As a book publicist, I am frequently asked to find a literary agent for my author clients. While I know many agents and publishers and work with them, it’s not what I do. But, from time to time, I find someone who can really help out my clients and I’ve found that person. Her name is Debra Englander.
Debby has extensive editorial experience including reporting for Money, managing the Fortune Book Club and serving as editorial director at John Wiley for nearly 17 years. She currently works with authors on creating winning book proposals, editing manuscripts and content creation for online and print projects.
Debby’s editorial service is unique. She’ll listen to your book concept and then advise you on next steps. She’ll tell you whether the idea is sound and likely to interest large publishers. If so, she will help you craft the perfect query letter to a literary agent or occasionally, directly to a publisher. Englander, who has ghost written countless successful query letters for clients, stresses that first impressions are everything and that there are a few common mistakes aspiring writers that impact their prospects. “A query letter is an art form in itself,” says Englander.
She adds, “I spend a lot of time talking with authors, agents and editors. I’m really a matchmaker, between authors, agents and publishers. Sometimes, I’ll tell someone to self-publish if the book needs to get to market quickly. On occasion, I will tell someone the book needs more work before it can be submitted. I give practical advice based on many years in the book business. I don’t want authors, especially first-timers, wasting time, money and effort and ending up disappointed.”
Hire a publishing pro to get the help you need to publish your book.
As a book marketing specialist who deals daily with the media, I learned a long time ago that a common mistake in crafting media pitch letters is making them too long. We live in the Twitter world of 140 characters or less. This has trained people to be impatient and critical of long winded introductions. The same is true of query letters to an agent. A query letter should be no more than half a page. You have to know exactly what agents want to hear, what they’re looking for. Tell them only that and end the letter right there! Keep it short, keep it sweet and you’ll be one step closer to landing an agent.
Agents are in the business of selling books. They’re not our best friends, they’re not our therapists, and they’re not our life coaches. The best agents focus on what they do best which is generating enough excitement on a book and sell it for as high a price as possible. When you get paid, they get paid. End of story.
That’s why I like the concept of an “author matchmaker” because he or she can put the best possible spin on your book with an irresistible query letter to get an agent to pay attention. You know how to write – the author coach knows how to sell your book.
Alternatively, if you are a do-it-yourselfer then check out my article “How to Land a Literary Agent” on my blog: www.Book-Publicist.com
The bottom line: Why reinvent the wheel? Sign up with a book consultant like Debby Englander by dropping her a note at: email@example.com
About the Author
Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC Nightly News, The New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Family Circle, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few. Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist.
About Debra Englander
Englander served as editorial director at John Wiley Publishing for nearly 17 years and was on the receiving end of thousands of pitches from agents and authors. She currently works with authors on creating winning book proposals and editing manuscripts. https://www.linkedin.com/in/DebraEnglander
You can keep ‘Paying Tuition’ in the form of mistakes or you can hire a Book Shepherd who’ll save you, time money and even perhaps your sanity!
By Scott Lorenz
At some point in the writing and publishing process most authors find themselves exasperated with all of the things that need to be done. This is one reason I recommend authors look into hiring a book shepherd. A book shepherd (aka book coach), is someone whose expertise in books and publishing will help you through the entire book-crafting and selling process. Services include help with ghostwriting, editing, cover design, printing, distribution, marketing, seeking an agent, even dealing with Amazon! A book shepherd will assist you with your book from start to finish.
Sadly, I see authors make mistakes that a good book shepherd would have caught and changed. With all there is to know about the book publishing process, the constant flow of changes makes it extremely difficult to keep up with it all. The guidance of someone experienced would be your greatest insurance policy to ensure your book is a success. It’s like hiring a guide to give you a tour of a foreign land. Would you rather read a guide book and do it yourself or hire a personal guide with special knowledge to show you?
Consider yourself fortunate if you can afford a book shepherd because it is well worth the money spent.
“Nothing detracts from good writing like bad editing,” says Debra Englander an experienced non-fiction editor and writer. “Submit your best work. Have it copy edited and proofread by a professional. Don’t ruin a potential relationship with an agent or publisher because of mistakes.” Debra Englander has extensive editorial experience including: reporting for Money, managing the Fortune Book Club and serving as editorial director at John Wiley for nearly 17 years. She currently works with authors on creating winning book proposals, editing manuscripts and content creation for online and print projects. I’ve known Debby for many years and she’s at the top of my list. Email her at: email@example.com and find out more at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/DebraEnglander
Mike Ball, an Erma Bombeck Award-winning author and syndicated columnist offers unique assistance to new authors from his position on the front lines of the publishing wars. “Writing, editing and publishing a book can be complicated, time-consuming and downright confusing,” says Ball. “I just helped out an author who got completely flummoxed by the forms Amazon threw at him. I understand it can be a daunting task for anyone. That’s why I am happy to assist authors in ghostwriting, editing and publishing.” Find Mike at http://writeittight.com
“One of the biggest challenges in writing, publishing and marketing a book is to know what to do, when to do it and how to do each step,” says Beth Barany, a book shepherd, creative business consultant for authors and publishers, and an award-winning novelist. Beth says that authors come to her because they need customized support for wherever they may be in the process. They may need brainstorming sessions to overcome writer’s block when starting a novel, help figuring out how to publish their nonfiction book, general support, or to gain ease while social media-marketing their book. A big advocate for self-publishing, Beth works with her authors to help them write, publish and market their book through the channels that make the most sense for their overall goals, timing and budget. Traditional publishing is included, of course. To learn more about Beth Barany and to sign up for a complimentary 30-minute session, go to http://www.bethbarany.com
Book Shepherd Gabriella Gafni, J.D. has composed countless texts for individuals from every walk of life and from every part of the globe. “With each project I undertake I ensure the narrative flows with meaning, vitality and purpose. Authors often remark that I have the ability to ‘get into their minds’ and manifest their messages in their respective voices,” says Gafni. “From first draft through publication, authors enjoy a collaborative experience destined to result in a pristine product, reflective of the author’s intent and purpose.” For more information about Gabriella Gafni, visit http://www.gmghostwriting.com
Thomas Miller, Ghostwriter, Podcaster and Book Shepherd
Thomas Miller not only helps authors through all of the shepherding steps we’re discussing here, but he’s also an expert audiobook narrator and producer. “Your book should generate multiple revenue streams beside just hardback, paperback and Kindle/Nook sales,” says Miller. “The audiobook market is growing faster than the conventional book market. If you publish, you should also produce an audiobook.”
Miller believes that some authors could create a seminar or workshop so that their book leads to online courses and coaching services. Thomas Miller can help advise authors on all of these revenue streams and can either narrate or guide them on an audiobook.
He also offers ghostwriting services at an affordable price. I’ve known and worked directly with him several years now and he’s top-shelf in my book. Contact Thomas Miller at http://ghostwriterr.com/
Marie White, Author, Book Shepherd and Publisher
For some authors an Author Assistant may be the way to go. Maria Connor is the author of Do Less, Write More: The Author’s Guide to Finding, Hiring and Keeping an Excellent Author Assistant. She is the founder/owner of My Author Concierge, which provides administrative, editorial, marketing and technical support services for authors. She has worked with more than 50 authors across multiple genres. For more information, visit www.MyAuthorConcierge.com
“I meet a lot of authors who have books they are not happy with,” says Marie White owner of Zamiz Press. “From covers they don’t like to missing versions of the book, such as audio or ebook, to no ‘look inside’ feature online. They are frustrated and alone in the process.” If need be, White helps authors get their book back from a publisher and then republishes the book as they always envisioned it. “Most authors still retain the rights to their book, even after it’s published. I help them understand the publishing process and feel confident.” Reach Maria at: www.ZamizPress.com
Known as “Book Whisperer” Michael Ray King can help authors get to the finish line. With 10 published books, five Royal Palm Literary Awards for writing, over 20 manuscripts written and helping over 100 new authors get their manuscripts written, Michael can help you with most writing and publishing needs. https://michaelrayking.com
Rik Feeney – Book Coach
Rik Feeney is a Book Coach and Publishing Consultant. He speaks at writer’s conferences and seminars and is the leader of the Orlando Florida Writer’s Association group. Rik’s passion is helping authors effectively and successfully publish their books. Contact Rik for a free consultation. www.RikFeeney.com
The Bottom Line: Whether you call it a book shepherd or book coach, these book publishing experts will help save you time, money and perhaps even your sanity!
Be sure to check out a list of book shepherds below which was originally created by the late Dan Poynter and now recently updated and expanded upon by Westwind Book Marketing.
Zip Code/Country, Name, Email, Website
06001 Brian Jud firstname.lastname@example.org; www.bookmarketingworks.com
68137 Lisa Pelto email@example.com; www.conciergemarketing.com
80015 Judith Briles, PhD firstname.lastname@example.org; www.TheBookShepherd.com
89509 Jacqueline Simonds email@example.com; www.beaglebay.com
90212 Joseph Coleman firstname.lastname@example.org; www.bookshep.com
92111 Lindee Rochelle LinDee@PenchantForPenning.com www.penchantforpenning.com
92653 Sharon Goldinger email@example.com; www.detailsplease.com/peoplespeak
94304 John Eggen John@MissionMarketingMentors.com; www.missionmarketingmentors.com
94801 Peter Beren firstname.lastname@example.org; www.peterberen.com
95437 Cynthia Frank email@example.com; www.cypresshouse.com
95476 Simon Warwick-Smith firstname.lastname@example.org; www.warwickassociates.net
22206 Gabriella Gafni — email@example.com; www.gmghostwriting.com
81611 Thomas Miller Thomas@ghostwriterr.com; http://ghostwriterr.com/
About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz
Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.
Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist