I have been a professional writer and editor since 1979. My clients come from the healthcare, higher education, and nonprofit worlds — Cengage Learning, Houghton Mifflin Company, Hazelden Publishing, Mayo Clinic, UnitedHealth Group, and more.

I’ll use the principles of personal knowledge management (PKM) to combine your existing materials — articles, blog posts, presentations, white papers, transcripts, notes — into a polished book manuscript.

The result is a project that you’ll be proud to publish.

I’m especially interested in behavior change — the ultimate purpose of self-help, student success, business, and other how-to books.

I craft texts with exercises, journal entries, and other interactive elements. These help readers move through a cycle of learning — from observation and  reflection to planning and  action.

Since 1989 I’ve been the contributing editor for the Master Student Series of books published by Cengage Learning. Becoming a Master Student by Dave Ellis is America’s best-selling college textbook, now in its 16th edition.

My books include:

  • Career Planning Supplement to Becoming a Master Student by Dave Ellis, Stan Lankowitz, Ed Stupka, and Doug Toft, Houghton Mifflin, 2002.
  • Helping Chronically Addicted Adolescents: Problems, Perspectives, and Strategies for Recovery by Cardwell C. Nuckols, A.G. Porcher III, and Doug Toft, McGraw-Hill, 1994.
  • The Caregiver’s Journey: When You Love Someone with AIDS by Mel Pohl, Deniston Kay, and Doug Toft, Harper San Francisco, 1991.
  • The Disease Concept of Alcoholism and Other Drug Addiction  by Norman Miller and Doug Toft, Hazelden, 1990.
  • HIV: What You Need to Know by Dorothy Flynn and Doug Toft, Hazelden, 1989.

About This Blog

I blog in order to think critically — and creatively — about self-help. (I prefer the term books for behavior change.) Here you’ll find many suggestions for reading — and writing — in this genre.

I am not a psychologist, therapist, or spiritual teacher. But I am an intelligent non-expert.

More importantly, I am a mortal human being who wants to live with a little more wisdom and compassion every day.

Let’s take a deep dive into a specific books, writers, and ideas. Let’s capture the big insights, find patterns, and make connections.

My aim is to distill the essence, discard the disingenuous, and discover what makes a difference in daily life. Like Jack Kornfield said: “After the ecstasy, the laundry.”


Do you want to write a book that will help people create positive new outcomes in their lives? Use this checklist to greatly increase your odds of doing that. And if you’re overwhelmed by the prospect of writing a book, remember that I can help. Contact me for next steps.