Author Archives: Chelsea Rutherford

Author of the Month

Friends with a Serial Killer: Peter Perry’s terrifying true story is your next favourite true-crime thriller

October Author of the Month, Peter Perry, offers unique advice for new authors, as well as a FREE COPY of his new book.

What do you know about pure evil? The kind that makes you fear for you life. Peter Perry can tell you all about it. He lived in London, Ontario during the height of one of Canada’s most notorious serial killers, The Bedroom Strangler. It was a terrifying time, between 1974 and 1978. Russell Maurice Johnson, aka The Bedroom Strangler, was scaling apartment buildings, sometimes up to 15 floors, and sneaking into women’s rooms at night to assault them and take their lives.

This is truly what nightmares are made of. And Peter Perry was there for it all. Peter and Johnson would lift weights together at Vic Tanny’s Health Club, a place where unbeknownst to Peter, Russell selected most of his victims. Co-authored with Geoff Hart and Kathleen Sumpton, ORIGEN: A True Story of Evil, takes us through the rise and fall of one of Canada’s most notorious serial killers, told by someone who was closest to him.

We caught up with Peter to find out how things are going with his book since it launched earlier this year. He had lots to share with us! Among other unique marketing activities, Peter and Geoff are in the process of pitching the screenplay of Origen to Netflix and Amazon. We wish them the best of luck!

You can get a free copy of Origen between October 27 and November 17!

That’s right everyone. Peter has teamed up with other talented true-crime and thriller authors to offer a round up of some of the best new terrifying reads. Starting October 27, you can download a free e-book copy of Origen. Not just a free chapter, the whole book! Just click here and select the book cover for Origen to download your copy. You have until November 17!

Peter Perry, author of Origen: A True Story of Evil
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Tips & Tricks Uncategorized

How to track your success on social media

It’s hard to know if you’re “doing” social media right. I mean, yes, you post unique content, you respond to comments, and you regularly engage with other accounts in your niche by liking their posts or leaving comments in relevant threads. But is it working?? By working, we’re referring to people liking your posts, following your page, clicking your links and/or visiting your website.

To know if you really are using social media to benefit your brand as an author, you can track your success using your social media insights. That is, if you’ve signed up for a professional profile like the Facebook Business Page or Instagram Creator Account, which offer you tons of added benefits for building your brand. Once you’ve created your Facebook Page or Instagram Creator Account, experiment with posting for a couple weeks and then venture into the world of your social media insights.

Find your Insights on Facebook:

And on Instagram:

Alright, now take a look at three key ways to measure your success on social media using your social media insights!

Follower Count

Having a high follower count makes a good first impression, but if it isn’t growing week-over-week you need to change up your strategy. A steady increase in followers means your account is reaching more people organically as well as getting new people’s attention.

If your follower growth rate is only increasing by 1% a month, re-evaluate your content strategy.

Content Interactions

Tracking your content interactions, i.e. how many likes, comments or saves your post and stories get is important. It lets you monitor just how interested your audience is in the content you are creating.

Your social media analytics will show your overall interactions as well as the interactions for each post.

Here’s what industry standards tell us:

  • Less than 1% = low engagement rate
  • Between 1% and 3.5% = average/good engagement rate
  • Between 3.5% and 6% = high engagement rate
  • Above 6% = very high engagement rate

How can you get from 1% to 3.5% or higher? We share a few tips for updating your social media content strategy below.

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Author of the Month

Myriam Huser, pilot, humanitarian and author on how writing helped her learn more about herself and why she encourages everyone to JUST GO FOR IT!

 I never wanted to fit into what was normally expected of a woman; I chose to chase my dreams instead. 

Myriam Huser, author of They Called Me Sky Hunter

Myriam Huser is an incredibly skilled pilot and a talented storyteller – ask her about the time she was detained in Sudan while on a humanitarian aid mission; or, what it was like to hike Mount Kilimanjaro. She’s also a nature photographer and videographer. Recently, Myriam added ‘author’ to her list of titles and experience. They Called Me Sky Hunter, her new memoir about her adventures as one of the first women bush pilots, was published earlier this summer. Since then, she’s received countless reviews praising her book. She’s also had some fun interactions with the media. While being interviewed by Calgary morning radio hosts, Sue and Andy, she was told that, “she makes Indiana Jones look like a librarian!”

We caught up with Myriam to see how things have been going in her new adventure as an author. She shares her reflections and advice, and a couple of entertaining stories from her new book for Tellwell’s August author of the month feature. Enjoy the read!

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Who am I? Sometimes I wonder myself, haha. I was born in the Swiss Alps and I immigrated to Canada in my twenties. I never really stayed put as my aviation career kept taking me across the globe.

Most people see me as a strong independent woman. I see myself mostly as a shy introvert who is simply living her life as she wants. I do realize that my life is not an ordinary life, but to me, it’s just my normal life. I never wanted to fit into what was normally expected of a woman; I chose to chase my dreams instead. 

What inspired you to write They Called Me Sky Hunter?

Being aware that my life has been one big adventure that most people would never experience, I felt the need to share it. I wrote it, in part, to inspire anyone who has a dream but doubts if they can realize it. I’m hoping it will give those people the little push to get started. I also wanted to write it for those who cannot pursue their dreams, for whatever different reasons. 

I wanted to take people on a journey where they can escape to far away lands and experience extraordinary adventures through the stories in my book.

Personally, it also gives me an extra sense of accomplishment, the feeling that everything I have done won’t be forgotten as if it never mattered. 

Your book is full of incredible adventures that take us from Baghdad to Darfur to Sudan; from Uganda to Algeria; from the South of France to British Columbia. You’ve lived such a full life! Is there a particular story that you’re excited for readers to discover from your book? 

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Book Giveaways

Giveaways, giveaways, giveaways!

We’re introducing something new, folks, and we’re very excited about it! We will now be offering free ebooks on the Tellwell blog and newsletter!

Tellwell authors have partnered with other authors in their genre to offer their books completely for free – for a limited time. This is part of Tellwell’s new marketing service for authors. Here, we are partnering with authors with similar content to leverage each other’s audience and expose each book to new readers, building the author’s email list in the process. If you are interested in participating, get in touch with your publishing or marketing consultant.

Read on to learn more about each book and how you can enter to receive a free copy.

Ben’s Final Checkmate by Laura Sandor

Toronto-based psychotherapist and author, Laura Sandor shares the tragic story of mental illness, murder and suicide which tear apart her unsuspecting family in her new book.

Readers are calling Ben’s Final Checkmate impossible to put down!

Laura has partnered with other talented non-fiction authors who bare it all in their stories. To get your free copy, all you have to do is click here. Bonus, you can download any of the other 11 books from this giveaway, too!

Giveaway ends July 31st. Download your free copies now.

To learn more about the book and connect with Laura Sandor, visit laurasandorauthor.com.

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Author of the Month Tellwell Books

A Tribute to Albert Etzerza – Father, Husband, Best-Selling Author, Residential School Survivor

Thanks to his family, Albert Etzerza’s new book became a three-time Amazon Best Seller, bringing more awareness for the trauma created by the Canadian Residential School system

Trigger warning: this post mentions sexual assault on a minor.

At Tellwell, we have the privilege of working with authors from all over the world, each one with their own unique story, giving us the chance to see so many different facets of life. Recently, we had the pleasure of working with the family of Albert Etzerza, who realized Albert’s dream of becoming an author.

At the end of 2020, Albert’s wife, Rose and her five sons published Albert’s book, The Good, The Bad and The Innocent: The Tragic Reality Behind Residential Schools, an Albert Etzerza Story. It was one of Albert’s dreams to have his story published, and they helped him accomplish it after he passed away. Since publishing, they’ve gone on to host book giveaways, run social media campaigns, and gain mentions in local media across British Columbia. As a team, Rose and her sons helped Albert’s book hit the Amazon Best Seller list in three different categories: History of First Nations in Canada, Canadian Biographies, and First Nations in Canada.

Their teamwork, creativity, and drive are just a few of the reasons why we are featuring Albert as Tellwell’s author of the month!

We love celebrating our authors’ success, but it is the content of Albert’s book, and the fact that he bravely shared his story, that inspires us most of all.

Albert Etzerza at age 10. Image from The Good, The Bad and The Innocent: The Tragic Reality Behind Residential Schools, an Albert Etzerza Story

Albert Etzerza is a survivor of the Lower Post Indian Residential School. He was only six-years old when he began attending Lower Post, which was part of Canada’s Indian Residential School system, a system rooted in colonization and the oppression and killing of Indigenous people. In 1991, Albert spoke out about the abuse he endured throughout his years spent at Lower Post, including the fact that he was repeatedly molested by a school supervisor. Albert eventually took the Canadian government to court for the abuse he was subjected to and the trauma he was left to deal with. He then went on to write The Good, The Bad, and The Innocent to share his story and offer people a look at the tragic reality behind residential schools in Canada; and, to help other residential school survivors heal and find hope.

We were fortunate to speak with Rose, Albert’s wife, to learn more about Albert’s story and hear how the book is being received across Canada.

Don’t miss the chance to read an excerpt from The Good, The Bad, and The Innocent at the end of this post!

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Rose, Tahltan/Tlingit First Nation, artist and a mother of five boys. 

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Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews Tellwell Books

Author Celebrations – News, Reviews, Awards, and More!

Tellwell authors, do you ever rest? So many of you have accomplished so much over this last month! We’ve seen interviews, online book readings, reviews, awards, and book launches. You continue to impress and surprise us!

Take a minute to sit back and relax so we can celebrate each of you!

REVIEWS

We’re especially excited to celebrate this first review. Tellwell’s own Jennifer Chapin received a terrific 4-star rating from IndieReader for her book, The Poet and The Angel.

You may have connected with Jennifer when you started your self-publishing journey with Tellwell. She’s been with our team as a publishing consultant since nearly the beginning! We love seeing reviewers like IndieReader recognize her talent as a writer.

THE POET AND THE ANGEL is a moving exploration of the life and death of Frederico Garcia Lorca that offers historical insight and cultural relevance. While the plot is spare, the author’s language is enchanting.

“Chapin’s lyrical language and talent for crafting evocative imagery consistently elevate this book beyond typical historical fantasy. For example, Angelina is introduced with a poetic description: She twirled round and round like a spinning top, her hair an aureole of red and gold. Her skirt swirled around her in fuchsia disarray, like the petals of a flower opening its arms to the sun on a warm summer day.” – Lisa Butts for IndieReader.

Click here to read the full review for The Poet and The Angel.

The Hollywood Book Review had nothing but great things to say about Monique Gliozzi’s new thrill-ride of a book, Facets of the Past.

Facets of the Past: No Dark Deed Goes Unpunished is undoubtedly a successful work. Very quickly, the book puts you on your toes. It starts to become a real page-turner all without the standard cheap elements designed to move forward a plot. It truly does feel like a fully realized world that you can get lost in and the characters are memorable. I loved how the author thrust us into the life of the antagonist and how in the plot, he was slowly becoming a victim of the unknown. ” – Lily Amanda for Hollywood Book Review.

Read the full review here.

First time author Karen Bailey recently published Obsidian Mine. The Prairies Book Review had nothing but great things to say about the first book in Karen’s new urban fantasy trilogy, calling it, “Hypnotic, bold, and deeply seductive…

Karen has made quite the literary debut! Here at Tellwell we already can’t wait to see what’s next from this author.

Read the full review of Obsidian Mine here.

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Meet the Team Tips & Tricks

What to ask before you begin your self-publishing journey – advice from Tellwell publishing consultant Ejay Co

Ejay, tell us about your role at Tellwell.

My role in a nutshell is to introduce authors to the world of self-publishing. I help with the process of identifying an approach to move forward, selecting processes and services that would fit their needs, and setting the foundation for their expectations about the process. I see myself as a pilot helping authors navigate their way to the destination they have selected. 

What do you enjoy most about working with authors?

As a bookworm, hearing about an author’s writing process is always fascinating. It amazes me how much work goes into each book an author writes. Hearing stories from authors who wrote their book over several decades, and others that have been completed over a couple of weeks is a manifestation that there is no “standard” process for writing a book. These conversations are always the best part of the job.

What advice do you have for authors who are considering self-publishing a book?

I understand just how much work and love is poured on to every page an author writes and I think, ultimately, authors would expect the same amount of dedication from the team in charge of developing their books.

I assume it’s a relief for authors to know that they can get all the professional help they need while still keeping a level of creative control over their book, and keeping their full copyright ownership is just the cherry on top. 

If you decide to take the route of assisted self-publishing, where you partner with a self-publishing company, ask about their company culture. It’s essential. You’ll be working with the team for a significant period of time and it’s important to consider the dynamics of the team you’re working with. This helps ensure that you’ll feel comfortable throughout the process which makes completing your book a lot more fulfilling in the end. 

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Author of the Month

March Author of the Month: Pearl Gregor shows us how to embrace our Divine Feminine for Women’s History Month

Allow me to introduce you to Pearl Gregor, Tellwell’s March author of the month. She is a Dream Worker, three time self-published author, and absolute force of a woman. The Tellwell team had the pleasure of working with Pearl on her three books: Authoring Self, Cauldron of the Feminine, and I, The Woman, Planted the Tree. Each book is a pillar in the Dreams Along the Way series, where Pearl helps readers sift through their dreams in order to find freedom as an individual and wholeness in body, mind and soul.

We caught up with Pearl to see what wisdom she can offer from publishing three books – she has a lot to share! And, to learn more about her work in empowering women. It’s Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating women all month.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born at the end of the war in 1945 and raised with my six brothers in homestead country, northern Alberta. My mom was very fond of saying, “Educate a woman, educate the world.” I became an educator, administrator, provincial government education consultant and along the way, a radical feminist. In 2008, I completed my doctorate “The Apple and the Talking Snake: Feminist Dream Reading and the Subjunctive Curriculum.”

I am mother to three and have six grandsons and one granddaughter.

I live on my farm with 22 head of cattle and my Australian Shepherd, Buddy.

What inspires you as an author?

I continue to be inspired by the faces of women who carry on, despite abuse, centuries of being ignored, left out, and refused acceptance as equal partners in the world. Women lead, inspire, teach and mother. During the Covid crisis, it is the women who continue to provide cheap labour for essential services like food. The janitorial staff in hospitals, the aides, the grocery clerks and so many other low-paying jobs that keep a patriarchal culture intact! And when they retire, the poverty continues. CPP eligibility relies on being employed and receiving a salary.

There are dozens and dozens of reasons for women to feel rage. To be angry. It’s the subtle yet constant drip, drip, drip of daily sexism that both wears me out and inspires me. And let me just say, the continuous belittlement of our fears and our tears? How cunning! How intimidating! And so, just recently, I blew my teapot! The steam rises. I speak out more now than ever. To quote Maya Angelou, “And still I rise.”

Women of the world, until we dig up the cultural roots of our own repression and our own complicity in silence, change will continue at the same pace as continental drift.

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Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews Tellwell Books

Tellwell Authors Promote Their Self-Published Books in the Media

As part of Black History Month we’re shining the spotlight on a few of the Black authors we’ve had the privilege of working with over the past year. These self-published authors are promoting their books in a range of unique ways. Take a look to inspire your own book promotion ideas!

Record a podcast at your launch event

Author Ray Byfield recorded a podcast episode to answer questions about his new book at his launch event. Last September, Ray hosted a socially distanced book launch to celebrate the release of This Business of Life and Business. He shared this video to his YouTube page; he posted it to his website; and, he promoted it on his Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages.

Creating one piece of quality content can go far when you adapt it for promoting on each of your platforms.


Pitch to journalists for a deeper connection with your audience

Arnelle M. Cruz was interviewed by The Hollywood Times to discuss her book The Survivor Story of Arnelle: A Girl from Africa. Arnelle opens up about what it was like growing up in Liberia, and she tells readers how they too can overcome adversity.

Interviews and feature stories, like Arnelle’s interview, give readers a deeper insight into your story.

Arnelle M. Cruz – visit her website here.

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