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Author of the Month Tellwell Books

Poo with a View – How an alpine outhouse experience became a top-selling book!

One of Tellwell’s best-selling books in 2020 by author Gavin Boutet

Be persistent. Be patient.

Gavin Boutet, author of Poo with a View

Gavin Boutet’s coffee table book, or perhaps more appropriately bathroom book, Poo with a View: High Alpine Shitters of the Canadian Rockies, showcases some of the most remarkable views in the Rocky Mountains….from outhouses. The unique concept was inspired by Gavin’s time working for the Alpine Club of Canada servicing these remote locations. He began photographing the, rather, unique and stunning places to go to the loo.

The quirky humor book has been featured on three national news outlets – the CBC, Global News and CTV news. The book has sold thousands of copies, and was Tellwell’s best-selling book in 2020! As our Tellwell April author of the month, we asked Gavin to share the secrets of his success and his all-time favourite poos with a view:)

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born in Collingwood, Ontario and moved to the Bow Valley in 1999 in pursuit of skiing champagne powder. I have been playing drums for over 30 years and have developed an addiction to fly fishing in the last five. 

What inspired you to write Poo with a View?

It was strictly a collection of photographs to start, but as the project took shape, I wrote a small amount for each “chapter” or location. It’s a simple toilet humour book, meant for the bathroom or coffee table, so there’s not a huge focus on the writing.

Tell us about the process and adventures in finding these outhouses. How did you find them? 

It was an opportunity working with the Alpine Club of Canada that led me to some of these locations. I was employed as a hut services worker when I came up with the concept. We were responsible for the helicopter long-lining work that went into servicing these remote locations, including flying out the full outhouse barrels, or “honey buckets” as we liked to call them.

Did you visit all of them or were some recommendations from friends? 

All of the photographs in the book are taken by me, so I have seen all (and used most too).

I had no idea that a funny little project like this book would actually make me money.

Gavin Boutet, author of Poo with a View

What are your top three poos with a view? 

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Meet the Team Tips & Tricks

What to ask before you begin your self-publishing journey – advice from Tellwell publishing consultant Ejay Co

Ejay, tell us about your role at Tellwell.

My role in a nutshell is to introduce authors to the world of self-publishing. I help with the process of identifying an approach to move forward, selecting processes and services that would fit their needs, and setting the foundation for their expectations about the process. I see myself as a pilot helping authors navigate their way to the destination they have selected. 

What do you enjoy most about working with authors?

As a bookworm, hearing about an author’s writing process is always fascinating. It amazes me how much work goes into each book an author writes. Hearing stories from authors who wrote their book over several decades, and others that have been completed over a couple of weeks is a manifestation that there is no “standard” process for writing a book. These conversations are always the best part of the job.

What advice do you have for authors who are considering self-publishing a book?

I understand just how much work and love is poured on to every page an author writes and I think, ultimately, authors would expect the same amount of dedication from the team in charge of developing their books.

I assume it’s a relief for authors to know that they can get all the professional help they need while still keeping a level of creative control over their book, and keeping their full copyright ownership is just the cherry on top. 

If you decide to take the route of assisted self-publishing, where you partner with a self-publishing company, ask about their company culture. It’s essential. You’ll be working with the team for a significant period of time and it’s important to consider the dynamics of the team you’re working with. This helps ensure that you’ll feel comfortable throughout the process which makes completing your book a lot more fulfilling in the end. 

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Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews

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

Each month, we’re always excited to highlight the successes of our authors! From top award nominations, to featured interviews, to rave reviews – we’re offering a huge congratulations to our authors for these terrific accomplishments!

AWARDS

Dr. Chelinay Gate, author of Lucky-Child: The Secret, just made it to the Prime Minister’s Book Club in Australia. A huge honor!

This compelling coming-of-age tale is the story of Lucy. Answering her dying great-grandmother’s call, Lucy is lured into the dark red heart of Australia’s Great Sandy Desert. Indigenous mother tongues Mangala and Wajarri exquisitely mimic the landscapes and evoke a feeling of timelessness that transports Lucy and the all-female search party into a Dreamtime World, where she learns to respect the Lore, Country and herself. “Like the striking of an ancient gong, I heard my name, Lucy Lucky-Child.”

Lucky-Child: The Secret also won first place in the Fiction category for the 2020 Next Generation Indie Books Awards! The book also won the grand prize in the First Novel category, and was a finalist in the Action/Adventure Category and Regional Category. 

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Tellwell Books

April is National Poetry Month!

This month we are celebrating some of our poetry authors and books. Each book, poem and story shares their experiences of love, loss, personal growth and so much more. 

Poetry, literature that evokes a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience or a specific emotional response through language chosen and arranged for its meaning, sound, and rhythm.

Britannica

The author displays her vulnerability and openness in this collection of poetry, which spans the last twenty years of her life. She deals with such themes as lust and love, as well as illness and abuse, among other profound and relatable topics. The overarching theme, though, is that there is hope and triumph throughout all experiences, and is a poignant reminder that there is light through the dark. Faith also serves its purpose during all of life’s most magnificent and most heart-wrenching times.

For me this book is not just a book…

It’s an achievement It’s a reward It’s a helping hand

It’s a token for my success

This book is a gift to those who thought

I wasn’t enough

To those who thought

I wouldn’t achieve anything

This book is the story of my life…

Poems to the Homeless paints a graphic picture of the poor and the homeless everywhere in the world on a given day. The poems elicit deep feelings of sympathy and compassion towards those who once may have been whole, healthy and productive individuals, but who are now broken, and some beyond repair or help. Many are on the street, begging for food, heat and shelter. The poems also address the great indifference and complacency of individuals and institutions who may have the power and the means to make a difference in the life of the poor and homeless, and help make society more just and humane.

Poems to the Homeless has been written to sensitize and motivate the readers through schools, social and religious groups, private networks, churches, volunteer organizations, and for those who may be searching for an excellent fundraising item when working with the poor and the homeless, and encourage greater awareness and financial and practical involvement.

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Author of the Month

March Author of the Month: Pearl Gregor shows us how to embrace our Divine Feminine for Women’s History Month

Allow me to introduce you to Pearl Gregor, Tellwell’s March author of the month. She is a Dream Worker, three time self-published author, and absolute force of a woman. The Tellwell team had the pleasure of working with Pearl on her three books: Authoring Self, Cauldron of the Feminine, and I, The Woman, Planted the Tree. Each book is a pillar in the Dreams Along the Way series, where Pearl helps readers sift through their dreams in order to find freedom as an individual and wholeness in body, mind and soul.

We caught up with Pearl to see what wisdom she can offer from publishing three books – she has a lot to share! And, to learn more about her work in empowering women. It’s Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating women all month.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born at the end of the war in 1945 and raised with my six brothers in homestead country, northern Alberta. My mom was very fond of saying, “Educate a woman, educate the world.” I became an educator, administrator, provincial government education consultant and along the way, a radical feminist. In 2008, I completed my doctorate “The Apple and the Talking Snake: Feminist Dream Reading and the Subjunctive Curriculum.”

I am mother to three and have six grandsons and one granddaughter.

I live on my farm with 22 head of cattle and my Australian Shepherd, Buddy.

What inspires you as an author?

I continue to be inspired by the faces of women who carry on, despite abuse, centuries of being ignored, left out, and refused acceptance as equal partners in the world. Women lead, inspire, teach and mother. During the Covid crisis, it is the women who continue to provide cheap labour for essential services like food. The janitorial staff in hospitals, the aides, the grocery clerks and so many other low-paying jobs that keep a patriarchal culture intact! And when they retire, the poverty continues. CPP eligibility relies on being employed and receiving a salary.

There are dozens and dozens of reasons for women to feel rage. To be angry. It’s the subtle yet constant drip, drip, drip of daily sexism that both wears me out and inspires me. And let me just say, the continuous belittlement of our fears and our tears? How cunning! How intimidating! And so, just recently, I blew my teapot! The steam rises. I speak out more now than ever. To quote Maya Angelou, “And still I rise.”

Women of the world, until we dig up the cultural roots of our own repression and our own complicity in silence, change will continue at the same pace as continental drift.

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Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews

Celebrating Women! Award-winning authors, rave reviews and publicity

This month, as we celebrate Women’s History Month, we want to celebrate the successes of some of the incredibly talented women published with Tellwell! 

These fabulous women have risen up and used their imagination, voice and experience to create something timeless. Each of our featured authors are celebrating a unique success in their journey as an author.

From the kind generosity of young author Shreya Gupta, to some local spotlights for authors Jennifer Chapin, Gabriella Kikwaki, and Dr. Greta Archbold! Back around to the highly acclaimed work of Darice Cairns, Ellie Beals, and Maria Depenweiller. 

We hope you check out the stories from some of Tellwell’s women creators.

Shreya Gupta donated all the the proceeds made in the month of February from the sales of her book, Flamingo Feet, to #PinkShirtDay! What is Pink Shirt Day? Pink Shirt Day is an Anti-Bullying Day when people wear a pink shirt to symbolize a stand against bullying. 

Shreya’s involvement in Pink Shirt Day had her featured on Global News, 980 CKNW radio, Breakfast Television with Bevo Brown, and on the Pink Shirt Foundation website! Shreya, we celebrate your continued success and generosity. You go girl! 

Check out Shreya’s interview with Breakfast Television with Devo Brown by clicking here!

Shreya is also the recipient of the 2021 International Elite Women’s Global Award (youth category). The award recognizes outstanding women & young girls who have demonstrated innovation & leadership. Congratulations Shreya!


Gabriella is another young Tellwell author who we are excited to celebrate! Gabriella, and her parents Angel & Olivier, joined Mike Stubbs on London Live 980CMFL to discuss her bilingual juvenile chapter book A Link Between Two Worlds / Un Lien Entre Deux Mondes: Volume 1 & 2. 

Check out Gabriella’s interview with Mike Stubbs by clicking here!


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Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews

WOMEN RUN THE WORLD: Celebrating Some of the Inspirational Women Around Us

March is Women’s History Month, and we thought it would be fitting to highlight some of the incredible women who have self-published their book with Tellwell, and the moving stories that they have to tell! 

Jennifer Robertson

Self-proclaimed Fertility Warrior, Jennifer Robertson is the author behind the inspirational memoir The Injustice of Infertility: A True Story of Heartbreak, Determination and Never-Ending Hope. In addition to her debut novel, Jennifer is a fertility coach, aiming to help other women feel less alone throughout their journey with fertility treatments. 

“Infertility was not my first rodeo – but it was the first bull I ever rode that bucked me off and laid me on my ass.  It broke me open and created scars that never really healed.”

Jennifer puts everything out there, and her real approach to infertility (no sugar-coating, just empowering, brutal honesty) has connected thousands of women across the web. With this community, she’s helped tons of people understand infertility and the pain it can cause, while providing an insightful helping-hand for any woman that needs it. 

In order to help those struggling with infertility, Jennifer created The Lighthouse Project. The Lighthouse Project is a four-week online program that helps provide some clarity and direction in the infertility process, and provides the opportunity for women to feel less alone as they navigate their journey with infertility. .

To be inspired, work with Jennifer, or learn more about her journey, visit her website, www.jenniferrobertson.co.

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Meet the Team

Why marketing your book is just as important as writing it – advice from Tellwell’s marketing consultant Colleen Hay

At the end of the day, book marketing is really all about connecting with people and enjoying the process.

Colleen Hay, Tellwell Book Marketing Consultant

What does a typical week look like for you as a marketing consultant?

A typical work week as a book marketing consultant is never very typical! What I love most about the role is how varied it is day-to-day. Some days, I’m busy consulting with authors on various marketing activities they can do to help promote their books, and other days I’m designing websites, promotional materials, and social media campaigns to help get them started on their marketing journey. 

What do you enjoy most about working with authors? 

I am inspired daily by each author I work with. I’m amazed by their bravery in making that first move to get their words and thoughts down on paper. It’s such a pleasure to be able to meet authors of all ages, every walk of life, and from so many different countries! I love to hear why they wrote their book and to watch their level of enthusiasm surge once they’ve received some guidance on when and where to start marketing their book.

What do you tell authors who aren’t interested in marketing their book?

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

Celebrating Black Authors: Black History Month

It’s Black History Month, a time to celebrate the contributions that Black people have made to history, society, and culture. We’ve had the privilege of working with so many talented Black authors on their self-publishing journey, and we want to share a few of their unique stories with you!

From National Hero and first Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Sir Kennedy Alphonse Simmonds, to eight-year-old author Adetola Babatunde who wrote her first children’s book to combat Covid boredom, to motivational speaker, coach and consultant Anthony Sanni, we hope you check out the stories from some of Tellwell’s Black creators.

Tequis McGann

Kyra’s BIG Appetite

Kyra’s BIG Appetite is a humorous story written in a playful rhyme scheme. Kyra is a rambunctious child with a sweet tooth she can’t seem to control. She has an unhealthy diet consisting mostly of cookies, ice cream, and cake. Although Kyra’s mother warns her that unhealthy eating will catch up to her, she does not listen. Kyra now faces the responsibility of making a decision about her eating habits. What will she decide?

Tequis McGann, a GTA native currently residing in Toronto, Ontario, graduated from McMaster University in 2015 with an Honours Bachelor’s degree in English. In 2018, Tequis returned to school to pursue an interest in learning American Sign Language, and in 2019 she graduated from George Brown College with an ASL and Deaf Studies certificate. A passionate writer and poet, Tequis tells stories inspired by real experiences and people. Through her extensive career in the social service industry focusing on mental health, seniors, at-risk youth, and children, Tequis has a plethora of experience working with ethnic and culturally diverse people. Her love and fascination for the difference that people bring to their communities, motivate her to detail these idiosyncratic encounters through storytelling.

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Meet the Team

Tellwell project manager Joy Comendador offers advice to first-time authors

We’re passionate about books so it’s no surprise that some of us at Tellwell not only love helping authors through their publishing journey but are going through our own! Project manager Joy is currently writing her novel. Learn more about Joy, her role as a Tellwell project manager, and what her book is about!

What puts a smile on your face every day? 

Learning something new, helping others in small ways, and showing appreciation. When I push my limits and accomplish things that I once thought were very difficult, that puts a wide smile on my face. 

What do you enjoy most about working with authors?

“Meeting” a lot of interesting people, knowing their stories and how they came up with their books is delightful. My absolute favourite feeling is when my authors tell me I’ve helped them fulfill their dreams.

What advice do you have for authors going through the publishing process?

My advice is to ask a lot of questions, especially for first-time authors. Having patience throughout the process is really important too. I understand the excitement in wanting to be published quickly, but I advise authors to not rush through approving drafts— take the time to carefully review them:)

What advice do you have for authors who are considering publishing their manuscript?

I’m trying to write a book myself as well so I would say, don’t hesitate and take a leap of faith because it will be your legacy.

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