Tag Archives: canadian publishers

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

Romance Writing 101 – Tips from Tellwell Author Victoria Grant

February.  Valentine’s Day.  Romance.  What images do these words conjure up for you?  If you’re like most of us, you’ll probably imagine a scene with two frosty champagne glasses sitting on a table in front of a roaring fire. Maybe a small silver tray of chocolate covered strawberries beside them. And a couple kissing on the bear skin rug in front of that blazing fire while the snow softly falls outside the panoramic window. (“Oh, Pamela, my darling, what did I ever do without you?”)  Ah, can’t you just feel the love?

image-for-back-coverBrutal snowstorm. Freezing cold. Romance author. What images do these phrases conjure up for you? Yeah, if you’re being honest, you haven’t bothered to give the lowly romance author a second thought, have you? Right now, as you read this, some of them are shivering to death wrapped tightly in a ratty old crocheted afghan, drinking a steaming mug of (insert favourite beverage here), huddled over a laptop, cursing the characters they’ve created because they just won’t cooperate. (Stop talking, get in that cab right now and follow her, you idiot!) Well, that’s me, anyway.

My vision of a romance novel, long before I took the plunge into writing one, was pretty much the scenario with the champagne, chocolates and lovers. And as I adore champagne and chocolates, I thought writing one would be such fun!  And what could be easier? All I had to do was create main characters who are forced to be together and hate each other on sight (or another well-loved trope that romance readers never seem to tire of), and then put them into unusual or unexpected situations where they have no choice but to work together. (“I will be yours for eternity, Humphrey, just as soon as we scale this jagged cliff and free dearest Aunt Letitia from the impenetrable fortress.”). They realize during their thrilling adventures that they’ve fallen totally in love with each other, the end. Simple, right?

Not quite. Just for a minute, think about all the major elements the romance author must include. The heroine must be flawed and vulnerable yet plucky and gorgeous and worthy of her hero, who is tenacious and virile, but ready to change his ways to have this amazing woman in his arms (“I shall give up my life as a frozen pea inspector to be with you, Edwina.”).  The story should be either adventurous or exotic or bodice-ripping or crazy fun, and include a considerable quantity of red hot, searing kisses that instantly liquify the main characters. (“Oh, Bernard, I’m all aflutter!”) And as the story unfolds, it has to sparkle with sensitivity, sizzle with steamy love scenes, and be witty and playful in all the right spots. And let’s not forget the must-have happily ever after ending (“As we all knew this would happen back on page three, we’re gathered here today to celebrate the union of Beauregard and Tamsin…”), or at the very least, a happy-for-now ending (“I love you, Gretchen, so I’ll overlook the fact that you just asked me to sign a pre-nuptial agreement.”).

As I wrote my first romance novel, I realized there was a whole heck of a lot more to it than just dropping the two main characters into a situation and hoping they’ll do all the work. (“Um, how do we get out of this hot air balloon, Mortimer?”) I discovered that while I have to include some level of action and/or adventure in my novels, to make them work my main focus must be on the feelings and thoughts of the main characters. This makes it easy for the readers to dive into the book and become that character. Even if the reader has been happily married for a decade or three, I want them to experience the excitement of that first look (“Dexter, who is that stunning, misty-eyed, raven-haired temptress with the heaving bosom staring at me from across this crowded room?”), the goose bumps from their first meeting, and all the blistering and passionate sensations from their first kiss. (“I’ll never wash these lips again.”)

And those five senses we take for granted are paramount when writing a romance novel. The touches, tastes, sounds, sights and scents (“What was that rumble?” Desmond asked, frowning. Yvette turned a sickly shade of chartreuse. “Forgive me, I had beans for lunch.”) – yes, all of them, granted some more than others, play a huge role in falling in love. Without them, a romance novel is just a travel brochure or a ladies shoe catalogue. The first love scene I ever wrote read like a WWE wrestling match. So not good! Why? Because I was focused more on body parts than on the main character’s feelings and sensations. (“That is your arm, isn’t it, Prudence?” “I thought it was your foot, Monty.”)  Yikes!

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Tellwell Books Tellwell News

Tellwell celebrates some of our author’s 2017 publishing accomplishments!

2017 was a great year for many of our authors! Huge congratulations to all who self-published a book last year. Here are just a couple of the authors who have inspired us with their 2017 publishing accomplishments:

 

Don Levers

lootAuthor of Loot for the Taking

After publishing his first book in the late spring of 2017, the author spent the rest of the year travelling throughout British Columbia and Alberta on a book tour which included stops in Kelowna, Kamloops, Victoria, Vancouver and Edmonton. He received quite a bit of publicity along the way, and was interviewed on the CBC’s The Early Edition in September. Most recently, Levers was asked to appear in the Vancouver Public Library’s Annual Report. The author’s persistence when it comes to building relationships with the literary community has lead to his continued success both with events and signings and publicity. For more on Don Levers, visit his website: http://www.lootforthetaking.com/, or follow him on Facebook: @DonLeversAuthor.

 

Deborah Kane

tempestAuthor of the Fifth Dragon Series

Not only did the author publish the first 3 books in the Fifth Dragon Series in 2017, but the series is also now available for Chapters, Indigo, and Coles bookstores across Canada to order directly through Ingram! The author worked hard to develop a rapport with Indigo and its affiliates and the combination of book sales, good reviews, and consignment in some of her local bookstores led to the wholesale agreement.  Kane is currently working on her next book, and we look forward to seeing what 2018 has in store for this author. For more, visit her website: http://www.dkanebooks.com/ or follow her on Twitter: @dkanebooks.

 

Philip Wilson

librarianAuthor of The Librarian

Wilson used a combination of professional book reviews, online advertising, print advertisements and consignment to grow his brand and readership in 2017. His commitment to continued marketing efforts and his willingness to try new tactics, led to a spike in e-book sales and Goodreads ratings leading into 2018. Wilson has also been featured in the Huffington Post twice, most notably as part of IndieReader’s Best Reviewed Books of 2017. The author will be publishing his second book, Songs for Lucy, with Tellwell this spring. For more on Philip Wilson, visit his website: www.philipmwilson.com or follow him on Facebook: @authorphilipwilson.

 

 

We’re excited to begin another year of self-publishing and look forward to seeing what 2018 has in store for our authors!

 

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Tellwell Books

Tellwell Authors in Bookstores

9781773700342Grant Patterson

Back in Slowly
 
Available at Indigo Bay & BloorChapters Burnaby, Chapters Pinetree in Coquitlam, and several other locations throughout the Lower Mainland in B.C. For more information, visit his Facebook page.

 

 

 

9781773701202A.E. Outerbridge

Liornabella

Available at Bryan Prince Bookseller in Hamilton, A Different Drummer Books in Burlington, and Janco Books  in Las Vegas. For more updates, check out her Facebook page.

 

 

 

9781773702216Tanya Sood

She Has Risen

Available at Chapters Waterloo and Words Worth Booksin Waterloo. For more, visit her Facebook page.

 

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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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Tellwell Books

Canadian Authors from Coast to Coast

Alberta

angie-pierce-abAuthor Name: Angie Pierce

Book Title: Dale’s Journey: Receiving Inspiration From Our Own Mortality

Chapters.ca link: Click here.

What is the most inspiring place in your province for you to write?

The most inspiring place for me to write is from my picturesque horse farm in rural Beaver County, AB.  There, I am peacefully surrounded by nature and all the creatures that make this place their home.

What is something uniquely Canadian about you or your book?

I was born in Vancouver, BC and Dale, my late husband, whom the book is about, was born in Winnipeg, MB.

How are you going to celebrate Canada 150?

I will be competing in a 25 mile competitive trail ride near Milk River, AB.

 

BC

camilla-joubert-bcAuthor Name: Camilla Joubert

Book Title: Unravelling

Chapters.ca link: Click here.

What is the most inspiring place in your province for you to write?

I love to write in my backyard in West Vancouver looking up to the North Shore mighty snow-capped mountains while listening to the birds chirping in the trees. I’m privileged to live in what I think is Canada’s most majestic province, and I’m constantly inspired by nature in my immediate environment.

What is something uniquely Canadian about you or your book?

Although I was born in South Africa I have lived in Canada for 27 years and feel more Canadian than South African. I chose to print in Canadian English; hence Unravelling has two l’s. Six of the writers who contributed to the book of stories in Unravelling are Canadian, and three of them are BC born and bred locals!

How are you going to celebrate Canada 150?

I’m planning to pack a sumptuous picnic and hike the Chief in Squamish to take in the vistas of our gorgeous Howe Sound passage with my family.

 

Manitoba

anthony-nelson-mbAuthor Name: Anthony Nelson

Book Title: Awaykin with Colour

Chapters.ca link: Click here

What is the most inspiring place in your province for you to write?

The place I was most inspired while working on my colouring book was my completely secluded cabin a little north of Gimli, MB.

What is something uniquely Canadian about you or your book?

My book includes many images that celebrate cultures from around the world, showing how they can work in unison. I feel this is an idea important to Canadians.

How are you going to celebrate Canada 150?

My boyfriend runs an arts organization that will be doing live mural painting at the Forks Market in Winnipeg, so I will be helping with their event.

 

New Brunswick

mildred-drost-nbAuthor Name: Mildred Drost

Book Title: Until Each One Has a Home. Heartfelt Stories From DunRoamin’ Stray and Rescue –A Canadian Pet Rescue

Chapters.ca link: Click here.

What is the most inspiring place in your province for you to write?

I write from my home along the banks of the Saint John River in New Brunswick. There, I see the results of the work we do – the pets that have been rescued form dire circumstances, and have gone on to live in safe, loving homes. Many are now my neighbours; many of their owners keep in contact via Facebook and email. They all inspire me to do more.

What is something uniquely Canadian about you or your book?

I think that we are uniquely Canadian in that we aspire to help as many as possible, pets, wildlife or people, and we do it with no expectation of being compensated, except by the good feeling resulting from having helped. We believe in fairness, justice and kindness toward everyone.

How are you going to celebrate Canada 150?

We celebrate Canada Day every year with the Canada Day Dog Wash, with newly washed dogs sporting the red and white bandanas. We have a barbeque with hotdogs, hamburgers and many red and white desserts. We welcome old and new friends to our gathering and enjoy their company, human and canine alike.

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Tips & Tricks

Self-published printing options: matte vs. gloss, perforation and duplex covers

 

You’ve submitted your manuscript and now the project you’ve been pouring over is materializing into a book. As an independent author, you get to determine the look and feel of your book. The print-on-demand company we work with, IngramSpark, offers a variety of options when it comes to printing your self-published book. Here are some options to consider for your work.

Cover finish

IngramSpark offers a glossy cover or a matte cover. These two options give the reader different visual and tactile experiences.  A glossy cover is considered to be the classic choice and will give a rich and vibrant look to your book cover. A colourful photo like a sunrise or ocean scene will pop with a glossy cover. It’s more durable so it can repel small coffee or water spills, within reason. The downside to glossy covers is that they scuff and scratch more easily.

In comparison, matte book covers are trending right now. The finish is professional looking and can give a contemporary look to your cover design. Not to mention the feel of a matte cover is quite unique – its smooth, soft surface will give the reader not only a visual but a tactile experience. Matte lends well to more subtle cover art and will absorb and hide scratches more so than a glossy cover. However, a matte finish may dull certain colours.

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Meet the Team

Learn more about the publishing process with project manager Natasha Miller

Want to know what happens once you sign up with Tellwell? Project manager Natasha Miller answers questions on the publishing process.

natasha-m-non-blue


1. How would you describe your role? What do you do?

I act as a liaison between authors and all the different talented people who work for Tellwell doing things like editing, designing, marketing and any other aspect you can think of when it comes to the creation of a book.

On a day-to-day basis my day would start with answering emails and answering all the questions authors have about any step of the process, from editing, to design or all the way to the very end of the process with distribution. I also do a lot of the back end work of making sure that books are set up properly for distribution.

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Tellwell News

Meet publishing consultant Scott Lunn as he answers your self-publishing questions

scott-and-jess

1. What advice would you give to authors who want to self-publish?

The advice I give to anyone who’s going through this for the first time is be diligent in your research and shop around. Find out about the companies, look deeper into them than what is on their website and when you’re talking to them, ask specific questions. Ask about their policies on royalties, printing rates and what kind of transparency they have when it comes to who’s going to be working with you on the project.

These are all really important factors as you enter into the publishing process.  There is an investment required by authors to move forward, so there’s really no room for error when choosing which company to work with to bring your book to market.

2. What is a common misconception authors have about self-publishing?

One of the common misconceptions is that their book is going to land on shelves of bookstores across Canada and around the world. Another is once they sign up and their book is available for sale, they want to know what we are going to be doing to market their book and make sure that the whole world is aware that it’s there.

It’s important for authors to understand they need to be willing to put in some effort in promoting and marketing their book. A book is like a brand and authors have to put in the work to build their brand. It should be a fun process. With all the tools available at our disposal these days, marketing and promoting can be really creative and enjoyable, and of course, we can certainly help immensely in that regard, but their involvement is imperative.

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Tellwell News

A Canadian Perspective on Indie Publishing

Self=publishing-canada

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.

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