Meet the Team

Meet Caitlin, one of Tellwell’s Book-Marketing Consultants

Meet Caitlin Chisling, one of Tellwell’s amazing book-marketing consultants! Based in Canada, Caitlin is an accomplished author and an expert in book marketing, so she understands the publishing journey firsthand.

Get to know Caitlin and discover how she helps self-published authors successfully market their books!

Can you share with us what led you to pursue a career in marketing, particularly within the publishing industry?

Books are my biggest passion! Working in the publishing industry has always been my goal. Marketing seemed like a natural fit—I love being creative and strategic, and supporting authors throughout their publishing journey.

As a marketing consultant at Tellwell, what does a typical day look like for you?

My typical day starts around 7 a.m., when I go over the day’s priorities and organize my to-do list. I check my email, answer any questions, and attend to my clients. I spend my mornings fulfilling various marketing services, such as organizing Goodreads giveaways and blog tours, designing promotional materials, and writing press releases. My afternoon typically contains a consultation call with a new author, discussing their book, learning about their goals, and exploring what marketing tactics best suit their needs. After that, I’ll get to work creating their custom marketing strategy. 

What do you find most rewarding about assisting authors in their marketing journey?

Every author I’ve had the privilege of working with has been so inspiring! I love hearing their stories, the ones they write and the ones that led them to pick up a pen in the first place. I’m constantly blown away by the passion, dedication, and creativity of our authors. 

Can you share your passion for writing and how it inspired you to publish your own book?

I started seriously pursuing traditional publishing in high school, studied creative writing at the University of Guelph, and signed with a literary agent in 2022. My first novel, which we are currently submitting to publishers, is a western-inspired fantasy for young adult audiences. I’m also currently revising a fantasy novel inspired by Eastern European folklore. I love mythology and fairytales, and exploring them through the eyes of underrepresented characters.

How has your experience as an author influenced the way you approach marketing strategies for self-published authors?

As an author myself, I understand how difficult it is to even write a book in the first place, without even considering the steps that come after. Sharing your writing is an incredibly raw and vulnerable experience. Promoting it can be even tougher! I always approach my authors with that sensitivity in mind. 

What challenges have you faced as an author, and how have these experiences informed your approach to assisting other authors with their marketing efforts?

If there is a challenge for an author to face, I’ve probably personally tackled it! I know the struggle of balancing writing with a full workload, managing your social media presence, networking, self-promotion, maintaining a website, and other aspects of creating an author brand. That means I also know the importance of focusing on what is not only going to be most effective but also enjoyable and sustainable. 

In your experience, what are the most impactful marketing tactics that authors can use to reach their target audience?

Social media. Regardless of your genre, the people who will buy your book are likely scrolling on Instagram, Facebook, X, or TikTok. I encourage authors to pick one or two of their favourite platforms and plan a consistent posting schedule. Give your readers a reason to follow you. Consider what sort of value you can offer them and share it. Are you a fiction author who can offer writing advice? Gardening tips that pair with your botany-themed book? Advice on how to engage early readers with your picture book? Everyone has something to offer. 

What are some common misconceptions authors have about book marketing, and how do you clarify these misconceptions in your consulting work?

That marketing needs to wait until after a book has been published to begin. Even if you are still in the early stages of writing your manuscript, or only have an idea floating around in your head, you can be cultivating your audience, working on your author brand, and building hype! When I have the opportunity to speak with authors before their books are ready for distribution, I explore ways that they can create excitement and anticipation for their book among their network through social media posts, giveaways, and email marketing. You want to take every opportunity you can to get potential readers primed and ready to buy your book. 

For authors on a budget, what cost-effective marketing approaches do you recommend to maximize exposure and sales of their books?

Social media is free! You don’t need to spend additional funds on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok advertisements to see the boost in engagement that comes with consistent, intentional posting. While advertisements are a great tool, a connection with your audience will reap huge rewards. Additionally, I would recommend exploring sources that can generate exposure for you and provide third-party validation for you and your book, whether that’s through reaching out to local media outlets, asking friends and family to review your book, or seeing if bloggers or influencers will create a post featuring your book in exchange for a free copy. 

For authors who are overwhelmed by the idea of marketing their books, what steps do you suggest to create a manageable and effective marketing plan?

Focus on what you enjoy. If you dislike creating reels or crafting tweets, you won’t be consistent. It’s far better to post regularly on one or two platforms than to stretch yourself across posting intermittently on four or five. The tactics that you can sustain are ultimately going to be the most impactful. 

As trends in book-marketing evolve, what emerging strategies or tools do you believe authors should pay attention to for future success?

I would encourage authors to pay attention to ways in which different kinds of media can be utilized for book promotion. When it comes to audio, I’m particularly interested right now in the rising success of audiobooks, particularly when combined with strategic promotion through targeted podcast and Spotify ads. For video, Reels, TikToks, and other short-form video formats remain one of the best opportunities for promotion. Keep on top of evolving Bookstagram and BookTok trends and play around with including them in your promotion. 

Lastly, what advice would you give to authors who want to ensure the longevity of their book-marketing efforts? How can they sustain momentum and continue to promote their work over time?

As I said above, focusing on tactics you will enjoy regularly engaging with are going to be key to sustaining momentum. If you love Instagram, then you’ll look forward to sharing posts, updating your stories, and responding to reader comments, and your following will grow. Additionally, don’t be afraid to try new tactics. Follow authors you admire on social media, sign up for their newsletters, and see if their marketing approaches can be adapted to work for you. 

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