Tellwell's 2019/2020
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.
Book Giveaways

Giveaways, giveaways, giveaways!

We’re introducing something new, folks, and we’re very excited about it! We will now be offering free ebooks on the Tellwell blog and newsletter!

Tellwell authors have partnered with other authors in their genre to offer their books completely for free – for a limited time. This is part of Tellwell’s new marketing service for authors. Here, we are partnering with authors with similar content to leverage each other’s audience and expose each book to new readers, building the author’s email list in the process. If you are interested in participating, get in touch with your publishing or marketing consultant.

Read on to learn more about each book and how you can enter to receive a free copy.

Ben’s Final Checkmate by Laura Sandor

Toronto-based psychotherapist and author, Laura Sandor shares the tragic story of mental illness, murder and suicide which tear apart her unsuspecting family in her new book.

Readers are calling Ben’s Final Checkmate impossible to put down!

Laura has partnered with other talented non-fiction authors who bare it all in their stories. To get your free copy, all you have to do is click here. Bonus, you can download any of the other 11 books from this giveaway, too!

Giveaway ends July 31st. Download your free copies now.

To learn more about the book and connect with Laura Sandor, visit laurasandorauthor.com.

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Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews Tellwell Books

Tellwell author success stories – awards, media, and reviews!

Our authors have been making headlines all month long! From winning awards to securing interviews, to generating reviews – our authors are getting their names out there! Great work, everyone!


Awards

Blood and Silver

by Vali Benson

Vali Benson’s Blood and Silver was also named a winner in the 2021 San Francisco Book Festival, for two categories; History and Young Adult.

Nine Ways to Empower Tweens #Lifeskills

by Kathleen Boucher

Kathleen Boucher’s Nine Ways to Empower Tweens #Lifeskills does it again! She is a finalist in the Young Adult Non-Fiction Category of the 2021 International Book Awards sponsored by the American Book Fest! 

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Meet the Team

Tellwell project manager Gezel answers a common misconception about the self-publishing industry

Tellwell project manager Gezel Zorobrado has been working at Tellwell for about three years. In her role, she helps navigate authors throughout the various stages of their book project, from manuscript to distribution. She is a ray of sunshine, with big smiles and lots of laughs to share. Gezel is about to welcome her first child this fall:)

Tellwell Project Manager Gezel Zorobrado

Never be afraid to share your stories with the world. You may inspire others to do the same.

Gezel Zorobrado, Tellwell Publishing Project Manager

What do you enjoy most about working with authors?

It is very fulfilling to play a small role in helping authors achieve their dreams and complete their goals. It brings me much joy! I like forming friendly and strong relationships with authors so they know they can rely on me to be their ally.

How would you describe your personality? What motivates you?

I am an introvert. I prefer having a quiet environment to think, reflect, and focus. I’m motivated to achieve my full potential and continue growing individually and professionally. I appreciate it when people recognize my efforts.

What is the most common misconception when it comes to the self-publishing industry? 

Authors, at times, confuse the self-publishing model with the traditional publishing model. There is a common misconception that once the author submits their manuscript, we will do all the legwork to bring their book to market.

While Tellwell certainly takes many of the pain points away during this process by creating the cover, laying out the interior, editing and distribution (depending on the author’s package), it still requires the author to submit input, approve changes and be involved in the process.

The authors who are most engaged during the production process tend to carry the same enthusiasm in marketing their book, which is crucial to success.

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Author of the Month Book Marketing Tellwell Books

How a cheeky, real-life pelican inspired a book about cleaning up our oceans – Tellwell’s July author of the month Renee James

Renée James is the talented Australian children’s author of Patroosh, the Cheeky Pelican. Her book was featured as one of the best-reviewed books by IndieReader in May, she has been reviewed on a number of book blogs, and has been featured on the Clarence Valley Independent!

Patroosh, the Cheeky Pelican touches on the impact of ocean pollution, such as rubbish, on wildlife – an important theme in line with “Clean Beaches Week” that took place earlier this month July 1-7.

Renée’s ‘monkey see, monkey do’ attitude has inspired her to pursue her dreams and become an author! Learn more about Renée and discover her advice for authors!

PATROOSH, THE CHEEKY PELICAN is an illustrated children’s story that hits all the marks: appealing and memorable central characters, high entertainment value, and its function as a powerful educational tool.

~Amanda Ellison for IndieReader
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Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews

Authors in the wild: launches, and signings, and tours, oh my!

Now that the world is opening up to a new normal, our authors are diving back into the world of author events. This past month, we’ve seen some fantastic meet-and-greets, readings, and even a cross-country launch! We’re so happy and proud to see our Tellwell authors getting themselves out there to promote their books!

Paula Gregory – Dream High As The Sky

Mississippi-based children’s author Paula McClellan Gregory finished off the month with an adorable book launch at the Gumtree Bookstore to promote her inspiring children’s book Dream High As the Sky. Paula’s book launch included a fun read-along, a discussion about the children’s dreams, colouring time, snacks, exclusive bookmarks to go with signed copies of the picture book, and even a giveaway for a Dream High As They Sky t-shirt!

Dream High As They Sky follows little Zach (based on Paula’s grandson) as he discovers life’s possibilities and ways of achieving his dream of flying like the birds high in the sky. This high-flying children’s book encourages your little ones to follow their dreams. After all, Zach can tell you, “I dreamed as high as the sky, and my dreams came true.”

Paula has a couple of more events coming up soon so stay tuned to www.paulamcclellangregory.com to learn more! 

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Tellwell Books Tellwell News

Celebrating Canadian Indigenous Authors

We are celebrating and recognizing the tremendous history, heritage and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada. We also acknowledge the inequalities and injustices Indigenous people face every day.

Our hearts ache for the thousands of lives lost and stolen across the country.

We encourage our family, friends, staff, and fellow Canadians to educate ourselves about the land we live on, the history of the Indigenous Peoples who cared for it, and the issues facing Indigenous Peoples in our communities. Let’s become a country worth celebrating. 

Here is a selection of moving stories by Indigenous indie authors. 

Calling My Spirit Back

by Elaine Alec

Indigenous Peoples have always carried the knowledge necessary to heal. When our people heal, our families heal, our communities heal and our land will heal. You cannot have one without the other.

These stories are teachings, prophecy, and protocols shared throughout the years by elders, language speakers, medicine people, and helpers. They have been the foundation to individual healing and learning self-love. They teach us how to make good decisions for ourselves and for all other aspects in our lives.

When our people were young, they were sent on the land to gather as much experience and knowledge as they could, and when they returned, they would contribute what they learned.

I am Syilx and Secwepemc and although many of my teachings come from this place, they also intertwine with indigenous knowledge shared through ceremony from many other nations.

People from all backgrounds have embraced concepts from other parts of the world that promote self-love, healing, and well-being through practices of discipline and meditation.

Very little has been shared about indigenous systems and how it promotes self-love and approach to healing.


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Meet the Team

Tellwell designer Von on what makes a great book cover

Tellwell Book Cover Designer Von Langoyan

A really great book cover is one that captures the book inside it in some fundamental and, perhaps, unforeseen way.

Von Langoyan, Tellwell book cover designer

What do you enjoy most about designing book covers?

I enjoy the creative process of capturing and evoking the essence of a story through visuals. The cover needs to both intrigue a reader and give them a sense of the book’s genre and content. I enjoy staying up to date on design trends and using them in my process so our covers look fresh and contemporary.

Our authors sometimes have a vision for how they would like their covers to look, and I work with their input to create something they would love, and that is also captivating and current.

Where do you get your design inspiration?

Social media and the Internet, in general, are great for inspiration. I follow artists and designers who I admire to see what they are working on.

What have been some of your favourite covers that you’ve created for Tellwell? Tell us why.

I’ve had the pleasure of working on several book covers for the talented fiction author Monique Gliozzi, who lives in Australia. Monique’s books Foresight, Vestige and Diversity are paranormal thriller/mysteries and we wanted the covers to evoke a sense of supernatural spookiness.

Monique had a clear idea of what type of cover she wanted and provided us with really great, detailed instructions. I used a number of design elements to create a sense of haunting and mystique, such as the illusion of depth, partially hidden titles and objects, and surrealism.

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Author of the Month Tellwell Books

A Tribute to Albert Etzerza – Father, Husband, Best-Selling Author, Residential School Survivor

Thanks to his family, Albert Etzerza’s new book became a three-time Amazon Best Seller, bringing more awareness for the trauma created by the Canadian Residential School system

Trigger warning: this post mentions sexual assault on a minor.

At Tellwell, we have the privilege of working with authors from all over the world, each one with their own unique story, giving us the chance to see so many different facets of life. Recently, we had the pleasure of working with the family of Albert Etzerza, who realized Albert’s dream of becoming an author.

At the end of 2020, Albert’s wife, Rose and her five sons published Albert’s book, The Good, The Bad and The Innocent: The Tragic Reality Behind Residential Schools, an Albert Etzerza Story. It was one of Albert’s dreams to have his story published, and they helped him accomplish it after he passed away. Since publishing, they’ve gone on to host book giveaways, run social media campaigns, and gain mentions in local media across British Columbia. As a team, Rose and her sons helped Albert’s book hit the Amazon Best Seller list in three different categories: History of First Nations in Canada, Canadian Biographies, and First Nations in Canada.

Their teamwork, creativity, and drive are just a few of the reasons why we are featuring Albert as Tellwell’s author of the month!

We love celebrating our authors’ success, but it is the content of Albert’s book, and the fact that he bravely shared his story, that inspires us most of all.

Albert Etzerza at age 10. Image from The Good, The Bad and The Innocent: The Tragic Reality Behind Residential Schools, an Albert Etzerza Story

Albert Etzerza is a survivor of the Lower Post Indian Residential School. He was only six-years old when he began attending Lower Post, which was part of Canada’s Indian Residential School system, a system rooted in colonization and the oppression and killing of Indigenous people. In 1991, Albert spoke out about the abuse he endured throughout his years spent at Lower Post, including the fact that he was repeatedly molested by a school supervisor. Albert eventually took the Canadian government to court for the abuse he was subjected to and the trauma he was left to deal with. He then went on to write The Good, The Bad, and The Innocent to share his story and offer people a look at the tragic reality behind residential schools in Canada; and, to help other residential school survivors heal and find hope.

We were fortunate to speak with Rose, Albert’s wife, to learn more about Albert’s story and hear how the book is being received across Canada.

Don’t miss the chance to read an excerpt from The Good, The Bad, and The Innocent at the end of this post!

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Rose, Tahltan/Tlingit First Nation, artist and a mother of five boys. 

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Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews

Author Celebrations: Awards, Reviews and In-The-News!

We love seeing our Tellwell authors crushing it! From top award wins, to featured interviews, to rave reviews – we’re offering a huge congratulations to our authors for these terrific accomplishments! 

AWARDS

Madalsa and Zuivere’s intergenerational poetry collection Get Lost Dirty Covid-19! won the IndieReader Discovery Award for Best Poetry Book! Described by IndieReader as engaging, emotive and enormously relevant, this poetry collection comes from a mother-daughter duo, providing the perspective of two different generations on this world-changing subject.

The book features nine COVID-19 themes with heart-touching poems relating to the isolation and pain we all felt in early 2020, to the bright and optimistic hope we feel now as we enter the new, vaccinated world. 

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Tellwell Books

Happy Pride Month! We are celebrating books written by LGBTQ+ community members and books with LGBTQ+ characters!

Pride Month

Pride isn’t just a parade and celebration,

it is also a protest.

While representation is increasing, and acceptance and love is spreading, there are still many people in the LGBTQ+ community that are suffering. Yes, we celebrate this month, but we also protest for those living in countries where freedom to be yourself hasn’t been achieved, and to the lives lost getting to where we are today. Let this Pride Month be a reminder to us all that we need to consistently stand up when we hear words of hatred; we need to teach our children that love is available for everyone and that love is something we all deserve, regardless of who our partner is.
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Let us continue our fight to make the world a more inclusive and accepting place. In honour of Pride Month, we are celebrating books written by LGBTQ+ community members and books with LGBTQ+ characters!

Happy Pride Month!

Here are a few of Tellwell’s picks:

Blame it on Betty

BOOTS I’M IN

 “Get over it” the story of my life
And it’s what I do to routinely survive.
“Get over it” those words I’ll ne’er forget
So often given with little to no regret.
For a First Nations Gay woman who’s deemed a triple threat
And a constant reminder of the boots I’m in.
In the mid-’70s whilst serving for my country
With a 1:1000 gender ratio in the military,
And only one of nine women at that time
Accepted to a trade, wherein the past denied.
And only one of three women of seven other members
Who graduated early with exceptional skills!
So, I reported to a station as the first woman in that place,
And was I worthy written on their faces.
For male dominance, such a routine privilege
And that’s the world I was living in.
Not only a woman but a Gay one too
And in that era, condemnation, it’s true.
If “outed” during service, I was discharged from the army
Without hesitation and without being sorry.
In the mid-’90s whilst serving as a cop
When a “fag boy” article stirred emotions up,
By fellow officers with blatant discrimination on display
And an employer who didn’t care what I’d say.
“Should have been a private joke,” said the commander,
But with my lifestyle deemed comical, that wasn’t the answer.
With article upon article in the newspaper
“Get over it” barked the enablers.
Now, my greatest threat at that time
Were comrades who conscientiously denied
Whilst the investigators dealing with my complaint
Didn’t have my back and held me to blame.
“Get over it” summarized the investigators.
“She’s the problem, and she’s a troublemaker.”
Now, with policies galore to protect my human rights,
It should have been a slam dunk and should have been airtight.
And I’m ne’er alone, there’re others like me
Facing discrimination on the job, it’s plain to see.
So, just another battle, I’ll “get over it”
And a constant reminder of the boots I’m in.

AVAILABLE NOW


Blessed

In a world filled with magic where Gods and Goddesses walk amongst the mortals who worship them, a war is brewing-a war between the Divine that started centuries ago. Unable to fight in the Divine Realms, they’ve enlisted their followers to fight for them. And to certain mortals they’ve even bestowed their own powers.

These mortals, known as the Blessed, walk a lonely path, balancing the awesome and cruel powers of the Gods and the vulnerability of their human sides. They are immortal unless their God or Goddess sponsor abandons them or they are killed by another Blessed.

One of these Blessed, a veteran from the first war, is gathering other young Blessed to her. Her plan? Create a bond between them all so they can vanquish the God bent on bringing destruction to their world once and for all. Under her tutelage, her students will be the turning point of their world. They start their destinies struggling with their powers and their place in the world. But will they be the salvation or the destruction? Only time will tell, for they are . . .

The Brethren.

Neilina – a Blessed who once conquered a God, she has lived a solitary existence since the first war ended. Now once again she will face a foe from her past that could be her undoing. But this time, she won’t be fighting alone.

Adeline – the only daughter of a warrior king, she is a healer and prophet. But her powers weigh heavy on her and the darkness promises sweet reprieve-will her bond to her Brethren keep her strong?

Aubrey – a young girl with a mysterious past she can’t remember. She wants to be a knight in the Holy War, but she’ll need to discover her past if she’s to help save their future.

Mathilde – the Crown Princess of the nomadic tribes, she’s got to right an ancient wrong if she wants to help her people. Her powers of the wild and animals makes her a strong card for whoever earns her loyalty in the coming war.

Niall – the bastard waif of a nobleman of a distant kingdom, he’s not who everyone thinks he is. Behind his laughing persona is the power of the cosmos. He’s got a lot to prove.

Selene – the exiled Princess, cast away by her magic-fearing father. She’s got a lot to prove and isn’t afraid of a fight. Her loyalty is unquestionable but she feeds off of her emotions. Her powers are barely in check: she could be the wildfire that burns friend and foe out.

Eibhlin – with humble beginnings, her stunning beauty enchants every man who meets her. But when a young-love romance goes wrong, bitterness rules her heart and only time will tell if she turns to her Brethren for comfort or if she’ll cast them aside.

AVAILABLE NOW


Lavender Rose

When nine-year-old Haven Fleet disappears from her school bus stop, everything changes.

Every parent will tell you that the thought of losing their child is unfathomable. Stevie Fleet would spend her whole life searching for her lost daughter, and her four remaining children will face battles of their own.

How far would one parent go to find her lost child, and what other obstacles could meet her along the way?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dani is a non-binary author, activist, and animal lover. They published their first novel in 2020 and have been writing since the age of ten. They are an avid activist for the LGBTQ+ community and includes this subject in many of their novels. Dani lives in Canada with their family.

AVAILABLE SOON


Coming in from the Cold

“The truest, most authentic freedom in this Universe, is found in love…”

-Cosmo, Chapter 14, “Coming in from the Cold”

This is one of many seeds of wisdom prudently planted by Cosmo: a mysterious yet engaging and compassionate mentor to Jake Johnson, Jr., the protagonist in the novel “Coming in from the Cold”.

Jake, Jr. is a young, troubled African American man on the cusp of important life transitions when he meets and befriends Cosmo while travelling into New York City one day in early June. Cosmo takes the young man under his wings and over the course of a summer, Jake and Cosmo have a series of meetings and dialogues at significant venues in New York City. The compelling dialogues explore such topics as spirituality and religion, the constructs of race and racism, the dynamics of human sexuality and relationships, the connections between the health of planet Earth and human health, the mechanics of money and the material world, the legacy of slavery across time, and the nature of the Universe.

The first three chapters of the novel delve into the origins of Jake’s family life before his fortuitous meeting with Cosmo. At the heart of the novel is a love story. Shortly after graduating from Evergreen College in New England, young Jake travels to Japan, where he teaches English. During this transformative sojourn abroad, Jake meets and develops a close companionship with a very atypical, hip Japanese man named Hiro, who introduces Jake to love and the very best of Japanese culture.

Much against his father’s wishes, Jake is called to work in the field of education, and enrolls in Columbia University’s graduate program in teacher education upon his return from Japan. It is the period between his return from Japan and his enrollment at Columbia when Jake meets Cosmo, who provides guidance and wisdom at that critical juncture in the young man’s life. During Jake’s first semester of graduate school in New York City, however, there is a catastrophic earthquake in Japan, and all communication is cut off between Jake and his Japanese companion, Hiro. Not knowing if Hiro is dead or alive, and compelled by his deep love for him, Jake makes the momentous decision to take a dangerous trip back to Japan to find his lover, with whom he is eventually reunited. At the end of the novel, the true identity of Cosmo is revealed.

The main theme of the novel is about the redemptive powers of embracing love and wisdom in facing the vicissitudes of life during this transitional era in human history: a turbulent era on the cusp of brighter, more promising days of a more harmonious, united humanity on Earth.

AVAILABLE NOW


Violet Mage

Homelessness in the hardscrabble town of Belleau can be life-threatening: transients often suddenly vanish from the dingy streets without a trace. Sixteen-year-old Polly Onasis suspects the king and his guards are the culprits behind these disappearances. Once she turns eighteen, she knows she will be forced into the city streets too, away from the safety of her foster home and family . . .

One morning, Polly wakes up to discover that her hair has turned from deep brown to brilliant violet. How? And why? She must keep herself hidden from the public, for fear of being noticed by the king’s guards. But soon enough her eighteenth birthday is upon her, and she no longer has any way to hide herself. She runs into a mysterious stranger who seems to know all about Polly and the secrets which lie behind her hair. Polly’s life is turned upside down as she is carried through the wonderful and the nightmarish, the dark alleyways of Belleau and the king’s palace. Meanwhile, she must fight to protect her loved ones, and find out who she really is.

AVAILABLE NOW


Basil's Unkie Hred

Basil’s Unkie Herb microwaves socks, plans fabulous birthday surprises and has a friend with a donkey, a monkey and a garbage truck.

This book chronicles the special relationship between Unkie Herb and Basil, and grandma’s worries about “lonely” Unkie Herb.

It ends with Unkie Herb finding love, and Basil learning, contrary to what the girls in school say, “where we live, you can marry whomever you love.”

AVAILABLE NOW

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