Tellwell's 2019/2020
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.
Tellwell Books Tellwell News

Celebrating Canadian Indigenous Authors

We are celebrating and recognizing the tremendous history, heritage and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada. We also acknowledge the inequalities and injustices Indigenous people face every day.

Our hearts ache for the thousands of lives lost and stolen across the country.

We encourage our family, friends, staff, and fellow Canadians to educate ourselves about the land we live on, the history of the Indigenous Peoples who cared for it, and the issues facing Indigenous Peoples in our communities. Let’s become a country worth celebrating. 

Here is a selection of moving stories by Indigenous indie authors. 

Calling My Spirit Back

by Elaine Alec

Indigenous Peoples have always carried the knowledge necessary to heal. When our people heal, our families heal, our communities heal and our land will heal. You cannot have one without the other.

These stories are teachings, prophecy, and protocols shared throughout the years by elders, language speakers, medicine people, and helpers. They have been the foundation to individual healing and learning self-love. They teach us how to make good decisions for ourselves and for all other aspects in our lives.

When our people were young, they were sent on the land to gather as much experience and knowledge as they could, and when they returned, they would contribute what they learned.

I am Syilx and Secwepemc and although many of my teachings come from this place, they also intertwine with indigenous knowledge shared through ceremony from many other nations.

People from all backgrounds have embraced concepts from other parts of the world that promote self-love, healing, and well-being through practices of discipline and meditation.

Very little has been shared about indigenous systems and how it promotes self-love and approach to healing.


Read More
Meet the Team

Tellwell designer Von on what makes a great book cover

Tellwell Book Cover Designer Von Langoyan

A really great book cover is one that captures the book inside it in some fundamental and, perhaps, unforeseen way.

Von Langoyan, Tellwell book cover designer

What do you enjoy most about designing book covers?

I enjoy the creative process of capturing and evoking the essence of a story through visuals. The cover needs to both intrigue a reader and give them a sense of the book’s genre and content. I enjoy staying up to date on design trends and using them in my process so our covers look fresh and contemporary.

Our authors sometimes have a vision for how they would like their covers to look, and I work with their input to create something they would love, and that is also captivating and current.

Where do you get your design inspiration?

Social media and the Internet, in general, are great for inspiration. I follow artists and designers who I admire to see what they are working on.

What have been some of your favourite covers that you’ve created for Tellwell? Tell us why.

I’ve had the pleasure of working on several book covers for the talented fiction author Monique Gliozzi, who lives in Australia. Monique’s books Foresight, Vestige and Diversity are paranormal thriller/mysteries and we wanted the covers to evoke a sense of supernatural spookiness.

Monique had a clear idea of what type of cover she wanted and provided us with really great, detailed instructions. I used a number of design elements to create a sense of haunting and mystique, such as the illusion of depth, partially hidden titles and objects, and surrealism.

Read More
Author of the Month Tellwell Books

A Tribute to Albert Etzerza – Father, Husband, Best-Selling Author, Residential School Survivor

Thanks to his family, Albert Etzerza’s new book became a three-time Amazon Best Seller, bringing more awareness for the trauma created by the Canadian Residential School system

Trigger warning: this post mentions sexual assault on a minor.

At Tellwell, we have the privilege of working with authors from all over the world, each one with their own unique story, giving us the chance to see so many different facets of life. Recently, we had the pleasure of working with the family of Albert Etzerza, who realized Albert’s dream of becoming an author.

At the end of 2020, Albert’s wife, Rose and her five sons published Albert’s book, The Good, The Bad and The Innocent: The Tragic Reality Behind Residential Schools, an Albert Etzerza Story. It was one of Albert’s dreams to have his story published, and they helped him accomplish it after he passed away. Since publishing, they’ve gone on to host book giveaways, run social media campaigns, and gain mentions in local media across British Columbia. As a team, Rose and her sons helped Albert’s book hit the Amazon Best Seller list in three different categories: History of First Nations in Canada, Canadian Biographies, and First Nations in Canada.

Their teamwork, creativity, and drive are just a few of the reasons why we are featuring Albert as Tellwell’s author of the month!

We love celebrating our authors’ success, but it is the content of Albert’s book, and the fact that he bravely shared his story, that inspires us most of all.

Albert Etzerza at age 10. Image from The Good, The Bad and The Innocent: The Tragic Reality Behind Residential Schools, an Albert Etzerza Story

Albert Etzerza is a survivor of the Lower Post Indian Residential School. He was only six-years old when he began attending Lower Post, which was part of Canada’s Indian Residential School system, a system rooted in colonization and the oppression and killing of Indigenous people. In 1991, Albert spoke out about the abuse he endured throughout his years spent at Lower Post, including the fact that he was repeatedly molested by a school supervisor. Albert eventually took the Canadian government to court for the abuse he was subjected to and the trauma he was left to deal with. He then went on to write The Good, The Bad, and The Innocent to share his story and offer people a look at the tragic reality behind residential schools in Canada; and, to help other residential school survivors heal and find hope.

We were fortunate to speak with Rose, Albert’s wife, to learn more about Albert’s story and hear how the book is being received across Canada.

Don’t miss the chance to read an excerpt from The Good, The Bad, and The Innocent at the end of this post!

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Rose, Tahltan/Tlingit First Nation, artist and a mother of five boys. 

Read More
Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews

Author Celebrations: Awards, Reviews and In-The-News!

We love seeing our Tellwell authors crushing it! From top award wins, to featured interviews, to rave reviews – we’re offering a huge congratulations to our authors for these terrific accomplishments! 

AWARDS

Madalsa and Zuivere’s intergenerational poetry collection Get Lost Dirty Covid-19! won the IndieReader Discovery Award for Best Poetry Book! Described by IndieReader as engaging, emotive and enormously relevant, this poetry collection comes from a mother-daughter duo, providing the perspective of two different generations on this world-changing subject.

The book features nine COVID-19 themes with heart-touching poems relating to the isolation and pain we all felt in early 2020, to the bright and optimistic hope we feel now as we enter the new, vaccinated world. 

Read More
Tellwell Books

Happy Pride Month! We are celebrating books written by LGBTQ+ community members and books with LGBTQ+ characters!

Pride Month

Pride isn’t just a parade and celebration,

it is also a protest.

While representation is increasing, and acceptance and love is spreading, there are still many people in the LGBTQ+ community that are suffering. Yes, we celebrate this month, but we also protest for those living in countries where freedom to be yourself hasn’t been achieved, and to the lives lost getting to where we are today. Let this Pride Month be a reminder to us all that we need to consistently stand up when we hear words of hatred; we need to teach our children that love is available for everyone and that love is something we all deserve, regardless of who our partner is.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Let us continue our fight to make the world a more inclusive and accepting place. In honour of Pride Month, we are celebrating books written by LGBTQ+ community members and books with LGBTQ+ characters!

Happy Pride Month!

Here are a few of Tellwell’s picks:

Blame it on Betty

BOOTS I’M IN

 “Get over it” the story of my life
And it’s what I do to routinely survive.
“Get over it” those words I’ll ne’er forget
So often given with little to no regret.
For a First Nations Gay woman who’s deemed a triple threat
And a constant reminder of the boots I’m in.
In the mid-’70s whilst serving for my country
With a 1:1000 gender ratio in the military,
And only one of nine women at that time
Accepted to a trade, wherein the past denied.
And only one of three women of seven other members
Who graduated early with exceptional skills!
So, I reported to a station as the first woman in that place,
And was I worthy written on their faces.
For male dominance, such a routine privilege
And that’s the world I was living in.
Not only a woman but a Gay one too
And in that era, condemnation, it’s true.
If “outed” during service, I was discharged from the army
Without hesitation and without being sorry.
In the mid-’90s whilst serving as a cop
When a “fag boy” article stirred emotions up,
By fellow officers with blatant discrimination on display
And an employer who didn’t care what I’d say.
“Should have been a private joke,” said the commander,
But with my lifestyle deemed comical, that wasn’t the answer.
With article upon article in the newspaper
“Get over it” barked the enablers.
Now, my greatest threat at that time
Were comrades who conscientiously denied
Whilst the investigators dealing with my complaint
Didn’t have my back and held me to blame.
“Get over it” summarized the investigators.
“She’s the problem, and she’s a troublemaker.”
Now, with policies galore to protect my human rights,
It should have been a slam dunk and should have been airtight.
And I’m ne’er alone, there’re others like me
Facing discrimination on the job, it’s plain to see.
So, just another battle, I’ll “get over it”
And a constant reminder of the boots I’m in.

AVAILABLE NOW


Blessed

In a world filled with magic where Gods and Goddesses walk amongst the mortals who worship them, a war is brewing-a war between the Divine that started centuries ago. Unable to fight in the Divine Realms, they’ve enlisted their followers to fight for them. And to certain mortals they’ve even bestowed their own powers.

These mortals, known as the Blessed, walk a lonely path, balancing the awesome and cruel powers of the Gods and the vulnerability of their human sides. They are immortal unless their God or Goddess sponsor abandons them or they are killed by another Blessed.

One of these Blessed, a veteran from the first war, is gathering other young Blessed to her. Her plan? Create a bond between them all so they can vanquish the God bent on bringing destruction to their world once and for all. Under her tutelage, her students will be the turning point of their world. They start their destinies struggling with their powers and their place in the world. But will they be the salvation or the destruction? Only time will tell, for they are . . .

The Brethren.

Neilina – a Blessed who once conquered a God, she has lived a solitary existence since the first war ended. Now once again she will face a foe from her past that could be her undoing. But this time, she won’t be fighting alone.

Adeline – the only daughter of a warrior king, she is a healer and prophet. But her powers weigh heavy on her and the darkness promises sweet reprieve-will her bond to her Brethren keep her strong?

Aubrey – a young girl with a mysterious past she can’t remember. She wants to be a knight in the Holy War, but she’ll need to discover her past if she’s to help save their future.

Mathilde – the Crown Princess of the nomadic tribes, she’s got to right an ancient wrong if she wants to help her people. Her powers of the wild and animals makes her a strong card for whoever earns her loyalty in the coming war.

Niall – the bastard waif of a nobleman of a distant kingdom, he’s not who everyone thinks he is. Behind his laughing persona is the power of the cosmos. He’s got a lot to prove.

Selene – the exiled Princess, cast away by her magic-fearing father. She’s got a lot to prove and isn’t afraid of a fight. Her loyalty is unquestionable but she feeds off of her emotions. Her powers are barely in check: she could be the wildfire that burns friend and foe out.

Eibhlin – with humble beginnings, her stunning beauty enchants every man who meets her. But when a young-love romance goes wrong, bitterness rules her heart and only time will tell if she turns to her Brethren for comfort or if she’ll cast them aside.

AVAILABLE NOW


Lavender Rose

When nine-year-old Haven Fleet disappears from her school bus stop, everything changes.

Every parent will tell you that the thought of losing their child is unfathomable. Stevie Fleet would spend her whole life searching for her lost daughter, and her four remaining children will face battles of their own.

How far would one parent go to find her lost child, and what other obstacles could meet her along the way?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dani is a non-binary author, activist, and animal lover. They published their first novel in 2020 and have been writing since the age of ten. They are an avid activist for the LGBTQ+ community and includes this subject in many of their novels. Dani lives in Canada with their family.

AVAILABLE SOON


Coming in from the Cold

“The truest, most authentic freedom in this Universe, is found in love…”

-Cosmo, Chapter 14, “Coming in from the Cold”

This is one of many seeds of wisdom prudently planted by Cosmo: a mysterious yet engaging and compassionate mentor to Jake Johnson, Jr., the protagonist in the novel “Coming in from the Cold”.

Jake, Jr. is a young, troubled African American man on the cusp of important life transitions when he meets and befriends Cosmo while travelling into New York City one day in early June. Cosmo takes the young man under his wings and over the course of a summer, Jake and Cosmo have a series of meetings and dialogues at significant venues in New York City. The compelling dialogues explore such topics as spirituality and religion, the constructs of race and racism, the dynamics of human sexuality and relationships, the connections between the health of planet Earth and human health, the mechanics of money and the material world, the legacy of slavery across time, and the nature of the Universe.

The first three chapters of the novel delve into the origins of Jake’s family life before his fortuitous meeting with Cosmo. At the heart of the novel is a love story. Shortly after graduating from Evergreen College in New England, young Jake travels to Japan, where he teaches English. During this transformative sojourn abroad, Jake meets and develops a close companionship with a very atypical, hip Japanese man named Hiro, who introduces Jake to love and the very best of Japanese culture.

Much against his father’s wishes, Jake is called to work in the field of education, and enrolls in Columbia University’s graduate program in teacher education upon his return from Japan. It is the period between his return from Japan and his enrollment at Columbia when Jake meets Cosmo, who provides guidance and wisdom at that critical juncture in the young man’s life. During Jake’s first semester of graduate school in New York City, however, there is a catastrophic earthquake in Japan, and all communication is cut off between Jake and his Japanese companion, Hiro. Not knowing if Hiro is dead or alive, and compelled by his deep love for him, Jake makes the momentous decision to take a dangerous trip back to Japan to find his lover, with whom he is eventually reunited. At the end of the novel, the true identity of Cosmo is revealed.

The main theme of the novel is about the redemptive powers of embracing love and wisdom in facing the vicissitudes of life during this transitional era in human history: a turbulent era on the cusp of brighter, more promising days of a more harmonious, united humanity on Earth.

AVAILABLE NOW


Violet Mage

Homelessness in the hardscrabble town of Belleau can be life-threatening: transients often suddenly vanish from the dingy streets without a trace. Sixteen-year-old Polly Onasis suspects the king and his guards are the culprits behind these disappearances. Once she turns eighteen, she knows she will be forced into the city streets too, away from the safety of her foster home and family . . .

One morning, Polly wakes up to discover that her hair has turned from deep brown to brilliant violet. How? And why? She must keep herself hidden from the public, for fear of being noticed by the king’s guards. But soon enough her eighteenth birthday is upon her, and she no longer has any way to hide herself. She runs into a mysterious stranger who seems to know all about Polly and the secrets which lie behind her hair. Polly’s life is turned upside down as she is carried through the wonderful and the nightmarish, the dark alleyways of Belleau and the king’s palace. Meanwhile, she must fight to protect her loved ones, and find out who she really is.

AVAILABLE NOW


Basil's Unkie Hred

Basil’s Unkie Herb microwaves socks, plans fabulous birthday surprises and has a friend with a donkey, a monkey and a garbage truck.

This book chronicles the special relationship between Unkie Herb and Basil, and grandma’s worries about “lonely” Unkie Herb.

It ends with Unkie Herb finding love, and Basil learning, contrary to what the girls in school say, “where we live, you can marry whomever you love.”

AVAILABLE NOW

Read More
Tellwell News Uncategorized

Tellwell Books on Mental Health

For May’s Mental Health Awareness month, we are acknowledging some of our Tellwell authors whose books include themes of anxiety, depression, insecurities, and emotional expression. These books aim to give the reader a better understanding around mental health and how to recognize and communicate various feelings.

I Don’t Want to Go to School

Abosede Oderinde

I Don’t Want to Go To School is a book that is intended to help children and families deal with separation anxiety, especially when it’s their first time at school. For some children, every day is like the first day because they are afraid their families will not return to pick them up. I wrote this book to reassure children who are still working on a secure attachment, that school is fun and families always come back because they are loved. Most books that address these issues use animal characters, but I chose real-life illustrations that the children can relate to. Lastly, this book will help teachers present classroom transitions to little children more effectively.


Worry!

Karli Coulter Gillespie

A story about a young girl who has a worry bully that keeps visiting and making her tummy and her head hurt. Whether it’s when she’s trying to join a game with friends, speak in front of her class or go for a check-up, he keeps showing up. He seems to be EVERYWHERE! But with help from some people who care and a big dose of bravery, she begins to learn just how to send her worry bully away.

Read More
Meet the Team

Tellwell’s lead editor Simon Ogden on what makes a good editor

We aim to take the piece of art they have shed blood and tears for and polish it into its most beautiful form, and we do this by being the author’s greatest champion.

Simon Ogden, Tellwell Publishing’s lead editor

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a recent Toronto transplant after a two-year residence on Prince Edward Island (Canada’s cuddliest province), but I was born and cultivated throughout British Columbia, mostly Vancouver and Victoria, the latter being where I joined forces with Tellwell in 2017. In Vancouver, I spent many years wearing the various hats one does in pursuit of a theatre career, mostly as a playwright and director, and I ran various hospitality establishments, from ridiculous night clubs to nerdy classicist-cocktail lounges, finally accepting my birthright and inevitable career as a book editor (I’m the youngest son of a pedantic linguist, who passed on to me his deep love of the English language and its best literature). 

You’ve been an editor with Tellwell for several years now. Tell us about your role.

I began with Tellwell as a contract editor and soon assumed the post of head editor, or assistant to our beloved managing editor, Alison Strumberger. I have recently moved into the position of in-house editor, which delightfully allows me to interact more with my colleagues populating the other departments in our little publishing mothership, and it lets me keep a more structured schedule than is typical for freelance editing, which I refer to amongst the team as “the craft that never sleeps.” 

The bulk of my duties still entail working with our authors to strengthen their manuscripts before we put them to print, but I’m also a handy resource for the rest of the team to make sure processes are on track, and the often esoteric world of the editing department is approachable and clear when needed.

What approach do you take when editing a manuscript? 

Working with an editor is a very trusting and intimate relationship, so my first and abiding goal is to get in sync with the author’s style, intent, and rhythm. One of the glorious aspects of the job of the professional editor is the opportunity to work with many unique and personal voices, and it’s our main job to support them. All authors need support in unique ways, so we begin by identifying each manuscript’s overarching strengths and weaknesses, and then decide where best to apply our resources. 

For example, a manuscript may present a truly original and fascinating approach to its plot, but its sentence-level syntax isn’t making the plotting as clear as it could be—that becomes the area we would prioritize toward bringing all the elements into alignment. Or the author’s sentence styling might be nuanced and gorgeous but various plot points are in conflict—we would then be looking to smooth them out a bit while maintaining the sentences’ natural euphony … each book has its own needs, and a great editor has to be able to tweak all the dials as necessary.

Tellwell Publishing Editing Services

What is the end goal when you are editing a manuscript?

It’s always the same: to help the author produce absolutely the best final version of their book, one that they can for the rest of their lives be proud to offer to the world in exchange for the cover price. We aim to take the piece of art they have shed blood and tears for and polish it into its most beautiful form, and we do this by being the author’s greatest champion.

Some authors worry an editor may change their words too much, and the book may no longer feel like it’s theirs. What would you say to those authors?

Read More
Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews Tellwell Books

Author Celebrations – News, Reviews, Awards, and More!

Tellwell authors, do you ever rest? So many of you have accomplished so much over this last month! We’ve seen interviews, online book readings, reviews, awards, and book launches. You continue to impress and surprise us!

Take a minute to sit back and relax so we can celebrate each of you!

REVIEWS

We’re especially excited to celebrate this first review. Tellwell’s own Jennifer Chapin received a terrific 4-star rating from IndieReader for her book, The Poet and The Angel.

You may have connected with Jennifer when you started your self-publishing journey with Tellwell. She’s been with our team as a publishing consultant since nearly the beginning! We love seeing reviewers like IndieReader recognize her talent as a writer.

THE POET AND THE ANGEL is a moving exploration of the life and death of Frederico Garcia Lorca that offers historical insight and cultural relevance. While the plot is spare, the author’s language is enchanting.

“Chapin’s lyrical language and talent for crafting evocative imagery consistently elevate this book beyond typical historical fantasy. For example, Angelina is introduced with a poetic description: She twirled round and round like a spinning top, her hair an aureole of red and gold. Her skirt swirled around her in fuchsia disarray, like the petals of a flower opening its arms to the sun on a warm summer day.” – Lisa Butts for IndieReader.

Click here to read the full review for The Poet and The Angel.

The Hollywood Book Review had nothing but great things to say about Monique Gliozzi’s new thrill-ride of a book, Facets of the Past.

Facets of the Past: No Dark Deed Goes Unpunished is undoubtedly a successful work. Very quickly, the book puts you on your toes. It starts to become a real page-turner all without the standard cheap elements designed to move forward a plot. It truly does feel like a fully realized world that you can get lost in and the characters are memorable. I loved how the author thrust us into the life of the antagonist and how in the plot, he was slowly becoming a victim of the unknown. ” – Lily Amanda for Hollywood Book Review.

Read the full review here.

First time author Karen Bailey recently published Obsidian Mine. The Prairies Book Review had nothing but great things to say about the first book in Karen’s new urban fantasy trilogy, calling it, “Hypnotic, bold, and deeply seductive…

Karen has made quite the literary debut! Here at Tellwell we already can’t wait to see what’s next from this author.

Read the full review of Obsidian Mine here.

Read More
Book Marketing Tellwell Books Tips & Tricks

How to market and sell your children’s book – book marketing advice for children’s authors

Whether you are published, in the process, or only just thinking about it – here are some tips & tricks for all children’s authors.

1 . YOUR AUTHOR BRAND

Your author brand gives your readers insight into who you are! Creating something that showcases your personality is key. As a children’s author, you may also want to show off a bit more of your goofy side!

Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your author brand:

  • Make it eye-catching and fun!
  • GET PLAYFUL
  • Use a fun background or bright colors
  • Don’t be afraid to make a silly face
  • Let your personality shine through – both in your photo and bio

2 . YOUR COMMUNITY

The average buyer’s age of children’s books is between 30 and 44.

Females make up more than 70% of these buyers. They are also more likely to discuss and recommend a book they and their kids enjoyed. In fact, buyers of children’s books are more easily influenced by the recommendations of family and friends than any other book category. For this reason, it is really important to build a loyal community of parents and teachers that enjoy and support your book.

Consider building an ambassador program or launch team! Also, get involved in your local community and make time to meet your readers.

Meet your readers!

  • Pursue classroom visits
  • Join children’s book festivals
  • Participate in library events such as a read-along!

Read More
Author of the Month

How Miami-based children’s author Jennifer Segarra gained traction for her children’s book!

For May’s author of the month, we are celebrating Miami-based author, Jennifer S. Segarra!

Over the last few months, Jennifer has successfully been featured on a number of influential #bookstagram pages like @the_bookish_mind and @nerdybibliophilee, interviewed by notable outlets like KidlioMag, Children’s Literature and the Reading With Your Kids podcast, and has connected with readers all over the world through her social media!

Author Jennifer S. Segarra with her children’s hit – El Lechón Choncho otherwise known as Choncho the Pig

Tell us a bit about yourself!

My name is Jennifer S. Segarra. I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. My parents immigrated to this country when they were young. My father is from Cuba and my mother is from Puerto Rico but also half Filipino.

I am a married mother of two beautiful children, and have an Italian Mastiff fur baby. I am bilingual, speaking both English and Spanish. My husband is from Cuba and we have been married for 15 years.  

I love to cook, travel, discover new things, and LOVE reading books!

What inspired you to write El Lechón Choncho otherwise known as Choncho the Pig?

Since I was a young girl, I always loved reading, and this may sound quite weird but I loved being given assignments where I needed to write book reports, essays and stories in my own words. However, my mother always told me the story, since I was a little girl, of her favorite family pet pig named Choncho. I always told her she needed to make this a children’s book.

Read More
1 2 3 4 5 19