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Meet the Team

Tellwell’s managing editor Alison Strumberger on why she believes editing is crucial for a quality book

There is an unwritten contract between an author and their readers. Picking out a book, purchasing and opening that book, sitting down in a solitary moment to read that book – all of this is an act of trust. It’s a leap of faith. It’s an investment of your readers’ time, money, and attention.

Alison Strumberger, Tellwell’s Managing Editor

Tell us about your background, as well as your role at Tellwell.

I’ve been working in publishing for a little over fifteen years, starting out as a submissions reader for a magazine in Montreal while completing a BA in English literature and creative writing. I went abroad after I graduated. Thirty countries and some years later, my travels took me to Melbourne, Australia, where I got my MA in publishing and editing while working in both trade and educational publishing houses. I ran my own writing/editing business for several years, editing everything from novels and travel guides to celebrity memoirs and annual reports. My own essays, fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous magazines and journals in Canada and Australia.

Here at Tellwell I mostly manage the editing department, and have been doing so since I moved to Victoria and joined the Tellwell team in 2017. In my capacity as managing editor, I make sure to recruit (and rigorously test!) highly experienced and professional editors who love what they do, and who are as passionate as I am about supporting authors to make their good writing great. It’s an incredible privilege getting to work so closely with a cohort of twenty-five talented editors based across Canada, the US, the UK and New Zealand. Along with our indispensable in-house editor, Simon Ogden, I work closely to monitor the quality of the editing while adjusting our services to respond to feedback from our authors. I’m an inveterate perfectionist with high standards, so I keep the team on their toes! I also spend a lot of time focusing on the quality of our production process, working to improve what we make, and the experience of the amazing authors with whom we make it.

Why is editing crucial for creating a quality, professional book? 

There is an unwritten contract between an author and their readers. Picking out a book, purchasing and opening that book, sitting down in a solitary moment to read that book – all of this is an act of trust. It’s a leap of faith. It’s an investment of your readers’ time, money, and attention. With each typo, error, malapropism, unintentional pun, break in logic, inconsistency, accidental repetition, missed punchline, unchecked fact, misused semicolon etc, that trust erodes, and so does the author’s credibility and the reader’s lasting impression. 

A well-regarded book is not weighed down by its technical pitfalls, which can be plentiful and distracting in unedited books. It is disappointing to read a review of your book that says, “It would have been great, if only it had been edited.” The crux of your book – the concept, the idea, the dare-I-say genius of it – can be clouded or confused or missed altogether when the reader needs to wade through a sea of errors, correcting as they go.

Just as each word you put on a page contributes to the meaning of your work, so too does each space, each paragraph break, each punctuation mark. Your editor is an expert in units of meaning. As Mark Twain put it: “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter; ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Dr. Seuss put it more playfully perhaps: “The writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”

Your editor doesn’t see mistakes, they see opportunities to make your writing tighter, cleaner, and clearer.

Alison Strumberger, Tellwell’s Managing Editor

What do you consider to be a great edit? 

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Book Giveaways Tellwell Books

January Book Giveaways!

Do you love free books? Us too!

For the month of January you can get your hands on two Tellwell authors books, for free + a number of other talented authors!

Whether you are looking for a non-fiction business book to start your new year off with some learning, or if you are more into growing your fiction detective and crime book collection – our January book giveaways have you covered!

Tellwell’s January author of the month, Serene Holmes, has her book The Accidental Entrepreneur available for free download until January 31st 2022! Claim your free copy.

4/5 star IndieReader Review

“THE ACCIDENTAL ENTREPRENEUR: Turning Tragedy into Triumph to Embrace my Destiny in Entrepreneurship 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.

Encouraging readers who may also be embarking upon some form of self-employed adventure, the author pays close attention to mistakes made, outlining valuable lessons learned by trial and error along the way.” – C.S. Holmes for IndieReader

Also on offer is Edward Avanessy’s crime, detective story, Kiki Coto! Claim your free copy before January 31st 2022!

ABOUT KIKI COTO

Richard, (Kiki Coto) is destined to fight corruption, and criminal organizations, whose members include politicians, judges, district attorneys, police, and others, to exonerate an innocent young lady wrongfully accused of murder. He is fighting an impossible battle. The criminals are very organized, interconnected, and conspire with each other methodically. Struggling to defeat the evil, Richard seeks help from all sources, including Ayahuasca and Divine intervention.

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Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews

Tellwell Author Celebrations – reviews, publicity and events

From book signings to rave reviews and exclusive interviews, our authors had a busy end to 2021! Congratulations on your terrific accomplishments, everyone! We’re thrilled to highlight your success.

REVIEWS

Blake “Crash” Priddle’s insightful memoir Good Morning, Blake: Growing Up Autistic and Being Okay, received a 4.5/5 star review from IndieReader!

“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.

You can read the full review here.

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Author of the Month

Self-Publishing Lessons for 2022 with Author of the Month Serena Holmes

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.

Get your copy of The Accidental Entrepreneur on Amazon, Indigo, or Barnes and Noble!

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.

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Book Giveaways

FREE SCI-FI BOOK GIVEAWAY

Sci-Fi fans rejoice! Looking to add some sci-fi books to your shelf? You are in luck! Bookspry.com is offering some great sci-fi freebies. Whether you are interested in dystopian fiction or time travel, there will be a book for you!

HOW TO ENTER

NEXT STEPS

  • Find the cover of XNOR
  • Select your choice of digital review copy
  • BookFunnel will send you your free download right away!

Don’t miss your chance to get a free copy of XNOR!

This offer ends January 15, 2022.
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Connect with Anand Purohit at xnorbooks.com

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Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews

Tellwell Authors Share Their Success Stories

From editorial reviews to features in the news, these authors have a lot to celebrate! Congratulations, everyone. We love to see your success.

Grandfather’s Key by Amanda Dauvin

In a recent interview, Amanda Dauvin offers a look at her life before she became a published author, public speaker, teacher, and mother. Much like in her children’s book, Grandfather’s Key, she shows us that the smallest things often have the power to make the biggest impact.

Click below to watch the 4 minute interview.

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Author of the Month

Friends with a serial killer: Peter Perry’s terrifying true story is your next favourite true-crime thriller

October Author of the Month, Peter Perry, offers unique advice for new authors, as well as a FREE COPY of his new book.

What do you know about pure evil, the kind that makes you fear for you life? Peter Perry can tell you all about it. He lived in London, Ontario, during the killing spree of one of Canada’s most notorious serial killers, the Bedroom Strangler. It was a terrifying time there between 1974 and 1978. Russell Maurice Johnson, a.k.a. the Bedroom Strangler, was scaling apartment buildings, sometimes up to fifteen floors, and sneaking into women’s rooms at night to assault them and take their lives.

This is truly what nightmares are made of, and Peter Perry was there for it all. Peter and Johnson would lift weights together at Vic Tanny’s Health Club, a place where, unbeknownst to Peter, Russell selected most of his victims. Co-authored with Geoff Hart and Kathleen Sumpton, ORIGEN: A True Story of Evil, takes us through the rise and fall of one of Canada’s most notorious serial killers, told by someone who was closest to him.

We caught up with Peter to find out how things are going with his book since it launched earlier this year, and he had lots to share with us! Among other unique marketing activities, Peter and Geoff are in the process of pitching the screenplay of Origen to Netflix and Amazon. We wish them the best of luck!

You can get a free copy of Origen between October 27 and November 17!

That’s right, everyone, Peter has teamed up with other talented true crime and thriller authors to offer a round-up of some of the best new terrifying reads. Starting October 27, you can download a free e-book copy of Origen. Not just a free chapter, the whole book! Just click here and select the book cover for Origen to download your copy. You have until November 17!

Peter Perry, author of Origen: A True Story of Evil
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Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews

Celebrating Tellwell authors in the media, award-winners, bestsellers, and more!

Tellwell-Author-Celebrations

From book launches to rave reviews to bestsellers, Tellwell authors have done it again! We’re always thrilled to celebrate author success!

Author of Immigration, Race and Survival Cecily Alexander was featured in The Caribbean Camera!

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.

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Book Giveaways Tellwell Books

October Steamy Romance book give-away!

GIVE-AWAY ALERT!!!

FREE STEAMY ROMANCE NOVELS UNTIL OCTOBER 31!

Looking for some steamy reads that can help keep you warm during these cold fall nights?

HOW TO ENTER

NEXT STEPS

🖤 Find the cover of Country Hearts & Willow’s Ridge
🖤 Select your choice of digital review copy
🖤 BookFunnel will send you your free download right after!

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Meet the Team Tellwell Books

Meet Tellwell book-cover designer Benjam Mosquera and learn his favourite cover-design trend

Tellwell book-cover designer Benjam Mosquera has been a valued member of the Tellwell team since 2018. He has ten years of book-design experience and is passionate about creating covers that draw people in at first glance. Read on to learn Benjam’s favourite book cover-design trends and hear his advice to authors working with book designers for the first time.

What inspired you to become a book-cover designer?  

I began my book-design career working as an interior book designer. I was really inspired seeing beautifully created cover designs by my teammates, in bookstores and online. It led me to learn how to artfully create book covers. I have been enjoying creating book covers for a decade now.

Where do you draw creative inspiration from?

I am often inspired by film posters. I’ll search for the designer’s name and look through their work for more inspiration.

What advice do you have for authors working with a book designer?

Clear instruction is really key. If an author has a specific vision for their book, then it’s important for the author to relay detailed instructions for the cover designer. That allows the designer to more easily visually interpret the instructions.

We are also creative individuals who love taking a concept and running with it. So if authors don’t have a clear vision for their book cover, that’s OK. That’s why we are here, to put in our professional touch and create magic. Showing covers that you love and want to emulate also go a long way.

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