Services Provided | Book Doula, Coaching, Editing, Publishing, Marketing Ideas
In late 2017, to tell my own story, I put pen to paper and wrote my first book. Now, I am the founder of Mary Ethel Eckard Publishing, which has compiled stories, edited, and published over 40 authors. Drawing on my experience in the corporate and non-profit world, I use my organizational, marketing, interpersonal, and administrative skills to coach and partner with authors to help them tell their own stories – putting pen to paper. My two books have won prestigious awards from the Next Generation Indie Awards and the Christian Literary Awards. My goal and desire are the same: to help authors go from the idea of book writing to producing an excellent published work they are proud to promote to avid readers.
I am a small publisher and I am hands-on. Excellence is my main goal. I read every manuscript – multiple times, to ensure the story is clear, there are no gaps in timelines that would confuse the reader, and to ask questions of the author that cause them to dig deeper for meaning. This helps draw out the author to think through things differently and with deeper meaning. Because I am hands-on, I only take on a limited number of projects which are typically scheduled a few months in advance. Email or message me if you would like to discuss details further. I do content editing, line by line, and even word by word, and I do publishing. Either service can also be provided separately.
Working in partnership with the author is key. I do not promise to do the detailed proof-reading to catch every error, but I do commit to making minor changes to manuscripts, even after publication, so we can get the book from 98% accurate to 100% accurate. The author and I partner to make sure the editing and proofreading are done prior to publication. However, the beauty of publishing through Amazon is the ability to upload an updated manuscript that will replace the one with misspelled words. Yep. That’s beautiful. Services Offered – Coaching, Content Editing and Publishing
What is a Book Doula?
The word “doula” comes from ancient Greek, meaning “a woman who serves. Today, “doula” refers to a professional trained to provide emotional, physical and informational support.
I am a professional who provides emotional, physical and informational support for authors ready to give birth to their first book, from all aspects! Brainstorming, compiling, coaching, editing, publishing, and marketing!
“Mary is fondly called the book doula because of her unique skills
and ability to provide authors with the emotional,
physical and informational support they need to move their book from
an idea to a published book. With Mary, you have the coach you need
to stay motivated and focused, the editor you need to
polish your work, and the publisher you need
to birth your book into the world.”
How I launched into the world of publishing …
In 2017, I sensed the Lord leading me to finally sit down and write my book, “The Making of a Dragonfly, Following Christ Through the Winds of Change.” Because I’m a speaker, I had shared many of the initial stories with the public for a few years, so writing those chapters came easily. But as I got into the meat of the story, the betrayal and brokenness, I wanted to run and hide. I remember crying through many days of trying to understand how my life had ended up in such a broken state. As the Lord put the puzzle pieces together, He healed my heart, and He gave me the courage to share my story in a way that was raw and vulnerable.
As I headed into the final phase of writing, I started looking for a publisher. I learned that, unless someone has a large social media following, a publisher will not have any interest. I also learned that publishers rarely pay advances on books. And I realized there are many publishing houses around who charge very high fees to publish a book, without content editing or proofreading, and who require the author to purchase a number of books beforehand so the publisher can receive the royalties. All of these things soured my stomach.
So, I found someone to help me self-publish the book through Amazon. And the book was published. There was only one problem. There was one misspelled word in the first edition of the book that made my ‘holy’ book ‘unholy.’ We didn’t catch it during editing. Nobody caught it. So why was it a big deal? Because the word public without the “l” (though funny and made me laugh), pushed me to ask for a simple edit. When the answer was “no,” I decided to learn the process of publishing the book as a Second Edition so I could put the “l” back in public. The second edition of the book was published in 2019 – and the first edition was taken out of publication.
In 2019, I published my second book, “Lessons of a Dragonfly, Forty Days to a Transformed Life,” under my name. Mary Ethel Eckard Publishing. After the manuscript was birthed through my loins (it felt that way), I learned the art of publishing and, in 2019, I stepped into the world of publishing. Initially I thought it would be for just my own books. The Lord had another plan.
I have walked first time authors through the editing and publication of books, as book doula, editor, publisher, and all three! See examples below.
Do you have a book in you that needs to be written?
Maybe your question is, “how do I get started writing my story?” Contact me via email and I will send you a document to help you get started with the layout of the chapters. Absolutely free of charge! email@example.com. We can schedule a call – cell or zoom – to discuss your ideas and your needs to get you started! No obligation … just a conversation to share thoughts, processes, ideas, etc.
Pricing and Timeline
Inquire for a price sheet and breakdown of services. For planning purposes, publishing packages range from $2,500 to $7,500, depending on the amount of work needed to go from manuscript to published, and whether you need the work of a book doula! There are ad-on services for premium packages. The timeline from completed manuscript to Amazon bookshelf is 4-6 months. This is for a manuscript between 30,000-80,000 words. Larger manuscripts will have an additional cost and may take longer. Pricing cannot be guaranteed until the manuscript has been completed and reviewed by MEE Publishing.
I walk the author through how to begin marketing the book to set you off on a successful book launch as we work through the editing of the manuscript. Additional services are available for distribution and marketing – I have resources to help with that portion of the journey as we move closer to publishing. I help authors with their manuscripts, including fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books.
To Contact Mary:
Reach me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find me on Facebook – Mary Ethel Eckard (my author page.)