Meet the Team

Whether youíre trekking the foothills of the Himalayas or climbing Mt. Everest, you need a Sherpa. Let To Press & Beyond be your guide!

Gail Kearns

President, Book Sherpa, Project Editor, & Production Coordinator

Hometown: Bennington, Vermont; now lives in Santa Barbara, California.

Education: Bachelor of Science, Hunter College, City University of New York.

Past Lives: Motion picture industry, Production Coordinator and Development Executive. Worked with numerous screenwriters and scouted for books that would make good movies.

Passions: Helping authors shape their books; Finding the perfect B&B (where she can read the latest manuscript).

Advice to Authors: Rewrite! Rewrite! Rewrite! Writing is all about rewriting. Also, hire a professional book editor. It can make a major difference in a manuscript's success and salability.

Penny Paine

Art Director, Project Manager

Hometown: London, England; Lives in Santa Barbara, California, and London, England.

Education: Bachelor of Arts, University of London.

Past Lives: Author and marketer of award-winning children's books; National trainer for educational initiatives.

Passions: Imparting her wisdom; Sipping a perfect cup of tea.

Advice to Authors: Identify the benefits you hope to achieve in writing your book; Target your market.



Hometown: Milwaukee, Illinois; now lives in Woodland Hills, California.

Education: BA in Journalism from California State University, Northridge.

Past Lives: Always been a PR Lady. First job in PR was in college promotion department for Herb Alpert's A & M Records, and promoting unknowns like The Carpenters and Carole King.

Passions: Getting national publicity for previously unknown authors, raising a teenage boy (and living to tell about it), and searching the world for the perfect sushi (not necessarily in that order).

Advice to Authors: Produce the very best product you can through writing, editing, interior and cover design, and when it's finally a book, tell everyone you know. Then tell everyone you don't know.

Book & Cover Designer, Copyeditor, Proofreader

Hometown: Sydney, Australia; now lives in Santa Barbara, California, and Den Haag, The Netherlands.

Education: Clayfield College, Australia; NYU graduate in book design & production.

Past Lives: Montessori trained teacher; On staff and freelance with traditional publishing houses in NYC.

Passions: Photography, the natural world, travel.

Advice to Authors: Write freely and refine later.

Author Website Designer

Hometown: Fairfield, Connecticut; now lives in Portland, OR.

Education: BA in Behavioral & Social Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park.

Past Lives: User Experience Design Manager for Sony and Oracle Corp; European Tour Guide; Member of an Appalachian Search & Rescue Team.

Passions: Great design and user experiences, gardening, pottery.

Advice to Authors: Hire people whose skills you admire and who know their stuff, then let them get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, and who will not only meet your aesthetic goals, but your business goals as well.


Audio Production and Voiceovers

Hometown: Bethesda, Maryland; now lives in Santa Barbara, California, but is a New Yorker at heart.

Education: University of Maryland, College Park, New School University and many other institutions of merit!

Past Lives: Played electric guitar in NYCís best clubs; NPR Producer; Game Show Host.

Passions: Food, wine and music; The Big Apple; continually learning new things.

Advice to Authors: Write what you know, and find a book shepherd who will be honest and push you to do your best.

Website: or

Video Book Trailers

Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska; now lives in Santa Barbara, California.

Education: Bachelor of Science, University of Nebraska.

Past Lives: Special education teacher and music teacher.

Passions: Helping authors to make videos that will help to promote themselves and their books.

Advice to Authors: Be proactive in the promotion and marketing of your books.

We help authors to produce and distribute their own Book Trailers, Online Radio Shows, Webcasts, and Youtube videos.