Meet the Team

Meet Project Manager Derek Rodway


me1. How would you describe your role at Tellwell?

As a Project Manager I oversee the entire production process for our authors and educate them along the way. I manage each book as it flows through the hands of our very talented editors, designers, illustrators, and marketers.

2. What does a typical day on the job look like for you? 

The majority of my day is spent communicating with authors through emails or phone calls. I manage anywhere from 50-80 authors at one time, each at a different stage in our publishing process, and each requiring regular updates on the progress of their book. I also regularly participate in meetings to discuss our production process and try and find ways to improve it. Oh, and I always manage to sneak in a foosball game!

3. What’s your favourite part of the job?

My favourite part of the job is definitely the team of talented people that I get to work with. They make coming to work a lot of fun. Beyond that, I love watching the books come to life — Seeing our design team take a plain old word document and transform it into a beautifully designed book is extremely rewarding.

4. What’s the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part of my job is definitely managing timelines. With 70 different projects on the go at one time there is a lot to remember. Fortunately, we are building some really cool technology here at Tellwell that helps us manage this.

5. What has been your most rewarding experience at Tellwell?

It is always rewarding to see my authors doing great things with their books.  For example, the CBC wrote an awesome article about Lisa Warden’s book Diplomat Dissident Spook. Renee Veillet, on the other hand, had her book Rings of Time featured as a staff pick at a Chapters in Calgary.

6. What interests you about the assisted self-publishing industry?

I appreciate that this industry enables thousands of people to tell their stories that they would not be able to otherwise. It also puts the royalties where they should be – in the pockets of the authors.

7. What are you known for in the office?

Hmm, good question… The numbers guy? …The surfer? … You would have to ask them I guess!

8. If you were to publish a book, what would it be about?

I don’t think I would have the patience to write a novel, so it would probably be some sort of non-fiction book with lots of pictures. Maybe I could make a guidebook to various hikes on Vancouver Island. That would be cool.

9. What did you do before joining the Tellwell team?

Immediately before joining Tellwell I was finishing business school at the University of Victoria. For a brief stint I was also living and studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. As far as work experience though, I’ve worked a variety of jobs in music festival production, advertising, and tourism.

10. What books do you love to read?

I like to learn something new when I read, so I usually stick to non-fiction: true-life adventure stories, history, and all different forms of journalism.  Some of my all-time favourites are Into the Wild, The Shadow of the Wind and Paddle to the Amazon.

11. Other than reading, what do you do in your spare time?

If there are waves, I’m probably surfing. I also really enjoy hiking and camping. Anything active or outdoors is my kind of thing. That being said, I’m also a pretty big geek for music and movies!

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