Author Archives: Monica Martinez

Author of the Month Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews

How authors can overcome imposter syndrome

Tips to unleash your inner Goddess/God with Tellwell author of the month, Rita Kakati-Shah

Rita Kakati-Shah, the author of The Goddess of Go-Getting, holds many roles both in the business world as an entrepreneur, founder & CEO, public speaker, media contributor and, now, author. She is an award-winning gender, diversity, and inclusion career strategist, speaker and coach. She founded and runs, Uma, a company that provides strategic expertise in those areas to Fortune 500 companies.

The Goddess of Go-Getting was launched on International Woman’s Day by the Consul General of India in New York and has become the number one bestseller across three categories on Amazon.

Kakati-Shah was born and raised in London, England and is from Assam heritage. She now lives in New York City with her husband and children.

You have a unique voice, so tell the story in your voice, not in someone else’s. Once you find your voice, you’ll feel the passion and your writing will flow!

Rita Kakati-Shah, author of The Goddess of Go-Getting

Authors may battle imposter syndrome, question their ideas and talent, and struggle to let go of fears. How can authors unleash their inner Goddess/God to overcome their fears?

Love this question! First and foremost, you have to remember that as an author you have your own voice. Even if two authors were to recount the exact same story, their prose and expression would be different. You have a unique voice, so tell the story in your voice, not in someone else’s. Once you find your voice, you’ll feel the passion and your writing will flow!

 What habits or rituals have you adopted that have helped you overcome fears and unleash your inner goddess? 

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Design Showcase

10 Book Cover Design Trends for 2022

Book covers are extremely important in capturing readers’ attention and evoking a feeling, mood, and overall sense of the book’s content. A great book cover will entice a reader to pick up your book and read it. The cover is the first impression of your book, a visual depiction of the contents inside.

Here are some of the biggest trends in book cover designs for 2022.

All of the book covers shown here were created by Tellwell.

1. Surrealism: One of the biggest cover design trends in 2022 is surrealism. 2020 and 2021 did feel like a dream after all, so it’s not surprising many books, and their covers, are creating a sense of an unreal, altered, and strange reality.

2. Partially hidden titles: Book titles that are partially blurred, blocked, cracked, and hidden to create a sense of mystique and suspense.

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Meet the Team

Why self-publishing is not vanity publishing

Australian publishing consultant Despina Maclaren dispels the most common myth about self-publishing

Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

My role at Tellwell is to help authors navigate the publishing landscape, so they are able to make informed and educated decisions about the options available to them, and to guide them on what is best for their needs as well as their budget. I adore assisting authors, the day-to-day diversity of my role, and [discovering the] reasons and motivation behind what makes an author want to publish their book. It is a joy to assist them in understanding the process and expectations, offering them advice from my own years of experience in the book trade. 

Tell us about your previous publishing experience. 

I’ve been in the book industry for thirty-five years, and started out working as a bookseller at Angus & Robertsons’ flagship store in Melbourne on Elizabeth Street. I moved on to work as a bookseller across Melbourne and later became the rep there for Penguin Books. I decided to move to the UK, and worked for Penguin UK and other global and independent publishers, selling all kinds of genres, from mass-market fiction to non-fiction to children’s, education, academic, and professional books.  

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Author of the Month Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews

Self-publishing advice and author affirmations from Tellwell author Chantel Riley

Our Tellwell February Author of the Month, Chantel Riley, on how social media has helped her promote her children’s book.

Social media has been a great help connecting me to an audience I could never have reached on my own.

Chantel Riley, author of I AM: Precious Affirmations

Chantel Riley has an impressive résumé as a television and Broadway actress. The talented on-screen star is also a singer/songwriter, she owns and operates a children’s clothing boutique, and is now adding “children’s author” to her accolades. Her positive-affirmations book for children has landed her on Canada’s national entertainment show, eTalk. She has also received glowing reviews for I AM: Precious Affirmations, and uses her social media platforms of tens of thousands of followers to promote her book.

The Toronto-based actress speaks about the heartfelt inspiration behind her children’s book and how social media has helped her reach a much wider audience, and shares her top three affirmations for authors!

You have an impressive résumé as a Broadway and television actor and owner of a children’s clothing boutique. Tell us more about yourself. 

I was born in Toronto to my Jamaican parents, Joan and Errol Riley, and come from a big family. I have four siblings. Before I got into show business, I grew up taking dance lessons and singing in my church.

What inspired you to write I AM and become an author? 

We had reached the one-year mark of the pandemic and I noticed I was seeing more and more reports of the decline of mental health in our youth and young children, along with the unfortunate and heartbreaking increase of suicide rates. Having two nephews of my own—one is 11 years old and the other 19 months old—I worried for their mental wellbeing and any effect this pandemic may have on them.

I am a strong believer in affirmations and the power of positive thoughts. Speaking to myself with positive words of power and love has helped me overcome some of the darkest moments of my life. Children are the future and I wanted to make sure I can leave something behind to help guide them down a road filled will love and positivity.

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Meet the Team

Tellwell’s managing editor Alison Strumberger on why she believes editing is crucial for a quality book

There is an unwritten contract between an author and their readers. Picking out a book, purchasing and opening that book, sitting down in a solitary moment to read that book – all of this is an act of trust. It’s a leap of faith. It’s an investment of your readers’ time, money, and attention.

Alison Strumberger, Tellwell’s Managing Editor

Tell us about your background, as well as your role at Tellwell.

I’ve been working in publishing for a little over fifteen years, starting out as a submissions reader for a magazine in Montreal while completing a BA in English literature and creative writing. I went abroad after I graduated. Thirty countries and some years later, my travels took me to Melbourne, Australia, where I got my MA in publishing and editing while working in both trade and educational publishing houses. I ran my own writing/editing business for several years, editing everything from novels and travel guides to celebrity memoirs and annual reports. My own essays, fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous magazines and journals in Canada and Australia.

Here at Tellwell I mostly manage the editing department, and have been doing so since I moved to Victoria and joined the Tellwell team in 2017. In my capacity as managing editor, I make sure to recruit (and rigorously test!) highly experienced and professional editors who love what they do, and who are as passionate as I am about supporting authors to make their good writing great. It’s an incredible privilege getting to work so closely with a cohort of twenty-five talented editors based across Canada, the US, the UK and New Zealand. Along with our indispensable in-house editor, Simon Ogden, I work closely to monitor the quality of the editing while adjusting our services to respond to feedback from our authors. I’m an inveterate perfectionist with high standards, so I keep the team on their toes! I also spend a lot of time focusing on the quality of our production process, working to improve what we make, and the experience of the amazing authors with whom we make it.

Why is editing crucial for creating a quality, professional book? 

There is an unwritten contract between an author and their readers. Picking out a book, purchasing and opening that book, sitting down in a solitary moment to read that book – all of this is an act of trust. It’s a leap of faith. It’s an investment of your readers’ time, money, and attention. With each typo, error, malapropism, unintentional pun, break in logic, inconsistency, accidental repetition, missed punchline, unchecked fact, misused semicolon etc, that trust erodes, and so does the author’s credibility and the reader’s lasting impression. 

A well-regarded book is not weighed down by its technical pitfalls, which can be plentiful and distracting in unedited books. It is disappointing to read a review of your book that says, “It would have been great, if only it had been edited.” The crux of your book – the concept, the idea, the dare-I-say genius of it – can be clouded or confused or missed altogether when the reader needs to wade through a sea of errors, correcting as they go.

Just as each word you put on a page contributes to the meaning of your work, so too does each space, each paragraph break, each punctuation mark. Your editor is an expert in units of meaning. As Mark Twain put it: “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter; ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Dr. Seuss put it more playfully perhaps: “The writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”

Your editor doesn’t see mistakes, they see opportunities to make your writing tighter, cleaner, and clearer.

Alison Strumberger, Tellwell’s Managing Editor

What do you consider to be a great edit? 

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Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews

Celebrating Tellwell authors in the media, award-winners, bestsellers, and more!

Tellwell-Author-Celebrations

From book launches to rave reviews to bestsellers, Tellwell authors have done it again! We’re always thrilled to celebrate author success!

Author of Immigration, Race and Survival Cecily Alexander was featured in The Caribbean Camera!

This memoir is a collection of many journals she has kept over the years. She uses journalling as a way of working through feelings and emotions and of learning from her experiences. She has had a career as a dietitian for over forty years. Her career has included academic writing, and she has one previous book publication: a book on nutrition and weight loss called “Just Eat Less: Easier said than done.” She has a master’s in business administration specializing in organizational behaviour in addition to her nutrition degree from the University of Guelph. She has taught at both the university and college levels. She lives in Southern Ontario.

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Meet the Team Tellwell Books

Meet Tellwell book-cover designer Benjam Mosquera and learn his favourite cover-design trend

Tellwell book-cover designer Benjam Mosquera has been a valued member of the Tellwell team since 2018. He has ten years of book-design experience and is passionate about creating covers that draw people in at first glance. Read on to learn Benjam’s favourite book cover-design trends and hear his advice to authors working with book designers for the first time.

What inspired you to become a book-cover designer?  

I began my book-design career working as an interior book designer. I was really inspired seeing beautifully created cover designs by my teammates, in bookstores and online. It led me to learn how to artfully create book covers. I have been enjoying creating book covers for a decade now.

Where do you draw creative inspiration from?

I am often inspired by film posters. I’ll search for the designer’s name and look through their work for more inspiration.

What advice do you have for authors working with a book designer?

Clear instruction is really key. If an author has a specific vision for their book, then it’s important for the author to relay detailed instructions for the cover designer. That allows the designer to more easily visually interpret the instructions.

We are also creative individuals who love taking a concept and running with it. So if authors don’t have a clear vision for their book cover, that’s OK. That’s why we are here, to put in our professional touch and create magic. Showing covers that you love and want to emulate also go a long way.

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Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews

Tellwell authors celebrate major awards in the New York Book Festival, great reviews and media mentions!

Blood and Silver
by Vali Benson

Blood and Silver won its second major award this year, taking home top honors for the Young Adult category at the 2021 New York Book Festival! Vali Benson previously won first place in two categories at the San Francisco Book Festival in the same year.


I Call My Grandma Gigi
by Carole Aldred

Carole Aldred’s I Call My Grandma Gigi, a book about celebrating the special relationship between grandmothers and grandchildren, received the Canada Book Award.

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Author of the Month Tellwell Books

How to speak with your teenager about money

Advice from Doug Allan, Tellwell’s September author of the month and author of A Fighting Chance: The High School Finance Education Everyone Deserves

Doug Allan, accountant and author of A Fighting Chance: The High School Finance Education Everyone Deserves

Vancouver-based author and accountant Doug Allan believes financial literacy is fundamental to success and should be part of our high school education system. To help parents fill that educational gap, he wrote A Fighting Chance: The High School Finance Education Everyone Deserves. Allan’s book was released in early 2021, selling hundreds of copies, and earning thousands in book royalties.

He has had some notable moments which includes appearing in The Globe and Mail, CTV News, The North Shore News and the MapleMoney podcast. He was also asked to speak at various high schools in his region on money topics he covers in his book.

The Tellwell author highlights a special moment chatting with David Chilton of The Wealthy Barber. Read more to learn the key steps Allan took to ensure his book’s success.

What inspired you to write Fighting Chance? 

As a CPA, CA and a parent of two young children, financial education is near and dear to me. Over my career in finance, I have accumulated an immense amount of knowledge which I have, in turn, applied to my personal finances. Without the benefit of a financial education, most people do not have the opportunity to properly learn how to manage their money. The unfair advantage I have gained, as it relates to managing my personal finances, over those without formal financial education and experience inspired me to write down my knowledge as the book I wished I was given as a teenager.

What do you hope readers will get out of it?

I am hopeful that readers can learn one or two things within the pages of the book that gets them excited about their finances and the opportunities which are out there. I don’t expect everyone to finish the book and instantly be a financial expert, but if certain foundational lessons like the time value of money can be absorbed, readers will be much better prepared to manage their money. After reading my book, it is my hope that readers will advance to more complex financial topics and continue to learn.

In your book, you state that governments and school boards are failing our children by setting them up for financial failure once they enter the workforce. What steps would you like to see schools take to better educate youth about making and managing money?

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Book Giveaways

Free business books to level up your business and your life!

Tellwell Publishing is partnering with talented entrepreneurs and non-fiction authors to bring you some motivational and insightful reads to level up your business and your life! We have 13 books available completely for FREE from August 26 – September 26!

Featuring two Tellwell business authors and entrepreneurs – Paul Sacco and Jack Lumsden!

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