Tag Archives: tellwell talent

Meet the Team

Meet Tellwell’s marketing director Monica Martinez and hear her book promotion advice

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1. Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

As the head of marketing, my role is multi-faceted. I lead and manage Tellwell’s digital and content marketing, book marketing as well as work directly with authors. This means I create and optimize our ads, landing pages, value offerings, manage our social media accounts, blog, and newsletter. I also lead our wonderful book marketing department, where we help authors promote and market their books. I do work directly with clients as well. I really enjoy the variety in the role and working with my talented colleagues and authors.

2. What did you do beforehand?

I had a career as a journalist prior to Tellwell. I worked as a television reporter, video-journalist and anchor for CHEK News, CBC and Global News. I not only reported but also filmed and edited my own stories. Before that, I worked in various marketing roles in both the non-profit sector and the private sector.

3. How would you describe your personality?

I am a happy and positive person who is self-motivated. I believe attitude is everything, and being mindful of our thoughts and emotions is crucial. I’m extroverted and enjoy playing in the abstract.

4. What inspires you?

People who are living their optimal life, especially people who have overcome tremendous obstacles to achieve success.

5. What do you enjoy most about your role at Tellwell?

I enjoy the combination of creativity and analytics. I have a lot of opportunities to develop creative materials, write, and think outside the box, but I also enjoy studying the numbers to see what is working and what can be further optimized. I appreciate working in a startup environment where ideas quickly turn into action. I also enjoy working with authors and staying on top of trends in the publishing industry.

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Meet the Team

Meet Tellwell project manager Elliott Hockley and read his advice to authors

Elliott Hockley - Tellwell

1. Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

I’m the project manager team lead here at Tellwell and so other than my responsibilities ensuring each of my assigned author’s projects are on track, I have some other things I take care of from the facilitation of meetings, to making sure my team has everything they need to successfully perform their jobs.

On top of this, I also have some responsibilities within the marketing department, which is really cool because diversity in my role is something I value greatly, and it also means my degree in advertising finally has some uses.

2. What did you do beforehand?

I came to Canada in the summer of 2017 following a year of teaching English in the north of Barcelona. I have a degree in advertising and upon graduating I attained some pretty cool opportunities as a creative in London. The perception didn’t quite match the reality though and I didn’t stick around very long and sought to focus my energy elsewhere. Following that, I’ve mostly travelled, and also ran a hostel in the middle of nowhere for a year.

3. How would people describe your personality?

It depends who you’re asking, but mostly I get some combination of ‘upbeat, optimistic, kind, friendly and compassionate’.

4. What inspires you?

Reading, which is convenient. I’m an avid reader and I suppose a bit of an aspiring polymath in that respect. It’s also really easy to get inspired by nature, particularly around here.

5. What advice do you have for authors going through the publishing process?

Oooh, I have so much I’d like our authors to know, but we usually cover that throughout the process. My best piece of advice would be to try and keep a healthy sense of perspective. The nature of writing and publishing a story means that authors naturally become incredibly emotionally attached and invested in their work and that the moment their expectations are not met, there’s a tendency for them to get angry and frustrated. I can understand that, but the reality is, we’re working for our authors and we truly want the best for them and their book, and will work within the realm of our, and the industry’s capabilities to ensure that the best is what they get.

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Guest Post

Three major lessons learned in self-publishing: Tellwell author Rachael Bell-Irving shares her insight

By: Rachael Bell-Irving

Rachael Bell-Irving

I have been writing novels since I was young and it has always been a goal of mine to publish. I wanted to tie the bow on my passion project and be able to hold the result in my hands. This is why I chose self-publishing for Demons at the Doorstep, and did not attempt any traditional publishing route. Looking back now, a whole lot has changed, and there is a lot I’ve learned on this publishing journey.

Here are three key lessons I’ve learned through self-publishing, so far…

Be Professionally Edited

Demons at the Doorstep

Just do it. It is worth it. When you are publishing on a budget, there are ways you can cut corners to save money. Editing should not be one of them. No matter how many times you have friends, families, even strangers read the book – no one catches errors like a professional editor.

I tried to resist editing at first because of restrictions in my budget. It took my mother’s nagging (thanks mom) to finally get me to cave. When I received the edits back, my eyes went wide and I began to laugh. How could I have possibly missed some of these points? I was surprised by other suggestions, and shocked at how repetitive I had been with my vocabulary. Your book is read from a different perspective than how it is written. An editor is able to objectively critique the manuscript from this external perspective.

If you’re worried about losing your artistic license – don’t be.  You don’t have to agree with all the edits your editor makes. I do strongly recommend you listen to their suggestions. They are a professional for a reason – they have (hopefully) training, experience, and a different perspective. It will improve the quality of your content and add a level of professionalism to your book. Seriously – do it.

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Author of the Month

Entrepreneur Brandon LaBella encourages people to find purpose through failure

Brandon LaBella

It was only through failure that author Brandon LaBella was able to live with purpose and meaning.

The 23-year-old graduated from his university’s business administration program in New York State and sought work on Wall Street. But after he was rejected by a large investment firm, he realized working in finance would have been living up to an image of success that was not his own. And many of his peers felt the same.

“We are so pressured to succeed, living up to a standard that is not true to ourselves. The only way to find our authentic self is to fail. Why not give people a handbook on how to fail freely,” said LaBella.

The entrepreneur published his book with Tellwell in April. “The Journey to Failing Freely: How to Find Fulfillment By Letting Yourself Fail” is a guide for young people who are trying to find their life’s purpose and passion.

The Journey to Failing Freely

“There was no book that I could relate to about how to navigate college and where I wanted to be at the end of it,” said the New York-based author.  “I was tired of being told by everyone around me I was doing great and on the right path when I hadn’t failed once and felt caged on a societal leash.”

He wrote his book to inspire other students to seek out life experiences to find what it is that makes them truly happy without fear of failure or judgment. He says many people are trying hard to preserve a certain self-image, and often disregard their mental and physical health in the process.

Failing freely first starts with taking care of your health, LaBella says. Then he recommends people “take calculated risks, embrace the pain of suffering, put themselves in a safe environment to grow while reaching their full potential.”

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Meet the Team

Meet project manager Simon Page and learn about his approach to working with authors

Simon Page Tellwell

Tell us about your role at Tellwell.

As a project manager, I help authors move through each step of the publishing process, providing guidance throughout the editing, design, illustration, and distribution steps, and everything in between. My role also includes acting as a liaison between the production and development teams, and I’m excited to be closely involved with producing the publishing webinars for authors that we will be launching very soon!

What did you do beforehand?

Before Tellwell, I worked in logistics and communications for a local non-profit organization, where I helped to produce and promote annual international jazz and blues festivals and other concerts.

How would people describe your personality?

I’ve been described as being very patient, calm, and optimistic.  I like to think I’m at least a little bit funny, and like to keep things pretty light-hearted around the office.

What inspires you?

I genuinely love helping people create great work that brings benefit to the world, and I get a lot of satisfaction from finding creative solutions to complex problems. I also draw a lot of inspiration from being in nature, as well as from books, music, films, and great food!

What are you most proud of in your life? Biggest accomplishments?

Some of the accomplishments that come to mind include graduating university, climbing the highest mountain in Poland (it’s not that high), and losing an impressive number of foosball matches here at Tellwell.  Also, I recently found a “Most Inspirational Player” award at my parent’s house that I won during my last year playing minor hockey, so that’s a pretty big one as well.

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Meet the Team

Meet Tellwell publishing consultant Jennifer Chapin and learn about her own book publishing experience

By Jennifer Chapin

jennifer-chapin

About Jennifer
I work as a publishing consultant at Tellwell arriving here late in 2017.  Before Tellwell, I worked in non-profit engagement for eight years, assisting organizations around the world to become investment ready.  Part of this work included encouraging executive directors and their boards to tell their stories so they could receive the financing they deserved.  The move to Tellwell was seamless, in that I am still helping people bring their stories forward.

Work Experience
I also have a solid background in corporate sales and business development through Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. I first worked in Victoria and then moved to New York City. It was while I was working in New York that 9/11 occurred and I was heavily impacted by that event.  It was a turning point in my life. It made me take stock of my dreams and what I had left unaccomplished.  Writing a book was one of them and so I left the corporate world and went to France and wrote my first novel.

Writing Her First Book
I was raised to love books and my enduring memory as a child is all of us sitting around, father, mother, and siblings, reading silently.  I am a voracious reader now and enjoy historical fiction with a fantasy/time travel element. This is also the genre I have used in both books I have written.

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The Publishing Experience
I self-published A Song of Songs:  Mary Magdalene Awakes in 2008 with AuthorHouse. This is the novel that arose out of my travels to the south of France.  I followed the myths and legends about her there.  They are rife as she is the Patron Saint of Provence. This was in the aftermath of the Da Vinci Code days, but in my book,  I do not focus on the bloodline, but on her coming back at the end of time.  I have recently pulled my book out of AuthorHouse and am now in the process of a re-write over the next few months.

In reflection and after working at Tellwell, I would have approached the process of self-publishing differently.  I would have spent more money on editing, for instance, and commissioned a strong marketing team to assist me.  I worked hard to self-promote the book through a launch and many readings.  I found that Chapters and Indigo and private bookstores were receptive to carrying my book.  It was an amazing experience.  I cried when I got my first copy.

mary-magdalene-awakes-publishing

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Author of the Month

From historical research to staff-picked, award-winning novel – Renée Veillet shares of her accomplishments as an indie author

img_0002-180x300What started as research into her own family’s history during the settling of Western Canada in the 1900s, transitioned to an award-winning historical fiction novel and a long-term career as a writer and published author for Renée Veillet.

Inspired by the stories she learned of her ancestors, the Calgary-based author sought out to honour Canadian history in a medium that might be more entertaining and enjoyable for young adults.

“My ancestors endured hardships that were unimaginable; my great grandfather was forced to leave his family behind in order to seek work in Canada. The first family member he could afford to bring over travelled in steerage class on the Titanic and did not survive,” explains Veillet. “I feel a debt of gratitude towards my ancestors and want to honour them by sharing their stories with my children and the generations to come.”

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By the fall of 2017, Veillet was a published author and Rings of Time quickly began to receive high praise. The book, which has been compared to the popular TV series Outlander, has been described by Goodreads readers as “[p]erfectly paced and beautifully descriptive” and “an entertaining escape into another time.”

Local bookstores have also expressed interest in the book, and it was even featured as a Staff Pick at the Crowfoot Chapters in December 2017.

“As a first-time author, having my book on the shelf of the local bookstore was a huge milestone,” says Veillet. “Having it chosen as a staff pick was an unexpected surprise.”

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Tips & Tricks

The Art of the ARC – How advanced reader copies can add buzz, publicity and reviews to your book before the official release

There is nothing better than the smell of a freshly cracked book spine – unless of course, that book is an advance reader copy (ARC). ARC’s are copies of a book that are given to certain people who are permitted to read it before its scheduled release date.  They are typically given to bloggers, critics, and other online influencers to review and promote the work to a wider audience.  For authors, sending out an ARC is a great way to gain buzz and publicity before the big release.  Although this may open the door to potential negative criticism, this also gives authors the chance to make last-minute changes before releasing their book to the world. So how do you create an ARC for reviewers?

 

Making an ARC

An ARC does not need to be fancy, however, there are additional elements that need to be considered:

  • Disclaimer – A complete cover is not necessary, but there should be a disclaimer stating that this copy of the book is an advance reader copy that is not for resale.
  • Quick facts – Include a list that has information like: number of pages, price, release date, ISBN etc.
  • Formatting – While this may not be your final copy of your book, you should still make sure it appears clean and professional. Reviewers may have several ARCs to review, and an aesthetically appealing file could boost your chances of getting read first.

When it comes to distribution, you can choose an electronic copy, such as a PDF, or a print copy. Digital distribution is inexpensive and easy to deliver, however, this also makes it easier to leak. Print is the traditional route, but it does take more effort and time to produce.

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Meet the Team

Meet Tellwell Designer Bonnie Mitchell

am_velocefondo20170709_01If your role at Tellwell were to be summarized into a book title, what would it be?

Word InDesigns Out: Translating Word files to InDesign files.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

When I’ve created a cover and book block that represent the book perfectly and the author is ecstatic with the results.

What do you think is the most important aspect of an author’s cover design?

Balancing text and imagery to capture the story or the essence of the book. This creates a powerful emotional reaction inviting the reader to take a closer look.

What is your favourite type of book to design and why?

Fiction. Yes, it is as broad a genre as it is open to the imagination. With a good book synopsis the cover has so many design possibilities. There are certain design principles that make the interior of the book readable, however, there is no limit to how the title pages, headers, footers, chapter starts and sections can be styled. I find it the best genre for pushing the limits of design and doing something unique.

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Design Showcase Guest Post

The behind the scenes creative process to achieve this incredible YA fantasy cover design – Demons at the Doorstep

Guest post by Tellwell designer Tara Price

demons

Demons at the Doorstep is a young adult urban fantasy. Written by Rachael Bell-Irving, the story follows Jessica, a witch who must team up with her mortal enemy to stop mutated demons from destroying her city. Hard copies and eBooks are now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Chapters Indigo.

Why did you choose this cover as a monthly focus?

This was a book that I started working on at the end of last year that wrapped up mid-April. It was a little out of our normal process because it required a custom illustration. A lot of the time, the cover is either done first or designed in tandem with the interior. For this one the interior was formatted well before the illustration was done. I had an initial idea of what I wanted for the title, but I knew that it may change drastically when the cover was on my plate. However, once I saw this amazing image, I was able to work in the title surprisingly well, with only minor re-working on spacing.

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