Category : Meet the Team

Meet the Team

The one question you should always ask any self-publishing company – advice from Tellwell publishing consultant JH (John Hendrick) Abella

1. Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

If Tellwell was a clinic, a publishing consultant would be the doctor. First, we ‘assess’ your needs as an author and the requirements of your book project. Second, we ‘diagnose’ and match your project to a set of services that we offer. Thirdly, we ‘prescribe’ and recommend the most fitting set of services that would help accomplish your publishing goals and provide solutions to your author needs. And lastly, we ‘educate’ and impart our knowledge to you as experts in the field of self-publishing, all for the ultimate goal of giving you a positive and pleasant journey towards becoming a published author. 

2. What do you enjoy most about working with authors?

Apart from the sense of triumph, I feel after seeing my authors achieve their life-long dream of publishing their book, it would be the process itself – the consultation. Every conversation is both a surprise and a learning experience. You never know who you’re talking to next and their story. You can go from smiling ear-to-ear after hearing a sweet coming-of-age novel to getting your mind blown by a Chinese government-taking-over-the-world conspiracy story. Either way, it is never a bore!

3. What advice do you have for authors considering self-publishing their book?

Nothing beats the sense of relief as a result of an informed decision. That’s why I always tell my authors to spend time gathering information about the self-publishing industry. Ask questions, read literature and never hesitate to reach out to a publishing consultant. Above all, I always tell my authors to believe and have faith in themselves and in what they have written. 

4. What is one question you encourage authors to ask any assisted self-publishing company they are considering working with? 

I encourage authors to ask the company what their royalty structure looks and to break it down in detail. Ask, dissect and scrutinize even the smallest details of a company’s royalty structure. This will help you understand and realize what the company has to offer you in terms of returns in the long run.

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Meet the Team

Meet Tellwell project manager Rhea Inot and learn more about her role helping authors

1. Describe your role as a project manager. 

As a project manager, I help authors through every step of the publication process, from submitting the manuscript until the book gets published.

I serve as a liaison between the author and the designer, editor, and/or illustrator. I also guide authors on their choices in terms of design, layout or the book’s specifications.

2. What does a normal day look like for you? 

A normal day for me would be a combination of team meetings, phone calls with authors, preparing and reviewing various documents and communicating with editors, illustrators, and designers.

3. What do you enjoy most about working with authors?

What I enjoy most about working with authors is hearing their personal stories, and inspiration behind writing their book. It’s very satisfying and fulfilling helping authors achieve their goals and guiding them through the process to achieve the best possible outcome. It makes my day when I hear how happy authors are with the final product!

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Meet the Team

Meet Tellwell Book Designer Ian De Guzman and read his favourite cover design trends

1. Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

My role is to create the visual expression of our authors’ concepts and ideas using graphic tools and elements.

2. What do you enjoy most about being a book designer?

I enjoy creative exploration, thinking through ideas and coming up with solutions on how to best represent them visually.

3. What styles and genres do you enjoy working on the most?

Fantasy and adventure.

Here is a small sample of Ian’s cover designs for Tellwell.

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Meet the Team

Meet publishing consultant Philip Grey and hear the most common misconception he encounters in the self-publishing industry

1.    Tell us about your role at Tellwell. 

As the first point of contact, I am building a strong working relationship with new and existing authors in order to understand, manage and successfully deliver their publishing objectives.

2.    What do you enjoy most about working with authors?

My absolute favourite part of the job is when somebody tells me I’ve helped them fulfill their dreams of becoming a published author. I love the idea of bringing a smile to someone’s face.

3.  What is your work experience outside of Tellwell? 

Before joining Tellwell, I worked with a couple of self-publishing, client service and technical support companies. In total, I have around 10 years of sales experience in multiple publishing companies, two years in technical support and about five years in client service.

4.    How would you describe your personality?

I am a problem-solver by nature and my immediate goal when I speak to my authors is to resolve their questions and concerns as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

5.    What is the biggest misconception authors interested in self-publishing have about the industry? 

Self-publishing is still shrouded in misconception despite being an established industry. One of the biggest misconceptions is that “a self-published book is harder to market.” The challenges of marketing any book, self-published or traditionally published, are mostly limited to the author’s time and budgetary constraints as well as their marketing savviness. Social media and reader-focused platforms such as Goodreads make it easier to get the word out directly to your niche market. Tellwell’s marketing team will work with authors to fill in their knowledge gaps, and empower them with an understanding of the best marketing practises for their book. We execute a number of elements in their marketing plan to help generate new readers, reviews, publicity, and a social media presence. 

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Meet the Team

Tellwell marketing consultant Chelsea Rutherford on the biggest mistake authors make when it comes to book marketing

1. Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

As a book marketing consultant, I work with authors to show them how they can connect with their audience through various marketing activities. It’s my goal to give authors a better understanding of all the tools they have at their disposal when it comes to marketing their book, and teach them how to effectively use those tools.

2. What does a typical day or week look like?

A typical day includes a mix of meetings and consultations, writing marketing strategies, designing websites, creating social media graphics and promotional materials, and pitching to bloggers, media outlets or bookstores. I love that my work week always contains a mix of writing, strategizing, phone calls with unique authors, and creative work.

3. What did you do beforehand?

I was the marketing manager for a California based start-up. I worked remotely from Victoria with a lean-team based in Ottawa, Oakland, and Los Angeles. We all came together to launch our company in early 2017. What a whirlwind that was! I wouldn’t trade that time for anything though. Not only did I hone my time management and communication skills, and learn just how adaptable I really can be, but I was also able to experiment with all kinds of marketing activities. My responsibilities included social media management, blogging, B2B and B2C email marketing, media outreach, partnership marketing with California event planners, as well as managing and executing brand awareness campaigns, mostly through influencer marketing on Instagram.    

4. How would you describe your personality? What inspires you?

I thrive when I’m able to socialize with others – friends, family, even strangers at events or concerts. I love getting into good conversations with people. Learning through sharing ideas with others charges me up like nothing else. With events and social gatherings on hold though, I’ve been turning to other sources of inspiration. I consume books, blogs and podcasts on the regular, but my consumption rate has increased tenfold since social distancing came into effect. I’m still getting outside and spending time near the ocean or on a remote trail – there’s nothing like nature to keep me feeling whole. 

5. What do you enjoy most about working with authors?

I love hearing why authors wrote their book, why they want to share this particular message with the world. Starting with why is a driving force behind just about everything I do when it comes to business and marketing – thank you, Simon Sinek.

Understanding an author’s why helps me better understand who we’re trying to reach, which determines my recommendations and strategies for how to connect with them.

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Meet the Team Uncategorized

Meet Tellwell project manager Redjell Arcillas and hear his advice to authors going through the publishing process

It’s exciting to finally get to see the author’s book live and published, and to share in that joy, knowing you had a part in making their vision a reality. 

Redjell Arcillas works as a project manager at Tellwell. He guides and assists authors throughout the publishing process – from their book submission to distribution. Redjell liaises with designers, editors, illustrators on behalf of the author and then, once the book is ready, distributes it so it can be purchased on various online platforms.

As a project manager, Redjell is part of every author’s publishing journey. His role is to bring to life the author’s work by making sure the cover is even better than the author envisioned, and the content of the book is ready for publication. Redjell considers the authors goals and works within their budget to produce a top-quality product. 

Prior to Tellwell, Redjell worked at a large indie publishing company as a project manager. 

1. What do you enjoy most about working with authors?

Working with authors is a great privilege. I enjoy being able to access their personal anecdotes during the writing process as well as seeing the progress of their work, especially after a series of recommendations. It’s exciting to finally get to see the author’s book live and published, and to share in that joy, knowing you had a part in making their vision a reality. 

2. How would you describe your personality? What are your strengths? 

I value success, achievement, and quality. This drives me in life and helps me push forward to keep improving myself. I believe the key to success is persistence. I don’t allow obstacles to stand in the way of my goals. I’m proud of my achievements and I’m grateful to be able to pass those opportunities on to my children. 

3. What advice do you have for authors going through the publishing process?

First, trust the process, and know that no matter what, your book will be published. Second, know that your project manager will always be there for you. Third, always aim for a quality product rather than rush the publication of your book. 

4. What is the most common misconception authors have about the self-publishing process? 

I find many authors focus on marketing their book and pay less attention to the editing. When you do this, you miss out on improving your manuscript. You have to keep in mind that reviews will definitely affect the ability to successfully market your book. Neglecting editing before publishing your book is like offering readers something that is not worth reading at all. The professional publishing standard is to have very few spelling errors or grammatical mistakes. Reviewers can be brutal if they see too many of these errors. But they are also savvy enough to comment on plot lines, character arcs, pacing and the writing. 

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Meet the Team

Marketing consultant Cassie Smith shares her advice to authors marketing their book during the COVID pandemic

1. Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

As a book marketing consultant, my role is to support authors in the marketing and promotional aspect of the publication process. We develop strategies for authors to develop their book marketing plan, and fulfil marketing services to take some of the load off their plate.

2. What did you do beforehand?

I worked in community engagement and development within educational institutions from preschool to university! My tasks ranged from directing international field studies with university students in Europe, to being the person who got to drop the eggs from a school roof for a science fair ‘egg drop’ challenge!

3. How would you describe your personality?

I’m a big infophile – learning is what motivates me more than anything! I also find it really tough to sit still and read a book – so audiobooks are a great way to circumnavigate that.

4. What do you enjoy most about working with authors?

I thrive on having a varied workload which is why working with authors is so great. They each present unique perspectives, skills, and stories. Getting to adapt to those individualities is really amazing. 

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Meet the Team

The most common misconceptions authors have about self-publishing – Q&A with publishing consultant Maria Brown

You don’t just want to self-publish. You want to self-publish well. Make sure your self-published book stands out from the crowd.

1. Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

As a publishing consultant, I am the author’s first point of contact with the company. It is my role to help authors understand the publishing industry, the publishing process, and help them make smart decisions to achieve their publishing goals.

2. How would you describe your personality?

I’m a problem-solver by nature, and I would like to describe myself as a positive person. I bounce back quickly from negative thoughts and always look for the silver lining in situations.

3. Describe your approach to working with authors.

I keep it simple. My approach is personal. I consider myself a guide to authors navigating the world of publishing.

4. What publishing advice do you have for authors considering self-publishing?

You don’t just want to self-publish. You want to self-publish well. Make sure your self-published book stands out from the crowd.

Get your book edited. Hire a professional editor. You don’t have to accept every single change. At the end of the day, it’s your book but at least consider the feedback.

Have a book cover that converts! A high-quality book cover is the most important element to get readers’ attention. It is what readers first see and will immediately determine whether they want to pick up your book or not.

Be realistic. Success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes dedication and patience.

5. What is one of the most common misconceptions authors have about the self-publishing process? 

That it is just for vanity. All I can say is self-publishing can be tough, but a necessary alternative to traditional publishing as it gives small voices a chance to grow loud. Many of the big names that float around now got their start with self-publishing. They are proof that going this route now can lead to greater things down the line. Self-publishing costs money upfront, but if writing truly is your passion, then this venture is worth every penny. Hobbies cost money. Startup businesses cost money. Writing is both a hobby and a business. Tellwell makes sure that every penny an author spends is a penny invested in a legacy they can be proud of.

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Meet the Team

Marketing consultant Katie Hennessey on her role in educating and empowering authors in their book marketing efforts

1. Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

As a marketing consultant at Tellwell, I am an author’s final point of contact in the publication process. I work with authors on creating the best strategies to promote and market their book based on their goals, time and budget. It is my goal to help educate and teach authors about all the extraordinary resources available. Children’s books are my specialty! 

2. What did you do beforehand?

I wore a few different hats prior to starting at Tellwell. After I graduated from the University of Victoria with a B.A., I worked in real estate, supporting agents with marketing and administrative duties. Real estate didn’t feel quite like the right fit, and I decided to go back to school to become an elementary school teacher. It was during this time that I became aware of an opening on Tellwell’s marketing team, and couldn’t resist the opportunity to become a part of an industry I feel so passionate about. 

3. How would you describe your personality?

I like to describe myself as Miss Congeniality. I love helping others and am highly organized. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist. I typically see most things with my rose-colored glasses on, always wanting to see the glass half full, rather than half empty.

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Meet the Team

Meet Tellwell’s marketing director Monica Martinez and hear her book promotion advice

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1. Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

As the head of marketing, my role is multi-faceted. I lead and manage Tellwell’s digital and content marketing, book marketing as well as work directly with authors. This means I create and optimize our ads, landing pages, value offerings, manage our social media accounts, blog, and newsletter. I also lead our wonderful book marketing department, where we help authors promote and market their books. I do work directly with clients as well. I really enjoy the variety in the role and working with my talented colleagues and authors.

2. What did you do beforehand?

I had a career as a journalist prior to Tellwell. I worked as a television reporter, video-journalist and anchor for CHEK News, CBC and Global News. I not only reported but also filmed and edited my own stories. Before that, I worked in various marketing roles in both the non-profit sector and the private sector.

3. How would you describe your personality?

I am a happy and positive person who is self-motivated. I believe attitude is everything, and being mindful of our thoughts and emotions is crucial. I’m extroverted and enjoy playing in the abstract.

4. What inspires you?

People who are living their optimal life, especially people who have overcome tremendous obstacles to achieve success.

5. What do you enjoy most about your role at Tellwell?

I enjoy the combination of creativity and analytics. I have a lot of opportunities to develop creative materials, write, and think outside the box, but I also enjoy studying the numbers to see what is working and what can be further optimized. I appreciate working in a startup environment where ideas quickly turn into action. I also enjoy working with authors and staying on top of trends in the publishing industry.

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