using NetGalley to Market Your Book

 

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One of the biggest challenges as an indie author is gaining exposure, so your book doesn’t get lost amongst the millions of other titles listed on Amazon and other online retailers. Getting book reviews is one of the best ways to gain some initial publicity, especially for fiction authors.

NetGalley is an online marketing and publicity tool used to gain readers who will read and review e-books. Authors use this as a portal to provide digital files to an online community of more than 310,000 ‘professional readers’ including bloggers, book reviewers, media professionals and booksellers. Many bookstore buyers, librarians, and well-established book bloggers subscribe to NetGalley as a source for new titles to review and/or buy. It is open to Canadian, US, UK and Australian markets.

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Meet the Team

Meet web developer Dave Riedstra

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1. How would you describe your role at Tellwell?

I do web development, mostly the stuff that runs in your browser. I primarily work on Tellwell’s author portal, an online tool we use in the book production process, but I’m also responsible for tellwell.ca and some other stuff.

2. What’s your favourite part of the job?

We’re working with some very new technologies, so there are many chances to learn and sometimes even contribute to these technologies. I really love implementing the great designs I get from Jordan, our lead designer. Also, the team at Tellwell are fun folks, and I love that what I do enables artists to get their work out there.

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Tips & Tricks

Self-published printing options: matte vs. gloss, perforation and duplex covers

 

You’ve submitted your manuscript and now the project you’ve been pouring over is materializing into a book. As an independent author, you get to determine the look and feel of your book. The print-on-demand company we work with, IngramSpark, offers a variety of options when it comes to printing your self-published book. Here are some options to consider for your work.

Cover finish

IngramSpark offers a glossy cover or a matte cover. These two options give the reader different visual and tactile experiences.  A glossy cover is considered to be the classic choice and will give a rich and vibrant look to your book cover. A colourful photo like a sunrise or ocean scene will pop with a glossy cover. It’s more durable so it can repel small coffee or water spills, within reason. The downside to glossy covers is that they scuff and scratch more easily.

In comparison, matte book covers are trending right now. The finish is professional looking and can give a contemporary look to your cover design. Not to mention the feel of a matte cover is quite unique – its smooth, soft surface will give the reader not only a visual but a tactile experience. Matte lends well to more subtle cover art and will absorb and hide scratches more so than a glossy cover. However, a matte finish may dull certain colours.

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Tips & Tricks

How to plan a book tour

Now that you’ve published your book, it’s time to think about ways of generating buzz. A book tour can be a good way to engage with potential readers, make connections, and get exposure. In some cases, you’ll be able to talk about the book, read a sample chapter, and answer questions. It also gives you a hook for contacting local media and material for social media promotion.

We talked to Tellwell author Sharyl Rains to get her advice on planning a book tour. She’s held dozens of book signings and author talks across Canada and the United States for her book The Holy Tudors. She lives in St. Albert, Alberta.

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Meet the Team

Learn more about the publishing process with project manager Natasha Miller

Want to know what happens once you sign up with Tellwell? Project manager Natasha Miller answers questions on the publishing process.

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1. How would you describe your role? What do you do?

I act as a liaison between authors and all the different talented people who work for Tellwell doing things like editing, designing, marketing and any other aspect you can think of when it comes to the creation of a book.

On a day-to-day basis my day would start with answering emails and answering all the questions authors have about any step of the process, from editing, to design or all the way to the very end of the process with distribution. I also do a lot of the back end work of making sure that books are set up properly for distribution.

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Author of the Month Tellwell Books

How parents can help protect their children from online predators

Many children are accessing the Internet using mobile devices and computers, and parents often don’t know what sites they’re visiting or with whom their kids are interacting.

The way we parent our children has to evolve along with technology, says author Charlene Doak-Gebauer. That means including digital supervision and guidance as part of traditional parenting.

“The Internet and digital devices are light years ahead of parenting, and it’s time parents caught up,” she said.

Doak-Gebauer explains her theory of digital supervision in her book Digital Sexual Victims: True Cases (published by Tellwell). She wrote the book to protect children and families from becoming victims of child pornography after her niece was targeted by neighbours when she was only four-years-old.

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Authors in the Media Tellwell Books

Authors in the Media

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Our authors have recently been featured on CBC radio and television, the Burnaby Now newspaper, CHEK News, the Times Colonist and in a documentary. Congrats on all the great press!

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Tellwell Books

Authors in Bookstores

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Check out these three Tellwell books stocked in Canadian bookstores.

 

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