Category : Meet the Team

Meet the Team

Project Manager Sean Santin shares more on book distribution

sean-headshot1. How would you describe your roll at Tellwell?

As a Project Manager I find I spend much of my time educating authors through the Tellwell process as well as informing them about the world of assisted self-publishing.

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

After my walk to work, I grab a coffee, jump into some emails, schedule my phone calls, and prep for team meetings… oh and I’ll try to squeeze in a game of Foosball somewhere in my day.

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

Honestly, I enjoy talking to our authors about their books; I recognize many of them have been working on their book for years, for most authors it’s become a big part of them.

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

Really, it’s a lack of time – there is just a large amount of information to cover for all the authors during the process and it can prove difficult to carve out the time each author needs!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Meet the Team

Meet Book Marketing Manager Francesca Jackman

fj-blog1. How would you describe your role at Tellwell?

I’m the Book Marketing Manager, which means I’m responsible for our marketing program and the services offered to authors to help them promote their books. A large portion of my day is dedicated to working directly with our clients on the marketing aspects of their project, but I also spend a lot of my time developing the program through hiring and enhancing the resources and tools at our disposal.

 

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

I’m an avid learner, so my favourite part of the job is that I’m learning new things every day, whether it be through authors and their work, or through the book marketing industry itself. Coming from a journalism background, I also love the fact that no day is ever the same, and the work is always diversified by the range of authors we work with and their unique projects. This job certainly keeps me on my toes, and I love being constantly challenged to learn more, and broaden my understanding of the book marketing industry.

 

3. What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?

The most challenging part of my job is letting go. I’m a passionate person by nature, and once I invest myself in a new author’s project, it’s difficult to pass the baton over to them when our time together is finished. We have the pleasure of being able to work with many authors as they begin the book marketing component of self-publishing, but at the end of the day, our main job is to empower those authors to embrace marketing. Unlike publicists, who are actively promoting an author’s work over an extended period of time, we focus on providing the resources, tools, and education necessary to have authors executing marketing strategies on their own. What they do with it from there is up to them. I now understand how difficult it must be for teachers who have to say goodbye to another group of their students each year!

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Meet the Team

Meet Publishing Consultant Carolyn Molson

carolyn-image-1-newsletter

1. How would you describe your role at Tellwell?

My role at Tellwell is to help authors figure out what their needs are for the direction they want to take their book. Shedding light on the services that they are going to need and on the ones they won’t.

 

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

Meeting new people. In this industry there are so many intriguing people, everybody is just so different than the last. I also really like the education part of the job, I like helping authors learn more about the industry.

 

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

Trying to convince authors to “beta” test their book. Not just with friends and family, but with readers. It’s always a challenge for someone to take what they have worked on and thrust it out into the world for criticism so I can understand the hesitation. However the broader the scope the better the feedback will be.

Also asking specific questions not just “Did you like it?”-  often people will say yes. Some better questions would be “Did the timelines work?” “Did I develop this character enough?”

 

4. What’s the most common question you get from new authors?

Will my book sell? The answer usually comes down to how much the author is willing to work at it. I’ve found a big piece of the puzzle to do that is the marketing of the book. A lot of people know they need marketing, and want marketing, but that’s often the first service they are willing to opt out of.

I compare having a successful book to a three legged stool… I know that sounds weird but you need a great cover, a great story and great marketing. If you have a stool that’s missing one of those things, it’s going to fall over, so you really need all three.

 

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Guest Post Meet the Team

Guest Post: Stefanie shares what motivated her to illustrate for Tellwell’s authors

stef-photoI’ve always loved art, in all forms; whether it’s sketching, colouring, singing, baking, dancing or playing an instrument…I love it all.

I come from an artistic family with an entrepreneurial spirit.  My older sister, sitting at the top of our talent pool, creates made-to-order portraits and awe-inspiring fine pencil sketches comparable to the likes of Robert Bateman.

My Dad is a very talented sketch artist as well, (though very few people know that about him).  Seeking a channel to exhaust some of my own creative energy as a young teen, I started a small business making custom designed chocolates. I was creating colourful candies and suckers in any style or character you can think of. As the client base grew, I realized that the business needed a brand presence – a challenge I gladly accepted.  Putting forth my very first branding effort, I developed a logo and fell in love with the idea of graphic design; it was an idea that launched my career.

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Meet the Team

Meet Project Manager Roxanne van Gemert

roxanne1. How would you describe your role at Tellwell?

As a Project Manager at Tellwell, I act as a liaison between the author and our illustrators, designers, editors and distributors. The central purpose of my role is to help support authors as they embark on the exciting adventure of self-publishing a book, and help them overcome any challenges that may arise throughout the process.

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

Creatively collaborating with authors to help bring their vision to life! I really enjoy supporting authors with articulating the goals they have for things like cover design or children’s book illustrations, ensuring that the final product meets or exceeds their expectations.

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

One of the most challenging parts of my job is supporting authors with troubleshooting any technical challenges that may arise throughout the process. Although our authors reside all around the world, I’m always available over the phone or Skype to help work out any technology-related kinks.

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Meet the Team

Learn about cover design and interior layout with lead designer Jordan Mitchell

jordanmitchell1. How would you describe your role at Tellwell?

As lead designer, my primary role is the creation of book covers and interiors for our talented authors. Because I’ve worked on literally hundreds of books in my 5+ years in the publishing industry I’m also a resource for any design-related questions or concerns that our Publishing Consultants or Project Managers may have. If that doesn’t keep me busy enough, I’m also involved in the design and appearance of Tellwell’s web presence, client-facing materials and any other internal or external assets that other members of Tellwell’s team may require.

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

I’ve always found figuring out an attractive and effective way to communicate what an author’s story is about within the constraints of a book cover to be incredibly rewarding.

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Meet the Team

Meet web developer Dave Riedstra

dave-at-hamburger-bahnhofsmall

1. How would you describe your role at Tellwell?

I do web development, mostly the stuff that runs in your browser. I primarily work on Tellwell’s author portal, an online tool we use in the book production process, but I’m also responsible for tellwell.ca and some other stuff.

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

We’re working with some very new technologies, so there are many chances to learn and sometimes even contribute to these technologies. I really love implementing the great designs I get from Jordan, our lead designer. Also, the team at Tellwell are fun folks, and I love that what I do enables artists to get their work out there.

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