What an incredible two years it has been since we launched Tellwell. In November of 2014, I set about writing a book aimed at freelance editors and other publishing professionals. The purpose of the book was to give editors a better understanding of the indie publishing industry and the opportunity it represents to them. I wanted to teach good editors how to connect with and help the growing number of authors choosing to self-publish.
Indeed, the self-publishing industry has grown remarkably in the past ten years. Back in 2006, about 80,000 ISBNs (the unique number for each book) were issued to authors who self-published in the U.S. Fast-forward nine years and over 700,000 ISBNs were issued in 2015 alone. That’s an 800% increase.
Three technology changes facilitated this growth: print-on-demand, ebooks, and e-commerce. All of these changes reduced distribution barriers, making it easier to sell books. But, these technology changes did not reduce the need for a good editor, a good designer, and help with marketing.
While the self-publishing industry has gotten bigger, in some respects it hasn’t gotten better. Amazingly, just five companies account for over 80% of self-published books. After working in the industry and studying the major companies closely for many years, I came to the conclusion that the industry has two serious problems.
Alberta-based author Sharyl Rains said response to her newly published book, The Holy Tudors: Inheritance, has been much more than she anticipated, even overwhelming at times.
“With all the signings and appearances I’ve done, I’ve had a great turnout for pretty much all the events I’ve held for the book,” said Rains.
She is in the middle of her five-month Canadian book tour, holding events in libraries and book stores.
“People’s feedback has been really great. I love answering questions, interacting with people and talking about my characters.”
Her efforts are paying off. Rains is impressed with how well the book is selling and sees a spike in sales after each event.
The Holy Tudors: Inheritance is a historical fiction novel set in the 1500s. It follows three boys of the Tudor Dynasty – Prince Arthur, Duke Henry Fitzroy and King Edward VI. Rains found a fascinating connection between all three. They died at very young ages and that’s when she began to craft a story around that idea.
Twitter is a powerful tool to spread the word about your work, and interact with readers, other authors and publishing professionals. This guide will give authors insight on building a following and promoting their work.
1.Choose a useful handle. If your name is already taken, try a variation of your name, include a middle initial, add numbers or an underline. You could also add key words about what you do in your handle such as writes, books, or author. For example: @Oliverbooks, @Jacqwrites, @aharmon_author.
2. Choose a good profile pic. Your followers will want to see who you are, so pick a high quality head shot that clearly shows your face. If your Twitter page is specifically about your book, you can use your book cover as the profile image. Keep in mind that the profile image thumbnail will be square so you may need to edit your book image to fit the format.
3. Fill out your profile. A strong Twitter bio narrows your specialty, tells the Twitterverse why they should follow you, and shows personality. You have 160 characters to sum this all up. Not an easy task, we know. Your Twitter bio will show up when people Google your name, so put some thought into it. If you have a personal Twitter account and a separate one for your book, make sure you are tagging each account in the bio using the @ feature.
In this example, best-selling author Renee Ahdieh promotes her latest book, and the next one, with the release date. She’s tagged her publisher, agent and included her place of residence and author website.
Independent authors may want to include popular hashtags such as #indieauthors and mention their book is now on sale at #Amazon.
4. Pick a background image. The background could be the cover image, a photo or illustration from your book. It could include text that highlights your website, your achievements, or lets people know where to buy your book.
5. Provide a link to your website. Twitter has a distinct field to add your website. If you don’t have an author website yet, add your Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, or Amazon page. Provide a link for people to learn more about you or your book.
Tellwell has launched a referral program that rewards both the author, and the person who referred them with cash or services.
The referral program is targeted to three audiences: Canadian freelance editors, Tellwell clients, and publishing professionals with a deep knowledge of the book publishing industry.
Every referred author who signs-up to work with Tellwell will receive $250 in select publishing services. The person who referred them also benefits by receiving $200 in cash. They also have the option of gifting their reward to the author.
“We are excited to be able to reward people for their referrals,” said Founder & CEO Tim Lindsay. “We believe Tellwell offers the best deal in the industry by giving 100% net royalties back to the author, and that has great potential for word-of-mouth referrals. Our authors already are quick to recommend us, and now we have a system in place to say thanks.”
Sign up for our author referral program.
But WWII Canadian fighter pilot, Jack Henry Hilton, put his memories in a book so they won’t be forgotten.
Tellwell published his memoir The Saga of a Canadian Typhoon Fighter Pilot in 2015.
The 97-year-old writes about his time behind the stick destroying enemy tanks, trains and bridges. He survived four crashes in his Hawker Typhoon fighter plane and flew 100 missions over Europe, including on D-Day.