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.
Tips & Tricks

Want to kickstart your next novel? Here’s how to launch a successful book crowdfunding campaign

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You’ve already got one book under your belt. Now’s the time to work on the next. But how can you afford to do this? The answer for hundreds of authors is Kickstarter, the popular crow-funding website. By executing a successful Kickstarter campaign, you could be paid to work on your book while you’re writing it. True story. Here’s a few tips to get your started:

Do your research. Check out book campaigns that worked. Ask yourself – why were they effective? What language did they use to encourage support? Who provided the funding and why, do you think, they did so? Check out this Kickstarter success story for inspiration.

Do the math and set your goal. I’m sure most of us would like a cheeky million to sit on the beach in Mexico and pen our crime thriller but that ain’t gonna happen. Figure out how much it costs to make a book, and be reasonable and realistic. If it’s a good project, people will contribute. Make sure you factor in the ‘boring’ costs like printing and postage. Remember to add a 15% buffer to cover the Kickstarter, credit card fees and extra fees to run your campaign. Also include a budget for marketing. Enough to either outsource it or to make your own website and promotional materials. At the very least, you should budget for a consultation with a marketing professional who will identify the strategies most relevant to your book that you can implement yourself.

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Author of the Month

TellWell publishing consultant Jennifer Chapin sits in the author seat to publish her new book

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Saint Augustine, the Christian theologian and philosopher once said: “The world is a book. And those who do not travel read only a page.”

This sentiment echoes through the work of Jennifer Chapin who blends her love of the publishing industry with travel, philosophy, and a little magic.

By day, Chapin is a publishing consultant at TellWell whose main role is to inspire people to trust their work and take the leap of faith into self-publishing. By night, Chapin takes those leaps herself – travelling in her mind to ancient civilizations and fleshing out characters on paper.

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Chapin has just published her second book, The Poet and The Angel, which is connected to her current role at TellWell in that, as she brings the poet’s voice back to life and onto the page, she encourages authors to do the same with their voices. The novella also resonates with her former career in the non-profit sector.

“I have long been committed to the areas of social and environmental justice, through my pen and through being outspoken on issues that are of concern to me. Federico Garcia Lorca’s [the ‘Poet’] character resonates with me completely. I understand his defense of the downtrodden and I share his commitment to speaking out against tyranny,” said Chapin.

An avid traveller and photographer, Chapin weaves her first-hand experiences into her prose to successfully transport the reader to a new place. But don’t flag this as a fluffy travel novel. Chapin uses her writing as a vehicle to discuss bigger issues: freedom, tyranny and the truth.

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Guest Post

How self-published author Don Levers landed major media interviews and got his book into 25 bookstores

By Don Levers

Author Don Levers pictured in Edmonton on Dec 9, 2017. Photo by Jason Franson.

Author Don Levers pictured in Edmonton on Dec 9, 2017. Photo by Jason Franson.

 

I have told people since publishing my book in August of 2017 that finishing and publishing it is only the beginning for an indie author. Arranging book signings, retailer consignments and getting as much free publicity as possible can become a full-time job.

PUBLICITY
Using a media list supplied by Tellwell Publishing, I contacted media outlets prior to launching the book. The big newspapers no longer have space to do book reviews. I arranged interviews with small community papers in areas where I would be doing book signings. You can see copies of all the articles and interviews I have done on my website. The thing is you need a hook. What makes your book different than the tens of thousands of books on the bookshelves of any major bookstore?

My persistence in contacting various media outlets paid off. I managed to get short interviews with major radio stations including the CBC. I have had a number of articles in local newspapers talking about the book and the story that inspired it. I was even able to get a live television interview prior to doing a signing in Kamloops.

My goal was to try to get an on-air or newspaper interview to coincide with a book signing. One thing I learned is that radio stations are not usually interested in doing interviews on fiction books.

Loot for the Taking book

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Author of the Month

Courtroom lawyer turned self-publishing success; Governor General’s Award nominee Leslie Hall Pinder on her life as a full-time writer

By Kate Bell

Tellwell author and Governor General’s Award nominee, Leslie Hall Pinder, puts her decades of experience in the courtroom on paper in her latest crime-fiction novel, The Indulgence. Learn more about the B.C.- based author’s career as a lawyer-turned-writer, how she got a testimonial from Margaret Atwood and why after traditionally publishing three books, she got decided to self-publish.

Photo Courtesy: The Georgia Straight

At age 12, Leslie Hall Pinder was told to write. She was encouraged by her school teacher and, following her teacher’s advice, Hall Pinder’s first short story was broadcast on CBC radio when she was 19-years-old.

Hall Pinder immersed herself into the literary world after high school and went on to complete her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Saskatchewan and Dalhousie University. She then started a Masters Program in English at the University of British Columbia, however, her interest in school was beginning to wane; she often skipped class and eventually dropped out to pursue her dream of becoming a full-time writer. But the author’s plan was put on hold when she found casual work in the case report section of the Vancouver Police Department – the lure of the law became absolutely irresistible. She quickly enrolled back in school and, in 1976, she graduated with a law degree from the University of British Columbia. Shortly after, Leslie became the first woman litigator at a large Vancouver law firm.

After working nearly 20 years in law, alongside writing and publishing two novels (one of which that was nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award), Hall Pinder decided to step back from the legal world and begin writing full-time. She has been a full-time writer since 2005 and the courtroom still plays a major impact on her work which focuses largely on characters who undergo the difficult and corrupting struggle of truth as defined by the law.

After traditionally publishing her first three books, Leslie Hall Pinder chose to self-publish her fourth book with Tellwell. The Indulgence is a story about what happens when love turns to hate and everyone turns to the law.

The Indulgence

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Author of the Month

At 15-years-old, actor, model and author Ricko Dupri Sample already has two books to his name

ricko-sampleAt 15-years-old, Ricko Dupri Sample has major achievements to his name. He published one book with Tellwell at age 13, then another at 14. He’s heavily involved in the arts, not just as an author, but as an actor, model, dancer, and musician. Oh, and on top of all that, he’s also several years ahead in school, so much so that in grade 7 he started taking grade 10 classes, and now at 15, he’s in his second year of college in Washington State.

“It feels like an accomplishment, but in my opinion, it’s just the beginning,” said the young author.

Two years ago, at 13-years-old, Sample, began acting, modelling, and attending college. That’s when he also began writing his first book Bigfoot Untold. It started off as a screenplay to submit to a writing competition, but then, being as determined as he is, decided to turn it into a book.

bigfoot-untoldIn Bigfoot Untold, Sample shares his mother’s stories of growing up in an Indonesian village and the encounters she and others had with a mysterious and elusive creature. Sample says his mother had gravel thrown at her by the creature, and in her village a child was kidnapped and put into a dumpster. The child wasn’t physically harmed but was emotionally and mentally traumatized.

“The general theme is that Bigfoot plays tricks on people and does strange things. He hides in the bushes and messes with people. He represents a mysterious spiritual creature in the forest,” Sample said. “People are always trying to find Bigfoot, but they never can.”

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Author of the Month

Doreen Crick chronicles the Caribbean’s dark history through the tears and laughter of women

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Doreen Crick didn’t dream about becoming an author, but at 83, she realized her three children and four grandchildren didn’t know much about the dark history of their Caribbean heritage so she began to research and to write.

“Like many people, they saw the Caribbean as a great vacation destination. They didn’t know the history of colonialism and slavery there,” said the author who is originally from Saint Kitts but now lives in Nova Scotia.

Over the next two years, she would write and publish two books with Tellwell. Seawater: Women’s Voices from the Shores of the Caribbean Leeward Islands is the history of several Caribbean islands, told through the laughter and tears of the women who were slaves.

“I wrote about how we survived around slavery. I didn’t focus too much on the devastation but rather on how we managed to cope with it, how we conquered our emotions to survive,” said Crick.

Seawater book

Seawater chronicles what happened in the 17th century when the British arrived in the Caribbean Islands of Anguilla, Nevis and Saint Kitts with slaves from Ghana to set up sugar and cotton plantations. But, in the book, Crick focuses on the women and children rather than the men.

“My school history books were about European men – whether they were scoundrels or heroes,” she said.  “I wanted to share a different history about women and children.”

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Tips & Tricks

How to use book clubs to market your book

How to use book clubs to market your book

Book clubs are a wonderful way for authors to connect directly with readers to build a loyal fan base, ask for input and feedback to use for your next novel, raise awareness for your book and generate more reviews.

1.Finding Book Clubs

First you want to create a list of book clubs. Start with your inner circle of family, friends and acquaintances to see if they are part of a book club which reads books in your genre.

Visit local libraries, bookstores, coffee shops and ask the manager if there are local book clubs taking place and if you can have the contact info of the organizer.

Find them online by try searching Meetup.com, Mybookclub.com, Facebook, Goodreads even Instagram for online book clubs.

marketing your book at book clubs

2. Make Your Pitch

Many clubs love to speak with authors, especially local authors. Contact the organizer, introduce yourself, provide your book backgrounder and explain you are interested in participating as a visiting author. If you don’t hear back, you’ll want to follow up.

 

3. Event Day

At the book club, know what you want to discuss. Ask the organizer what format they want to follow, usually, it will involve discussion points and a Q&A. It is also a good opportunity for you to receive direct feedback from your readers. What they liked and didn’t like.

Bring promotional materials such as bookmarks, offer to sign books, and ask if anyone would consider leaving a review on Amazon and or Goodreads.

Take photos at the event to post on social media.

 

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Author of the Month

Author Rika Mansingh on how to rewire your brain to become the best version of yourself in 2019

The Empowered Mind Diet Equation

With each new year, many people set intentions to change their diet and exercise habits, resolving to head back to the gym or eat healthier to look and feel better. But dietician, Rika Mansingh’s new book, The Empowered Mind Diet Equation, is a different take on nutrition – focusing on foods which feed the brain and in turn, lead to increased energy and vitality.

She says to achieve any goal, first, we need to conquer our minds, and one way to do this is by altering our diet.

“We should be mindful of what we eat and how it affects the way we feel,” she said. “This book is an uplifting and empowering read meant to change thoughts, feelings and behavior to rewire the brain and create new habits.”

Her book discusses how the brain is capable of not only repairing itself but also producing new neurons, regardless of age, through a process called neuroplasticity and neurogenesis.

Author Rika Mansingh

Mansingh has focused on the link between nutrition and the mind in her 17 years working as a registered dietician, most recently in Abbotsford, B.C. and now wants to bring her knowledge to readers outside of her private practice.

“Many clients have seen life-changing results such as losing weight, controlling blood sugars, changing disordered eating patterns and, especially, a reduction or discontinuation of medication.  Many medical conditions are preventable and with healthy dietary practices complications of lifestyle diseases can be avoided or eliminated completely,” said Mansingh.

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Author of the Month

Former Lebanese television host Nataly Restokian trying to start “Me Too” Movement in the Middle East

Nataly Restokian Author of Masks

Me Too stories of sexual assault have dominated the headlines in the western world, but across the water, in the Arab world, the issue remains an elusive one.

“I wrote this story because I wanted to face my own demons. I had to face myself and the things that happened to me. I am not a hero and I’m not a victim. I dreamed of fame and power and I gave up a lot of things for that,” said the former Lebanese actress and television and radio host.

Masks is a dark fictional tale based on the author’s true-life events. The protagonist, Ana, is an Armenian girl born in Lebanon in the seventies. She achieves fame and fortune as a prominent television host in the Middle East, but at an incredible cost.

Restokian says Ana’s story is not unique, but in the Middle East, it’s one rarely told.

“Masks that women are obliged to wear inspired me to write this novel, based partly on real events in my life and partially to include the pain of so many other women that I witnessed along the way,” said Restokian.

“I decided to become their voice because they do not dare to speak up in a world where social and religious standards openly chastise the very actions that, behind closed doors, have become the ultimate paradigmatic way of their lives.”

Restokian, who now lives in Montreal with her husband, says she wants to start the #metoo movement in Lebanon, opening up about her own sexual harassment.

Masks Nataly Restokian

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Meet the Team

Meet Tellwell’s marketing director Monica Martinez and hear her book promotion advice

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1. Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

As the head of marketing, my role is multi-faceted. I lead and manage Tellwell’s digital and content marketing, book marketing as well as work directly with authors. This means I create and optimize our ads, landing pages, value offerings, manage our social media accounts, blog, and newsletter. I also lead our wonderful book marketing department, where we help authors promote and market their books. I do work directly with clients as well. I really enjoy the variety in the role and working with my talented colleagues and authors.

2. What did you do beforehand?

I had a career as a journalist prior to Tellwell. I worked as a television reporter, video-journalist and anchor for CHEK News, CBC and Global News. I not only reported but also filmed and edited my own stories. Before that, I worked in various marketing roles in both the non-profit sector and the private sector.

3. How would you describe your personality?

I am a happy and positive person who is self-motivated. I believe attitude is everything, and being mindful of our thoughts and emotions is crucial. I’m extroverted and enjoy playing in the abstract.

4. What inspires you?

People who are living their optimal life, especially people who have overcome tremendous obstacles to achieve success.

5. What do you enjoy most about your role at Tellwell?

I enjoy the combination of creativity and analytics. I have a lot of opportunities to develop creative materials, write, and think outside the box, but I also enjoy studying the numbers to see what is working and what can be further optimized. I appreciate working in a startup environment where ideas quickly turn into action. I also enjoy working with authors and staying on top of trends in the publishing industry.

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