Tag Archives: project manager

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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Tips & Tricks

Three tips to increase book sales for first-time authors

As a first time author it can be daunting stepping out with your story and trying to successfully earn money selling your book. Here are three tips to help increase book sales before your book hits the stands.

Always check your blind spots

Authors, who have spent so much time in the process of writing their books often are so intricately connected with the content and structure of their book that they can miss blind spots that a trained eye would catch.  Whether you have someone who is trained to look for blind spots review, or have some peers review your content before publishing, don’t rely on just yourself to catch everything.

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Tellwell News

Introducing Tellwell’s Octavo!

 

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Octavo is Tellwell’s easy to use, project management platform for producing a beautiful book, from the inception of your manuscript to the distribution of your book through online retailers. Essentially, Octavo is a series of steps and tasks designed to gather all of the required project materials from you, such as manuscripts, images, and of course, your ideas in an orderly fashion. These assets are then made available to our talented editors and designers so that they can produce an end product that matches your vision as closely as possible, and deliver an incredibly high quality product for you to share with the world.

If you are a new author signing on with Tellwell, your Project Manager will work with you on a day-to-day basis through Octavo, connecting you with the talent who will help your book come to life. Each step within the process is designed to gather the information that is needed at that point. For example, if you have a substantive edit within your package, you will be asked to fill out an Editor Questionnaire upon the submission of your manuscript within Octavo. When it’s time for you to provide information at each stage, we will send you an email with instructions on how to complete the task. Most of the tasks are simple, such as completing our questionnaires or uploading images for your book.

Octavo was crafted out of a vision that Tellwell had to streamline the production process within self-publishing, and is a product that has been built on a foundation of author input and feedback. We are always looking to further develop our new project management platform, so if you do have any questions, concerns, or feedback while using Octavo, please don’t hesitate in reaching out to your Project Manager. Octavo was created to meet your needs; so we truly value what you have to say about it!

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Tellwell News Tips & Tricks

Take a Number: Understanding Tellwell’s Production Queues

Unlike the majority of New Yorkers, your Average Andy doesn’t love waiting in line. Rarely does a person wake up, stretch, rollover and think, “I know, I’m going to wait in line for something today.”

Waiting in line — or “queueing” as our tea loving friends across the pond so fondly refer to it as — is no one’s favourite part of their day, and yet we do it. Constantly. Every day.

And while we know you’re not always thrilled about it, it’s an integral part of our process here at Tellwell. It’s how we keep ourselves organized, manage workloads and make sure our services are provided to authors in a fair and timely manner.

The queue system is applied to services from illustrations and editing through to design and distribution.

Nearly every member of our production team has a queue that project managers use to assign projects and it’s important that we have every element in place before we add authors to a queue. If a project manager throws an author into design before they have all their images selected or haven’t completed their design questionnaire, it adds a lot of unnecessary time to the designers’ workload. One missed piece of the puzzle can hold up the whole process, and the more often this happens, the more likely our turnaround times are to be negatively affected.

It might seem like we’re being nit-picky, but we do it to every authors, so please don’t feel like you’re being singled out. Each project manager goes over their authors’ project assets to makes sure everything is accounted for. Things like editor and design questionnaires give our team insight into you as an author, what your goals are, and how we can best help you produce an amazing finished product.

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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.

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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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