Meet the Team

Why marketing your book is just as important as writing it – advice from Tellwell’s marketing consultant Colleen Hay

At the end of the day, book marketing is really all about connecting with people and enjoying the process.

Colleen Hay, Tellwell Book Marketing Consultant

What does a typical week look like for you as a marketing consultant?

A typical work week as a book marketing consultant is never very typical! What I love most about the role is how varied it is day-to-day. Some days, I’m busy consulting with authors on various marketing activities they can do to help promote their books, and other days I’m designing websites, promotional materials, and social media campaigns to help get them started on their marketing journey. 

What do you enjoy most about working with authors? 

I am inspired daily by each author I work with. I’m amazed by their bravery in making that first move to get their words and thoughts down on paper. It’s such a pleasure to be able to meet authors of all ages, every walk of life, and from so many different countries! I love to hear why they wrote their book and to watch their level of enthusiasm surge once they’ve received some guidance on when and where to start marketing their book.

What do you tell authors who aren’t interested in marketing their book?

My job is to educate the authors I work with about the importance of marketing in order to keep the book they’ve written at the forefront of their audience’s mind. Book marketing is showing readers that the book is worth their time. It is simply connecting with people who are interested in the same things as the author. They’re sharing an experience. The author and their book could be exactly what someone out there is looking for!

Book marketing is hard work. What advice do you have for authors who find book marketing overwhelming?

I spend time explaining to the authors I work with that book marketing is a long game and to engage in the marketing activities that they truly enjoy. They should focus on doing a few things really well. If there’s time to experiment with new strategies, then great! Take it one step at a time. At the end of the day, book marketing is really all about connecting with people and enjoying the process. Make it fun!  Remember, the lifespan of the book goes way beyond the release date.

What can authors expect with Tellwell’s book marketing consultation and strategy service? 

Authors can expect comprehensive guidance, awareness, and direction on what they need to focus on from the consultation and strategy service from Tellwell. It’s essential for authors to understand how to communicate effectively with readers before asking for the sale.

As a marketing consultant, I guide authors on how to reach out and interact with people in order to connect with readers and therefore grow their audience. The authors become informed about social media and how it allows them to find their target audience online and what interests them. Book marketing is more effective and successful if you sell to people who are already paying attention to you. The author needs to build trust and get the tools and systems in place to help them spend more time doing what they love – writing.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Besides raising my two wonderful children and graduating from university, I’m most proud of my entrepreneurial endeavors. 

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Living on Vancouver Island, I try to get outdoors as much as possible. The Island allows for a surfeit of outdoor activities all year round! Running, sailing, hiking, golfing, paddleboarding, skiing, gardening and visiting with family are some of my favourite things. I am also passionate about art, fashion and of course, books!

If you were to write a book, what would it be about? 

If I were to write a book, I would write a travel memoir! I spent most of my 20’s travelling  to 37 countries and have some unbelievable stories to share (some really scary!) In fact, one story of mine, about being lost at sea in Indonesia for a week, has actually been made into an episode of Bad Trips Abroad on the travel channel!

What are a few of your all-time favourite reads?

My best friend is married to Scottish author Gail Honeymans’ brother. Gail wrote Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Hearing first hand how at 40 years old, Gail entered a creative writing contest and won first place, which catapulted her career as a writer! It’s so inspiring and a great reminder that it’s never too late to do what you love. You never know where it may lead. And what a fabulous book it is!

I also love these books:

  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad has been forever imprinted in my mind
  • One River by author Wade Davis was fascinating to me
  • I  enjoy reading educational business books, like Expert Secrets, DOTCOM Secrets and  Traffic Secrets  and by Russell Brunson
  • I’m also a magazine addict! Especially the free local ones! I love to see what the local businesses are up to and how they market themselves.
Colleen Hay Tellwell Book Marketing Services (2)

I am inspired daily by each author I work with. I’m amazed by their bravery in making that first move to get their words and thoughts down on paper.

Colleen Hay, Tellwell Book Marketing Consultant
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