Meet Ryan, a trusted book-publishing consultant at Tellwell, with one year of dedicated service to our team. He’s here to make your publishing journey a success!
Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi there! I’m 34 years old and I absolutely love medieval fantasy books. I’m also a big fan of movies, anime, and manga.
How did you end up in the world of book publishing?
A friend of mine encouraged me to dip my toes into the publishing industry, and I’m genuinely grateful that I took the leap. I find great satisfaction in my work, where I assist budding authors in their initial steps of the publishing journey. I guide them through the various options at their disposal and outline how we can support them through every phase of the process.
At Tellwell, we’re proud of the teamwork that makes book publishing happen, and at the forefront is Charlene, one of our skilled book-project managers!
Let’s explore her drive and inspirations, and how she makes books come alive. Join us to uncover the person behind the role and feel her dedication in every project.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Charlene, but I’m used to being called by my nicknames: Yen or Charlie. And since I belong to a medical family, I hold a degree in nursing, but haven’t really practiced it.
I am both spontaneous and meticulous. I plan the small activities I need to do before starting a new day (what time to wake up, shower first or breakfast? Movie or reading?) Yet, so far I have never planned the huge things in my life (the major I took in college, my travel experiences, past jobs). Amazingly, things always turn out great!
My family and friends see me as the go-getter, but I feel otherwise. I just feel like I really do not show my full potential to people. And when I feel comfortable with something, I just stop there and make it a habit. But looking back, I think I had left my comfort zone a lot of times but never recognized it.
I am a dog lover! I am always happy to talk about the times I pet sit.
I’m a homebody, but not really. I can stay inside my box-like room for a week without complaining (as long as I have food, internet, music to listen to, movies to watch, books to read). But there are times that I crave traveling—I really want to explore places that are unfamiliar to me. Experience their culture. Taste their food. Have interesting chats with other travelers. It just feels so liberating!
At Tellwell Publishing, we’re extremely proud of our team of experts who work tirelessly to help our authors succeed. One of these experts is our resident book-publishing consultant, Nelson Ty.
In this Meet the Team, we’ll be taking a closer look at Nelson’s role at Tellwell and learn more about the valuable contributions he makes to our team. So let’s dive in and get to know Nelson Ty a little better!
Tell us your background and how you came to work in book publishing.
I’ve mostly worked in sales all my life. I originally used to sell business and first-class airline tickets and due to the pandemic I had no choice but to switch options. Luckily book publishing is one of the better options here in Cebu to work with, so here I am 😀
What does a typical day working as a book-publishing consultant look like?
Mostly prospecting and keeping constant communication with authors. Making sure you I always have a healthy pipeline of clients.
How do you approach building and maintaining relationships with authors?
I present them with my natural personality in a strategic way. With every author I get a chance to talk with I always approach them with a process that I’ve developed toward closing a deal.
What changes have you seen in the book-publishing industry over the past years, and how are you able to adapt to these changes?
The publishing industry experiences business seasonality. Some months of the year will be tougher because some authors aren’t really in the publishing mindset yet, and some months will be extra rewarding. You just have to keep an open mind about these things and do what you do best everyday.
Can you share any advice or tips for authors who are looking to work with a publishing consultant?
Make sure they have a proven track record as a publisher and that you trust them. Just start your book project, because it can end in only two ways. Best-case scenario you’ll be a published author, and worst-case scenario you put everything on the back burner, and all those hours, days, months, or years of effort in creating the manuscript will be gone.
How do you and your team collaborate with other departments, such as editorial and marketing, to ensure the success of a book?
Book publishing is always a team effort, and that’s why I always make it a point to explain everything in full detail and set the right expectations to make sure everything is smooth sailing. And I always go the extra mile to help my authors transition to the production stage of their book.
What’s something about your role or your team that people might be surprised to learn?
I’m a very simple guy and I like to keep complicated things plain and to the point.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work, and how do you balance your personal and professional life?
I like everything fun. I’m basically a jack of all trades when it comes to my leisure in life.
If Tellwell was a clinic, a publishing consultant would be the doctor. First, we ‘assess’ your needs as an author and the requirements of your book project. Second, we ‘diagnose’ and match your project to a set of services that we offer. Thirdly, we ‘prescribe’ and recommend the most fitting set of services that would help accomplish your publishing goals and provide solutions to your author needs. And lastly, we ‘educate’ and impart our knowledge to you as experts in the field of self-publishing, all for the ultimate goal of giving you a positive and pleasant journey towards becoming a published author.
2. What do you enjoy most about working with authors?
Apart from the sense of triumph, I feel after seeing my authors achieve their life-long dream of publishing their book, it would be the process itself – the consultation. Every conversation is both a surprise and a learning experience. You never know who you’re talking to next and their story. You can go from smiling ear-to-ear after hearing a sweet coming-of-age novel to getting your mind blown by a Chinese government-taking-over-the-world conspiracy story. Either way, it is never a bore!
3. What advice do you have for authors considering self-publishing their book?
Nothing beats the sense of relief as a result of an informed decision. That’s why I always tell my authors to spend time gathering information about the self-publishing industry. Ask questions, read literature and never hesitate to reach out to a publishing consultant. Above all, I always tell my authors to believe and have faith in themselves and in what they have written.
4. What is one question you encourage authors to ask any assisted self-publishing company they are considering working with?
I encourage authors to ask the company what their royalty structure looks and to break it down in detail. Ask, dissect and scrutinize even the smallest details of a company’s royalty structure. This will help you understand and realize what the company has to offer you in terms of returns in the long run.
What 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.
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.