What It Is: The process of advising and guiding an author throughout the book-creation journey, from writing and manuscript creation to the publication of their work.
Why You Might Need It: The constant flow of changes in the writing and publishing world requires the expertise of somebody like a shepherd to ensure that a book is properly represented to readers. A book shepherd guides your book through each step of the process, usually by tapping into their stable of freelance professionals or staff, rather than performing the individual services themselves. These editorial services can include ghostwriting, writing coaching, or developmental guidance; line editing, copyediting, and proofreading; cover design and interior formatting; administrative services such as procuring ISBNs, Library of Congress Catalogue numbers, barcodes, pre-order pages, and Amazon pages; and marketing services such as social media marketing, website development, Amazon marketing, and publicity/press release assistance.
Some book shepherds can even help authors navigate authors in traditional publishing, as many also have relationships with large or mid-size publishers and can help authors to create a book proposal, identify and secure an agent, and negotiate publishing agreements. An author who is unable to secure a traditional publishing deal or who opts to self-publish can move forward with a book shepherd in any capacity needed to get the book done. The author and shepherd can then turn to small or mid-size publishing firms to try to secure a publishing deal, or the shepherd can help the author navigate self-publishing.
While we do not offer all of the above services, we can be hired as a full-service contractor to take a manuscript through all the necessary steps once the writing is completed. We pair your manuscript with the appropriate copyeditor and proofreader, design your book from cover to interior layout, and manage all necessary account set-ups and registrations to help you publish via print-on-demand channels or a traditional print-and-distribution release.