Goodreads is a social network specifically designed for finding your next great read, and is a vital tool for authors! With over 125 million users, it provides authors with direct access to not only their current readers, but also potential new readers.
By claiming your Goodreads author account, you will be able to unlock a whole new world of Goodreads beyond ratings and reviewing books. Below, we’ve broken down these benefits for you to showcase why Goodreads should be one of the top platforms in your marketing plan!
Book marketing is a crucial aspect of a book’s success. It takes a lot of hard work and effort, but the payoff can be worth it. We are celebrating a number of authors this month who have done a wonderful job promoting their book in the media, speaking at events such as TEDx and even starting their own podcast. One of our authors even invested in a huge ad campaign with her local transit line.
Lisa Bournelis’ TEDx Talk is now live. Watch here!
Our Tellwell February Author of the Month, Chantel Riley, on how social media has helped her promote her children’s book.
Social media has been a great help connecting me to an audience I could never have reached on my own.
Chantel Riley, author of I AM: Precious Affirmations
Chantel Riley has an impressive résumé as a television and Broadway actress. The talented on-screen star is also a singer/songwriter, she owns and operates a children’s clothing boutique, and is now adding “children’s author” to her accolades. Her positive-affirmations book for children has landed her on Canada’s national entertainment show, eTalk. She has also received glowing reviews for I AM: Precious Affirmations, and uses her social media platforms of tens of thousands of followers to promote her book.
The Toronto-based actress speaks about the heartfelt inspiration behind her children’s book and how social media has helped her reach a much wider audience, and shares her top three affirmations for authors!
You have an impressive résumé as a Broadway and television actor and owner of a children’s clothing boutique. Tell us more about yourself.
I was born in Toronto to my Jamaican parents, Joan and Errol Riley, and come from a big family. I have four siblings. Before I got into show business, I grew up taking dance lessons and singing in my church.
What inspired you to write I AM and become an author?
We had reached the one-year mark of the pandemic and I noticed I was seeing more and more reports of the decline of mental health in our youth and young children, along with the unfortunate and heartbreaking increase of suicide rates. Having two nephews of my own—one is 11 years old and the other 19 months old—I worried for their mental wellbeing and any effect this pandemic may have on them.
I am a strong believer in affirmations and the power of positive thoughts. Speaking to myself with positive words of power and love has helped me overcome some of the darkest moments of my life. Children are the future and I wanted to make sure I can leave something behind to help guide them down a road filled will love and positivity.
“A clear, thoughtful memoir with an upbeat tone, GOOD MORNING, BLAKE is both a delightful read and a valuable perspective on growing up autistic in a neurotypical world.” – Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader.
For me, just getting the book published was a success. Would I love to sell a million copies, too? Of course! But that wasn’t my goal going into it. I wanted to help as many people as possible.
Serena Holmes, author, The Accidental Entrepreneur
2022, here we are! How are you all doing? Rested and energized for a new year, we hope. However, if you’re more so in the mind state of, What? A new year! Where do I begin? What do I focus on? know that you aren’t alone. Take a breath. You’re doing your best.
One of the best ways to get out of a funk is to take a page of advice from someone who’s been in a similar situation and managed to work their way out of it. Take Serena Holmes, for example. Serena is the author of The Accidental Entrepreneur: Turning Tragedy into Triumph to Embrace my Destiny in Entrepreneurship. Serena doesn’t just offer advice and inspiration for growing entrepreneurs based on her success and accomplishments, she gives readers a look at what it took to get there, including the hardships she faced growing up.
In a 4/5 star review from IndieReader, C. S. Holmes said, “THE ACCIDENTAL ENTREPRENEUR by Serena Holmes is an introspective, hopeful self-help tome offering detailed facts and figures regarding one woman’s journey towards creating a self-sufficient, self-actualized life.” If you’re looking for a book to inspire and motivate you, this is it! Moreover, when we asked Serena if we could feature her as Tellwell’s January Author of the Month, she agreed to not only answer our questions, but to share the lessons she learned from self-publishing, so that other authors could benefit. Find out about her self-publishing tips and how she’s used media mentions and online marketing to build a following of over 14 thousand on social media!
Serena, tell us a bit about yourself.
Where do I begin? I just celebrated my fortieth birthday. I am a proud mama to a gorgeous two-year-old girl named Sienna, and a happy wife. I became a mom pretty late in life, since I was focused on my career throughout most of my twenties and thirties.
I have had my own brand-experience agency called Tigris Events for the past eighteen years, and also obtained my real estate license this past year. Before COVID, I loved to travel but am fortunate to have a family cottage to get away to when I have some downtime.
What inspired you to write The Accidental Entrepreneur?
Running your own business can be a lot like riding a roller coaster. There are plenty of ups, downs, and learning curves, especially since you have to figure out most things for yourself. I had a lot of crazy things happen throughout my childhood that I believe helped give me the foundation to be successful as an entrepreneur. Between those experiences and those I gained during my time as a business owner, I felt compelled to write and publish a book about it to help others on the same path.
What was it like opening up about the vulnerable parts of your journey as an entrepreneur, and why did you feel they were important to include in your book?
Opening up in this way was extremely nerve-wracking. I was worried about upsetting some people, but in no way was I trying to do that. The experiences were what they were, and for those that I included in the book, I felt it was important to add context for readers and detail the kinds of lessons that were learned along the way.
Our December Author of the Month, Vali Benson, has been sweeping up the book awards this season. Her young-adult fiction book, Blood and Silver, won a gold medal in two categories at the San Francisco Book Festival, took first place at the New York Book Festival in the young adult category, and won the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards for best first chapter book! She has generated over 100 reader reviews, and offers up her book-promotion insights to authors on how to generate buzz for your book, reviews and awards.
Published in 2020, Vali Benson was faced with marketing her book during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moving online, she began the process of gaining visibility for her book by submitting for book reviews. What came next can be accredited to Vali’s hard work, consistency, and dedication to making Blood and Silver a book on every family’s bookshelf.
Read on to hear about her award and review success, plus her advice for new authors!
Tell us a bit about yourself & your book.
I have been a writer all my life. I can also now call myself a published author. It still seems like a dream, but it’s true. However, it would take some time to develop. My parents never encouraged my creative interests, so I studied retail in college. After I graduated from the University of Illinois, my husband and I moved west. We started and operated a couple of successful businesses. When we sold them, I decided to retire early to pursue my dream of writing. I currently live in Tucson, Arizona, with my husband, two sons, and grandchildren.
Ever since I can remember, I have had a book in my hand. As a lifelong reader, I often thought, “I could do better than that.” So, I decided to finally do something about it. Blood and Silver is my first book. It is a young-adult historical fiction novel about a twelve-year-old girl in 1880’s Tombstone, AZ, who runs into all kinds of trouble trying to save her mother’s life. I like to think it has an entertaining combination of history and heart. The inspiration for Blood and Silver was formed from family outings. When our boys were little, we used to take them to Tombstone for the Wild West show. I was amazed when I learned that this little town of just over thirteen hundred residents had once been a boomtown of fifteen thousand. I couldn’t imagine it, but I knew there had to be a great story there.
What were some of the more significant lessons you learned writing and publishing a book? This could be about the process itself, or about you.
The process of publishing a book is extremely personal and I’m sure it is different for everybody. For me, I was not quite prepared to hear other people’s reactions to my work, either positive or critical. Blood and Silver had only been a story in my head. When other people had access to my words and ideas, I felt that they were no longer mine. Those feelings gradually dissipate with each positive review received or award won.
What have you been doing to market and promote your book?
Honestly, I don’t do anything earth-shattering. From day one, my project managers and consultants at Tellwell have guided me in the right direction and I have tried to follow their suggestions as close as possible. A major marketing strategy that was stressed to me was to establish a digital footprint. Simple steps include creating author profiles on selected social media platforms such as Facebook and Goodreads. An author website is not a necessity, but I would strongly recommend it. I try to regularly update my success on these forums thus consistently cultivating fresh interest for my book. The key is to generate constant buzz.
In 1994, Shane Mutlow, a corporal in the Canadian Armed Forces, deployed to Rwanda in the wake of the Rwandan Genocide, the most horrific genocide since World War II. At just 24 years old and in the span of 6 months, Shane was “labelled ‘whereabouts unknown’ twice and held against his will while on a major operation by Rwandan government officials.” Every day he went out into the jungle unsure if he would come back alive.
In his new book, One Foot Over the Edge: A Canadian Soldier’s Personal Account of The Rwandan Genocide, Shane recounts the contributions that Canadian soldiers made, to show a side of Canadian history that had yet to be told. Beyond that, he opens up about his experience of living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s his hope that he can help others with PTSD find resources and feel less alone, and create a better understanding of what soldiers and their families go through when they return home from being deployed overseas.
Since publishing One Foot Over the Edge this past August, Shane has become an Amazon Best Seller in three different categories: #1 in Rwandan History, #2 in Military and Spies Biographies and Novels, and #2 in Military Biographies. He’s been featured by the Ottawa Citizen, and he recently hosted a successful book launch. There’s more! The screenplay of One Foot Over the Edge won Best Unproduced Script at the Toronto International Women’s Film Festival. It’s also in the running for two more international film festivals. Read on to learn more about Shane and his new book, and discover a few of the lessons he’s learned as a self-published author.
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces who, in 1994, was deployed to Rwanda, Africa, on a United Nations Mission to help provide humanitarian aide to the people who survived the genocide, and to bring stability back to their country. I have three children—two boys (Nicolas, Zachary), one girl (Madison)—and my beautiful wife (Justine). I currently live in Pembroke, ON.
Your story is twenty years in the making. What inspired you to write One Foot Over the Edge?
The main reason I chose to write my story: my family. They have provided me the strength and courage to take it on and I want to show them that I will never give up; I will always keep fighting.
This memoir is a collection of many journals she has kept over the years. She uses journalling as a way of working through feelings and emotions and of learning from her experiences. She has had a career as a dietitian for over forty years. Her career has included academic writing, and she has one previous book publication: a book on nutrition and weight loss called “Just Eat Less: Easier said than done.” She has a master’s in business administration specializing in organizational behaviour in addition to her nutrition degree from the University of Guelph. She has taught at both the university and college levels. She lives in Southern Ontario.
Fall has officially arrived, and with it our excitement for Halloween! In honour of the spooktacular holiday, the Tellwell team pulled together our top spine-chilling, hair-raising reads for October! 🎃
From horror books with demons and plagues to psychological thrillers with a thirst for revenge, we think you’ll love these eerie excerpts below. 👻
The Plague by Ryan L. Canning
She turned and ran. There was no end in sight. The bodies, the tents, the smell, they went on for miles.
The apartment filled with sounds from another world. Screaming, shouting, music with an unearthly twisted tune played out of the walls. A chorus of suffering, a background of nightmares and fears. It was angry, insulted and outraged.
Poppy Seeds on a Grave: A Collection of Short Stories by Mirko Markovic
Every ounce of blood in this man’s body drained from his skin and he froze in time, a statue paralyzed by the shock of what he had just seen.
– Mirko Markovic, Poppy Seeds on a Grave: A Collection of Short Stories
Get your copy of Poppy Seeds on a Grave: A Collection of Short Storieson Amazon.
The Book of Nodd: The Dreamwalker by B.S. Thompson
Suddenly he heard a snap and an electric bolt of pain shot down his arm, but the cottage did not stop rocking, and it would not be much longer before it collapsed on him completely.
– B.S. Thompson, The Book of Nodd: The Dreamwalker
Get your copy of The Book of Nodd: The Dreamwalker on Amazon.
Chains by M Todd
Before him, strewn about throughout the cavern from ceiling to floor, placed within the bluish rocks, were hundreds, or thousands, of human bodies. Men and women, their faces contorted in masks of horror and pain, frozen like macabre cadavers in a monster’s freezer.
Without thinking, I knew what I had to do. I tugged my sister out from behind me and moved her around me until we had switched places, me behind her with my hands on her shoulders. “Take her,” I said, and gave her shoulders a little shove forward.
Squinting, he focused with laser-like intensity to see what he could of the corpse below. He marvelled at the kaleidoscope of colours and textures the mangled body had created all over the urban canvas.