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.

6. Describe your approach to working with authors.

I’d like to think I offer an indiscriminately high level of customer service to all my authors. A great part of my job is getting authors on the phone when they first come on board and talking to them about themselves and their book as it gives us a great context for the person and project we’re involved in, as well as encouraging a friendly working relationship.

For my part, I definitely like to ensure everything moves as quickly and smoothly as possible. If I still have emails in my inbox at the end of the day, or there’s something I need to do, I find it very difficult leaving that until the next morning.

7. What are your favourite books to read?

I’m mostly a non-fiction guy and could read the likes of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos again and again. If I’m going to invest in a book then I want to learn something, so if I’m reading fiction, it will almost always be a classic so I can get that historical perspective, Austen and Dickens are my go-tos in that respect.

8. What are you most proud of in your life? Biggest accomplishments?

I’ve always struggled with this question but gave a pretty candid answer in my interview at Tellwell. I don’t keep a mental trophy cabinet, and so I suppose I’m most happy for the fact that I’ve arrived at this point of my life utterly content with everything that’s come before and ready for what’s to come.

9. What’s the best part of the job?

Being able to interact with some of our authors and help them realize their dreams carries huge value to me, but I most enjoy getting to work with the team of people we’ve got here at Tellwell. I can’t speak highly enough for the team we’re building.

10. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I’ve probably got a book in my hand and a mouthful of food from Green Cuisine – it’s my happy place. I’m also a bit of a sports fanatic, though I’m trying to become less emotionally involved in things I have no control over, made all the easier by the fact the teams I follow are pretty terrible of late. Failing that, I’ll probably be badly strumming a guitar or listening to my growing record collection.

Tellwell project managers

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