Tellwell's 2016/2017
Publishing Guide
Learn the five steps to publishing a book, the pros and cons of self-publishing, and how distribution and royalties work.
Learn how to publish.
Author of the Month

Former Lebanese television host Nataly Restokian trying to start “Me Too” Movement in the Middle East

Nataly Restokian Author of Masks

Me Too stories of sexual assault have dominated the headlines in the western world, but across the water, in the Arab world, the issue remains an elusive one.

“I wrote this story because I wanted to face my own demons. I had to face myself and the things that happened to me. I am not a hero and I’m not a victim. I dreamed of fame and power and I gave up a lot of things for that,” said the former Lebanese actress and television and radio host.

Masks is a dark fictional tale based on the author’s true-life events. The protagonist, Ana, is an Armenian girl born in Lebanon in the seventies. She achieves fame and fortune as a prominent television host in the Middle East, but at an incredible cost.

Restokian says Ana’s story is not unique, but in the Middle East, it’s one rarely told.

“Masks that women are obliged to wear inspired me to write this novel, based partly on real events in my life and partially to include the pain of so many other women that I witnessed along the way,” said Restokian.

“I decided to become their voice because they do not dare to speak up in a world where social and religious standards openly chastise the very actions that, behind closed doors, have become the ultimate paradigmatic way of their lives.”

Restokian, who now lives in Montreal with her husband, says she wants to start the #metoo movement in Lebanon, opening up about her own sexual harassment.

Masks Nataly Restokian

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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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Guest Post

A tribute to Tellwell author Alison Child-Beleny from publishing consultant Jennifer Chapin

By Jennifer Chapin, Tellwell publishing consultant

Alison Child-Beleny released her memoir with Tellwell Publishing in July 2018 and it is entitled, “My Years Behind Bars:  Memoirs of a Volunteer.:  It was a dream for her to publish her memoir, and a legacy she left behind when she passed away this month.  You can find this book on Amazon or through other online booksellers like Chapter/Indigo and Barnes & Noble.

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When we first starting talking about her inspiration for the book I erroneously thought that Alison had been behind bars, until she corrected me, laughing.  The book tells a story of her 26 years as a volunteer with male offenders in a maximum security detention center.  Her role was technically that of a life support group facilitator.  However, her real job she said, was to reach out in friendship, love, and respect to all of these men, regardless of the events that led them to being there in the first place.

In return, they loved her back.

Alison sent me images of the artwork they had sent to her:  pastels, line drawings, cartoons, cards and scrawled notes that over the years revealed how much she meant to them and how important her friendship was in a dark time of their lives.  Their art, in many cases, was absolutely stunning.

“Wow, look what you did for them!” I exclaimed in one of our conversations.

“Actually”, she said, “look what they did for me.  Their friendship changed my life completely.”

my years behind bars

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Author of the Month

Entrepreneur turned authorpreneur Del Chatterson on how becoming a self-published author is like running a business

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Entrepreneur now turned authorpreneur Del Chatterson is approaching his new career as an author with the same dedication as running a business.

“The motivation and work habits are similar. It is necessary to have a process and a plan, to be creative, innovative, determined, disciplined and hardworking,” said Chatterson.

The Montreal-based author has taken inspiration from his decades of experience in the computer industry and applied it to his latest crime-fiction novel. “No Easy Money” is set in 1980s Montreal and follows young entrepreneur Dale Hunter as his computer business is attacked by gangsters and the Montreal Mafia.

“A lot of details of the entrepreneurial experience is based on my life,” said Chatterson, who grew his computer monitor distribution business from zero to $20-million in eight years.. “It includes some fascinating insights into the challenges of entrepreneurs.”

Del also named his protagonist Dale, a name similar to his own. But the crime, drama and suspense that make the book a more entertaining read, are all imaginary.

Chatterson was inspired by writers like Kathy Reichs and Ian Hamilton who also turned their business experience into crime- fiction.

“I thought, I could do that.’ He attended writing workshops, read a lot of book from his favourite authors on how to write well and began with short stories to flex his muscles.

Once he reached retirement, Chatterson was able to devote more time to his writing. “No Easy Money” started as an idea 15 years ago, but after two years of writing, he had a manuscript. Tellwell published the book in August 2018.

no-easy-money

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Guest Post

Indie author Karen Harmon describes the self-publishing experience with Tellwell

By Karen Harmon

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Photo: The North Shore Press

The writing process for me began seven years ago as a form of remembering, recalling my life, where I came from and my parents before me. Through my writing, I experienced immense healing.

My times alone on my laptop came to be private therapy sessions of self discovery and coming to terms with my parents’ struggles. In turn, figuring out who I am. The why’s and why nots of my so-called life. Writing brought up feelings and sometimes tears but mostly it made me incredibly happy.

I had no initial intention of writing my memoir, but eventually, as I would laugh through tears I just knew that I had to share my life.  I told myself that if anything, my husband, children, siblings, cousins, an abundance of friends and numerous clients would enjoy my story.

Next, I asked myself, where would I begin?

While scrolling through Instagram on a vacation, I came across a Tellwell Publishing post. After digging a little deeper I decided to fill out their online questionnaire, just for the fun of it.

The questions they asked on the Tellwell authors form excited me and gave me hope. I started to feel confident and validated that I could become an author. Even though my manuscript was not yet completed, my gut told me that if I had Tellwell as my publisher my dream of writing and publishing my own book could become a reality.

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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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Tips & Tricks

Get reader reviews by running an online book giveaway

How do you get readers to review your book? You give it to them for free. Hosting an online giveaway is one tactic that will provide a bit of extra publicity for your book.  Goodreads, Facebook and Amazon have functions on their sites that give writers the opportunity to organize their very own book giveaways. The question is: which platform is best for you?

Goodreads Giveaways

Goodreads

Goodreads boasts over 55-million members, with 1.5-billion books and more than 50-million reviews. So, this may be one of the most viable ways to reach your target readers. Running a giveaway on Goodreads is straightforward and easy to set up. The great thing about Goodreads is they promote your giveaway, helping drive entries and then randomly select winners once the giveaway ends.

How it works
When participants enter in a giveaway, your book automatically gets added to their “want-to-read” list promoting your book via updates in their friends’ feeds, building exposure for your book. About eight weeks after the giveaway ends, winners receive an email from Goodreads to remind them to rate and review your book. This will help other readers discover and decide to read the book too. Goodreads also features their book givewaways on a section of their website, allowing new readers to discover new books.

The Goodreads giveaway process is simple, allowing authors to gift ebooks through their KDP account and print books to American or Canadian residents. The fee of $119 USD (approx $150 CDN) allows you to gift up to 100 copies fo your book. 

Giveaways for Kindle ebooks are fulfilled directly by Goodreads, while authors are responsible for mailing print books to winners. Take into account shipping costs when deciding how many print copies to gift. Giving away ebooks is much more cost effective as you only pay the giveaway fee, and do not have to pay for each ebook copy you gift. 

Goodreads also offers a premium giveaway valued at $599 USD which includes all the above benefits plus premium placement on the Goodreads’ giveaway page and a customizable message sent by Goodreads to entrants who don’t win.

FAQs

  1. How many copies should I give away?
    Goodreads allows you to give away up to 100 copies of your book. If you are gifting ebooks, then decide how many copies you are comfortable giving away. You are not paying out of pocket for the ebooks you giveaway, only the $120 USD fee. So if your goal is to generate reader reviews, then I would encourage to give away as many of those 100 copies as you can.
    But if you are giving away print copies of your book, then you do have to take into account the price of the book as well as shipping costs. In this case, limit the copies to the amount you can afford, taking into account the Goodreads giveaway fee. You can limit the giveaway to only one book.
  2. Will each reader who gets a free copy leave a review?
    No, Goodreads clearly states that people who receive free copies are not required to leave a review. And this is a good thing because if someone doesn’t like a book, sometimes they choose not to leave a review, and that is better than having a negative review. Books are given in the hopes that the reader will leave a positive review.
  3. Who can enter giveaways?
    Giveaways for print books are eligible for entry by Goodreads members who are residents of the US and/or Canadian residents. (During the setup process, giveaway hosts can select to offer print giveaways to U.S residents, Canadian residents, or both.)Giveaways for Kindle e-books are eligible for entry by Goodreads members that are residents of the US.
  4. Do I have to pay for the ebooks I’m giving away?
    No. Kindle Direct Publishing authors and publishers with ebooks available in the U.S. can run giveaways for up to 100 copies of Kindle ebooks. Whether you choose to give away 1 ebook or 100, it will always cost $119 USD. We automatically deliver the ebooks to winners at no additional cost, meaning you are not responsible for paying for each copy of the ebook. And the more books you give away, the more reviews you’re likely to receive, which will help create buzz around your book!

Take a look at the books currently up for grabs on Goodreads.
If you want to read more about creating an online giveaway on Goodreads, click here.

If you want Tellwell to setup a Goodreads account and run a giveaway for you, then fill out this form.

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Author of the Month

New “meat bible” textbook is the first of its kind in North America and being used in schools across Canada

Tellwell with author

Dan Westgeest and Ken Jakes visit Tellwell

 

This month at Tellwell we are profiling an unusual book, one that is stunning in its imagery and full of valuable information. The Canadian Meat Cutting textbook is the first of its kind in North America, being used by industry professionals as well as trade schools across Canada.

It’s a comprehensive book, and a heavy one with over 700 pages, and 1300 colour images covering a broad range of topics from food safety, to meat science, processing, harvesting and cooking methods. The textbook is a deep dive into the various types of meats, their cuts and meat-cutting techniques.

Writer Dan Westgeest calls it the “meat bible.” “Being a meatatarian, I think anyone associated with the meat industry or those interested in a career in the meat industry, and even those handling meats, should read it as it has loads of information,” he said.

Before the Canadian Professional Meat Cutter’s Association (CPMCA) produced the meat bible, all industry professionals and schools had as a resource was a three-ring binder containing out-of-date text and black and white images.

“In comparison, the new book is a masterpiece,” said editor Ken Jakes, who also led the book project on behalf of CPMCA. He says he was inspired to upgrade the old modular manual that had been used since the 1990s.

“The meat industry was in a real need of a full-colour textbook to support both entry-level and industry training. The cover design looks really great. It was a real team effort between us and the Tellwell designer,” said Jakes.

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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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Guest Post

Local indie author tops John Grisham at Edmonton bookstore

Q&A with Adèle Fontaine, author of My Sundays with Normand, a book of poems about love and grief.  
Interviewed by Elliott Hockley

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Adèle Fontaine is the author of My Sundays with Normand, a dedicational poetry book available now with major online retailers. The book recently topped the bestsellers list at a popular bookstore in Edmonton, beating out John Grisham through the first part of August.

Firstly, could you tell us a little bit more about what, and particularly, who, this book is about?

My Sundays with Normand is a book of 77 poems that I wrote to honor the difficult process of grieving for my husband after he died due to complications from heart surgery in November, 2014. He was a father to our seven children, my husband of fifty-three years, a lover of music and above all an artist who wrote and painted for most of his life. I cherished him deeply and was not prepared to let him go so easily into the black night. These poems soon became a way for me to spend time with him, reflecting on our lives together in order to cope with the sadness I was feeling.

Every Sunday morning I sat down at our kitchen table, often after being inspired by a walk outdoors and wrote. Normand’s support and presence were constant, just as it was when he was alive. Writing the poems has been my creative way of maintaining our relationship, continuing the conversation as well as fathoming the depth of the love I received from this wonderful man. We used to wonder about what life would be like when one of us died; little did we know that I would stay on and harvest all the gold of our relationship.

My Sundays with Normand

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