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Ghostwriters, Who Needs Them? YOU DO! Read This Before You Hire One

Ghostwriters, Who Needs Them? YOU DO! Read This Before You Hire One

By: Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

Ghostwriters work behind the curtain as narrative architects of the literary world. You’ve probably read a ghostwritten book without knowing it, since their names are rarely credited in the books they write. Some experts estimate that up to 60% of the nonfiction section in your nearest bookstore is ghostwritten.

As a book publicist deeply involved in the world of storytelling, some of my clients seek out ghostwriters to pen their books. Working with a ghostwriter can save you valuable time and energy and give your book a professional edge. But ghostwriters can be hard to vet, and their referrals tend to be word-of-mouth. There are also a few things you should know before you hire one. So, I put together a quick list of my favorite ghostwriters in 2023, as well as the top agencies, and a few tips for hiring a ghostwriter.

Marie Hasty

“The books I write for my clients change lives. That’s what I love about ghostwriting — even more so than personal relationships and getting to learn from healthcare leaders. These aren’t vanity books; they’re deeply impactful career investments.” 

Marie is a concierge ghostwriter and former hospital nurse who writes business books and memoirs for healthcare innovators. Her clients are often busy clinicians and leaders who are focusing on a better future for medicine. Her writing helps build brand authority and audience recognition. She loves elevating these leaders’ influence with the books she writes, as well as seeing her clients succeed as published authors.

To learn more about Marie’s work, visit her website: www.mariehasty.com

Debra Englander

“You need to think about your target audience. Some authors want a book to promote their business or gain more visibility. But you should consider the benefits to the reader. Ultimately, writing a book that provides something tangible — skills, exercises, stories – is the one that will be recommended. As ghostwriter and editor, I help the author communicate his or her message in the most effective way to reach a wide readership. Having worked as an editor at traditional publishers, I have a good handle on what books are likely to succeed.”

Debra Englander has worked as a writer and editor for magazines and publishers; she managed a business book program at Wiley for seventeen years, publishing numerous NY Times and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers.

Learn more about her work at www.linkedin.com/in/DebraEnglander or contact her at: [email protected]

Mike Ball

“We can work with your outline, your rough manuscript, or we can interview you and write your book from scratch.”

Mike Ball is an Erma Bombeck Award-winning author with three books of his own in print, including an Amazon bestseller, “Banjos, Boats and Butt Dialing.” He is a popular speaker at writer’s conferences and retreats and facilitates a number of writers’ groups.

Mike has helped hundreds of authors bring their work into the world, partnering with them in various roles as an editor, writing coach and ghost writer. He most recently penned “MIA’S ODYSSEY.” This 12-time-award-winning book has captivated the hearts and minds of many across the USA for its powerful story about a woman married off by her parents, abused by her husband, homeless all while raising five children. This book is currently in development as a screenplay. He’s ghostwritten several memoirs and a book about “SALES.” CNN has named him a CNN Hero for 2023 for his work with troubled youth using music as an expression of their innermost fears, hopes and dreams. If you have a compassionate, endearing story then Mike is your ghost.

Check out his website: https://www.mikeballonline.com/

Erick Mertz

“Whether I’m working on a memoir or screenplay, my work is focused on bringing the best possible story to the page. I believe we are all natural storytellers. Working with a professional ghostwriter offers the best opportunity to affect your target audience.”

Erick Mertz is a dynamic storyteller who left a career in social work to follow his calling as a full-time professional ghostwriter. He is a native of the Pacific Northwest with dozens of ghostwritten screenplays, television episodes, business books, memoirs and novels to his credit. He especially enjoys working with his clients to discover what it is that makes their story unique.

Visit his website at: www.erickmertzwriting.com

Erick is also the author of How To Hire A Ghostwriter: Your Guide To Finding The Best Pro For Your Writing Project.”

Christina Schweighofer

“From my earliest days as a journalist, I have loved interviewing people, hearing about their experiences and dreams, and making their story come alive on the page. My clients, in turn, feel seen and valued for who they are.”

Christina has a passion for writing that began in her days as a staff journalist and reporter in Austria. She’s an accomplished writer and interviewer, known for her ability to capture the essence of the people she writes for. Christina specializes in personal and business memoirs and has interviewed and portrayed notable names such as John Irving, Lisbeth Zwerger, Wolfgang Puck, and more.

Learn more about Christina and her ghostwriting services at: www.chswriter.com

Pam Gossiaux

My clients are often busy entrepreneurs and CEOs who have a great book idea, but no time to write about it. Entrepreneurs are fearless about change, they love challenges, and are known for creating the future they want. I love being a part of that energy! Handing them a finished book that they can add to their platform is very rewarding for both of us. I love to write and am blessed that I can do what I love for a living!”

Pamela specializes in ghostwriting business books and articles but writes sweet romance fiction on the side. Her clients are USA TODAY and Wall Street Journal bestselling authors and range from budding entrepreneurs to seasoned C-Suite executives.

Explore Pamela’s website at: www.BestsellingBookShepherd.com

Dr. Don Steele

“My Legacy books capture the life of people with stories that need to be told. There’s an African Proverb that says “When a man dies a whole library of life experience turns to ashes”. The Legacy books I write prevent that.”

Dr. Steele has an impressive background in education and as a corporate speaker at the highest levels and has published nine books, three of which have been used as university textbooks. His ‘Moments to Remember’ Legacy book series helps preserve and elevate stories of people who have led fascinating lives. His titles have included Rebel Without Applause, Undefeated, and The Misfit Millionaire: The Life and Times of Terry Duperon.

Find out more about Don on his website: www.performancelearninginc.com/authoring-1

Ghostwriting Agencies

Writer’s groups and agencies can be another great resource for finding a ghostwriter for your next project.

Jenkins Group

With 35 years of custom book publishing and ghostwriting experience, the Jenkins Group has written and produced books for thousands of clients. With the expertise of their professional writers, your ideas and concepts are transformed into polished and engaging content. Working closely with their clients, Jenkins Group understands your goals, voice, and objectives, ensuring that the final product aligns with your vision. Since they are full service, they can also handle the publishing and distribution of your book once its completed. Reach them at: www.JenkinsGroupInc.com

Gotham Ghostwriters

Gotham Ghostwriters, founded by CEO Dan Gerstein, is the first agency dedicated to long-form writing solutions. With a network of over 3,200 skilled writers, Gotham has successfully matched clients with top-tier editorial professionals for over a decade. From business books to white papers, their one-stop solution offers excellent ghostwriting support and expertise.

Between these top agencies and the writers, I mentioned earlier, you should be able to find someone who meets your ghostwriting needs. But what should you know before hiring a book ghostwriter? Let’s talk about it.

4 Tips for Hiring a Ghostwriter

Know ghostwriting rates.

Many people are surprised at the going rate for ghostwriting. For example, Gotham’s rates start around $30-35k. Many of the top writers’ charge in the six figures. J.D. Moehringer, who ghostwrote Prince Harry’s memoir Spare, was paid a million dollars. If you want a professionally written book, expect to pay at least $25,000.

Know your audience.

It’s essential to know and understand who you want to target before you hire a ghostwriter for your book. Knowing your audience leads to a more successful book launch and a more targeted book. Your ghostwriter won’t intuit your audience, so it’s essential to know this before you work together.

Do some vetting.

Ghostwriters can be difficult to evaluate because many work under strict Non-Disclosure Agreements. But any writer should have samples of work you can view before agreeing to work together. You’ll likely be able to tell after a quick conversation whether they’re experienced or not.

Seek compatibility.

The writing process can be an intimate affair with the author and ghostwriter. Look for someone who is reliable, and who you genuinely like talking to. They should be good listeners and take the time to understand you and your project.

Following these tips will help you find a ghostwriter who will elevate your story, build your brand authority, and above all, make the book-writing process a breeze. If you’ve been thinking about writing a book for more than a year… it’s time to hire a ghostwriter. We’re not getting any younger!

The Bottom Line: Hire a Ghostwriter! A ghostwriter will get the job done faster and probably better than you can write it yourself.

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 https://www.WestwindBookMarketing.com or contact Lorenz at [email protected] or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net.

Would you like help promoting your book?

If so, tell us a little about your book. What is the title? Do you have a publisher? What is the publish date? How many pages is your book? What is the cost? Do you have web site? What is your specific goal I.E., to make money, raise awareness, get the attention of an agent or publisher, sell the story to a movie or TV studio or something else?

Submit the form below with this information and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you!


How an Author’s Consultant Can Cinch Your Book Deal

How an Author’s Consultant Can Cinch Your Book Deal

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.

Debra Englander

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.”

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 protected]

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 https://www.WestwindBookMarketing.com or contact Lorenz at [email protected] or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net.

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

Would you like help promoting your book?

If so, tell us a little about your book. What is the title? Do you have a publisher? What is the publish date? How many pages is your book? What is the cost? Do you have web site? What is your specific goal I.E., to make money, raise awareness, get the attention of an agent or publisher, sell the story to a movie or TV studio or something else?

Submit the form below with this information and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you!


Authors: Want Publishing Help? Get a Book Shepherd!

Authors: Want Publishing Help? Get a Book Shepherd!

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
Westwind Communications

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 guidebook and do it yourself or hire a personal guide with special knowledge to show you?

Debra Englander

Debra Englander

Consider yourself fortunate if you can afford a book shepherd because it is well worth the money spent.

Debra Englander

“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 protected] and find out more at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/DebraEnglander.

Marla Markman

Marla Markman

Marla Markman

Marla Markman is an award-winning editor with over 30 years of experience creating and managing books. Marla is the owner of Markman Editorial Services, which provides publishing project management, guiding authors every step of the way with expert advice on everything from ghostwriting and outline development to editing, book design, printing, e-book conversion and audiobook production, to website development, listing the final product on Amazon, and more. Many of her client’s books have been Amazon bestsellers, adapted as university textbooks, featured in the Wall Street Journal and Publisher’s Weekly, and won prestigious indie publishing awards, like the Ben Franklin Awards.

“Self-publishing can be an overwhelming and confusing experience for the uninitiated,” says Marla. “I enjoy guiding authors through the self-publishing process.”  Marla developed and honed her expertise as managing editor of Entrepreneur magazine, one of the nation’s leading small-business publications. She launched its book division, where she acquired, developed, and edited numerous top-selling book series, including Start Your Own Business, which continues to be Entrepreneur’s No. 1 bestseller. Reach her at: https://www.marlamarkman.com/.

Mike Ball

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 https://www.mikeballonline.com/.

Beth Barany

“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 https://bethbarany.com/.

Gabriella Gafni, J.D.

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 https://www.gmghostwriting.com/.

Thomas Miller

Thomas Miller, Ghostwriter, Podcaster and Book Shepherd

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.

Maria Connor

Marie White Publisher Book Shepherd

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.

Marie White

“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.

Michael Ray

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

Rik Feeny Florida Writers Assn Book Coach Magnetic Speak

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. http://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 [email protected]; http://www.bookmarketingworks.com/

68137 Lisa Pelto [email protected]; https://www.conciergemarketing.com/

80015 Judith Briles, PhD [email protected]; https://thebookshepherd.com/

89509 Jacqueline Simonds

90212 Joseph Coleman [email protected]; https://www.bookshep.com/

92111 Lindee Rochelle [email protected] https://www.penchantforpenning.com/

92653 Sharon Goldinger [email protected]; https://peoplespeakservices.com/

94304 John Eggen [email protected]; https://missionmarketingmentors.com/

94801 Peter Beren [email protected]; https://peterberen.com/

95437 Cynthia Frank [email protected]; https://www.cypresshouse.com/

95476 Simon Warwick-Smith [email protected]; https://www.linkedin.com/in/simon-warwick-smith-7a61633/

22206 Gabriella Gafni — [email protected]; https://www.gmghostwriting.com/

81611 Thomas Miller [email protected]; https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomas-miller-345023132/

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 https://www.WestwindBookMarketing.com or contact Lorenz at [email protected] or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net.

Would you like help promoting your book?

If so, tell us a little about your book. What is the title? Do you have a publisher? What is the publish date? How many pages is your book? What is the cost? Do you have web site? What is your specific goal I.E., to make money, raise awareness, get the attention of an agent or publisher, sell the story to a movie or TV studio or something else?

Submit the form below with this information and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you!


How Book Shepherds Can Help Authors

How Book Shepherds Can Help Authors

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

I recommend authors look into hiring a book shepherd for a current or upcoming writing and publishing project. A book shepherd is someone whose expertise in books and publishing will help you throughout the entire book process. From cover art, editing, dealing with Amazon to locating a printer, a book shepherd will assist you from start to finish.

I am a proponent of using a book shepherd because there are so many things to know about in the book publishing process and so much is swiftly changing its extremely difficult to keep up with it all. It takes a person with experience to guide you along the way and that’s what a book shepherd does. Hiring a guide is a concept that’s been working for humankind for thousands of years. If you were going to a foreign land and wanted to see and do as much as you could would you read a guide book or hire someone to show you? Consider yourself fortunate if you can afford a book shepherd as it is well worth the money spent.

Dan Poynter recently compiled a comprehensive list of book shepherds. At the top of his list is Shel Horowitz who explains his role: “Basically, I walk unpublished writers through the process of becoming well-published authors. I start by helping them determine if they should publish traditionally, self-publish, or subsidy publish–and then help them complete all the steps for their choice, then work with them on the marketing as the book nears completion.” frugalmarketing.com

Tanya Hall is a unique book shepherd in that she works for a national publisher/distributor. “So instead of working in a vacuum without any up-to-the-minute feedback on trends, pitches, etc like most book shepherds operate, I have the luxury of a sales force and team of experts behind me to guide the direction I give to my clients. Most of our clients “in development” go through an editorial project development phase, followed by any number of services ranging from design to printing to (if accepted for publication/distribution by our review committee) distribution and marketing.” For more information, visit her website greenleafbookgroup.com.

Bobbie Christmas explains that her book shepherding style is rooted in an editing background. “After twenty years of editing magazines, newspapers, and corporate communications, I opened Zebra Communications in 1992 and specialized in editing books. As self-publishing grew and became an excellent way for consultants and other entrepreneurs to promote themselves and their businesses, I heard horror stories about otherwise intelligent people who made terrible decisions that cost them money and time and in the end often embarrassed them, rather than helping them get their books out to the public. I realized my clients needed more than editorial services, so I added book shepherding to my offerings.” Bobbie’s website is www.zebraeditor.com.

Mike Ball, award winning syndicated columnist and author of three books, offers unique assistance to new authors from his position on the front lines of the publishing wars. “Hey, it can be complicated, time consuming and downright confusing,” says Ball. “I just helped out an elderly author who got completely flummoxed by the forms Amazon threw at him. I understand it can be a daunting task for anyone. That’ why I am happy to assist for a reasonable hourly fee.” Find Mike at writeittight.com or call him at 313-405-7664.

Simon Warwick-Smith of www.warwickassociates.net says, “We are a one-stop shop, from cover and interior design to physical printing, and eBooks, to sales, marketing and publicity. Been in business for 20 years with a long list of satisfied clients”

Rita Mills says, “I don’t much care for the term ‘book shepherd’ as I feel what I do is more like herding cats than docile sheep. People come to me with either an idea or a manuscript and I project manage the process and assign a freelancer for an ala carte service as needed. Some just come to me with a manuscript that needs editing so they can take it to a traditional publisher, and some want me to take on the whole project from manuscript to marketing. I work with 30+ freelancers (some of whom I have worked with over 20 years) who do all kinds of editing, design, PR, marketing, indexing, ghostwriting, grant writing, etc.

I know my people’s skill set and can assign the individual with the specific genre/skills needed. For instance, someone who might be good at editing a nonfiction title might not be good with a fiction title or a children’s book. I also specialize in children’s picture books and I have portfolios on upwards of 300 illustrators. I have packaged roughly 450 titles since my years as the managing editor of an academic press at the University of Houston. I left there in 1997 to start my company, The Book Connection. My projects have ranged from back-of-the-room sales to high-end coffee table books. I am also a print broker, and print worldwide depending upon the need and goals involved in a project” For further information on Rita and her services, please visit her website bookconnectiononline.com.

“One of the biggest challenges in writing, publishing and marketing a book is to know what to do when, 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, whether it’s brainstorming sessions to overcome writers block for writing a novel, figuring out how to publish their helpful nonfiction book, or getting support and gaining ease with social media marketing for their mystery novel. A big advocate for self-publishing, she works with her authors to help them write, publish and market the book through the channels that makes the most sense for their overall goals, timing and budget, including traditional publishing. Beth believes that authors have more choices than ever to create a tailored book for their audiences and that it’s an exciting time to be an author entrepreneur. To find more about Beth Barany, and to sign up for a complimentary 30-minute session, go to bethbarany.com.

Linda F. Radke of Five Star Publications explains, “At Five Star Publications we have specialized in producing and marketing books since 1985. Our talented staff of editors, writers, illustrators, graphic designers, and publicity specialists is available to help with every aspect of publishing and promoting your book. Utilizing a network of experts in every aspect of publishing and publicity, Five Star Publications works closely with you every step of the way. Call us as soon as you start writing your book or at any point during the process of producing and promoting your book. We provide all the services, guidance, and ongoing support you need to successfully master every aspect of the publishing process. Once you contact us, we’ll be pleased to provide a proposal tailored to your specific project. Since every project is different in scope and needs, your time frames and costs will be handled on an individual basis.”

The Bottom Line: If you can afford to spend a few hundred to a few thousand dollars on a book shepherd, I highly suggest you do so as it will help save your sanity! There are so many exciting changes in the book publishing business it’s practically impossible to keep up with them all. The book shepherd will help you through the entire process or just a piece of the process where you need it. Check out this audio interview about book shepherds I did with Clark Covington at this link,

Be sure to check out Dan Poynter’s list of book shepherds below and get in touch with the book shepherd of your choice.

Zip Code/Country, Name, Email, Website

01035 Shel Horowitz [email protected]; www.frugalmarketing.com

06001 Brian Jud [email protected]; www.bookmarketingworks.com

07930 Barbara Kimmel [email protected]; www.nextdecade.com

20191 Sam Horn [email protected]; www.SamHorn.com

22314 Mike Vezo [email protected]; www.HelpUPublish.com

30188 Bobbie Christmas [email protected]; www.zebraeditor.com

45701 Janice Phelps [email protected]; www.janicephelps.com

68137 Lisa Pelto [email protected]; www.conciergemarketing.com

77041 Rita Mills [email protected]; www.bookconnectiononline.com

78704 Tanya Hall [email protected]; www.greenleafbookgroup.com

80015 Judith Briles, PhD [email protected]; www.TheBookShepherd.com

85226 Linda Radke [email protected]; www.FiveStarPublications.com

87505 Ellen Kleiner [email protected]; www.blessingway.com

89509 Jacqueline Simonds [email protected]; www.beaglebay.com

90212 Ellen Reid [email protected]; www.bookshep.com

90245 Jan King [email protected]; www.janbking.com

91304 Alan Gadney [email protected]; www.onebookpro.com

92111 Lindee Rochelle [email protected] www.penchantforpenning.com

92653 Sharon Goldinger [email protected]; www.detailsplease.com/peoplespeak

93103 Gail Kearns [email protected]; www.topressandbeyond.com

94304 John Eggen J[email protected]; www.missionmarketingmentors.com

94801 Peter Beren [email protected]; www.peterberen.com

95437 Cynthia Frank [email protected]; www.cypresshouse.com

95476 Simon Warwick-Smith [email protected]; www.warwickassociates.net

Canada Barbara Florio Graham [email protected]; www.SimonTeakettle.com

Canada Serena Williamson Andrew Ph.D [email protected]; www.bookcoachpress.com

Malaysia Shum F.P. [email protected]; www.authorpreneur.asia

New Zealand/Australia Maria Carlton [email protected]; www.marukibooks.com

Singapore Patrick Ang [email protected]

South Africa Val Waldeck [email protected]; www.valwaldeck.com

UK Mindy Gibbins-Klein [email protected]; www.bookmidwife.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 https://www.WestwindBookMarketing.com or contact Lorenz at [email protected] or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net.

Would you like help promoting your book?

If so, tell us a little about your book. What is the title? Do you have a publisher? What is the publish date? How many pages is your book? What is the cost? Do you have web site? What is your specific goal I.E., to make money, raise awareness, get the attention of an agent or publisher, sell the story to a movie or TV studio or something else?

Submit the form below with this information and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you!