Marketing consultant Katie Hennessey on her role in educating and empowering authors in their book marketing efforts
1. Tell us about your role at Tellwell.
As a marketing consultant at Tellwell, I am an author’s final point of contact in the publication process. I work with authors on creating the best strategies to promote and market their book based on their goals, time and budget. It is my goal to help educate and teach authors about all the extraordinary resources available. Children’s books are my specialty!
2. What did you do beforehand?
I wore a few different hats prior to starting at Tellwell. After I graduated from the University of Victoria with a B.A., I worked in real estate, supporting agents with marketing and administrative duties. Real estate didn’t feel quite like the right fit, and I decided to go back to school to become an elementary school teacher. It was during this time that I became aware of an opening on Tellwell’s marketing team, and couldn’t resist the opportunity to become a part of an industry I feel so passionate about.
3. How would you describe your personality?
I like to describe myself as Miss Congeniality. I love helping others and am highly organized. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist. I typically see most things with my rose-colored glasses on, always wanting to see the glass half full, rather than half empty.
4. What do you enjoy most about your role at Tellwell?
I am not sure I can pick just one! There are so many things I love about this job, and the company. It is a dream come true to work within the publishing industry and having the ability to work with such an amazing group is just the cherry on top! This position has so many elements that it is ever changing, and always evolving – and I love that. Working with children’s books opens the door to create some pretty spectacular, fun, promotional material and school resources, such as activity pages or teacher guides. I find that the combination of research, creating custom resources, and educating authors doesn’t leave room for a dull moment.
5. Describe your approach to working with authors.
I definitely don’t subscribe to “less is more,” in fact I would say I do the opposite. There are a lot of valuable marketing details, and I want authors walking away with the ability to pursue their marketing goals on their own. I enjoy taking on the role of educator, empowering authors with the skills to pursue whatever aspect of marketing that they wish.
6. What marketing advice do you have for authors?
Being an “authorpreneur” is not an easy task. You take on many different roles, and at times it can feel overwhelming. When it comes to marketing, narrow down what your main goal is. Don’t rush into everything at once, marketing takes time, and does not happen overnight. You are in it for the long haul so don’t become discouraged.
7. What inspires you?
I am inspired by anyone who is willing to pursue their dreams, and is willing to face failure. Seeing others have the courage to put themselves out there, gives me courage and inspiration to do the same.
8. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love staying home and reading, or rereading, a good book series and I will never turn down a board games night. I spend most of my Saturdays cheering on the local rugby team, or floating on the Quarry.
9. What are your favourite books to read?
I tend to read a variety of fiction books; generally speaking I don’t dabble in many nonfiction books. I love any book with fae or lore involved in the story building, and I often give myself book hangovers when I get into a new read. My absolute favorite series is the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. Within the series, my favorite book is Empire of Storms.