Meet the Team

Book-marketing consultant extraordinaire Ben St. James shares the work that has made him most proud

Our book-marketing team is made up of skilled professionals who are passionate about helping authors showcase their projects through a variety of personalized services, ranging from bespoke marketing strategies and attention-grabbing press releases to engaging social media content and graphic-design assistance. We chatted with Ben St. James to learn more about how he serves his authors and what he enjoys most about the work he produces.

What inspired you to join the Tellwell team as a book marketer?

It seemed like a great fit. I had been working with indie artists and authors and wanted to do more of that! The timing was incredible, as I had just returned to Canada and finished up a contract that required similar competencies.

What do you enjoy the most about your work with Tellwell?

I enjoy the variety of activities I get to be involved in. It’s rewarding working with such a great group of people and collaborating on projects for the blog and newsletter, certain marketing activities that require a team effort, and one-on-one work with our talented authors. Because we work with so many unique authors, no duties are ever quite the same—it’s always new.

What does a typical work week look like for you?

Weekly consultations with our incredible authors, developing strategies for and with them, creating promotional materials, and helping our authors establish their websites. There is usually one mass press release.

What work are you most proud of to date and why?

I really take pride in my press releases. They are getting better and better feedback. Media outreach is a serious matter to me because I grew up doing it—I had my own freelance PR firm at an early age that made a lot of successful pitches. I want to do better and prove I can still get results!

Writing a book is a huge undertaking, but marketing the finished product is an integral part of the process. Can you tell us some of the marketing tactics you’ve had the most success with?

Well-placed displays and events, and not just in bookstores. Live event activations make a difference for any product; that’s why even major brands hire reps at the local level to raise awareness for globally marketed products. Your live events don’t have to be limited to book launches . . . you can go on tour, and you should do so! 

What’s something your authors have taught you that has made you a better marketer?

To look at every challenge as a new opportunity and to see every new marketing task in a unique way.

You probably wouldn’t be here if you didn’t like books. Name three we can expect to find on your bookshelf.

I want to list books about mid-century art and the old animation studio system. However, I also like to explore finance, history, and economics. It’s not always the most cheerful subject matter… these are my top 3 right now, working on the third:

Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression by Studs Terkel

The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins

Avoiding Swindlers by Al Rosen

What are some things you enjoy doing in your free time?

Travelling, taking lots of pictures, and eating as much sushi as I possibly can.

If you chose to write a book, what would it be about and what would you title it?

I’m seriously considering writing a book on social media, but only if it can stay relevant as platforms and trends change.  So many of those books are outdated upon release or shortly thereafter.  If I can figure out a way to create something timeless based on that subject matter, I’ll do that. As for a title, I suppose I’ll have to think about that. I would want it to be a bit tabloidy and controversial. I was actually in an agreement to release a book on social media marketing with a company in the USA but it didn’t come to fruition, and they had the manuscript ghostwritten for me, which I wasn’t 100% comfortable with because I’m very opinionated on the subject. 

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