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.
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

_my-sundays-with-normand-sc-18-04-25

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

Read More
Author of the Month

How divine intervention and serendipity led Tellwell author Jana Rieger to write her first book, and adapt it to the big screen

dr-jana-rieger-summer-2015-8-version-2

It was on a long-haul flight to Europe, and right before a sabbatical, that academic scientist Jana Rieger suddenly had a character appear in her mind.

“Between the fatigue and boredom of being on a long flight, this character came into my mind. The one thing the sabbatical did was allow for some freedom in my mind. It allowed for a space to open up,” said the University of Alberta professor and research director.

In the book, Fennel is a young student and research assistant who is engaging in unethical medical behaviour and attempting to destroy her boss’ reputation and career. Set in Edmonton, at the same university in which Rieger works, A Course in Deception explores the ethical complexities that arise when profit and greed influence health research.

a-course-in-deception-3d

While the story is completely fictionalized, Rieger says there have been high profile cases around the world of researchers fabricating data in order to secure funding.

“It doesn’t matter which university or where you are in the world, you realize this is an issue. I don’t think there is any one place or academic institution that is immune to this.”

Younger colleagues applauded Rieger because the book made them think about issues related to pressure versus ethical duty in a way they never had before. Rieger noted that many also related to the work pressures researchers face in securing grants and publishing a certain amount of papers every year.

The similarities between the main character, Dr. MacKenzie Smith, and Rieger herself had colleagues wondering if the other characters were based around their own workplace.

“Some facts did make their way into fiction, but there is not one character based entirely on someone else, except for the dog,” she adds jokingly.

Read More
Guest Post

Learn about the self-publishing process from Tellwell author Frank Cardinale

By Frank Cardinale

frank-cardinalegift-from-above-2

Why did you chose to self-publish?

As a father of four young children and cyber security consultant with multiple projects on the go, I wanted to finish my book as soon as possible before it remained an idea on my computer for eternity. While one of the editors of my book recommended trying the traditional publishing route, I felt that it could delay it indefinitely if I were to get into a rejection and re-edit situation. Most importantly, as I feel strongly about the theme of the book and often found myself discussing it with other parents and students, I wanted to get it into their hands as soon as possible.

What inspired you to write your book? 

When I became a parent, the concept of education became important again, wanting to give my children the best education possible. I wasn’t the best student and after a little reflection, something stood out. While I was receiving bad grades for messy handwriting and the inability to sit still for long periods of time, my teachers were bringing in their computers for me to fix, and asking me how to install programs and write scripts. I was being graded on my ability to write reports on books I had no interest in, but not on the ability to configure MS-DOS, RAM and hard drives. My report cards began making me feel incompetent, and worst of all, I began to believe I was.

As I believe many students go through this experience, I decided to write a story that highlights the issue and wrote Gift From Above. My goal with the book is to reach students or parents with children that are struggling with school, and highlight to them that the education system isn’t a good fit for everyone and that there are many ways we can still obtain a high-quality education.

Read More
Meet the Team

Meet Tellwell project manager Elliott Hockley and read his advice to authors

Elliott Hockley - Tellwell

1. Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

I’m the project manager team lead here at Tellwell and so other than my responsibilities ensuring each of my assigned author’s projects are on track, I have some other things I take care of from the facilitation of meetings, to making sure my team has everything they need to successfully perform their jobs.

On top of this, I also have some responsibilities within the marketing department, which is really cool because diversity in my role is something I value greatly, and it also means my degree in advertising finally has some uses.

2. What did you do beforehand?

I came to Canada in the summer of 2017 following a year of teaching English in the north of Barcelona. I have a degree in advertising and upon graduating I attained some pretty cool opportunities as a creative in London. The perception didn’t quite match the reality though and I didn’t stick around very long and sought to focus my energy elsewhere. Following that, I’ve mostly travelled, and also ran a hostel in the middle of nowhere for a year.

3. How would people describe your personality?

It depends who you’re asking, but mostly I get some combination of ‘upbeat, optimistic, kind, friendly and compassionate’.

4. What inspires you?

Reading, which is convenient. I’m an avid reader and I suppose a bit of an aspiring polymath in that respect. It’s also really easy to get inspired by nature, particularly around here.

5. What advice do you have for authors going through the publishing process?

Oooh, I have so much I’d like our authors to know, but we usually cover that throughout the process. My best piece of advice would be to try and keep a healthy sense of perspective. The nature of writing and publishing a story means that authors naturally become incredibly emotionally attached and invested in their work and that the moment their expectations are not met, there’s a tendency for them to get angry and frustrated. I can understand that, but the reality is, we’re working for our authors and we truly want the best for them and their book, and will work within the realm of our, and the industry’s capabilities to ensure that the best is what they get.

Read More
Authors in the Media

Tellwell authors in the news

Congratulations to our Tellwell authors on their recent media coverage!

Luciano Nisi
Untold Stories of a Paramedic 

luciano-nisi-paramedic

The Abbotsford News
Abbotsford author Luciano Nisi has released his third book, which shares his experiences as a paramedic. Untold Stories of a Paramedic takes the reader right into the action of real calls.

“You will witness the heart-pounding, adrenaline-pumping action of dealing with a stabbing, shooting or overdose,” Nisi says.

He said the book also shows the humorous side of the job, and he shares everything from the dialogue with his partner to his own thoughts.

Katrina LaPointe
Awakening Arorus

awakening-arorus

Vernon Morning Star

A Village of Lumby author is making strides in the fantasy world.

Katrina (K.M.) Lapointe’s Awakening Arorus, the first in the series The Clan Destayy Chronicles, marks the stay-at-home mother and Charles Bloom Secondary grad’s debut on the scene.

Awakening Arorus, in the beginning, was because of my love of reading. I mean, I get into a book and it’s a relaxing escape from the every day,” Lapointe said. “I remember ever since I was learning to read I loved stories and when I got into my teens I’ve always known that I wanted to write an adventure that hopefully one day, I could share with the world.”

Gordon Coyle
Open Road to My Soul

Gordon Coyle

Prince George Citizen

Gordon Coyle rides an iron horse, pulls the trigger of his lens and shutter, and like every lonesome cowboy he also has some sad songs.

Coyle is a photographer, and he rolls proudly from scene to scene on his Harley. The camera is one medium for his creative heart but he also puts pen to paper and arranges his impressions into structured words. He perhaps hesitated to call himself a poet, but now it’s irrefutable. He has the book to prove it.

Like our blog content? Join our monthly newsletter.
Email:
Name:
Read More
Guest Post

Three major lessons learned in self-publishing: Tellwell author Rachael Bell-Irving shares her insight

By: Rachael Bell-Irving

Rachael Bell-Irving

I have been writing novels since I was young and it has always been a goal of mine to publish. I wanted to tie the bow on my passion project and be able to hold the result in my hands. This is why I chose self-publishing for Demons at the Doorstep, and did not attempt any traditional publishing route. Looking back now, a whole lot has changed, and there is a lot I’ve learned on this publishing journey.

Here are three key lessons I’ve learned through self-publishing, so far…

Be Professionally Edited

Demons at the Doorstep

Just do it. It is worth it. When you are publishing on a budget, there are ways you can cut corners to save money. Editing should not be one of them. No matter how many times you have friends, families, even strangers read the book – no one catches errors like a professional editor.

I tried to resist editing at first because of restrictions in my budget. It took my mother’s nagging (thanks mom) to finally get me to cave. When I received the edits back, my eyes went wide and I began to laugh. How could I have possibly missed some of these points? I was surprised by other suggestions, and shocked at how repetitive I had been with my vocabulary. Your book is read from a different perspective than how it is written. An editor is able to objectively critique the manuscript from this external perspective.

If you’re worried about losing your artistic license – don’t be.  You don’t have to agree with all the edits your editor makes. I do strongly recommend you listen to their suggestions. They are a professional for a reason – they have (hopefully) training, experience, and a different perspective. It will improve the quality of your content and add a level of professionalism to your book. Seriously – do it.

Read More
Author of the Month

Entrepreneur Brandon LaBella encourages people to find purpose through failure

Brandon LaBella

It was only through failure that author Brandon LaBella was able to live with purpose and meaning.

The 23-year-old graduated from his university’s business administration program in New York State and sought work on Wall Street. But after he was rejected by a large investment firm, he realized working in finance would have been living up to an image of success that was not his own. And many of his peers felt the same.

“We are so pressured to succeed, living up to a standard that is not true to ourselves. The only way to find our authentic self is to fail. Why not give people a handbook on how to fail freely,” said LaBella.

The entrepreneur published his book with Tellwell in April. “The Journey to Failing Freely: How to Find Fulfillment By Letting Yourself Fail” is a guide for young people who are trying to find their life’s purpose and passion.

The Journey to Failing Freely

“There was no book that I could relate to about how to navigate college and where I wanted to be at the end of it,” said the New York-based author.  “I was tired of being told by everyone around me I was doing great and on the right path when I hadn’t failed once and felt caged on a societal leash.”

He wrote his book to inspire other students to seek out life experiences to find what it is that makes them truly happy without fear of failure or judgment. He says many people are trying hard to preserve a certain self-image, and often disregard their mental and physical health in the process.

Failing freely first starts with taking care of your health, LaBella says. Then he recommends people “take calculated risks, embrace the pain of suffering, put themselves in a safe environment to grow while reaching their full potential.”

Read More
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.

Read More
Meet the Team

Meet Tellwell publishing consultant Jennifer Chapin and learn about her own book publishing experience

By Jennifer Chapin

jennifer-chapin

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.

mary-magdalene-awakes-publishing

Read More
Guest Post Tips & Tricks

Tellwell editor Simon Ogden’s advice to first-time authors

By Simon Ogden, Tellwell Editor

simon-ogden

WELCOME
Welcome to the band, we’re delighted that you’ve decided to join us. We’re a bizarro group and legion; all of us completely, utterly, fantastically, bewilderingly unique, except for one very specific idiosyncrasy—we all have a story screaming and punching and kicking inside of us that we need to yank out and release into the world. There are people out there with the same constipation as us, but they may let it loose through interpretive dance or by singing it out or painting it or by yelling it into the faces of people in line for the bus. But not us. Not we. We’re the scribes, the men and women of letters. We adore specificity and nuance. We love the tranquility of words nestled onto a page, the calm, rational and quiet way they float over to our audience. That alchemic translation of feelings and imagery and diaphanous emotion into the solidity of language. We’re the Hobbits of the storytelling tribe and we don’t give a fig if you haven’t yet been paid for your writing—if you’ve somehow managed to set a word down on a page and followed it like a tentative footstep into the great unknown with another, you’re one of us and are welcome here. Make yourself comfortable and we’ll put the kettle on.

The first thing you should be very clear on as a brand-new author is that all those concerns you have right now about what comes next and exactly how this whole writing puzzle works … samesies! We’re right there with you, in one way or another. This, like all the great and worthy art forms, is a mentorship trade. Like sculpture or carpentry. The longer you do it, the more sense it makes and the more your own lovely, unique, necessary voice rings out clearly and melodically to find its way to those readers who need to read that thing in that way at that exact time, and they will be grateful in ways none of us can hope to fathom. And delightfully, unlike most mentorship trades, our mentors are all around us: our bookshelves groaning under their weight, our end tables apile with them, our bathwater occasionally reshaping them for us

reading-four-forty-four

READ AND FIND INSPIRATION
So, the all-time, number one, pin-it-to-the-top-of-your-list chunk of writing advice from anyone worth listening to will always be to get your nose in as many books as possible. Find the authors that talk in the way you want to be talked to and ingest their work.

WRITE, WRITE, WRITE
The second piece of advice towards becoming a better writer is—no surprises here—to write a whole bunch. It’s a close number two but make no mistake—number two it is. It would be hard to build a nice house if you’ve never been inside of a nice house, no matter how many nails you’ve hammered into a board. However, following these two rather obvious pearls of wisdom the sea of writing advice starts to get a little choppy. What is revelatory for some from here on forward may be pure bilge for others. There is a freakish amount of writing advice out there to shovel up if you choose to go digging for it. Give it all your best consideration but understand as you do that there is no specific method that originates from another artist that is also your method. This is the very essence and provenance of art. If some “genius” advice doesn’t resonate with you, it ain’t your soup—chuck it and move on.

Read More
1 2 3 4 5 12