Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How Book Shepherds Can Help Authors

Today's post is an article by my guest, Scott Lorenz, President of Westwind Communications who talks about book shepherds (Truth be told, this is new info for me).

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 At the top of his list is Shel Horowitz who explains his role: “Basically, I walk unpublished writers through the process of becoming well-published authors.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.”
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
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:
For more information you can contact Scott at:Westwind Communications
1310 Maple Street
Plymouth, MI 48170
Office: 734-667-2090
Cell: 248-705-2214


  1. This is new for me too! Book Shepherds! Wow. But I suppose if you can afford such a service, why not? Take care

  2. Very interesting. It sounds like this might be more for someone who is self publishing. I would suspect that a lot of the things a book shepherd does are things that a publishing company and/or agent does for their authors. But I could be wrong. Thanks for sharing this with us, Claudia.

  3. Hi All... A great Book Shepherd will save thousands of dollars in mistakes---plus should be a true guide. Yes, they do much of what the old tradition publishing relations did and DO NOT do now. A Book Shepherd is a cheerleader, but loaded with publishing and authoring moxie. I encourage all to follow me on Twitter @MyBookShepherd and subscribe to my twice weekly blog found on

    WHo Am I?--Judith Briles, author of 30 books including Show Me About Book Publishing and the forthcoming Author YOU: Creating and Developing Your Author and Book Platforms. I'm also the Founder and Chief Visionary Officier of, an association of authors who desire to be seriously successful. And, I also live in Aurora CO--have posted this week's blog on the power of the author's words that can heal ... a good week to you all. Judith

  4. Congrats, Claudia! You won in my giveaway. Come claim your prize! :)

  5. It's interesting how the literary eco-system is changing. As I see it A Book Shepherd is a bit like an alternative but cheaper agent. You pay upfront with no guarantee of success, as opposed to an agent who only takes his/her cut if your book sells.

  6. I've never heard of book shepherds before. What an interesting post!

  7. Book Shepherds? What next? Welcome to the ever-changing face of the literary industry... everyday we learn something new and interesting.

  8. iUniverse has helped more than 35,000 authors publish their books professionally and affordably. Since 1999, we have crafted a reputation for breaking records and blazing new trails in the self-publishing industry.