How Book Shepherding Works

Dr. Judith Briles is an innovative and creative guide who will assist you with your book and publishing project. She has mentored up-and-coming authors and publishers for years and dedicated hundreds of hours to educating others about the pitfalls, and joys, of the publishing world.

Book Shepherds come in all kinds of sizes and shapes, providing a variety of services and charging a wide range of fees. At one end of the spectrum are the Shepherds that do similar work to that of book packagers. They literally take over the development of the book—rewrites or ghosting, editing, cover and interior design, printing, marketing, and in some cases, PR. Your investment will range from $20,000 to $50,000 plus. That’s a lot of money.

Judith brings passion, persistence, perception, planning, and publishing power to the table. Her strategy is to “teach you” how to create your book and actively participate in the process. In some cases, when books have been abused or sabotaged by others, she steps in to resuscitate and rescue it. Among things that she can assist you with are:

  • Determining if there is a book, and who it is for;
  • Creating your Author and Book Platforms;
  • The tightening of your writing;
  • The first run of editing;
  • Creating the “hook” that makes you the expert;
  • Crafting a proposal for potential sale to a publisher
  • The structuring of your PR game plan;
  • Creating and shaping a speech that sells your book;
  • Connecting you with the right printer;
  • Connecting you with foreign and movie rights agents;
  • Connecting you to traditional agents;
  • Putting the right team together; and
  • Getting back on track

The Book Shepherd shows how to: Create, Strategize, Develop, Publish, and Achieve Book Success. The publishing world is changing … and so must you. With Judith’s huge circle of quality contacts, she will be the captain of your team, but insists that you come in as a “co-captain.” Her fees are significantly less and in her opinion, much better on your checkbook.

How It Works …

Your first appointment will last one to three hours, depending on the complexity of what you need. For some, it’s all they need. They take the recommendations and run with them. Most have additional follow-ups, usually lasting several months until the book is published and marketing, media, and other post-strategies are in place. As ArtosPress publisher Rhonda Spellman said, “If only I had brought you in at the beginning of the process … I would have saved thousands of dollars.”

Prior to the first appointment, you will send what material you have so that they can get a feel for what your book is about. During the appointment, whether on the phone or in person, detailed notes will be taken and converted to a recap and sent to you via email within a few days. This allows you to fully listen, ask questions, absorb what is said, and ask more questions. Best-selling author Susan RoAne (How to Work a Room) hit the mark when she said, “You create magical midwifery!”

Connie Glaser, author of GenderTalk Works and Women Who Swim with the Dolphins said, “The two hours I spent with you were the single best investment I made in this whole process.”

With The Book Shepherd’s extensive team of professionals, they will be able to find the right fit to assist you at whatever stage you are at. As your captains, you can trust that they’ve created a team of experienced pros who will be as dedicated to getting a quality book to the marketplace. No compensation is received for the extensive referrals made to other publishing professionals. What The Book Shepherd get is the satisfaction that the work done on your behalf will be top-notch.

One of Judith’s clients that completed his book in 2011, ready to show the world in 2012 is Gene Morton, author of Leaders First.  Gene’s words:

“In the last 18 months, while working with Judith on my book, I’ve had ample opportunity to observe firsthand what her clients, whether fledgling writers or savvy authors with multiple publications, stand to gain from her book shepherding.

In 2016, Poet Julie Redwen, author of A Heart Sings, wrote:

“I received my first hard copy and it’s beautiful! I couldn’t have asked for anything more! The book looks so professional and the colors are so vibrant! Tell Rebecca thanks again for doing a great job! And John for editing my poems so well! I’m both excited and nervous about the outcome.  I look forward to publishing another book through you in the near future! And now that I have some experience, I will have a much better sense of what to expect and the things I need to work on next time around!”

Below are several shares from a variety of authors Judith has worked with:

  • She makes me feel welcome, shows real enthusiasm for my project, and in the face of doubt and anxiety, boosts my confidence.
  • “Thanks to her many years writing, publishing, and promoting her own books, as well as her penchant for staying on top of every latest trend in the publishing industry, she anticipates real-world expenses and production potholes I would never have considered. She knows how to put together a budget for all the steps of my project. I like the way she trims the fluff out of a production contract and book promotion campaign. Her reasonable project fees are more than offset by the savings gained from what I would have spent while trying to go it all alone.”
  • “She shows me how to improve my book—its cover copy, preface, introduction, authors’ bio, and more—she levels with me about where to make rewrites and offers ideas about how to accomplish them.”
  • “Like a well-connected general contractor, she coordinates among a cadre of seasoned subcontractors. In addition, Judith’s expertise and coaching for the book promotion process really shines.”
  • “Through Judith and her resources, such as the AuthorU events, I have learned much about the publishing process and myself. She infuses her project coaching with education and author development. Her instincts make me think, and reflect on what I am about to do. In this process, an author cannot help but absorb new insights and knowledge of the craft of writing.”
  • “When it comes to book promotion and distribution, she frequently reminds me of ways to promote my book early, providing many clues about how to do it. Without her urging, I would be much further behind in my book promotion campaign. This means she pushes me out of my comfort zone and inspires me to learn new ways of connecting with readers, and how to present my messages in more reader-friendly styles.”
  • “She showed me how to build profitable relationships with Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and others, as well as how to construct my own distribution system, are other valuable assets of her expertise.”
  • “I recommend Judith to anyone who wants to offer readers more than a book—instead a reading adventure—whether electronic, paper, or audio. She knows the business. I am looking forward to working with her as we move into the doubly intense phase of promoting and publicizing.”