Tellwell's 2019/2020
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Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews

Indie Author Celebration

Congratulations to our authors for winning major awards and receiving huge publicity including radio and podcast interviews, newspaper, web and social media features.

Jerome Bourgault
The Perpetual Now

Exciting news for sci-fi/fantasy author Jerome Bourgault whose debut novel, The Perpetual Now, has been named a finalist in the cross-genre category of the 2020 International Book Awards! Winners will be announced in a few weeks.

It is a huge and completely unexpected honour to be included in the company of so many talented, successful and recognized authors in both mainstream and independent publishing. My thanks to everyone at Tellwell Talent, and my readers who have shown so much support!

– Jerome Bourgault, author of The Perpetual Now

Elaine Alec
Calling My Spirit Back

Elaine Alec is making headlines for her newly released book Calling My Spirit Back. She’s been featured on the CBC, First Nations Forward, the National Observer, Living Fiercely and Sober is Dope! Podcasts. 

It’s a journey of understanding and embracing your story and sharing it with others. We can’t expect others to share their stories, their hearts, their thoughts, and their truths if we are not willing to do the same.

Elaine Alec, author of Calling My Spirit Back
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Author of the Month Tellwell Books

PRIDE SPOTLIGHT: Celebrating LGTBQ+ Authors & Books

This month we are celebrating our LGTBQ+ authors and books with LGTBQ+ themes and characters. Each book, story and shared experience paves the way towards a more inclusive future. It helps people see from a different perspective, and perhaps, increase understanding and change attitudes. Sharing a personal experience with the public isn’t easy but it is empowering. Thank you for sharing your story.

David Scott
Stargazer

At the age of seventeen, his life changed dramatically when his father died and David took on the running of the family cinemas and drive-in theatres. Puberty and not coming to terms with being gay plagued David who had to keep his sexuality secret in his small home town.

His career includes forty years as a film exhibitor; establishing a horse stud; managing a motel; working in the hospitality industry, and a few other experiences along the way. David’s latest book, Stargazer, is an autobiography highlighting the value of family, ingenuity, bravado, old-fashioned common sense, colourful characters and unfailing good humour. From rural towns in Victoria and New South Wales, to the mountain life in Queensland, the constant has been faithful canine companions, perseverance and a joy for living.

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Author of the Month

Author of the month Karen Cumming shares book marketing advice that helped sell thousands of copies

Our author of the month Karen Cumming on which book marketing efforts led to the best results of her guide on navigating Ontario’s long-term care system

Karen Cumming and Patricia Milne are sisters who guided their 98-year-old mother, Verna, through Ontario’s long-term care system. They found themselves lost in a confusing maze of paperwork, equipment rentals, health care workers and medication. It was scary and unfamiliar territory where they felt alone. After navigating Ontario’s long-term care system, they wrote and published The Indispensable Survival Guide to Ontario’s Long-Term Care System.

Cumming and Milne have been featured on the CBC, Global News Radio and in the Hamilton Spectator. They have been interviewed on multiple podcasts as well as by influencers and bloggers on various social media platforms. In addition to online retailers, their book is available to purchase at various brick and mortar bookstores and over 100 copies of the book are available in libraries across Ontario. The sisters’ marketing efforts are paying off. Their book has sold thousands of copies this year alone and they are just getting started. Read the rest of the article to hear which marketing efforts yielded the best results as well as their advice to authors.

1. Tell us about yourselves.

Karen: I’m a freelance journalist, health promoter and teacher with a long career in radio and TV news.

Pat: I am a retired teacher living in southern Ontario with my husband.

2. What inspired you to write your book?

Karen:  The lack of guidance available to families whose elderly loved ones are heading into long-term care. It’s crazy!  Someone had to do something.

Pat: The frustration of navigating the long-term care (LTC) system with inadequate help.

3. Describe your book in a sentence.

Karen:  It’s the survival guide we never had, providing practical tips to help you and your family be proactive and prepared for the decisions that may lie ahead.

Pat: Our book is a tool to simplify the process of investigating long-term care in Ontario.

4. What are you most proud of about your book?

Karen:  The lessons we’ve been able to pass on to other families so that they might never feel the stress and frustration that we did.

Pat: Our intent was to help people. The testimonials we continue to receive are proof of our success.

5. Your book has been selling really well. You’ve been featured in major media outlets across Canada and have your book stocked in numerous bookstores and libraries. Tell us about how well your book has been doing.

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Meet the Team

Meet Tellwell Book Designer Ian De Guzman and read his favourite cover design trends

1. Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

My role is to create the visual expression of our authors’ concepts and ideas using graphic tools and elements.

2. What do you enjoy most about being a book designer?

I enjoy creative exploration, thinking through ideas and coming up with solutions on how to best represent them visually.

3. What styles and genres do you enjoy working on the most?

Fantasy and adventure.

Here is a small sample of Ian’s cover designs for Tellwell.

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Author of the Month Tellwell Books

Indigenous History Month: Honouring First Nations, Inuit and Métis authors

June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada. It’s a time to reflect upon and learn the history, contributions, heritage, and diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada and their role in shaping the country. First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples have their distinct histories, and within each group, their unique stories.

Tellwell is celebrating Indigenous History Month by showcasing our talented and courageous Indigenous authors whose stories strengthen our social fabric, enrich our culture and understanding of history. Thank you for telling your stories and sharing it with the world. 


Karen Chaboyer

They Called Me 33: Reclaiming Ingo-Waabigwan

Karen Chaboyer is an Ojibwa mother and grandmother from Rainy River First Nations, a community in northwestern Ontario. She is proudly admired by her children, who have witnessed her transformation as she worked through layers of shame and learned to embrace her identity. A second-generation survivor of residential school, Karen now shares her experiences with audiences throughout the Toronto area, where she now resides. Karen’s goal is to educate people on the extent to which the tragedies of the residential school system have impacted individuals, families, communities, and entire cultures to this day.

Grieving is the way to work through our losses and past traumas; compassion for ourselves and each other is how we move forward. Only then can we be victorious.

Watch Karen’s story on the CBC here. Learn more about They Called Me 33: Reclaiming Ingo-Waabigwan.


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Author of the Month

Children’s author and illustrator Fred Smith on creating cool animated videos of his book highlighting the unique father and son bond

Calgary-based children’s author, Fred Smith, is originally from Santa Maria, California, where he served in the United States Marine Corps, rising to the rank of sergeant. As his military career was winding down, he met his wife and moved to Canada to start a family. He retrained as a graphic designer and photographer. His adventures in fatherhood inspired him to write and illustrate his first children’s book, My Daddy’s Legs. Fred Smith is using his artistic talents to create animated videos of his book on his YouTube Channel, Uncle Freddie’s Courtyard.

1. What inspired you to write My Daddy’s Legs?

I was inspired by playing games with my son and it reminded me how I used to play with my grandpa and uncles.

2. Did you have a number of ideas for a children’s book? How did you decide on this one? 

I had one book idea before this; however, it was too ambitious for my skill level because it would have required its own app to be produced.

3. What are you most proud of in your book?

I am most proud of the rhymes and the fact that I illustrated the book myself.

4. How did you learn to illustrate and animate videos?

I got a diploma in graphic design in 2015, so I mastered Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects and Premiere Pro. All of those tools talk to each other and allow me the opportunity to do something different.

5. It’s nice to see more books highlighting the unique relationship between father and son, especially with Father’s Day this month. What was your son’s reaction to the book? Does he love reading the story at bedtime?  

My son was excited to see the book but I don’t think he understands that every kid isn’t featured in a book. He knows that he is the lead character of the story and points out what he’s doing on every page.

6. What do you enjoy most about being a dad?

What I enjoy most about being a dad is seeing the world through the kids’ eyes when they experience something new.

7. What have you been doing to market and promote your book?

To market the book, I created a website as well as a YouTube channel called Uncle Freddie’s Courtyard, and I actively post new and original content on Instagram and my Facebook author page.

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Meet the Team

Meet publishing consultant Philip Grey and hear the most common misconception he encounters in the self-publishing industry

1.    Tell us about your role at Tellwell. 

As the first point of contact, I am building a strong working relationship with new and existing authors in order to understand, manage and successfully deliver their publishing objectives.

2.    What do you enjoy most about working with authors?

My absolute favourite part of the job is when somebody tells me I’ve helped them fulfill their dreams of becoming a published author. I love the idea of bringing a smile to someone’s face.

3.  What is your work experience outside of Tellwell? 

Before joining Tellwell, I worked with a couple of self-publishing, client service and technical support companies. In total, I have around 10 years of sales experience in multiple publishing companies, two years in technical support and about five years in client service.

4.    How would you describe your personality?

I am a problem-solver by nature and my immediate goal when I speak to my authors is to resolve their questions and concerns as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

5.    What is the biggest misconception authors interested in self-publishing have about the industry? 

Self-publishing is still shrouded in misconception despite being an established industry. One of the biggest misconceptions is that “a self-published book is harder to market.” The challenges of marketing any book, self-published or traditionally published, are mostly limited to the author’s time and budgetary constraints as well as their marketing savviness. Social media and reader-focused platforms such as Goodreads make it easier to get the word out directly to your niche market. Tellwell’s marketing team will work with authors to fill in their knowledge gaps, and empower them with an understanding of the best marketing practises for their book. We execute a number of elements in their marketing plan to help generate new readers, reviews, publicity, and a social media presence. 

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Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews

Congratulations to our authors whose books have won major literary awards!

On Loving

by Lili Naghdi

Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold

Best Adult Fiction E-Book

eLit Book Awards Silver

Romance Category

In 1972, Dr. Rose Hemmings has just finished her general surgery residency when a haunted stranger is shot in front of her in a New York City bar, and their lives become forever intertwined. And when, having been given the blessing of her adoptive father on his deathbed, Rose travels to prerevolutionary Iran to discover the past her American family kept secret from her, she finds a true Pandora’s box.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

The Independent Publishing Book Awards is the longest-running and one of the largest book awards open exclusively for independent authors.


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Book Marketing

How Tellwell authors are marketing their books during the coronavirus pandemic

Jennifer Chapin

The Poet & The Angel 

1. Describe your book in one sentence.

It is an elegy of love and redemption and tells the story of a little girl who sees the wounded spirit of a slain poet huddled near a fountain in Granada, Spain. She befriends him to give him his voice back.

2. How were you planning to promote and market your book before the COVID-19 crisis?

I had been approved by Indigo for a signing on April 18th in Victoria and had Tellwell create my promotional materials for that event.  I also had a reading set up at the Vancouver Public Library on April 19th and an event set up with the Victoria Public Library in May, as part of the emerging local author program.  All of these events have been cancelled.  Fortunately, I had an interview with Citizen’s Forum on YouTube before we were all told to self-isolate so I gained some traction there.  After many months of building online interest, the book was finally starting to take off; however, all of the events mentioned above are still available to me, when life resumes once more.

3. What are you doing now?

I’m still in the thinking stages of what to do next, but plan to set up my own YouTube channel to do readings and talks to post online, through my website and Facebook author page.  I am also planning to set up a series of podcasts.  Finally, I am building a community of authors around me whereby we read and review each other’s books and post them on Amazon by way of support.

4. Do you have any advice for authors?

My advice is to never give up.  If there is an obstacle in the river, float around it as there are always creative solutions available.  Also, form communities with like-minded artists to exchange ideas.  View this time as an opportunity for growth.  We are all in this together, globally.  If this crisis has taught us anything, it is that we need each other.

Read how Charlene Doak-Gebauer, Markus Matthews and Monique Gliozzi are adapting their book marketing strategies in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

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