Category : Meet the Team

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 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 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

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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.

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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.”

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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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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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