Tag Archives: marketing your book

Meet the Team

Meet Caitlin, Your Expert Guide to Book Marketing

Meet Caitlin Chisling, one of Tellwell’s amazing book-marketing consultants! Based in Canada, Caitlin is an accomplished author and an expert in book marketing, so she understands the publishing journey firsthand.

Get to know Caitlin and discover how she helps self-published authors successfully market their books!

Can you share with us what led you to pursue a career in marketing, particularly within the publishing industry?

Books are my biggest passion! Working in the publishing industry has always been my goal. Marketing seemed like a natural fit—I love being creative and strategic, and supporting authors throughout their publishing journey.

As a marketing consultant at Tellwell, what does a typical day look like for you?

My typical day starts around 7 a.m., when I go over the day’s priorities and organize my to-do list. I check my email, answer any questions, and attend to my clients. I spend my mornings fulfilling various marketing services, such as organizing Goodreads giveaways and blog tours, designing promotional materials, and writing press releases. My afternoon typically contains a consultation call with a new author, discussing their book, learning about their goals, and exploring what marketing tactics best suit their needs. After that, I’ll get to work creating their custom marketing strategy. 

What do you find most rewarding about assisting authors in their marketing journey?

Every author I’ve had the privilege of working with has been so inspiring! I love hearing their stories, the ones they write and the ones that led them to pick up a pen in the first place. I’m constantly blown away by the passion, dedication, and creativity of our authors. 

How has your experience as an author influenced the way you approach marketing strategies for self-published authors?

As an author myself, I understand how difficult it is to even write a book in the first place, without even considering the steps that come after. Sharing your writing is an incredibly raw and vulnerable experience. Promoting it can be even tougher! I always approach my authors with that sensitivity in mind. 

What challenges have you faced as an author, and how have these experiences informed your approach to assisting other authors with their marketing efforts?

If there is a challenge for an author to face, I’ve probably personally tackled it! I know the struggle of balancing writing with a full workload, managing your social media presence, networking, self-promotion, maintaining a website, and other aspects of creating an author brand. That means I also know the importance of focusing on what is not only going to be most effective but also enjoyable and sustainable. 

In your experience, what are the most impactful marketing tactics that authors can use to reach their target audience?

Social media. Regardless of your genre, the people who will buy your book are likely scrolling on Instagram, Facebook, X, or TikTok. I encourage authors to pick one or two of their favourite platforms and plan a consistent posting schedule. Give your readers a reason to follow you. Consider what sort of value you can offer them and share it. Are you a fiction author who can offer writing advice? Gardening tips that pair with your botany-themed book? Advice on how to engage early readers with your picture book? Everyone has something to offer. 

What are some common misconceptions authors have about book marketing, and how do you clarify these misconceptions in your consulting work?

That marketing needs to wait until after a book has been published to begin. Even if you are still in the early stages of writing your manuscript, or only have an idea floating around in your head, you can be cultivating your audience, working on your author brand, and building hype! When I have the opportunity to speak with authors before their books are ready for distribution, I explore ways that they can create excitement and anticipation for their book among their network through social media posts, giveaways, and email marketing. You want to take every opportunity you can to get potential readers primed and ready to buy your book. 

For authors on a budget, what cost-effective marketing approaches do you recommend to maximize exposure and sales of their books?

Social media is free! You don’t need to spend additional funds on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok advertisements to see the boost in engagement that comes with consistent, intentional posting. While advertisements are a great tool, a connection with your audience will reap huge rewards. Additionally, I would recommend exploring sources that can generate exposure for you and provide third-party validation for you and your book, whether that’s through reaching out to local media outlets, asking friends and family to review your book, or seeing if bloggers or influencers will create a post featuring your book in exchange for a free copy. 

For authors who are overwhelmed by the idea of marketing their books, what steps do you suggest to create a manageable and effective marketing plan?

Focus on what you enjoy. If you dislike creating reels or crafting tweets, you won’t be consistent. It’s far better to post regularly on one or two platforms than to stretch yourself across posting intermittently on four or five. The tactics that you can sustain are ultimately going to be the most impactful. 

As trends in book-marketing evolve, what emerging strategies or tools do you believe authors should pay attention to for future success?

I would encourage authors to pay attention to ways in which different kinds of media can be utilized for book promotion. When it comes to audio, I’m particularly interested right now in the rising success of audiobooks, particularly when combined with strategic promotion through targeted podcast and Spotify ads. For video, Reels, TikToks, and other short-form video formats remain one of the best opportunities for promotion. Keep on top of evolving Bookstagram and BookTok trends and play around with including them in your promotion. 

Lastly, what advice would you give to authors who want to ensure the longevity of their book-marketing efforts? How can they sustain momentum and continue to promote their work over time?

As I said above, focusing on tactics you will enjoy regularly engaging with are going to be key to sustaining momentum. If you love Instagram, then you’ll look forward to sharing posts, updating your stories, and responding to reader comments, and your following will grow. Additionally, don’t be afraid to try new tactics. Follow authors you admire on social media, sign up for their newsletters, and see if their marketing approaches can be adapted to work for you. 

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Author of the Month

Tellwell children’s author Rishma Govani talks diversity, equity and inclusion!

Rishma Govani is an experienced communications professional with over 20 years of experience in the media industry.  She is passionate about creating tangible change in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion. She is the author of the children’s book, Sushi & Samosas: a trip of tasty transformations, and is currently working on her second children’s book, Bright Lights & Forever Flights, a journey of loss, love and hope around the world.  She is the proud mother of her two kids Khalil, and Mila and their puppy, Hero.

Rishma has been featured by several media outlets, including Global News, Reading With Your Kids Podcast & Salaam Storytime! Her social media presence is booming and her work with popular creators and influencers has provided visibility for her book Sushi & Samosas: a trip of tasty transformations!

Read on to learn what advice she has for authors!

What inspired you to write Sushi & Samosas: A Trip of Tasty Transformations?

The genesis behind Sushi & Samosas is a little dinner club idea called TFLC which stands for Toronto Food Luck Club. The club’s mission was to try a different ethnic cuisine once a month. The club was active for 13 years trying over 100+ cuisines in the GTA with over 150 members.

The dinners started to slow down when our children were born but the essence of the book remained true for our children – try something new and your world expands!

Check out Toronto Food Luck Club.

How have your personal experiences influenced your book?

I was born a traveler, literally and of perspective – of word, of food, of music. I consider myself a world citizen and I am determined to raise our children as growing humanitarians who are open to every possibility that exists globally. 

The book sets out on a journey of changing perceptions by the mouthful. I know first hand that knowing a bit about other cultures, about your neighbours, about different cuisines allows the ease of talking to strangers and bringing the world close together. It connects and unites us by our similarities and does away with our differences.  I personally live by this ethos and my experiences have influenced the book.

What has the author’s journey been like for you? What are some successful and challenging moments?

It’s been a very long journey from start to finish. At times, it’s been exhausting especially during the recent publicity blitz I’ve been on, but I’m very proud of the book and the central message of it. It’s timeless and universal. I’ve been successful getting the word out through school readings and other media opportunities.  

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Author of the Month

Authors of the month Karen Cumming and Pat Milne share book marketing advice that helped sell thousands of copies

Our authors of the month share insights on which marketing efforts led to the best results of their guide on navigating Ontario’s long-term care system

Karen Cumming and Patricia Milne are sisters who guided their 98-year-old mother, Verna, through Ontario’s long-term care system. They found themselves lost in a confusing maze of paperwork, equipment rentals, health care workers and medication. It was scary and unfamiliar territory where they felt alone. After navigating Ontario’s long-term care system, they wrote and published The Indispensable Survival Guide to Ontario’s Long-Term Care System.

Cumming and Milne have been featured on the CBC, Global News Radio and in the Hamilton Spectator. They have been interviewed on multiple podcasts as well as by influencers and bloggers on various social media platforms. In addition to online retailers, their book is available to purchase at various brick and mortar bookstores and over 100 copies of the book are available in libraries across Ontario. The sisters’ marketing efforts are paying off. Their book has sold thousands of copies this year alone and they are just getting started. Read the rest of the article to hear which marketing efforts yielded the best results as well as their advice to authors.

1. Tell us about yourselves.

Karen: I’m a freelance journalist, health promoter and teacher with a long career in radio and TV news.

Pat: I am a retired teacher living in southern Ontario with my husband.

2. What inspired you to write your book?

Karen:  The lack of guidance available to families whose elderly loved ones are heading into long-term care. It’s crazy!  Someone had to do something.

Pat: The frustration of navigating the long-term care (LTC) system with inadequate help.

3. Describe your book in a sentence.

Karen:  It’s the survival guide we never had, providing practical tips to help you and your family be proactive and prepared for the decisions that may lie ahead.

Pat: Our book is a tool to simplify the process of investigating long-term care in Ontario.

4. What are you most proud of about your book?

Karen:  The lessons we’ve been able to pass on to other families so that they might never feel the stress and frustration that we did.

Pat: Our intent was to help people. The testimonials we continue to receive are proof of our success.

5. Your book has been selling really well. You’ve been featured in major media outlets across Canada and have your book stocked in numerous bookstores and libraries. Tell us about how well your book has been doing.

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Book Marketing

How Tellwell authors are marketing their books during the coronavirus pandemic

Jennifer Chapin

The Poet & The Angel 

1. Describe your book in one sentence.

It is an elegy of love and redemption and tells the story of a little girl who sees the wounded spirit of a slain poet huddled near a fountain in Granada, Spain. She befriends him to give him his voice back.

2. How were you planning to promote and market your book before the COVID-19 crisis?

I had been approved by Indigo for a signing on April 18th in Victoria and had Tellwell create my promotional materials for that event.  I also had a reading set up at the Vancouver Public Library on April 19th and an event set up with the Victoria Public Library in May, as part of the emerging local author program.  All of these events have been cancelled.  Fortunately, I had an interview with Citizen’s Forum on YouTube before we were all told to self-isolate so I gained some traction there.  After many months of building online interest, the book was finally starting to take off; however, all of the events mentioned above are still available to me, when life resumes once more.

3. What are you doing now?

I’m still in the thinking stages of what to do next, but plan to set up my own YouTube channel to do readings and talks to post online, through my website and Facebook author page.  I am also planning to set up a series of podcasts.  Finally, I am building a community of authors around me whereby we read and review each other’s books and post them on Amazon by way of support.

4. Do you have any advice for authors?

My advice is to never give up.  If there is an obstacle in the river, float around it as there are always creative solutions available.  Also, form communities with like-minded artists to exchange ideas.  View this time as an opportunity for growth.  We are all in this together, globally.  If this crisis has taught us anything, it is that we need each other.

Read how Charlene Doak-Gebauer, Markus Matthews and Monique Gliozzi are adapting their book marketing strategies in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

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Tips & Tricks

Tips for writing an effective back cover blurb

You’ve written a book, so how hard can it be to write a couple more paragraphs for the back cover? It may seem easy in theory, but, writing a condensed yet enticing summary can be quite the feat. As an author, you know the contents of your book inside and out, but what does your audience need to know to convince them to read the book?

Here are some tips to write an effective and engaging back cover blurb:

Think of your back cover blurb as a roadmap for readers.

It’s your job to highlight the key things they will get from the book.

  • Start with a hook, something interesting to grab the reader’s attention right from the start. A poignant quote, pressing question, or pithy summary may be a great place to start. This is essentially the “pick-up line” of your book, so grab your audience’s attention with something powerful.
  • Your blurb should include context or background information to set the stage. For non-fiction, this could establish the premise of the book, and for fiction, this might be the setting of the book.
  • Next, you’ll need to introduce the main character(s) of the book along with some detail about their role in the plot development. Use adjectives that would help to characterize while keeping the description succinct.
  • Now that you’ve established a premise, you’ll want to tease the reader with the main conflict or problem in the book. For non-fiction, this could identify controversy, challenges or struggle in the book, and for fiction, this could hint at the climax of the story – although avoid spoilers.
  • It can be quite effective to end the roadmap with a twist or cliff-hanger to intrigue your audience. The twist could be phrased as a question or a dramatic statement, which tells your audience that reading the book will answer it.
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