Category : Meet the Team

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.

Read More
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

Read More
Meet the Team

Meet Tellwell Publishing Consultant Rob Hitchen

img-20180614-wa0006

  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.

Read More
Meet the Team

Meet Tellwell Designer Bonnie Mitchell

am_velocefondo20170709_01If your role at Tellwell were to be summarized into a book title, what would it be?

Word InDesigns Out: Translating Word files to InDesign files.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

When I’ve created a cover and book block that represent the book perfectly and the author is ecstatic with the results.

What do you think is the most important aspect of an author’s cover design?

Balancing text and imagery to capture the story or the essence of the book. This creates a powerful emotional reaction inviting the reader to take a closer look.

What is your favourite type of book to design and why?

Fiction. Yes, it is as broad a genre as it is open to the imagination. With a good book synopsis the cover has so many design possibilities. There are certain design principles that make the interior of the book readable, however, there is no limit to how the title pages, headers, footers, chapter starts and sections can be styled. I find it the best genre for pushing the limits of design and doing something unique.

Read More
Meet the Team

Meet Project Manager Alison Strumberger

alison-1How would you describe your role at Tellwell?

Multifaceted. As a project manager it is my job to educate and support authors through their self-publishing journey, assisting with everything from manuscript formatting and submission, to illustrations and editing and design, and finally to book distribution. In addition to working closely with authors to bring their books into the world, I manage the editing department here at Tellwell. In this part of my role I draw on a decade of editorial experience to focus on refining our services, recruiting the best talent around, maintaining quality assurance, and supporting a team of thirteen dedicated editors who are passionate about helping authors tell their stories well.

What does a typical day on the job look like for you?

My days almost always begin in my inbox as I make my way through emails, answering questions from my authors and acting as a liaison between them and our designers, illustrators and editors. Quite a bit of my time here is spent collaborating with the rest of the in-house team about ways to improve on our processes. Invariably in the afternoon, I will find myself embroiled in an intense game of foosball in the break room. I prefer to play defence.

What is the most common misconception when it comes to editing, in particular in the self-publishing industry?

There are a number of misconceptions about editing, I think because the results of professional editing are often intangible. I would say the biggest of these is “I don’t need editing.” Every author has an editor; it is an essential stage in the publishing process. David Foster Wallace had an editor. Michael Ondaatje has an editor. Editing is so much more than adding missing periods and removing comma splices. Editing is also about style and nuance, it’s about the big picture of a narrative, it’s about character and logic and removing embarrassing unintentional puns, it’s about a fresh set of eyes reading your work as a reader would: critically, looking for the meaning, and really working to draw it out.

It is true when self-publishing that deciding to have your book edited can add substantially to your initial costs, but the investment will increase the quality of your final product exponentially, thereby setting your book apart from the rest. As Mark Twain is famously quoted as saying, “The difference between the nearly right word and the right word is the same as the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.”

Read More
Meet the Team

Book Marketing Consultant Kendal Gerard’s take on joining Tellwell’s team

Kendal and her daughter Frankie.In January 2017, my family made the decision to move from Toronto to Victoria, BC (if you’ve ever spent a January in either location you’ll understand why.) I was right at the end of my maternity leave — my baby daughter had just turned one — and, in and amongst the chaos of selling our house, buying a new one, packing our boxes and changing our contact information everywhere, I was looking for flexible work in book publishing, specifically in children’s book publishing, which is where I have worked since graduating from Queen’s University in 2007 and the book publishing program at Centennial College in 2008.

By May, when we redeemed our one-way tickets to Victoria, I had been off work for nearly two years. (Though, believe me, I had read a lot of books in that time.) I had used the final few months of my pregnancy to complete a Masters in Education at the University of Toronto, which I had been chipping away at for a number of years while working full-time as the Marketing Manager at Owlkids Books (publisher of Chirp, chickaDEE and OWL magazines,) and my daughter was now nearly one and a half. In those two years, while I was home reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear for the umpteenth time, Tellwell had sprung into existence and I imagine I found this talented group of people much in the same way that you did — kudos to the individual who handles our SEO.

I didn’t have to spend very long on Tellwell’s website to realize that this was the place I wanted to work once we got settled in our new province. Even though no jobs were being advertised, I got the impression that Tellwell was the kind of company that would always find a way to make room for hard-working, enthusiastic, experienced people. Their commitment to helping authors create the best books possible means building a big team — so that every book will be matched with the ideal project manager, editor, designer and publicist. My first impression was not wrong and I was able to join Tellwell’s marketing team part-time in September, where I work on children’s books exclusively.

Read More
Meet the Team

Meet Book Marketing Consultant Tyler Hooper

img_40401.  How would you describe your role at Tellwell?

As a Book Marketing Consultant my job is to inform you, the author, on what sort of marketing strategies and avenues are available for your book.

 

2. What does a typical day on the job look like for you?

Each day is a mixed-bag! Some days I’m on the phone doing marketing consultations, other days I am deep into designing websites, or coming up with a plan for marketing outreach. The only consistency is coffee. Lots of coffee.

 

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

Talking to authors over the phone and hearing their passion for their book is what I enjoy most. It’s amazing to hear all the diverse stories of how authors came up with their book and how it all started. It’s very inspiring!

 

4. What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Time management. It’s easy to get sucked into designing a website and then wonder where all the time went. I set notifications throughout the day to keep me moving through tasks.

 

5. What is your favourite marketing service and why?

The book marketing consultation. I like to openly talk with authors about their book and come up with a personalized strategy for each author.

 

6. What is your number one marketing tip for authors?

All book marketing in the assisted self-publishing world starts with you, the author! You really need to be your own publicist, voice, and advocate for your book. Tellwell’s here to help construct a map for your journey, but you’re the one who gets to experience it all.

 

7. If you were to publish a book, what would it be about?

It would be non-fiction and it would probably have something to do with history. I like exploring stories that take you to certain period in time.

 

8. What did you do before joining the Tellwell team?

I worked as a journalist in both print and for a community TV station.

 

9. What books do you love to read?

95% of what I read is non-fiction. Erik Larson is my go to for historical narrative non-fiction. You really can’t go wrong with anything written by John Vaillant, Joby Warrick, Sebastien Junger, or Truman Capote.

 

10. Other than reading, what do you do in your spare time?

I am getting pretty hooked on trail running at the moment. Getting out into the outdoors is important to me. I also like to write long-form pieces. It’s good to stay busy and have goals.

 

Like our blog content? Join our monthly newsletter.
Email:

Name:

Read More
Guest Post Meet the Team

Guest Post: Publishing Consultant Mitchel Anderson celebrates two years at Tellwell

img-20171024-wa0006What brought me to Tellwell at first was my determination to have a career in books and literature. As soon as I could reliably make my way through a novel at a young age, I would be asking for a new book every week until I had amassed what is a small library. The value of a good book was never lost on me which can be heard in stories my family would tell about how particular I was about the condition of my books. This carried me through my English Literature degree from York University in Toronto where I had the pleasure of arguing about the meaning of books with people much smarter than myself.

What drew me to Tellwell specifically was the different perspective we take to publishing in general. While authors I have known would lament about the difficulties of finding a publisher I would always ask why they didn’t self-publish, but the logistics never seemed to make sense for them. When I first arrived here at Tellwell and spoke to our founder Tim Lindsay, I realized the rare opportunity we had to put the freedom and control back in an author’s hands and help contribute to the global body of literature.

Coming in at the ground floor I had rare opportunities to be heard in the development of our company and I have always made it my responsibility to listen to the feedback we receive from our authors about their experiences here and elsewhere and use that to help shape our direction going forward. My favourite parts of my job are listening to our authors discuss their projects and being able to step in with my expertise to show them that what was previously an intimidating venture is actually very approachable as long as you have clear information and the right team.

At the end of the day, I firmly believe that creator-owned fiction and nonfiction is the only way to guarantee a diverse and lively discussion in literature. If every author listened to rejection and never took a chance on their vision, we would never have seen the likes of Dr. Seuss nor would we have the influential The Joy of Cooking, which was originally self-published during the Depression and used as a proof of concept for further consideration with traditional publishers. This is a route many of our authors take here at Tellwell and we do everything in our power to make sure they are situated in the best possible way to do so.

Read More
Meet the Team

Meet Tellwell’s Book Designer Tara Price

1. How would you describe your role at Tellwell?

tara-cropAs a graphic designer, I design books. It’s really that simple. I lay out covers, format manuscripts, prepare files for our printer, and finally convert the files to eBooks. I also help the design team stay on top of technology and best practices in design.

 

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

Taking our authors’ initial ideas or concepts, and creating something that they love. When I hear an author is ecstatic with their cover design or book layout, that’s the best part of my day.

 

3. What do think is the most important aspect of an author’s cover design?

Grabbing your audience’s attention. It doesn’t matter if it’s done through amazing typography or stunning images or dynamic use of colour; the important part is to know your specific target audience so you can get potential readers past the cover and into your book.

 

4. What are some tips you have for authors when it comes to cover and interior design?

Look at other books in your genre and let us know the ones that really speak to you. As a designer, I’m slightly more of a visual person. Seeing what you love helps me create something you will love.

Read More
Meet the Team

Learn about the roles of a Project Manager with Amanda Richardson

image-uploaded-from-ios1. How would you describe your role at Tellwell?

I’m a project manager here at Tellwell, so a huge part of my role is guiding authors through the process of self-publishing. This can range from connecting authors with editors, illustrators, and designers, through to discussing pricing options and distribution channels. I do my best to make the process as smooth as possible for everyone involved, but every day presents new situations and challenges, so there’s never a dull moment.

As a part of a small company, we all wear a lot of hats, so I also work closely with our editing team, write a lot of our external copy, and work with my team to continually improve and develop new and existing services.

 

2. What does a typical day on the job look like for you?

Typical days are pretty atypical with a job like this, but the one true constant is emails. There are always emails to be answered, files to be transferred, and authors to talk to. We’re a pretty collaborative workplace, so there’s a lot of brainstorming new ideas and troubleshooting hiccups, and I love that I have such an awesome team to rely on each day.

 

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

My authors’ success is my success, so whether it’s helping someone learn a new program or congratulating them on officially publishing their title, I love getting to experience these victories with my authors. We work so closely over the course of several months that you can’t help but be proud when they figure out the PDF markup tools or make their first sale.

Read More
1 2