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 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.



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: and find out more at:

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

“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

The Jenkins Group has more than twenty-five years of experience offering a comprehensive menu of custom publishing services. They handle book design, printing, ghostwriting services and distribution. Check out their video overview to see if you are a good fit.

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

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

For some authors an 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

The Bottom Line: A book shepherd 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

01035 Shel Horowitz;

06001 Brian Jud;

20191 Sam Horn;

30188 Bobbie Christmas;

45701 Janice Phelps;

80015 Judith Briles, PhD;

89509 Jacqueline Simonds;

90212 Joseph Coleman;

92111 Lindee Rochelle

92653 Sharon Goldinger;

94304 John Eggen;

94801 Peter Beren;

95437 Cynthia Frank;

95476 Simon Warwick-Smith;

22206 Gabriella Gafni —;

81611 Thomas Miller;


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 or contact Lorenz at or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist