Meet our Founder, Teri Rider
An early adopter of the hybrid publishing model, Teri has been highly sought after by authors of many genres thanks to her incomparable attention to detail and extensive knowledge of all the steps required to create, launch, and market extraordinary books. She maintains her sense of fun and curiosity with each new project and engages with her authors to challenge the established boundaries of the publishing world.
Teri’s enthusiasm for publishing stems from her dynamic experience in the publishing world. With over three decades spent working in marketing and design, collaborating with and leading creative teams, and designing award-winning covers even before she became an award-winning publisher, she is able to oversee the development of each manuscript from a multifaceted perspective.
Passionate about celebrating and elevating the status of independent publishing on a global scale, she’s an active member of the Independent Book Publishers Association. She currently serves on the editorial advisory committee for IBPA Independent magazine and co-authored the criteria for hybrid publishing as a member of the IBPA Advocacy Committee.
Teri founded Top Reads with a mission to help confident, self-actualized authors publish books that matter. She believes strongly in taking a personal and integrated approach to each book and is able to do this by choosing to focus on publishing the best books, rather than all the books.
Chelsea has been helping behind the scenes at Top Reads since the beginning, but only recently came on board as part of the editorial team.
Bringing a broad scope of life and work experiences to the table, Chelsea writes, develops, and implements in-house programs as well as works directly with authors to polish their manuscripts at many stages from developmental to copy editing.
She’s been an avid writer since grade school, thanks in part to encouragement from her teachers at the performing arts school she attended, but also because of the unique parenting techniques of Top Reads’ founder, Teri Rider—her mother—who used to make her write an essay anytime she got into trouble. She grumbled through every one of those essays, but the exercise of writing them showed her that she could express her frustrations and work through her emotions in a productive way. Not only did she get to know herself better, she also sharpened her critical thinking and discourse skills.
In college, Chelsea explored many avenues of study including philosophy, social sciences, visual art, and writing before completing her B.A. in Communications at SFSU. She discovered her knack for editing when a few of her peers asked her for help with their writing assignments. Word spread quickly and she started spending a few afternoons a week leading informal writing workshops.
“Everyone has an important story to tell, but writing isn’t always an easy process. Whatever I can do to help someone bring their story to life, I’m here for them.”
Pam Sheppard has spent over 25 years in Sales and Marketing with Big Five publishers Simon & Schuster, Random House, and Crown Publishers. She has discussed plot with the best editors in the business, helped create proprietary book products, planned and delivered publicity programs, and sold to the best book buyers across ten states. She spent 9 more years selling for over 40 mid-sized and small publishers as a commissioned representative, which overlapped with 17 years of editing, consulting new and experienced writers for their independent and traditional publishing projects.
Whether helping develop an idea, evaluating a manuscript in any stage of its development, designing a formal book proposal, or offering a deep dive into a COMP marketing analysis, years of experience has equipped Pam with a literary ear and very practical commercial instincts to employ for a variety of clients’ projects.
Pam brings her unique portfolio of experience to Top Reads and offers an insider’s view for positioning each book into the marketplace.
Why people hire Top Reads
- Our book design fee not only includes layout and cover design, but over 30 years of experience fine-tuning our skills and staying on top of new trends, information, and technology.
- We don’t just format your book. Anyone with basic InDesign skills can do that and some companies even automate the process. We design your book, not just format it. Our designers look at each page and make sure it flows and follows good rules of typography and style. Page designs often include embellishments on chapter headers or page dividers, and sometimes in the footer or header if it fits with the story. Check out our samples.
- Our knowledge expands beyond book design and well into all independent publishing models, POD (Print on Demand), traditional printing, production, advanced ebook formatting, and audiobooks—all of which benefit our clients through the entire process.
- You get to work with our principal, Teri Rider, directly. She personally manages every project ensuring your book is as close to perfection when we are done as is humanly possible.
- Since we have been in the industry for over three decades, we have valuable contacts and resources and can guide you in the direction that is right for you and your end goal. Resources include: trade printers, ebook specialists, editors, web developers, marketing experts, social media gurus, photographers, spiritual counselors, and more.