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.
Author of the Month

Shane Mutlow’s new book has a message for Veterans with PTSD: Don’t be afraid to reach out

In 1994, Shane Mutlow, a corporal in the Canadian Armed Forces, deployed to Rwanda in the wake of the Rwandan Genocide, the most horrific genocide since World War II. At just 24 years old and in the span of 6 months, Shane was “labelled ‘whereabouts unknown’ twice and held against his will while on a major operation by Rwandan government officials.” Every day he went out into the jungle unsure if he would come back alive.

In his new book, One Foot Over the Edge: A Canadian Soldier’s Personal Account of The Rwandan Genocide, Shane recounts the contributions that Canadian soldiers made, to show a side of Canadian history that had yet to be told. Beyond that, he opens up about his experience of living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s his hope that he can help others with PTSD find resources and feel less alone, and create a better understanding of what soldiers and their families go through when they return home from being deployed overseas.

Since publishing One Foot Over the Edge this past August, Shane has become an Amazon Best Seller in three different categories: #1 in Rwandan History, #2 in Military and Spies Biographies and Novels, and #2 in Military Biographies. He’s been featured by the Ottawa Citizen, and he recently hosted a successful book launch. There’s more! The screenplay of One Foot Over the Edge won Best Unproduced Script at the Toronto International Women’s Film Festival. It’s also in the running for two more international film festivals. Read on to learn more about Shane and his new book, and discover a few of the lessons he’s learned as a self-published author.

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces who, in 1994, was deployed to Rwanda, Africa, on a United Nations Mission to help provide humanitarian aide to the people who survived the genocide, and to bring stability back to their country. I have three children—two boys (Nicolas, Zachary), one girl (Madison)—and my beautiful wife (Justine). I currently live in Pembroke, ON.

Your story is twenty years in the making. What inspired you to write One Foot Over the Edge?

The main reason I chose to write my story: my family. They have provided me the strength and courage to take it on and I want to show them that I will never give up; I will always keep fighting.

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Book Marketing Tips & Tricks

TIPS & TRICKS FOR SUBMITTING TO BOOK AWARDS IN 5 EASY STEPS

And the winner is . . .

Every author dreams of receiving recognition and praise for their book, and with award season just around the corner, you may be thinking, How can I submit my book to awards? Well, we’ve broken it down into 5 easy steps!

Step 1: Determine which awards your book is eligible for

This seems pretty straight forward . . . most awards have categories for all genres to enter, but in some cases awards will focus on a specific genre. This is particularly seen with children’s books. That isn’t the only restrictive factor; you will also need to be sure you are looking at awards that are open to self-published authors. Fear not—there are many! In some cases you may also find national awards that focus on the author’s country of residence. Be sure to always read the terms of eligibility for the award you are submitting to.

Taking all these factors into account, here is a great resource for finding self-published book awards www.writersunion.ca/self-published-book-awards

QUICK TIP: Not all awards come with a monetary prize. Whether you’re looking for fame and fortune or simply some recognition, keep this in mind when considering which awards you submit to.

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Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews

Tellwell Author Success Stories – publicity and book launches

From book launches to media mentions to an exclusive IndieReader interview, Tellwell authors have had a busy month!

Great work getting your books out there, everyone!


Richmond Hill author Rishma Govani has been generating a lot of positive buzz for her world-travelling children’s book Sushi & Samosas: A Trip of Tasty Transformations! 🍣

In the last month alone, Rishma has participated in an interview with Global’s The Morning Show, an interview with the I just [blank]! Now what? Podcast hosted by Jessica Stephens, an interview with Global’s Good Morning Hamilton radio show, an interview with 105.9 The Region’s parenting talk show Where Parents Talk, an interview with Global radio show The Start, an interview with popular Calgary radio show Mornings with Sue and Andy, and an interview with Global’s The Shift. And there’s more to come!

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Meet the Team

Get to know Tellwell project manager Atheena Carilla

Learn the most common misconception authors have about self-publishing.

As the author, you have full creative control over your book, so provide as much input as you can and don’t rush to publish!

Atheena Carilla, Tellwell Project Manager & Marketing Associate

Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

I work both as a project manager and marketing associate at Tellwell. As a project manager, I help authors through their self-publishing journey, providing guidance on the production process, and liaising with our talented editors, designers, and illustrators.

As a marketing associate, I help manage author websites and help the marketing team carry out aspects of our marketing services. 

What do you enjoy most about working with authors?

I love hearing the inspiration behind the author’s book and what motivated them to publish their story. As a creative person myself, I’m fascinated by the craft of writing, and the author’s efforts in creating and moulding the book. 

It’s valuable to me to be involved and to witness that process, as it isn’t something the reader can see in the end product.

What is a common misconception authors have about the self-publishing process?

I find there is still confusion over the differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing. Self-publishing requires the author’s involvement throughout the production process, which includes providing feedback on drafts and making decisions for their book.

For authors, one of the best things about assisted self-publishing is you get to maintain your own artistic flair while receiving guidance about the technicalities of the publishing process.

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Book Giveaways

A true crime book to keep you on the edge of your seat!

The true story of one of Canada’s most notorious serial killers, told by someone who was closest to him.

The days are getting shorter, darkness is setting in, and it’s the perfect time for a true crime story. This particular tale involves a young man, handsome and quiet. By day, he works on cars and trains as a body builder. By night, he scales apartment buildings and sneaks into women’s rooms, giving them a terrifying and tragic end to their lives. It was years before the police caught him. And it was Peter Perry who helped stop him.

The Bedroom Strangler (real name: Russell Maurice Johnson) is one of the most notorious serial killers that Canada has ever seen. He committed his crimes throughout the 1970s in London and Guelph, Ontario. Peter Perry was there for it all as one of his closest friends and fellow body builder. Forty years later, Peter recounts this true story of evil in Origen.

Lucky you: Peter is giving away ORIGEN: A True Story of Evil for free until November 17.

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Author of the Month

Friends with a serial killer: Peter Perry’s terrifying true story is your next favourite true-crime thriller

October Author of the Month, Peter Perry, offers unique advice for new authors, as well as a FREE COPY of his new book.

What do you know about pure evil, the kind that makes you fear for you life? Peter Perry can tell you all about it. He lived in London, Ontario, during the killing spree of one of Canada’s most notorious serial killers, the Bedroom Strangler. It was a terrifying time there between 1974 and 1978. Russell Maurice Johnson, a.k.a. the Bedroom Strangler, was scaling apartment buildings, sometimes up to fifteen floors, and sneaking into women’s rooms at night to assault them and take their lives.

This is truly what nightmares are made of, and Peter Perry was there for it all. Peter and Johnson would lift weights together at Vic Tanny’s Health Club, a place where, unbeknownst to Peter, Russell selected most of his victims. Co-authored with Geoff Hart and Kathleen Sumpton, ORIGEN: A True Story of Evil, takes us through the rise and fall of one of Canada’s most notorious serial killers, told by someone who was closest to him.

We caught up with Peter to find out how things are going with his book since it launched earlier this year, and he had lots to share with us! Among other unique marketing activities, Peter and Geoff are in the process of pitching the screenplay of Origen to Netflix and Amazon. We wish them the best of luck!

You can get a free copy of Origen between October 27 and November 17!

That’s right, everyone, Peter has teamed up with other talented true crime and thriller authors to offer a round-up of some of the best new terrifying reads. Starting October 27, you can download a free e-book copy of Origen. Not just a free chapter, the whole book! Just click here and select the book cover for Origen to download your copy. You have until November 17!

Peter Perry, author of Origen: A True Story of Evil
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Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews

Celebrating Tellwell authors in the media, award-winners, bestsellers, and more!

Tellwell-Author-Celebrations

From book launches to rave reviews to bestsellers, Tellwell authors have done it again! We’re always thrilled to celebrate author success!

Author of Immigration, Race and Survival Cecily Alexander was featured in The Caribbean Camera!

This memoir is a collection of many journals she has kept over the years. She uses journalling as a way of working through feelings and emotions and of learning from her experiences. She has had a career as a dietitian for over forty years. Her career has included academic writing, and she has one previous book publication: a book on nutrition and weight loss called “Just Eat Less: Easier said than done.” She has a master’s in business administration specializing in organizational behaviour in addition to her nutrition degree from the University of Guelph. She has taught at both the university and college levels. She lives in Southern Ontario.

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Book Giveaways Tellwell Books

October Steamy Romance book give-away!

GIVE-AWAY ALERT!!!

FREE STEAMY ROMANCE NOVELS UNTIL OCTOBER 31!

Looking for some steamy reads that can help keep you warm during these cold fall nights?

HOW TO ENTER

NEXT STEPS

🖤 Find the cover of Country Hearts & Willow’s Ridge
🖤 Select your choice of digital review copy
🖤 BookFunnel will send you your free download right after!

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Meet the Team Tellwell Books

Meet Tellwell book-cover designer Benjam Mosquera and learn his favourite cover-design trend

Tellwell book-cover designer Benjam Mosquera has been a valued member of the Tellwell team since 2018. He has ten years of book-design experience and is passionate about creating covers that draw people in at first glance. Read on to learn Benjam’s favourite book cover-design trends and hear his advice to authors working with book designers for the first time.

What inspired you to become a book-cover designer?  

I began my book-design career working as an interior book designer. I was really inspired seeing beautifully created cover designs by my teammates, in bookstores and online. It led me to learn how to artfully create book covers. I have been enjoying creating book covers for a decade now.

Where do you draw creative inspiration from?

I am often inspired by film posters. I’ll search for the designer’s name and look through their work for more inspiration.

What advice do you have for authors working with a book designer?

Clear instruction is really key. If an author has a specific vision for their book, then it’s important for the author to relay detailed instructions for the cover designer. That allows the designer to more easily visually interpret the instructions.

We are also creative individuals who love taking a concept and running with it. So if authors don’t have a clear vision for their book cover, that’s OK. That’s why we are here, to put in our professional touch and create magic. Showing covers that you love and want to emulate also go a long way.

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Tellwell Books

Tellwell’s Top Books for Halloween🕸🕷

Fall has officially arrived, and with it our excitement for Halloween! In honour of the spooktacular holiday, the Tellwell team pulled together our top spine-chilling, hair-raising reads for October! 🎃

From horror books with demons and plagues to psychological thrillers with a thirst for revenge, we think you’ll love these eerie excerpts below. 👻

The Plague by Ryan L. Canning

She turned and ran. There was no end in sight. The bodies, the tents, the smell, they went on for miles. 

– Ryan L. Canning, The Plague

Get your copy of The Plague on Amazon.

Lit by Mark Anthony

The apartment filled with sounds from another world. Screaming, shouting, music with an unearthly twisted tune played out of the walls. A chorus of suffering, a background of nightmares and fears. It was angry, insulted and outraged.

– Mark Anthony, Lit

Get your copy of Lit on Amazon.

Deathless by Evan S Sullivan

“There are enemies approaching the gate,” a voice said through the dark. “Devilish things.”

– Evan S. Sullivan, Deathless

Get your copy of Deathless on Amazon.

Poppy Seeds on a Grave: A Collection of Short Stories by Mirko Markovic

Every ounce of blood in this man’s body drained from his skin and he froze in time, a statue paralyzed by the shock of what he had just seen.

– Mirko Markovic, Poppy Seeds on a Grave: A Collection of Short Stories

Get your copy of Poppy Seeds on a Grave: A Collection of Short Stories on Amazon.

The Book of Nodd: The Dreamwalker by B.S. Thompson

Suddenly he heard a snap and an electric bolt of pain shot down his arm, but the cottage did not stop rocking, and it would not be much longer before it collapsed on him completely.

– B.S. Thompson, The Book of Nodd: The Dreamwalker

Get your copy of The Book of Nodd: The Dreamwalker on Amazon.

Chains by M Todd

Before him, strewn about throughout the cavern from ceiling to floor, placed within the bluish rocks, were hundreds, or thousands, of human bodies. Men and women, their faces contorted in masks of horror and pain, frozen like macabre cadavers in a monster’s freezer.

– M. Todd, Chains

Get your copy of Chains on Amazon.

The Hallowmas Train by Gloria Pearson-Valley

The timeriders hesitated only briefly before entering the darkness. Shrieks and moans echoed eerily from the blackness that stretched before them. 

– Gloria Pearson-Vasey, The Hallowmas Train

Get your copy of The Hallowmas Train on Amazon.

Take Her by Tara White

Without thinking, I knew what I had to do. I tugged my sister out from behind me and moved her around me until we had switched places, me behind her with my hands on her shoulders. “Take her,” I said, and gave her shoulders a little shove forward.

– Tara White, Take Her

Get your copy of Take Her on Amazon.

Vindictive by Ryan Lawrence

Squinting, he focused with laser-like intensity to see what he could of the corpse below. He marvelled at the kaleidoscope of colours and textures the mangled body had created all over the urban canvas. 

Ryan Lawrence, Vindictive

Get your copy of Vindictive on Amazon.

Emergence by Ellie Beals

But Just Watching had become kind of a habit, and habits are hard to break. 

– Ellie Beals, Emergence

Get your copy of Emergence on Amazon.

Unhallowed by James D. Thorn

He choked as blood filled his airway. It spurted from his mouth as he exhaled, trying to get a breath. There was so much blood. 

– James D. Thorn, Unhallowed

Get your copy of Unhallowed on Amazon.

Finding Out by Ava Coughlin

Was my mom a criminal? Did she know something or do something that helped ruin this man’s life? Did Mathis know? Was it even true? There was too much to think about all at once. 

– Ava Coughlin, Finding Out

Get your copy of Finding Out on Amazon.

Have a spooktacular Halloween! 🎃 🕸 👻
From all of us at Tellwell!

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