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.
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Author of the Month

Entrepreneur turned authorpreneur Del Chatterson on how becoming a self-published author is like running a business

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Entrepreneur now turned authorpreneur Del Chatterson is approaching his new career as an author with the same dedication as running a business.

“The motivation and work habits are similar. It is necessary to have a process and a plan, to be creative, innovative, determined, disciplined and hardworking,” said Chatterson.

The Montreal-based author has taken inspiration from his decades of experience in the computer industry and applied it to his latest crime-fiction novel. “No Easy Money” is set in 1980s Montreal and follows young entrepreneur Dale Hunter as his computer business is attacked by gangsters and the Montreal Mafia.

“A lot of details of the entrepreneurial experience is based on my life,” said Chatterson, who grew his computer monitor distribution business from zero to $20-million in eight years.. “It includes some fascinating insights into the challenges of entrepreneurs.”

Del also named his protagonist Dale, a name similar to his own. But the crime, drama and suspense that make the book a more entertaining read, are all imaginary.

Chatterson was inspired by writers like Kathy Reichs and Ian Hamilton who also turned their business experience into crime- fiction.

“I thought, I could do that.’ He attended writing workshops, read a lot of book from his favourite authors on how to write well and began with short stories to flex his muscles.

Once he reached retirement, Chatterson was able to devote more time to his writing. “No Easy Money” started as an idea 15 years ago, but after two years of writing, he had a manuscript. Tellwell published the book in August 2018.

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Guest Post

Indie author Karen Harmon describes the self-publishing experience with Tellwell

By Karen Harmon

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Photo: The North Shore Press

The writing process for me began seven years ago as a form of remembering, recalling my life, where I came from and my parents before me. Through my writing, I experienced immense healing.

My times alone on my laptop came to be private therapy sessions of self discovery and coming to terms with my parents’ struggles. In turn, figuring out who I am. The why’s and why nots of my so-called life. Writing brought up feelings and sometimes tears but mostly it made me incredibly happy.

I had no initial intention of writing my memoir, but eventually, as I would laugh through tears I just knew that I had to share my life.  I told myself that if anything, my husband, children, siblings, cousins, an abundance of friends and numerous clients would enjoy my story.

Next, I asked myself, where would I begin?

While scrolling through Instagram on a vacation, I came across a Tellwell Publishing post. After digging a little deeper I decided to fill out their online questionnaire, just for the fun of it.

The questions they asked on the Tellwell authors form excited me and gave me hope. I started to feel confident and validated that I could become an author. Even though my manuscript was not yet completed, my gut told me that if I had Tellwell as my publisher my dream of writing and publishing my own book could become a reality.

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Meet the Team

Meet project manager Caitlin Ing and read her advice to indie authors

Cailin Ing Tellwell Project Manager

Photo: Lauren K. in NYC for Flytographer

 

1. Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

I am a project manager at Tellwell, which means that I get to help our amazing authors move through the production process of publishing – helping them move through things like editing, design, and distribution. I also have the opportunity to work on and improve our process, such as updating our questionnaires and developing new webinars for our authors, which is something I really enjoy.

2. What did you do beforehand?

Most recently I worked as a Shoot Concierge at the vacation photography company Flytographer. Prior to Flytographer I worked as a fashion stylist at one of our local malls while completing my Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of Victoria – you could say that I like to keep things exciting by exploring a variety of fields.

3. How would you describe your personality?

I always do my best to keep a positive attitude, both during and outside of work hours. I would say that I am upbeat and friendly, with a humorous side as well. Also, friends and family are very important to me.

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

I am very grateful to be a part of such a talented and hardworking team. I also enjoy the opportunity to work with so many diverse and passionate authors.

5. Describe your approach to working with authors. 

Every Project Manager at Tellwell is responsible for many authors at any given time, so I always do my best to stay organized but also take the time to develop meaningful and helpful relationships with each of my authors.

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

Take your time. I completely understand how exciting it is to think about your final finished book being in the hands of your reader, but it is very important to be patient and take the time needed at each step to ensure your book is as strong as it can be by the time it is distributed. This means taking time to review what you are submitting, or the changes you are requesting, and even looking to the feedback of friends or peers to get a new perspective on your work. Slow and steady wins the race!

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Tips & Tricks

Get reader reviews by running an online book giveaway

How do you get readers to review your book? You give it to them for free. Hosting an online giveaway is one tactic that will provide a bit of extra publicity for your book.  Goodreads, Facebook and Amazon have functions on their sites that give writers the opportunity to organize their very own book giveaways. The question is: which platform is best for you?

Goodreads Giveaways

Goodreads

Goodreads boasts over 55-million members, with 1.5-billion books and more than 50-million reviews. So, this may be one of the most viable ways to reach your target readers. Running a giveaway on Goodreads is straightforward and easy to set up. The great thing about Goodreads is they promote your giveaway, helping drive entries and then randomly select winners once the giveaway ends.

How it works
When participants enter in a giveaway, your book automatically gets added to their “want-to-read” list promoting your book via updates in their friends’ feeds, building exposure for your book. About eight weeks after the giveaway ends, winners receive an email from Goodreads to remind them to rate and review your book. This will help other readers discover and decide to read the book too. Goodreads also features their book givewaways on a section of their website, allowing new readers to discover new books.

The Goodreads giveaway process is simple, allowing authors to gift ebooks through their KDP account and print books to American or Canadian residents. The fee of $119 USD (approx $150 CDN) allows you to gift up to 100 copies fo your book. 

Giveaways for Kindle ebooks are fulfilled directly by Goodreads, while authors are responsible for mailing print books to winners. Take into account shipping costs when deciding how many print copies to gift. Giving away ebooks is much more cost effective as you only pay the giveaway fee, and do not have to pay for each ebook copy you gift. 

Goodreads also offers a premium giveaway valued at $599 USD which includes all the above benefits plus premium placement on the Goodreads’ giveaway page and a customizable message sent by Goodreads to entrants who don’t win.

FAQs

  1. How many copies should I give away?
    Goodreads allows you to give away up to 100 copies of your book. If you are gifting ebooks, then decide how many copies you are comfortable giving away. You are not paying out of pocket for the ebooks you giveaway, only the $120 USD fee. So if your goal is to generate reader reviews, then I would encourage to give away as many of those 100 copies as you can.
    But if you are giving away print copies of your book, then you do have to take into account the price of the book as well as shipping costs. In this case, limit the copies to the amount you can afford, taking into account the Goodreads giveaway fee. You can limit the giveaway to only one book.
  2. Will each reader who gets a free copy leave a review?
    No, Goodreads clearly states that people who receive free copies are not required to leave a review. And this is a good thing because if someone doesn’t like a book, sometimes they choose not to leave a review, and that is better than having a negative review. Books are given in the hopes that the reader will leave a positive review.
  3. Who can enter giveaways?
    Giveaways for print books are eligible for entry by Goodreads members who are residents of the US and/or Canadian residents. (During the setup process, giveaway hosts can select to offer print giveaways to U.S residents, Canadian residents, or both.)Giveaways for Kindle e-books are eligible for entry by Goodreads members that are residents of the US.
  4. Do I have to pay for the ebooks I’m giving away?
    No. Kindle Direct Publishing authors and publishers with ebooks available in the U.S. can run giveaways for up to 100 copies of Kindle ebooks. Whether you choose to give away 1 ebook or 100, it will always cost $119 USD. We automatically deliver the ebooks to winners at no additional cost, meaning you are not responsible for paying for each copy of the ebook. And the more books you give away, the more reviews you’re likely to receive, which will help create buzz around your book!

Take a look at the books currently up for grabs on Goodreads.
If you want to read more about creating an online giveaway on Goodreads, click here.

If you want Tellwell to setup a Goodreads account and run a giveaway for you, then fill out this form.

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Author of the Month

New “meat bible” textbook is the first of its kind in North America and being used in schools across Canada

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Dan Westgeest and Ken Jakes visit Tellwell

 

This month at Tellwell we are profiling an unusual book, one that is stunning in its imagery and full of valuable information. The Canadian Meat Cutting textbook is the first of its kind in North America, being used by industry professionals as well as trade schools across Canada.

It’s a comprehensive book, and a heavy one with over 700 pages, and 1300 colour images covering a broad range of topics from food safety, to meat science, processing, harvesting and cooking methods. The textbook is a deep dive into the various types of meats, their cuts and meat-cutting techniques.

Writer Dan Westgeest calls it the “meat bible.” “Being a meatatarian, I think anyone associated with the meat industry or those interested in a career in the meat industry, and even those handling meats, should read it as it has loads of information,” he said.

Before the Canadian Professional Meat Cutter’s Association (CPMCA) produced the meat bible, all industry professionals and schools had as a resource was a three-ring binder containing out-of-date text and black and white images.

“In comparison, the new book is a masterpiece,” said editor Ken Jakes, who also led the book project on behalf of CPMCA. He says he was inspired to upgrade the old modular manual that had been used since the 1990s.

“The meat industry was in a real need of a full-colour textbook to support both entry-level and industry training. The cover design looks really great. It was a real team effort between us and the Tellwell designer,” said Jakes.

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Meet the Team

Meet Tellwell marketing consultant Kate Bell and learn her approach to working with authors

Kate Bell Tellwell Marketing Consultant

 

1. Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

I am a book marketing consultant at Tellwell so my job is to share knowledge, tools, and resources with authors for them to be able to successfully market their book. This role ranges anywhere from helping authors contact media outlets for a feature story, creating author websites, coaching authors on social media use, or crafting a custom marketing strategy for our authors! 

2. What did you do beforehand?

Before Tellwell I was working in the marketing division for a large scale event production company that puts on cheerleading competitions and camps all across Canada, the USA, and Australia. I was privileged to be able to travel a lot in this position and I was always learning, networking, and growing on-the-fly! During this time I was also starting up my own business in Victoria as well as completing my degree in English literature, journalism, and publishing.

3. How would you describe your personality?

I am very level-headed and rarely get worked up or angered. I can be reserved at times, however, I love to laugh and joke around with the people around me. I am also very self-motivated and love to be busy!

4. What inspires you?

I am inspired when people take risks and try something new that they may not be 100% comfortable with. I am also inspired when people are authentically themselves and not afraid to show that side of them.

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

I love being able to connect with authors about their story and individual goals. Each author I work with is completely different from the next and each has different goals so every day is so diverse! It keeps things interesting and exciting!

6. Describe your approach to working with authors.

I like to be able to personally connect with authors beyond the scope of the basics. Hearing about their lives, story, how their book came to be etc. is important for me when trying to make the best possible marketing plan for them. It’s also lovely to connect back with them after their services have been completed to check in on their success!

7. What marketing advice do you have for authors?

The more time and effort you put into your marketing the more you will get out of it.

8. What are you most proud of? Biggest accomplishments?

I am very proud to be a young business owner here in Victoria going on four years. My biggest accomplishment was coaching and competing at the University World Cheerleading Championship in Orlando, Florida in January 2018.

9. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I enjoy weight training, going to boot camp or yoga classes, and being active! I also love coaching, spending time with my family, checking out new restaurants in town with friends, and just kicking back and relaxing after a long day.

10. What are your favourite books to read?

Right now I’m reading “Sweet Bitter” by Stephanie Danler which I am really enjoying. I also recently loved “The Girls” by Emma Cline. I prefer books that have some truth to them (true crime, memoirs, essay collections etc.) but I can also easily get into a good romance fiction.

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Guest Post

Local indie author tops John Grisham at Edmonton bookstore

Q&A with Adèle Fontaine, author of My Sundays with Normand, a book of poems about love and grief.  
Interviewed by Elliott Hockley

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Adèle Fontaine is the author of My Sundays with Normand, a dedicational poetry book available now with major online retailers. The book recently topped the bestsellers list at a popular bookstore in Edmonton, beating out John Grisham through the first part of August.

Firstly, could you tell us a little bit more about what, and particularly, who, this book is about?

My Sundays with Normand is a book of 77 poems that I wrote to honor the difficult process of grieving for my husband after he died due to complications from heart surgery in November, 2014. He was a father to our seven children, my husband of fifty-three years, a lover of music and above all an artist who wrote and painted for most of his life. I cherished him deeply and was not prepared to let him go so easily into the black night. These poems soon became a way for me to spend time with him, reflecting on our lives together in order to cope with the sadness I was feeling.

Every Sunday morning I sat down at our kitchen table, often after being inspired by a walk outdoors and wrote. Normand’s support and presence were constant, just as it was when he was alive. Writing the poems has been my creative way of maintaining our relationship, continuing the conversation as well as fathoming the depth of the love I received from this wonderful man. We used to wonder about what life would be like when one of us died; little did we know that I would stay on and harvest all the gold of our relationship.

My Sundays with Normand

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Author of the Month

How divine intervention and serendipity led Tellwell author Jana Rieger to write her first book, and adapt it to the big screen

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It was on a long-haul flight to Europe, and right before a sabbatical, that academic scientist Jana Rieger suddenly had a character appear in her mind.

“Between the fatigue and boredom of being on a long flight, this character came into my mind. The one thing the sabbatical did was allow for some freedom in my mind. It allowed for a space to open up,” said the University of Alberta professor and research director.

In the book, Fennel is a young student and research assistant who is engaging in unethical medical behaviour and attempting to destroy her boss’ reputation and career. Set in Edmonton, at the same university in which Rieger works, A Course in Deception explores the ethical complexities that arise when profit and greed influence health research.

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While the story is completely fictionalized, Rieger says there have been high profile cases around the world of researchers fabricating data in order to secure funding.

“It doesn’t matter which university or where you are in the world, you realize this is an issue. I don’t think there is any one place or academic institution that is immune to this.”

Younger colleagues applauded Rieger because the book made them think about issues related to pressure versus ethical duty in a way they never had before. Rieger noted that many also related to the work pressures researchers face in securing grants and publishing a certain amount of papers every year.

The similarities between the main character, Dr. MacKenzie Smith, and Rieger herself had colleagues wondering if the other characters were based around their own workplace.

“Some facts did make their way into fiction, but there is not one character based entirely on someone else, except for the dog,” she adds jokingly.

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Guest Post

Learn about the self-publishing process from Tellwell author Frank Cardinale

By Frank Cardinale

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Why did you chose to self-publish?

As a father of four young children and cyber security consultant with multiple projects on the go, I wanted to finish my book as soon as possible before it remained an idea on my computer for eternity. While one of the editors of my book recommended trying the traditional publishing route, I felt that it could delay it indefinitely if I were to get into a rejection and re-edit situation. Most importantly, as I feel strongly about the theme of the book and often found myself discussing it with other parents and students, I wanted to get it into their hands as soon as possible.

What inspired you to write your book? 

When I became a parent, the concept of education became important again, wanting to give my children the best education possible. I wasn’t the best student and after a little reflection, something stood out. While I was receiving bad grades for messy handwriting and the inability to sit still for long periods of time, my teachers were bringing in their computers for me to fix, and asking me how to install programs and write scripts. I was being graded on my ability to write reports on books I had no interest in, but not on the ability to configure MS-DOS, RAM and hard drives. My report cards began making me feel incompetent, and worst of all, I began to believe I was.

As I believe many students go through this experience, I decided to write a story that highlights the issue and wrote Gift From Above. My goal with the book is to reach students or parents with children that are struggling with school, and highlight to them that the education system isn’t a good fit for everyone and that there are many ways we can still obtain a high-quality education.

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Meet the Team

Meet Tellwell project manager Elliott Hockley and read his advice to authors

Elliott Hockley - Tellwell

1. Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

I’m the project manager team lead here at Tellwell and so other than my responsibilities ensuring each of my assigned author’s projects are on track, I have some other things I take care of from the facilitation of meetings, to making sure my team has everything they need to successfully perform their jobs.

On top of this, I also have some responsibilities within the marketing department, which is really cool because diversity in my role is something I value greatly, and it also means my degree in advertising finally has some uses.

2. What did you do beforehand?

I came to Canada in the summer of 2017 following a year of teaching English in the north of Barcelona. I have a degree in advertising and upon graduating I attained some pretty cool opportunities as a creative in London. The perception didn’t quite match the reality though and I didn’t stick around very long and sought to focus my energy elsewhere. Following that, I’ve mostly travelled, and also ran a hostel in the middle of nowhere for a year.

3. How would people describe your personality?

It depends who you’re asking, but mostly I get some combination of ‘upbeat, optimistic, kind, friendly and compassionate’.

4. What inspires you?

Reading, which is convenient. I’m an avid reader and I suppose a bit of an aspiring polymath in that respect. It’s also really easy to get inspired by nature, particularly around here.

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

Oooh, I have so much I’d like our authors to know, but we usually cover that throughout the process. My best piece of advice would be to try and keep a healthy sense of perspective. The nature of writing and publishing a story means that authors naturally become incredibly emotionally attached and invested in their work and that the moment their expectations are not met, there’s a tendency for them to get angry and frustrated. I can understand that, but the reality is, we’re working for our authors and we truly want the best for them and their book, and will work within the realm of our, and the industry’s capabilities to ensure that the best is what they get.

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