First Choice Books’ Team
We are pleased to introduce our fantastic team of self publishing experts here at First Choice Books:
Patrick O’Connor • Co-Owner and Operations Manager
Patrick O’Connor, originally from Peterborough, Ontario, is a world traveler with a background in marketing, management, and customer relations, fluent in German and French. Here at First Choice Books, Patrick is our operations manager and main sales representative. He follows up with our authors and helps them make the best decisions for their project. During his down time, he teaches advanced cycling classes, and also enjoys cooking and gardening.
Melanie Perkins • Co-Owner and Strategic Planning
Melanie Perkins has an identical twin sister who is an American citizen (as well as assorted other family members). Melanie earned a graduate degree in Oregon and has also lived in Washington State as well as Ohio. Her studies culminated in a PhD over 20 years ago, resulting in her intimate understanding of both literary and scientific research leading to publication. She is considered an expert in problem solving, performance measurement and engineering economics. Melanie worked for over 17 years writing reports and manuals for the government. She has lived and worked across the US, Canada and the UK. Melanie thoroughly appreciates her natural surroundings on the West Coast. As a result, Melanie works to bring the most affordable, environmentally sensitive printing options to First Choice Books customers, while broadening our range of new products and services, and reaching out to writers interested in self-publishing throughout North America and around the world.
Wendy Baron • Accounts and Shipping
Accountant Wendy Baron hails from Calgary, Alberta, and, in between training for 10 K races in part by cycling or walking to work every day and attempting to do something about the weeds in her garden, works with our authors to ship their books world-wide. She’s the go-to person for invoicing and shipping quotes. Wendy is also a proud grandmother, and recently published her first calendar with First Choice Books.
Mahfuj Enam • Web Developer and SEO Analyst
Mahfuj has been working as a Web Developer and SEO Analyst of First Choice Books since 2010. He has developed FCB’s Work Order System and helps Co-Owner Melanie Perkins with quote/shipping estimates, online marketing and Strategic Planning. Mahfuj also works as a Web Developer (contract) for BC Government since 2014, recently he helped to develop BC Government’s new corporate web site with GCPE, Ministry of Advance Education. He is involved with community activities and loves to help people. As a volunteer he is an IT Secretary and Co-founder of Step to Humanity, Director of Viva Youth Choirs Society of Victoria and Director of BCCAV. One of his hobbies is writing and he has published six books, two of them in Canada (If I Go Forever and Death of a Dream).
Graphic Design and Pre-Press
Sol Terlson Kennedy • Manager of Graphics and Pre-Press
As the Graphics Manager, or Guru-in-Chief to some, Sol Kennedy is your go-to guy when it comes to the complexities of printing. With more than twenty years in the computer-based layout and publishing world, he likes his challenges and uses his experience to push our printers to their limits and then some. He is best seen in our office hard at work with one hand at the mouse of the computer, and the other one half-deep in printer toner. If and when he is not in the office, you can find Sol walking the local parks with his camera in one hand and a coffee in the other taking photos of the wildlife, animals and flowers of our great city.
Felicity Perryman • Graphic Design, Websites, and Author Services
Felicity Perryman, MFA, grew up in Winnipeg, and is still grateful for the West Coast’s mild winters and long, blossom-filled springs. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies, and has worked as a graphic designer since 2005. She also teaches design and digital imaging at the college level, and has walked the Camino de Santiago three times. She loves to work with authors on their goals for their books, and specializes in book and cover design, and building author websites.
Jenny Engwer • Graphic Design, eBooks, and Author Services
Jenny Engwer is a born and raised Islander. She trained in graphic design at Camosun College and received her Bachelor of Arts from Royal Roads University in 2009. She is also the staff illustrator, and her drawings appear in this website and our new product lines. When she’s not in the office helping authors meet their publishing goals, Jenny spends her spare time with a camera around her neck and a surfboard under her arm. Jenny developed the First Choice Books eBook program, and has become an expert in coding eBooks for every eReader device.
You can see Jenny Engwer’s art and design portfolio here, including work she has done for First Choice Books authors.
Rick McGowan • Shop Foreman
Rick McGowan has been the Bindery’s shop foreman since 2008, and specializes in getting all First Choice Books authors’ books cut, bound, laminated, and finished professionally. He has advanced technical skills in operating, maintaining and upgrading our binding machinery, such as the Schneider paper cutter and the Bourg Binder. He also oversees our hard cover re-binding and hot foil stamping. Outside the shop, Rick is a student of Japanese culture, and travels to Japan with his family.