Meet the Team

The one question you should always ask any self-publishing company – advice from Tellwell publishing consultant JH (John Hendrick) Abella

1. Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

If Tellwell was a clinic, a publishing consultant would be the doctor. First, we ‘assess’ your needs as an author and the requirements of your book project. Second, we ‘diagnose’ and match your project to a set of services that we offer. Thirdly, we ‘prescribe’ and recommend the most fitting set of services that would help accomplish your publishing goals and provide solutions to your author needs. And lastly, we ‘educate’ and impart our knowledge to you as experts in the field of self-publishing, all for the ultimate goal of giving you a positive and pleasant journey towards becoming a published author. 

2. What do you enjoy most about working with authors?

Apart from the sense of triumph, I feel after seeing my authors achieve their life-long dream of publishing their book, it would be the process itself – the consultation. Every conversation is both a surprise and a learning experience. You never know who you’re talking to next and their story. You can go from smiling ear-to-ear after hearing a sweet coming-of-age novel to getting your mind blown by a Chinese government-taking-over-the-world conspiracy story. Either way, it is never a bore!

3. What advice do you have for authors considering self-publishing their book?

Nothing beats the sense of relief as a result of an informed decision. That’s why I always tell my authors to spend time gathering information about the self-publishing industry. Ask questions, read literature and never hesitate to reach out to a publishing consultant. Above all, I always tell my authors to believe and have faith in themselves and in what they have written. 

4. What is one question you encourage authors to ask any assisted self-publishing company they are considering working with? 

I encourage authors to ask the company what their royalty structure looks and to break it down in detail. Ask, dissect and scrutinize even the smallest details of a company’s royalty structure. This will help you understand and realize what the company has to offer you in terms of returns in the long run.

5. What are one of the most common misconceptions authors have about the self-publishing process?

A number of people out there would say that self-publishing imposes a high burden on authors and is not really able to offer success. If you summoned yourself into the arena of self-publishing entirely on your own with one or two reading resources from the internet as your weapon, then indeed, you would likely fall unto the losing end of the battle. 

But if you’re up for the challenge of releasing your book and battling it out with other titles in the market, you have to be prepared. This means training, educating and equipping yourself with the necessary knowledge needed to propel your book to success. And this could only be given by people who are knowledgeable about and experienced in the industry. Guidance and support is what you need. In fighting for a book’s success, a lone hero will likely fail. What you need is an army of experts in the field of publishing guiding and supporting you in each and every step of the way. 

6. What puts a smile on your face everyday?

Providing the information an author needs to begin their publishing journey. Every time that happens, I’m reminded that I have served my purpose well. That I have helped another author understand and appreciate the greater opportunities that self-publishing with Tellwell has to offer.

7. What books do you enjoy reading? What have you read recently that you would recommend? 

I’m very extroverted and love getting out and spending time with people. When I do read, I do enjoy LGBTQ+ novels and non-fiction business and motivational books.

8. How would you describe your personality?

Most of my authors say their conversations with me are always energetic and fun. I could spend hours on the phone if you’re up for it. I always believed sitting down and having a conversation is always the first step towards finding the best solution. 

9. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Travel and exploration. I have always loved seeing new places, be it mountaintops or white, sandy beaches, I’m all in.

10. What have you enjoyed most about 2020? Enjoyed the least? 

This whole situation with the pandemic made me realize one thing: Netflix isn’t that bad at all. I prefer spending time with others rather than being alone so I never really appreciated how much entertainment Netflix could provide until I was forced to stay at home and binge watch movies and shows I never thought I would enjoy. 

The least enjoyable part of 2020 are the travel restrictions. I just thought that 2020 would be a year spent getting lost in other places while helping authors publish books but it turned out only the latter was possible. To make it feel like I was still exploring new places, I asked my authors to describe their favourite places where they live. Turns out, my bucket-list got even longer.  

11. Would you like to add anything else?

I think it’s worthwhile to share that working for Tellwell has been an enriching experience. Working for a company that values each and every author that comes its way is not so easy. The book that they will be holding in their hands at the end of the process is a fruit labored out of utmost love and passion. 

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