Book Marketing Meet the Team

Melissa, Tellwell’s new Book Marketing Team Lead, explains why book marketing doesn’t have to be a chore

We’re thrilled to introduce you all to Melissa Hurtubise, the newest member of Tellwell’s Book Marketing team. Read on for fresh advice from this bookstragrammer and future author!

Tell us about your new role on the Book Marketing team.

I am a Book Marketing Consultant at Tellwell. That means that I connect with authors closer to the end of their publishing journey. My role is to assist authors with developing techniques to help them effectively promote their books, connect with readers, and develop their author brands. This will look a little different for each author, but usually involves a combination of consultations, strategies, social media assistance, and creating a variety of promotional materials for the authors I work with. 

What did you do before joining the Tellwell team?

Before coming to Tellwell, I was a high school teacher. I have always been a huge book and history nerd, so I started out completing an honours degree in history and English literature, thinking that I would teach one of those subjects, but life had other plans and I ended up being a special education teacher. I worked with students with a variety of exceptionalities in Grades 8 through 12, and I absolutely loved the years I spent teaching those students.

During that time, and in addition to teaching, I also started a book blog and became a bookstagrammer online as theclumsybookworm.  It started out as a hobby, born out of a lifelong passion for reading, but as time went on I realized that I wanted to make a career change, and that’s how I ended up at Tellwell. I believe that my new role as a Book Marketing Consultant is the perfect fit because it allows me to blend my teaching experience with my love of books and helping people succeed. 

How aesthetically pleasing is Melissa’s bookstragram grid?

What do you enjoy most about working with authors? 

I love that each author and their book are unique. I enjoy connecting with authors and learning about their stories, and then helping them decide which marketing techniques will work best for them. 

How would you describe your personality?

I am definitely more introverted than extroverted. It’s one of the reasons I love the Marketing Consultant role, because I connect with people best when one on one, or in small group settings. I feel that one of my strengths is being empathetic and seeing things from other people’s points of view.

What’s your best piece of book marketing advice?

Marketing your book might seem overwhelming, but I promise it doesn’t have to be scary. It also doesn’t have a deadline. There is often a misconception of “my book is already out, or has been out for x amount of time, so I have missed my chance to market my book.” However, that is not the case. Marketing your book can continue as long as you want to put the effort in. Take it one day at a time, and when in doubt, ask your Marketing Consultant. 

If an author only has time to focus on one marketing activity, what would you suggest?

Start with whatever you’re the most comfortable with, or the most interested in. One good thing about marketing is that it involves so many different activities that there is something for every author. Love public speaking? Then definitely seek out those interview opportunities. Feel more comfortable staying out of the spotlight? Social media can be a great way to connect with your readers at your own pace. 

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

When I’m not reading,  I also enjoy watching movies with my family and playing video games, (something that my former students were always surprised by). However, I have recently discovered a love for baking, and enjoy trying out new recipes when I have the chance. My daughters are quite happy with this new development, since they get to be my taste testers.   

What are your favourite books to read? Any recommendations?

I have so many favourites that it’s difficult to choose. Some of my go-to recommendations are:

  • The Darker Shades of Magic Series by VE Schwab (Fantasy)
  • The Pillars of The Earth by Ken Follett (Historical Fiction)
  • The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas (Fantasy)

The book I finished most recently is A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes (historical/mythological fiction)

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

I am currently working on (who knows if it’ll ever be finished) a fantasy book about a girl who is down on her luck and gets involved with a group of thieves, and as a result gets caught up in a heist for a mysterious magical artefact. The main character also has an exceptionality, because I think that it is important to see equal representation in books. 

Speed round questions

All right Melissa, pick one! 

Books or e-books? Book

Favourite book this year? A Court of Mist and Fury

Favourite work playlist? Great Big Sea

How do you take your coffee? Double double—very Canadian, I know, haha.

Thanks for reading! If you want to learn about other talented members of the Tellwell team, take a look at our Meet the Team section!

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