The Expert on Excellence for Independent & Self Publishing Success
Ellen talks with Viki at
Expert Insights Publishing
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
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Tips For Publishing Your Own Book
Marsha Friedman+ by | July 31, 2015 | Book PR, Featured, General Marketing
Publishing a Business Book? Make Sure It Looks as Smart as You
I've said it before and I've done it myself:
If you're a professional or business person, writing a book that shows off your expertise is a wonderful way to market your service or product. It sets you apart from your competition and readers will view you as a respected authority on your topic. Include your contact information in the book, and they may become your next client or customer!
The beauty of this strategy is that it has become easy for anyone to publish and distribute a book. And today, the book that you publish yourself can look just as appealing as one produced by a big publishing house.
That's important. Your book represents you; if the final product looks like the work of an amateur, well …
Quick story. Knowing how crucial a book's appearance is, when I got down to the business of publishing Celebritize Yourself, I got professionals involved. But, while the cover designer was very good, I rejected his drafts over and over again because he kept coming up with Hollywood images of red carpets and movie stars.
But it would have been a lot easier and less stressful if I'd had someone like Ellen Reid of Ellen Reid's Book Shepherding helping me.
It was clear he'd never read the first sentence of my book: "Celebritizing Yourself is about branding yourself as an expert.' A few pages later, I spell it out: "When I use the word 'celebrity' throughout this book, think about someone entirely different than the mega stars, tabloid seekers or the 15-minute celebrity. Our celebrity … (is) someone with expert knowledge …'
Thanks to my background, I knew what to watch for. But it would have been a lot easier and less stressful if I'd had someone like Ellen Reid of Ellen Reid's Book Shepherding helping me.
As her business name suggests, Ellen shepherds writers through the publishing process. She reads their manuscripts then puts together a creative team of designers, copywriters, etc., for that book. Together they determine the appropriate marketplaces for the book, how it should be positioned, the cover design, and everything from the paper the pages are printed on to the words in the subtitle to the back cover copy.
Ellen knows exactly what it takes to make a book look, feel and read like a bestseller, and she does it without fail.
If you're considering writing a book as a marketing tool for your business, take some advice from Ellen. These tips will help ensure your finished book is the best it can be, and maybe save you money along the way.
Create your own publishing company. "This is much easier than it sounds!" Ellen says. Create a 'doing business as name like Blue Sky Publishing or Apple Pie Press. Don't use your own name, which just doesn't carry the same panache. (Check to see if your state requires you to register your dba as a fictitious name.) Open a checking account in your dba name to keep track of expenses and profits for tax purposes, and you're ready to go. Having your own publishing company gives you complete control over your book.
Get your own ISBN. "Your ISBN is your book's Social Security number," Ellen says. You can obtain your own ISBN from the U.S. ISBN Agency (isbn.org).
Hire professionals for editing, design, etc. "If you are not a skilled, professional editor, designer, etc., don't try to do these jobs yourself. It will definitely show in your final product," Ellen says. "If you plan to oversee the process yourself, it's critical to have an eye for what looks good and what doesn't."
DON'T use "by" before your name on the cover. "It's a dead giveaway," Ellen says. "The big publishers never use "by," just your name – big enough for everyone to see."
Having a book as a marketing tool is invaluable, but only if the finished product has a polished, appealing look. As Ellen points out, most writers know little about book production – it'ss a technical process.
But, as Ellen also points out, this is a wonderful time to publish. You can have full creative control, keep your royalties, still get into bookstore distribution and have a product as beautiful as the ones produced by traditional publishing houses.
So go forth and write!
I am most grateful to you for being my book shepherd. You are an amazing woman with outstanding skills.
Without you and your ability to bring books and ideas to fruition my book, Healer's Healer' Heart would never exist. You have changed my life.Writers, including myself, have no idea about the intricacies of publishing a book. You made it all possible. The copyright page, the ISBN number, the editing of the book and an attractive cover, just to name a few details were skillfully handled by you and your staff.
I must comment on your intuitive abilities. You always seem to know what is best and timely.
I value our relationship and hold you in the highest esteem.
— Dr. Gloria Kaye, Ph.D.
"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.
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.
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"
"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."
"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.
“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!
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
"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. "
"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."
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.
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.
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
THE 10TH ANNUAL 2016 NATIONAL INDIEEXCELLENCE AWARDS ARE OPEN FOR SUBMISSION!!
Business Hall of Fame
presented by Beverly Hills
6 Consecutive Years
Ellen Reid's Book Shepherding™ Book Publishing Consultants
Best of 2014 BEVERLY HILLS
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
"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."
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.
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.
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.