After 20 years, the impact continues.


One night back in 1994, instructor and palpatory anatomy expert Andrew Biel was awakened by an idea. He rolled out of bed, grabbed a yellow pad of paper and scribbled, “Road Map Human Body, book that connects stuff together.” Three years later, he turned that vision into a reality by publishing Trail Guide to the Body — an engaging text that teaches how to explore, map, and navigate surface anatomy of the musculoskeletal system. And so, Books of Discovery was born. The rest, as they say, is history.

After twenty years, several new editions, and more than 850,000 copies sold, Trail Guide to the Body has become the best-selling textbook and “gold standard” in musculoskeletal anatomy and palpation for manual therapy students.

In the meantime, we’ve published additional manual therapy textbooks, and created many tools to support our educators and students. All designed to facilitate remarkable teaching and learning outcomes.

Programs We Serve

Books of Discovery is one of the most respected publishers of foundational manual therapy textbooks, serving over 2,000 programs in nearly 40 countries – numbers that are growing every year. These include programs preparing students for careers in athletic training, massage therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and various other bodywork and healthcare professions. 

With each new program requiring our books, we are constantly developing new ways to boost student performance, enhance instructor effectiveness, and create successful hands-on practitioners.

Our Philosophy

There’s magic in our people, our collaborative process, and our discovery-rich products. Students and instructors can see it the instant they open one of our books. Because at Books of Discovery, we believe the most powerful educational products are those that:

  • Ignite curiosity and encourage active exploration.
  • Offer engaging and approachable educational materials that students fully embrace.
  • Create both relatable and enticing visuals that make it easier than ever to deepen students’ understanding.
  • Inspire instructors to reimagine ways in which they can teach and engage their students.

Our Founder: Andrew Biel, a Pioneer in Palpatory Anatomy Education

With an enthusiast’s outlook, a pioneer’s hunger, and instructor’s unique perspective, Andrew Biel founded Books of Discovery in 1997.  He is the author of Trail Guide to the Body and Trail Guide to Movement and an expert in palpatory anatomy. He has served on the faculties of Boulder College of Massage Therapy and Seattle Massage School and has taught Cadaver Studies for Bodyworkers at Bastyr University.

In 2011 Andrew received the Massage Therapy Foundation’s Humanitarian Award for his dedication to advancing the massage therapy profession.

Drew lives outside of Port Townsend, Washington with his family— Lyn, Grace and Elias. When he’s not kayaking around Puget Sound, he serves on the board of The Northwest Maritime Center.

Our Team

Meet the dedicated staff who manage our day-to-day operations.

 

 

Melinda Helmick

President and CEO Melinda@booksofdiscovery.com

With the gift of being able to wear many hats, Melinda’s agility serves her well when managing operations for Books of Discovery. A company veteran for over 15 years, Melinda coordinates all internal and external resources to ensure publishing deliverables and budgets are met. Also, she’s a grammar and word nerd, and enjoys doing a lot of our textbook editing. In her spare time, Melinda takes care of a horse and five cats, as well as fosters pets and rehabilitates wildlife.

Tim Herbert

VP, Educator Relations Tim@booksofdiscovery.com

Having been in the manual therapy world for 30 years, Tim is your man when it comes to finding big, bold solutions. He enjoys collaborating with our passionate, motivated team and solving problems that keep the rest of us awake at night. But Tim’s also a sucker for people. “They’re one of my top three favorite species,” he says. So when Tim leaves for the day, he’s with friends, sharing meals, taking in lectures, and attending cultural events — both high and lowbrow.

Rhoni Hirst

VP, Educator Resources Rhoni@booksofdiscovery.com

When it comes to making sense out of chaos, Rhoni eagerly jumps at the opportunity. “Love me some Excel sheets!” (Her words.) Having worked at Books of Discovery for more than 16 years positions Rhoni to identify new educational offerings for our customers and strategically reach them in meaningful ways. When Rhoni sets her spreadsheets down, she’s playing tennis, singing, and hanging with two of her favorite humans, Alex and Kennedy.

Kate D’Italia

Senior Manager, Education Accounts Kate@booksofdiscovery.com

With a knack for problem solving, Kate thrives on listening to the needs of educators and brainstorming possible solutions. Her background in education, social work, sales, and public outreach supports our team with a point of view that is equal parts creative and experienced. Outside of work, Kate can be found singing in a semi-professional Baroque choir, gardening, cooking, and checking out live music around town.

Dana Ecklund

Production Manager Dana@booksofdiscovery.com

As our production manager, or “content mystic,” Dana works with the team to piece together the pages of our textbooks. While his attention to detail ensures that every deadline is met and timeline honored, he thrives on the opportunity to produce textbooks that so many people love. Dana has an identical twin brother who he says “looks nothing like me,” and after logging off for the day, he enjoys spending time with family and taking care of his house.

Linda Lee

Customer Support Specialist lindalee@booksofdiscovery.com

After more than a decade with Books of Discovery, Linda has learned a thing or two about our educational materials, making her an expert at pinpointing customer solutions. With a flair for managing minute details, she also oversees the logistics for our conference exhibits. Outside of the office, Linda enjoys traveling, going to Colorado Rockies games, and birding. In fact, Linda has over 400 species of birds on her “life list” of sightings.

Allison Lusby

Warehouse Manager Allison@booksofdiscovery.com

Allison comes to Books of Discovery with a dedication for getting our orders out as quickly as possible. She likes how the job keeps her on the move, and on her feet. In her life before joining our team 12 years ago, Allison was a scholarship athlete in cross country and track at the University of Colorado, and cycled professionally for a bit. When Allison closes up for the day, she enjoys taking her dog out for daily runs and spending time outside.

Tracy McDermott

Education Accounts Manager Tracy@booksofdiscovery.com

Creative to the core with a fine arts background, Tracy is not one to color inside the lines when it comes to customer solutions. She finds creative inspiration in unexpected places, and uses this to bring fresh ideas to helping instructors navigate new teaching terrain. On rainy days, you’ll find Tracy on her yoga mat or at her drawing table. She puts her pen and paper down long enough to also enjoy rock climbing, trail running, skate skiing, and dressage riding.

Louisa McGarty

Customer Support Manager Louisa@booksofdiscovery.com

With a strong love for talking to someone new on the phone every day, the role of Customer Support Manager was practically made for Louisa. She is proactive, extremely organized, and enjoys stepping into our customers’ journeys, offering a unique ability to create an inventive solution to just about any dilemma. When stepping out for the day, Louisa either is at her Pilates studio or at the barn with her horse, which gets an equine massage on a regular basis.

Danielle Schroeder Kraft

Customer Support Specialist Danielle@booksofdiscovery.com

Danielle is the newest member of our team. When you ask her what’s the most enjoyable part of her new job, she’ll tell you it’s interacting with customers. Outside of the office, Danielle loves a good road trip – or even a bike trip. In fact, she once rode her bike from Canada to Los Angeles. She also enjoys exploring the outdoors with her husband and dog, and almost always brings a painting kit along to document their many adventures.

Claire Singleton

Education Accounts Specialist Claire@booksofdiscovery.com

Claire has an impressive understanding of how to dig around on the internet, using her talent to investigate the latest trends in textbooks or conduct research in journals. She also enjoys doing detective work for instructors, helping them uncover and connect to the tools they need. Aside from being a total research nerd, Claire is a crafter and loves to read (when not being treated to fancy tea parties hosted by her two-year-old daughter.)

Eva Sissener

Education Accounts Manager Eva@booksofdiscovery.com

Eva is essential to keeping the world of Books of Discovery turning. She’s a friendly voice our customers hear when they call, and takes pride in ensuring they experience the very best service. Additionally, Eva manages our social media presence, and brings to the office a love for learning something new every day. When not at work, she can be found exploring the outdoors, especially with her four-legged pack.