top of page

Book Shepherding

Are you completely lost or just want a whole publishing solution in one place? Right Hand Publishing is happy to become your go-to resource for all things self-publishing.

Help with the Entire Process

From your first draft until the day of publication, having someone that can answer your questions, handle large portions of the work, and find the right contractors for those portions of the work they cannot handle is going to make a world of difference in the process. "Shepherding" is ideal for first-time authors or authors that are much too busy to handle everything on their own.

Think of your Right Hand Publishing book shepherd as one-part project manager, one-part freelance contractor, and one-part book coach. Along the way, your shepherd can help you with:

  1. Editing and proofreading

  2. Citations, footnotes, indexing, and other references

  3. Book layout for print and digital formats

  4. Understanding and obtaining ISBNs

  5. Running surveys for pre-publication market research

  6. Locating a cover designer, and help to make the cover layout process easier

  7. Dialing in on effective book description text

  8. Keyword and category research for your book

  9. Publishing your book to the many online platforms

  10. Answering any questions you may have along the way

What Sets RHP Apart...

In a more traditional book shepherd and client situation, it is unlikely that the book shepherd is going to handle much if any of the design or editorial work involved in publishing a book. In fact, many book shepherds can't do the work themselves, having never learned book design, eBook conversions, print requirements, or even editing. Although most have a general understanding of self-publishing processes, especially for Amazon KDP, they still have to hire a team for the rest of the work. A large majority of shepherds are really just project managers.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with hiring a team. Even we typically suggest hiring a separate cover designer at minimum. But where this becomes a problem is that book shepherds often charge fees to contractors and clients alike for the work of others, raising the costs in order to earn their part of the income, and sometimes creating something of a communication barrier between contractors and the authors/publishers because they're not being that transparent about costs or skill levels.

But our model is we get paid to do the work. The same person that's going to explain the ins and outs of publishing and distribution will often help you edit, design the book, convert the eBooks, and manage your accounts. This multi-services approach allows us to balance cost and quality and maintain a very tight control over the momentum and direction of any given book project. You'll build a direct relationship with the person offering these services, including project management and consultation, and as a result, they'll be able to very specifically cater everything around designs, product page optimizations, edits, and more to your project with an understanding of the big picture and the smaller details.

Of course, you don't have to hire us for multiple services, but it often this works out in your favor in terms of budget. For example, when you hire us for editing and book design, we'll automatically fix some potential formatting issues during the editing and often setup the style sheets, thus helping design stages go much faster once we reach that part of the work. Even so, we're happy to work with your preferred contractors as well.

Additionally, we often have good reasons to bring in other contractors. We usually suggest a cover designer, for example, and if we feel like we're not the right fit as your editor, we'll let you know and send a referral if we know someone that might be. When we do bring referrals to you, we have you negotiate and pay them directly. We never need to charge you or them imaginary fees for that connection, and we try to work with freelancers that are reliable and professional, so the process remains as headache-free as possible. The only thing you'll ever pay us for is the time we spend.


Services RHP currently suggests outsourcing:

  • Cover​ design. We will sometimes handle this, but often it's our recommendation that we bring in a dedicated cover designer. We know some great ones.

  • Custom illustration/graphic design. This is about fit, so while we have some referrals for you, sometimes it's really important to spend time searching for the right person.

  • Extensive marketing services. We help with your Amazon categories, keywords, product pages, author page, etc., and we can give you some pointers, but we don't provide extensive marketing services. We don't currently have a referral for this, but we're happy to work with you to find someone that fits your project.

  • Extensive writing services. Although Robert Henry spent many years as a ghostwriter, we don't currently offer to write your book for you. We can, however, help with developmental editing if we believe we're a good fit for the job.

bottom of page