self publishing book services

The Expert on Excellence for Independent & Self Publishing Success

There was a time when independently published books—books written by authors who created their own publishing companies—were not recognized by those in the know. They were confused with vanity press books. But indie pioneers like Ellen Reid worked hard to guide writers into becoming authors and indie publishers of respected books, even if they had just one book.

Today, independently published books can be found next to those of mainstream publishers in bookstores, on best seller lists, and in reviews by respected reviewers. Why? Because they stand up under industry scrutiny.

From the start, Ellen's mantra has been Excellence! Excellence! Excellence! With brilliance, she has consistently guided her creative team in producing:

  • Topnotch covers that catch the eye
  • Motivating titles, sub titles and promotional text that grab the imagination, and
  • Well-crafted interiors that are comfortable and enjoyable to look upon

She also creates branding and a platform that can become the foundation upon which authors can confidently stand to present themselves and their books. And she helps writers maneuver the not-always-easy road to establishing themselves as publishers to be taken seriously.

With clients' books frequently receiving recognition in contests, Ellen went on to write her own award-winning, Putting Your Best Book Forward, that not only revealed her secrets but demonstrated them in its presentation.

For writers who want to become authors and publishers of award-quality books, Ellen Reid is the go-to book shepherd/book consultant because, simply stated,

 Ellen Reid IS

"The expert on Excellence for SELF Publishing Success!"

Call Ellen at 805-770-2842

"It seems like everyone has a story inside of them that wishes to be written. I started writing when I was eight years old and even though a few of my books had been published by UK publishers, I had not met with much success. My daughter loved the children's books I had written for the family. When she went off to college she asked me to publish them  because she felt that her friends needed the stories to live by. Illustrator Belle Crow duCray was enthusiastic but publishers were reluctant to take on expensive full color publications. Luckily I heard about Ellen Reid, a book shepherd who resides in Santa Barbara. Our first book had been printed and met with a little success. I knew nothing about PR, awards or distribution. Ellen helped us with those worlds and also added much insight on how to improve our next book, Sparkle & The Light. Few people know how much work goes in not only to the writing of a book, but also the illustration and design. Ellen walked me through beginning my own publishing company, Infinite Light Publishing. After that I had learned much about the craft of publishing and we were on our own. Our next book, A Story of Becoming has won nine awards this year including top honors with Children's Literary Classics and Mom's Choice, as well as the children's division of the Paris Book Festival. I highly recommend Ellen Reid to emerging authors.

"Thank you Ellen Reid for making my dreams come true." 

— Ayn Cates Sullivan, Ph.D.

"Ellen Reid made my long term dream become a reality. For over 20 years I struggled and tried to find out how to publish an original manuscript. Ellen not only showed me how to do it but connected me with the most amazing people.... from book design, editing, copywriting, proof reading. printing. She also showed me how to start my own independent publishing company with the all important ISBN's, Library of Congress and Publisher's Cataloging-in-Publication information for libraries to find my book. She also introduced me to a great web designer and worked with him on my website.  There is absolutely no way I could have done it without her. Not only did Ellen support me with all aspects of the production and publishing she was also an amazing coach and helped me in times of stress when I wasn't sure what I was doing. She worked with me on the practical, professional and emotional side of the production and publishing. I loved working with Ellen and she's become a wonderful and close friend that I will always treasure."

 — Elizabeth Marks,
Cape West Publishing

"Ellen's uncompromising eye for quality plus her ability to expertly guide her authors through the complicated world of publishing makes for an effective combination no indie publisher can afford to miss. If you're a writer committed to producing the highest quality book than Ellen is your secret weapon."

— Dana Brown Smith, author of
Girls Watch Too!

This was on Facebook! I'm so proud...

Julie Powers Schoerke
January 11 at 1:42pm

Ellen Bookshep is so creative, so smart and so fun to work with. I loved what Dan Poynter said about her recently...if you are looking at indie or self-publishing, you'll want to take a look at the trail Ellen has been blazing for years in publishing:

"I have often described Ellen as having a unique eye for quality. That description grew out of a time many years ago, when she showed me some of her work in before and after books. I was astonished: Her after books were the most attractive I had ever seen.

The original Book Shepherd, Ellen manages book production. She selects only the best subcontractors and brings them together to produce superior books of her design.

Ellen Reid creates books that are excellent in every way: books that not only have a vibrant cover, a title that grabs book browsers, a sub title that draws them to the back cover, and back cover text that compels to the sale… but one in which every element works synergistically with the others to supercharge the sales impact.

Ellen repeatedly confirms that she is the expert on excellence for independent publishing success."

Finalist for the Foreword Book Awards!

I am over the moon about my clients winning awards!!

Congratulations to 4 of my wonderful author/publisher clients. I am very proud that they all are
Finalists in the Foreword Book of the Year contest.

Sutton Place by Louise Gaylord
My Letters from Santa to You
The Relevance of Reason by Mack Borgen
IT Confidential by CD Rahm
Read more about them!

January 22, 2014


The Expert on Excellence for Independent Publishing Success

I am a high-end resource for authors who recognize that you can’t craft a Bentley automobile—or produce and publish a high quality  book—by buying a how-to manual or by taking a weekend workshop.

 Though I was designated the Premier Book Consultant by the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce four years running, I am much more than a consultant. For authors who want to build a solid business foundation by independently publishing their book, I assemble a team of top industry professionals—people with a track record of exceptional excellence in all areas, from book design and copywriting to printing, distribution, web design and creation, to social media.

 Then, like a Steven Spielberg or Leonard Bernstein, I direct them so not only do we get their very best work at a price that makes sense, but all the elements are coordinated so the end result is far more than the sum of the parts.

With the author’s involvement at every key decision point, we position and brand the book and also the author, so that everything is consistent and a powerful and profitable synergy results, whether we’re doing print or e-book format. I also recommend and discuss distribution. We go the additional step of preparing the author to market her or himself and their book by working with a graphic designer and web designer to create powerful marketing materials that further support their branding. We also recommend publicists and other support professionals to keep the momentum moving forward.

My guiding principle is DDIY-BBI: DON’T Do It Yourself — But Be Involved!

Authors are great at writing books. My team and I provide everything else required to produce a book of exceptional quality and work with the author to create a publishing company to support their vision and ultimate success.

I look forward to hearing from you so we can discuss your specific needs.

Specialist in the Art of Independent Publishing

Making Sure You Have a Book You Can Build Your Success On!

There are many roads to getting your book into print. Book Shepherd Ellen Reid knows something most aspiring authors don’t: You can start your own publishing company with your first book. Why would you do this? Because an independently published book will be viewed completely differently than a self-published book or one published by one of the many Print on Demand houses.

Ellen Reid guides authors to creating a book that is excellent in every way – a book that not only has a vibrant cover, a title that grabs browsers, a sub title that draws them to the back cover, and back cover text that compels to the sale… but one in which every element works synergistically with the others to supercharge the sales impact.

How it works. You and Ellen collaborate on all the decisions. Ellen directs a hand-picked team of award winning creative professionals who work together to assure you of a book that more than meets your expectations, it exceeds them. The result is an exceptional book whose cover copy (including title and sub title), design and interior layout reflect the excellence of your message.

Not only has Ellen led literally hundreds of clients to realizing their publishing dreams, she works from the rock solid foundation of personal experience, having produced her own award-winning book Putting Your Best Book Forward, a Book Shepherd’s Secrets to Producing Award-Winning Books that Sell!

Letter from Ellen


Please let me explain what I can do for you so that we can proceed with clarity and confidence, and you can enjoy the process of getting your book into print.
Since 1999, I have been producing independently published books with authors who want to control their own imprint (and profit), and create a book of excellent quality.

How We Work

As your Book Shepherd, I talk with you, read your manuscript, and find out what you want your book to do for you. As I get to know you and understand your objectives, I begin to think about the best way to position and brand you. This includes hiring a select team of creative professionals, to work with me on your behalf.
These creatives include editors, copywriters (for title, back cover and the all important “about the book” and “about the author”), cover designers, book interior page designers, web designers, printers and those skilled in handling the myriad details that accompany each step. These experts are hand picked by me specifically based on the needs of your book.

What You Get

I can take you from manuscript to print and advise you regarding establishing your own imprint, bookstore distribution, e-book and audio book creation and distribution. I also can work with you on your website; design, videos, and your professional author photo. All of these are very important components of your branding.
You have put your heart into your manuscript, I will work with you to “put your best book forward” and start your own imprint.

Time Matters

It’s my honor and pleasure to work with you to get your book out very quickly – in months, not years – so you can not only have a book of excellent quality, you can be proud of it and be ready to market hard and fast!

Call or email me and let’s talk about YOU!



"I may have written the book but, quite simply, I would not be an author without the expertise of Ellen Reid. If not for her guidance, there would be no book. She was present for every step from editing to design to printing to marketing strategies. And now I am starting to sell my book, thanks to Ellen. I would strongly recommend that if you want to transition from writer to author, call Ellen Reid!"

— James L. Hardeman, MD


"In my self-publishing journey, I cannot imagine having crossed the finish line in as fine a fashion without Ellen at the helm. Before working with Ellen, there was trepidation, and after having worked with her, there is now confidence and excitement, and she shares my excitement! She put together the most amazing team of professionals who are such kind and amazing people, the exact thing I envisioned when it came to producing the book. I have a finished product that is beautiful and matches my intent. I thank Ellen Reid for that"

Janet D. Thomas, author of Lemons, Lemonade & Life
Janet D. Thomas |


"With Ellen's guidance and the dedication of the entire team, my very rough manuscript turned into a concept and a real book that is enjoyable to read. It is amazing where we're at today from where we started. We've accomplished something much greater than I could have expected."

C.D. Rahm, author of I.T. Confidential

"Book shepherds such as Ellen Reid, who is both highly talented and experienced, can be critical in developing the context for the finalization of your book, for developing a platform, and for creating your personal brand. In addition, Ms. Reid will take the time to read your book in detail, and to understand the purpose and intend of your book and your writings. This early focus by experienced book shepherds like Ms. Reid and her associates can assure, and usually in my opinion improve upon, your title and subtitle, and can be invaluable in creating general marketing presentation and book summaries for later use in your book jackets, press releases, and other later marketing efforts."

Mack Borgen,

"Ellen was a critical team captain in assisting me as an author to navigate through the process from the manuscript stage through to two successful published novels. She guided me through the process, introduced me to excellent, vetted resources (book design, photographers, editors, printers, literary PR firms, publishers and more). She provided expert guidance all the way.

"I am deeply grateful to her."

Charles Martin
Award winning author
Provocateur, Nadia's Obsession

Ellen's Latest Testimonials

“Ellen Reid is the Go To Book Shepherd and Publishing Consultant ! If you have a manuscript and you want to create the most beautiful books and  publish them Ellen is the only call to make! “ 

Susan Allan, CEO The Sales Forum


Thanks for everything from helping me so it became a book - to all your further support!

You are really a top coach and all of us you have been touching have received a lift by your professional approach, in many ways.

Thanks again, feel our greatfulness surround you when enjoying your Christmas!

We keep in touch!

All the best and cheers!


Dear Ellen,

You are a great blessing in every life you touch. Thanks for being part of my life.

Sending so much love and gratitude to you.



“Quite simply, my book would not have happened without Ellen. She was all the things I needed at seemingly the right time in the process: enthusiastic, supportive, reassuring, knowledgeable, professional, resourceful and persistent. We put together everything; a publishing company, the book design, copy editing, proofing, printing and publicity. She always knew just the right person for each step of the process. You can judge for yourself but my book ended up being everything I wanted it to be. It is beautiful. Ellen is the go to person for getting your book from an idea to a reality.”

— James G. Wellborn, PhD


Raising Teens in the 21st Century by James G. Wellborn, PhD


"With the arrival of the printed books, I could not help but think back to your enormous contribution. You have been my guiding mentor all the way. You assembled an outstanding team that took this novel to its full potential. You guided this blind man (in the literary world) through the maze of decisions that have been necessary to launch this book.

"Seriously, the launch of this book would have never happened without you guiding me all the way and your total commitment to excellence. I appreciate it more than I can say, but want you to know how much I appreciate what you have done for me. "

— Chuck D. Martin, author of 'Provocateur'

Provocateur by Charles D. Martin

--Dan Poynter, The Book Futurist.

Some writers plan to publish digitally only—to save money. This is a mistake.

If you publish an eBook, you are perceived as a writer.
If you publish a pBook (paper), you are regarded as an author.

Paper book are retained as review copies; PDFs disappear in a click.

Self-publishers should offer editions to fit any lifestyle: Paper, eBook, LARGE PRINT for the visually impaired, audiobook, etc.

Give the buying customer what he or she wants.

Reprinted from "Rick Frishman's Sunday Tips"
Subscribe at and receive Rick's "Million Dollar Rolodex"

"Ellen Reid lives and breathes the book business. She can spot a winner like few others. Her intuition to get to the heart of a manuscripts key selling points is a great asset to any author in the publishing process."

--Chris Collins, award winning book designer

Through the Eyes of a Survivor   Invisible Kids   Julia Fairchild
  Dr. Segals Cookie Diet   Imgard's Flute  
Tobacco Brown   Fortune & Freedom   Soul Vision

Dan Poynters Global eBook Awards

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It's my pleasure to offer you a complimentary 30 minute telephone consultation to find out more about you and how I might be able to help. Please put in your email address and my team will contact you to set up a time and date. I look forward to talking with you.

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In the News

Book Shepherd Shows How You Can Do Your Own Book

I came across Ellen Reid's book, Putting Your Best Book Forward: A Book Shepherd’s Secrets To Producing Award-Winning Books That Sell. It is a quick read from a book shepherd who shows readers how to set up their own publishing company and get their book into bookstores.

Read more

Thank you so much Steve Burt! I am very proud....

When I first met "book shepherd" Ellen Reid at self-publishing guru Dan Poynter's house in Santa Barbara in 2001, I already had 10 books in print (4 with traditional publishers, 6 self-published)—but they  weren't doing anything, weren't going anywhere. I contracted with her and... read more


Indie Excellence Book Awards


Beverly Hills Book Awards



Ellen will be a presence at the 2014 Author 101 University in Los Angeles, California in October! Check it out!

Business Hall of Fame
presented by Beverly Hills
Award Program

6 Consecutive Years

Ellen Reid's Book Shepherding™ Book Publishing Consultants

Best of 2014 BEVERLY HILLS

Business Hall of Fame - 6 Consecutive Years

We are thrilled to announce our client, Mack Borgen has won two awards!

Los Angeles Book Festival and the 2014 Foreword Book Awards Finalist!

thanks, ellen and congrats to you too

I'm really happy about this !!

Praise for Ellen at Ventura County Writer's Weekend

Hi Ellen,

"Thank you for the many gifts you provided at today's writer's conference. I'm going over your notes and look forward to reading your book. Much to think about and consider. I'm grateful to you. Again, thanks for sharing your wisdom and experience today. Be well, stay safe."

— Libbe

Ellen Interviewed at
Young at Heart Radio

Book Shepherd, Ellen Reid, Guides Self-Published  Authors

Why Enter Your Book In a Contest?

by Ellen Reid


Ellen on The Book Beat
Internet TV Show

I was on the BOOK BEAT, an internet tv show...and enjoyed it very much. Please take a look!.

Here is the recording...great show.

Books Today the
Professional Way

Thursday, June 13, 2013

New Publisher Authors
Trust: Themselves


When the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and author David Mamet released his last book, “The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture,” with the Sentinel publishing house in 2011, it sold well enough to make the New York Times best-seller list.

Read more..

Gone are the days when The New York Times Best Seller List provided readers all they needed to know about the best books to read. Many of the nation's top authors have opted out of restrictive publisher's contracts and have chosen to bring their work to market as independent publishers. More than 1.2 million books are being independently published each year, and savvy authors are realizing that in a fast-changing marketplace, independent publishing offers the flexibility required to succeed.

-Jim Barnes, Independent

I still hear Ellen Reid’s sage advice whispering in my ear: “Keep it personal … reveal more of yourself in your writing … people buy books because of the author, not because of the publisher.”

Ellen shepherded the publication of “The Courtship of Two Doctors: A 1930s Love Story of Letters, Hope & Healing,” the book of my parents’ courtship letters that I edited and published. I thought I was done with the manuscript, but she had me write a new lead for the preface, calling forth my love and memories of my late parents. Readers tell me it draws them in immediately. “Especially well-written,” wrote one reviewer. She never let me lose focus that this book is about more than Alice and Joe and the relationship they built letter by letter; it is also about a daughter’s rediscovery of her parents as young people, before they were even a couple.

Ellen’s expert advice guided me through decisions on the book title, cover design, copyright page, print run, publication date, marketing campaign, website redesign, and more. She helped me connect to a new distributor and a literary publicist. She was always there for me, only a phone call away.

She kept the focus on quality. This book from an independent publisher, I am proud to say, holds its own on display shelves at major book chains, indie stores, and major libraries across the country.

Martha H. Fitzgerald

Watch my Trailer

Ellen "Bookshep" Reid & Mark Borde discuss Independent Book & Film Distribution

Dan Poynter Recommends Ellen Reid!

Rick Frishman Endorses Ellen Reid Book Shepherd!

Leif Klingborg Endorses Ellen Reid Book Shepherd!

The Power of Words

Watch Video

"Putting Your
Best Book Forward!"

Ellen Reid's "Putting Your Best Book Forward" has already won several awards and is on its way to becoming a "must read" for anyone considering Indie publishing.

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