Book Shepherds Are Key to Success
There is an important category of service providers in the book industry that benefits all book printers to know. They are called “book shepherds.” Book Shepherds help fledgling authors and publishers to take their books from manuscript to printed product. Dan Poynter, the guru of self-publishing, first used the term book shepherd in the late-1990s.
While each book shepherd has a specialty, all help transform a writer’s or first-time publisher’s manuscript into a finished product. Most offer such services as editing, typesetting, product positioning within the book marketplace, layout and design and, in some cases, selecting distribution channels. The book shepherd also helps select the book printer for each job.
A book shepherd manages several book projects at once. The larger the book shepherd, the more projects in process at any given time. This means numerous printing opportunities to a book printer over time. Furthermore, if the book sells well, it means reprint opportunities from the publisher even after the publisher or author has left the book shepherd’s care.
There are many book shepherds throughout the United States. The ones I have worked with, primarily in California, are listed below. Finding other book shepherds is not as easy as going to the Yellow Pages and looking under Book Shepherds. It may take some research to find the ones closest to you. The place to research book shepherds is on the vendor pages of book related web sites such as Dan Poynter’s www.parapub.com, John Kremer’s www.bookmarket.com and the Small Publishers Association of North America’s site www.spannet.org.
Ellen Reid’s Book Shepherding
510 Castillo Street, Suites 301 and 304
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Patty and Ernie Weckbaugh
1718 Rogers Place #1A
Burbank, CA 91504
Penny Paine and Gail Kearns
To Press and Beyond
825 East Pedregosa Street, Suite #2
Santa Barbara, California 93103
Toll Free: 866-528-9901
Carolyn Porter & Alan Gadney
One to One Book Productions
7944 Capistrano Avenue
West Hills, CA 91304
1375 Poli Street, Suite 14
Ventura, CA 93001