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 900,000 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.

Success stories: Explore how we’re helping instructors and students succeed.

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, Wash., with his family—Lyn, Grace, and Elias.

Our Team

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



Melinda Helmick

President and CEO

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 17 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

Having been in the manual therapy world for 32 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

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 18 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.

Dana Ecklund

Production Manager

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.

Michael Diehl

Education Accounts Manager

Michael has degrees and training in just about everything— kinesiology, exercise science, acupuncture, herbology, aikido, tae kwon do, fencing and even Western and Eastern sword styles. When asked what makes his work meaningful, he says, “It’s having a positive impact on the healers of tomorrow. Everything I do is tied to helping instructors give their students a great education.” Outside of work, spending time with his wife and kids is, hands down, his favorite thing to do.

Linda Lee

Customer Support and Systems Manager

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 and Accounts Receivables. Outside of the office, Linda enjoys traveling, going to Colorado Rockies games, and birding. In fact, Linda has almost 500 species of birds on her “life list” of sightings.

Renee Malis

Education Accounts Manager

A lifelong passion for education and a laser-focused dedication to instructor and student success are why Renee is thrilled to come to work every day. “Matching smart people with cool products that help teachers teach and students learn is my jam!” When not talking about the latest ingenious Books of Discovery product, you’ll find Renee enjoying one of the many theaters in Colorado, either as an actor or audience member, running the beautiful back roads of Boulder, or cuddling with her dog.

Tracy McDermott

Education Accounts Manager

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

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 and Fulfillment Director

Danielle 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. 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.

Eva Sissener

Director of Education Accounts

Endeavoring to make sure instructors feel supported and offer thoughtful guidance along their path to adopting our textbooks — that’s what Eva does each and every day. She’s always focused on building and maintaining the very best customer relationships and serves as the team lead for our occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant accounts. The variety at work keeps her busy, but at the end of the day she’s still up for exploring the outdoors.