Category : Meet the Team

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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Meet the Team

Meet project manager Caitlin Ing and read her advice to indie authors

Cailin Ing Tellwell Project Manager

Photo: Lauren K. in NYC for Flytographer

 

1. Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

I am a project manager at Tellwell, which means that I get to help our amazing authors move through the production process of publishing – helping them move through things like editing, design, and distribution. I also have the opportunity to work on and improve our process, such as updating our questionnaires and developing new webinars for our authors, which is something I really enjoy.

2. What did you do beforehand?

Most recently I worked as a Shoot Concierge at the vacation photography company Flytographer. Prior to Flytographer I worked as a fashion stylist at one of our local malls while completing my Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of Victoria – you could say that I like to keep things exciting by exploring a variety of fields.

3. How would you describe your personality?

I always do my best to keep a positive attitude, both during and outside of work hours. I would say that I am upbeat and friendly, with a humorous side as well. Also, friends and family are very important to me.

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

I am very grateful to be a part of such a talented and hardworking team. I also enjoy the opportunity to work with so many diverse and passionate authors.

5. Describe your approach to working with authors. 

Every Project Manager at Tellwell is responsible for many authors at any given time, so I always do my best to stay organized but also take the time to develop meaningful and helpful relationships with each of my authors.

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

Take your time. I completely understand how exciting it is to think about your final finished book being in the hands of your reader, but it is very important to be patient and take the time needed at each step to ensure your book is as strong as it can be by the time it is distributed. This means taking time to review what you are submitting, or the changes you are requesting, and even looking to the feedback of friends or peers to get a new perspective on your work. Slow and steady wins the race!

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Meet the Team

Meet Tellwell marketing consultant Kate Bell and learn her approach to working with authors

Kate Bell Tellwell Marketing Consultant

 

1. Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

I am a book marketing consultant at Tellwell so my job is to share knowledge, tools, and resources with authors for them to be able to successfully market their book. This role ranges anywhere from helping authors contact media outlets for a feature story, creating author websites, coaching authors on social media use, or crafting a custom marketing strategy for our authors! 

2. What did you do beforehand?

Before Tellwell I was working in the marketing division for a large scale event production company that puts on cheerleading competitions and camps all across Canada, the USA, and Australia. I was privileged to be able to travel a lot in this position and I was always learning, networking, and growing on-the-fly! During this time I was also starting up my own business in Victoria as well as completing my degree in English literature, journalism, and publishing.

3. How would you describe your personality?

I am very level-headed and rarely get worked up or angered. I can be reserved at times, however, I love to laugh and joke around with the people around me. I am also very self-motivated and love to be busy!

4. What inspires you?

I am inspired when people take risks and try something new that they may not be 100% comfortable with. I am also inspired when people are authentically themselves and not afraid to show that side of them.

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

I love being able to connect with authors about their story and individual goals. Each author I work with is completely different from the next and each has different goals so every day is so diverse! It keeps things interesting and exciting!

6. Describe your approach to working with authors.

I like to be able to personally connect with authors beyond the scope of the basics. Hearing about their lives, story, how their book came to be etc. is important for me when trying to make the best possible marketing plan for them. It’s also lovely to connect back with them after their services have been completed to check in on their success!

7. What marketing advice do you have for authors?

The more time and effort you put into your marketing the more you will get out of it.

8. What are you most proud of? Biggest accomplishments?

I am very proud to be a young business owner here in Victoria going on four years. My biggest accomplishment was coaching and competing at the University World Cheerleading Championship in Orlando, Florida in January 2018.

9. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I enjoy weight training, going to boot camp or yoga classes, and being active! I also love coaching, spending time with my family, checking out new restaurants in town with friends, and just kicking back and relaxing after a long day.

10. What are your favourite books to read?

Right now I’m reading “Sweet Bitter” by Stephanie Danler which I am really enjoying. I also recently loved “The Girls” by Emma Cline. I prefer books that have some truth to them (true crime, memoirs, essay collections etc.) but I can also easily get into a good romance fiction.

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Meet the Team

Meet Tellwell project manager Elliott Hockley and read his advice to authors

Elliott Hockley - Tellwell

1. Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

I’m the project manager team lead here at Tellwell and so other than my responsibilities ensuring each of my assigned author’s projects are on track, I have some other things I take care of from the facilitation of meetings, to making sure my team has everything they need to successfully perform their jobs.

On top of this, I also have some responsibilities within the marketing department, which is really cool because diversity in my role is something I value greatly, and it also means my degree in advertising finally has some uses.

2. What did you do beforehand?

I came to Canada in the summer of 2017 following a year of teaching English in the north of Barcelona. I have a degree in advertising and upon graduating I attained some pretty cool opportunities as a creative in London. The perception didn’t quite match the reality though and I didn’t stick around very long and sought to focus my energy elsewhere. Following that, I’ve mostly travelled, and also ran a hostel in the middle of nowhere for a year.

3. How would people describe your personality?

It depends who you’re asking, but mostly I get some combination of ‘upbeat, optimistic, kind, friendly and compassionate’.

4. What inspires you?

Reading, which is convenient. I’m an avid reader and I suppose a bit of an aspiring polymath in that respect. It’s also really easy to get inspired by nature, particularly around here.

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

Oooh, I have so much I’d like our authors to know, but we usually cover that throughout the process. My best piece of advice would be to try and keep a healthy sense of perspective. The nature of writing and publishing a story means that authors naturally become incredibly emotionally attached and invested in their work and that the moment their expectations are not met, there’s a tendency for them to get angry and frustrated. I can understand that, but the reality is, we’re working for our authors and we truly want the best for them and their book, and will work within the realm of our, and the industry’s capabilities to ensure that the best is what they get.

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Meet the Team

Meet project manager Simon Page and learn about his approach to working with authors

Simon Page Tellwell

Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

As a project manager, I help authors move through each step of the publishing process, providing guidance throughout the editing, design, illustration, and distribution steps, and everything in between. My role also includes acting as a liaison between the production and development teams, and I’m excited to be closely involved with producing the publishing webinars for authors that we will be launching very soon!

What did you do beforehand?

Before Tellwell, I worked in logistics and communications for a local non-profit organization, where I helped to produce and promote annual international jazz and blues festivals and other concerts.

How would people describe your personality?

I’ve been described as being very patient, calm, and optimistic.  I like to think I’m at least a little bit funny, and like to keep things pretty light-hearted around the office.

What inspires you?

I genuinely love helping people create great work that brings benefit to the world, and I get a lot of satisfaction from finding creative solutions to complex problems. I also draw a lot of inspiration from being in nature, as well as from books, music, films, and great food!

What are you most proud of in your life? Biggest accomplishments?

Some of the accomplishments that come to mind include graduating university, climbing the highest mountain in Poland (it’s not that high), and losing an impressive number of foosball matches here at Tellwell.  Also, I recently found a “Most Inspirational Player” award at my parent’s house that I won during my last year playing minor hockey, so that’s a pretty big one as well.

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Meet the Team

Meet Tellwell publishing consultant Jennifer Chapin and learn about her own book publishing experience

By Jennifer Chapin

jennifer-chapin

About Jennifer
I work as a publishing consultant at Tellwell arriving here late in 2017.  Before Tellwell, I worked in non-profit engagement for eight years, assisting organizations around the world to become investment ready.  Part of this work included encouraging executive directors and their boards to tell their stories so they could receive the financing they deserved.  The move to Tellwell was seamless, in that I am still helping people bring their stories forward.

Work Experience
I also have a solid background in corporate sales and business development through Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. I first worked in Victoria and then moved to New York City. It was while I was working in New York that 9/11 occurred and I was heavily impacted by that event.  It was a turning point in my life. It made me take stock of my dreams and what I had left unaccomplished.  Writing a book was one of them and so I left the corporate world and went to France and wrote my first novel.

Writing Her First Book
I was raised to love books and my enduring memory as a child is all of us sitting around, father, mother, and siblings, reading silently.  I am a voracious reader now and enjoy historical fiction with a fantasy/time travel element. This is also the genre I have used in both books I have written.

mary-magdalene-awakes

The Publishing Experience
I self-published A Song of Songs:  Mary Magdalene Awakes in 2008 with AuthorHouse. This is the novel that arose out of my travels to the south of France.  I followed the myths and legends about her there.  They are rife as she is the Patron Saint of Provence. This was in the aftermath of the Da Vinci Code days, but in my book,  I do not focus on the bloodline, but on her coming back at the end of time.  I have recently pulled my book out of AuthorHouse and am now in the process of a re-write over the next few months.

In reflection and after working at Tellwell, I would have approached the process of self-publishing differently.  I would have spent more money on editing, for instance, and commissioned a strong marketing team to assist me.  I worked hard to self-promote the book through a launch and many readings.  I found that Chapters and Indigo and private bookstores were receptive to carrying my book.  It was an amazing experience.  I cried when I got my first copy.

mary-magdalene-awakes-publishing

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Meet the Team

Meet Tellwell Publishing Consultant Rob Hitchen

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  1. If your role at Tellwell were to be summarized into a book title, what would it be?

Persistence is key.

  1. What’s your favourite part of the job?

Without trying to sound too grandiose it’s making people’s dreams come true.

  1. What is the most inspirational story you’ve heard from an author about their book?

I helped an 11-year-old get his book published. He is such an inspirational young man in his determination to succeed. It made me realize everyone can and should have a vision of where they want their life to go, no matter how young or old.

  1. What’s something (beyond publishing) you’ve learned from one of your authors?

Even when I’m not feeling at my best, some people have had it far worse than I could ever imagine and are still laughing and smiling.

  1. What advice do you give to first-time authors?

Don’t skimp on editing.

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