‘Writers’ and ‘Editors’ are common words in the writing and publishing industry but ‘Book Coach’ may sound like an odd title.
So who exactly is a Book Coach?
A book coach works with authors/writers from the conception of their idea to the completion of their book. Sometimes a book coach also acts as an editor to offer additional help to the author.
Writing is a herculean task. Few writers take months and even years to complete writing their books. Some writers may lose track of their thoughts in between. Others may find it difficult to get along through the publishing process. A book coach can be helpful in such cases.
Book coaches help the writers refine the idea and identify the audience. The book coach also guides the writer through creating an amazing outline and designing a writing schedule.
The coach monitors the progress and ensures that the written material best expresses the thoughts of the writer. Be it writing, editing, proofreading or publishing, a book coach helps you navigate it all!
Did you ever help a friend finishing a writing project that he/she was stuck on?
Does story plotting, building characters, etc. excite you?
Do you think you can help someone translate their vision into lines that can leave a long-lasting impression on the minds of the readers?
Then, book coaching can be the right choice for you!
Why not translate your passion into a profession and help people overcome their writing and publishing hurdles?
With the right coaching techniques, you can kick-start a phenomenal book coaching business.
I know that you have many questions in your mind related to book coaching.
Don’t worry! I have tried to cover all of the necessary stuff that a book coach must know. By the end of this article, you will get all your answers.
What is Book Coaching?
Book coaching is teaching and mentoring writers. It includes providing writers with tools and resources to hone their words and ideas. Book coaching provides the writers with the framework for doing their intellectual work. The ultimate aim of book coaching is to give the writers a smooth writing process and help them claim their identity as a writer.
Generally, the ability of a writer to perceive is much more than that to produce the same. Book Coaching helps in bridging the gap.
Not every piece of writing can grip the attention of the reader. Book coaching guides on producing a piece that compels the reader to keep turning the pages. Coaching helps the writer to use impactful words to engage the readers. It guides on how to articulate different concepts.
Book coaching gives the right direction to the writer to come up with a masterpiece.
So, is book coaching only helpful in the writing phase?
Hiring a book coach means getting an accountability partner right from the first draft to getting the published book in hand. Believe me, in the changing landscape of writing and publishing, a book coach simplifies the tasks to a great extent.
Who is a Book Coach?
That’s a tricky question. The answer to this is not black and white since a book coach can wear many hats.
Typically, a book coach helps the writers in the writing process.
Now the question arises – what kind of help?
Different books need help in different areas. Some need coaching on voice while others on pacing. Some may need additional help with plotting and dialogue while others with continuity checking.
A book coach coaches for all of the above.
Book Coaches bring the process, structure, and organization to a writer’s creativity. They help the writers to get from point A to point Z. Good book coaches coach for minute details (sentence structure, grammar, etc.) to major tasks (publishing and marketing).
A book coach may also advertise him/her as:
- Publishing guide
- Book shepherd
- Book consultant
- Publishing consultant etc.
What does a Book Coach do?
I am sure that now it is clear that who is a book coach. Let’s understand what all a book coach does.
Typically a book coach can offer a writer any combination of the following services:
- Develop the idea of the writer to determine the book’s place in the current marketplace.
- Conduct market research to determine whether the writer’s idea is worth selling.
- Help the writer to determine his/her ideal audience.
- Help the writer to understand whether he/she wants to write a traditional or self-published book.
- Help the writer to write a book proposal.
- Help the writer to set realistic expectations and deadlines regarding proposal, manuscript, publishing, and marketing.
- Coach the writer to flesh out his/her plotline.
- Organize the chapters and refresh grammar.
- Coach the writer to overcome writing and creativity blocks.
- Set up a process for the writer to keep him/her accountable and on track.
- Work with the writer to expand his/her author platform.
- Create a brilliant marketing plan for the writer’s book.
- Provide the writer with proofreading and editing services.
Why do writers hire a book coach?
To understand what they really need
There are various genres of writing. A writer may need help with a variety of tasks depending on the type of writing piece he/she is curating. Not only writing but editing, marketing, publishing, and PR- all of them demand prior knowledge and experience.
If a writer is new to the industry all or some parts can be difficult to carry out.
Some writers may even not know at what point, what help they may need. This happens because they are simply not aware of the process. Of course, there are videos for learning but having a writing and editing partner beside, is a better option.
The book coach identifies the goals and aspirations of the writer. The coach thereafter makes the writer aware of the needs and guides him/her to fulfill them. This makes the whole process run smoothly.
To do more than just writing
The days when authors used to charm the reader with the proactive arrangement of words are gone. Today many successful authors are pouring their creativity and the competition has become fierce.
A book coach is aware of the strategies and techniques that successful authors apply.
Along with this, a coach is also aware of the methodology that will simplify the publishing process. What agents and publishing house editors used to accomplish together is now being done by the book coach.
To turn the manuscript to a sellable story
A book coach provides the authors with tools to translate a frustrating 300-page manuscript to a successful story. The coach addresses the pain points of the author.
He/she leverages the strengths of the writer and improves the weak points. The writer may be good with characterization but the plotline is where he/she fails. The coach acts as a mirror for the writer.
A book coach is the best support for an author who takes him/her from conception to fruition.
To cope up with the changing landscape of writing and publishing
Writing as art has undergone a sea change. The same is the case with the process of publishing. Be it traditional publishing or self-publishing, both have their challenges.
Earlier, if the publishing company or the editor saw potential in your manuscript that was half the battle. The publishing company used to handle advertising and marketing.
In the current era, the world of authoring has shifted dramatically. Technology is shaping all the industries and the same is the case with writing and publishing. There are robust tools available. What used to be out of our reach is now in the palm of our hands.
Authors must know how to leverage technology in the right way. They must be abreast of the recent trends in the industry. This is the reason why they hire a book coach. After all, who wants to end the journey with a sigh of regret?
To guide on the publishing process
Whether an author chooses to publish traditionally or self-publish, he/she needs a book coach. Here’s why.
The publishing industry has changed a lot. In-house editors don’t always give a book the love and care that it needs. Many publishers and agents have started undermining the potential of the book. They rather prefer well-polished complete books which they can send to the printers asap.
A book coach guides on the working mechanism of the publishing houses. The coach with his/her experience provides the author with the best path and plan to overcome the hurdles while publishing.
Self-publishing may sound a bit easier since one does not have to see the rejection letters. This may not always be the truth. Ultimately, one may find self-publishing a lonely route. Self-Publishers face great challenges. This is why the services of a book coach are preferred.
A book coach knows the ins and outs of the process. The coach has relevant industry experience. The coach also has contact to refer the author for book design, kindle formatting and marketing strategies. A good book coach will always ensure that the client puts out a quality book.
To create more impact
A writer is incomplete without the reader. The writer’s loop closes only when he/she connects with the reader. This completes the circuit. No writer would want his/her book to be kept in the drawer or buried on a hard drive.
A writer always aims at connecting with the people. He/She aims at changing them and influencing their conversation. A writer wants to matter and that can only happen by having an impact on the reader.
To raise their voice
Many authors are made silenced by their parents, bosses, etc. They want to raise their voice and express themselves through their writings. This can be anything from expressing their thoughts to speaking about dragons.
Such writers may worry that no one will read what they have written. This anxiety comes due to a lack of confidence. This is the reason they look for book coaches who can allay their fears.
To not die before they complete their book
Passionate writers want to complete their piece deliberately. They want to do it in this life itself. They are very determined and want to leave no stones unturned to fulfill their dreams. This is the reason that they look for professional guidance.
When does a writer seek the services of a book coach?
Before the initiation of the first draft
A writer may not have a shortage of ideas. What he/she may lack is turning those ideas into a full-length story that works. In such cases, a book coach helps the writers to build a strong foundation. This may include developing characters and structuring the plot.
This enables the writers to start with full confidence. This makes the later part smooth since a strong foundation is created at the beginning itself.
When the writer gets lost in the middle
Sometimes the starting would be good but the writer may lose continuity in the middle. There may come a point when the writer may realize that he/she is going wrong. What the writer may not be able to figure out can be how to correct the mistake.
A book coach helps the writer to peel back the layers of the story. The coach helps the writer to figure out the following:
- Where did the story go wrong?
- Why did it go wrong?
- How to start it correctly in the right way?
This demands hard work but having a book coach beside can simplify the task.
After the completion of the draft
The writers may complete their draft but they may not find it interesting after completion. They might be uncertain about what is missing or what can be added. A book coach helps the writers to assess the present state of the manuscript and suggest revisions.
Apart from this, the writers may face repeated rejections from the publishing companies. They may not be able to realize what’s missing. In this case, the book coach can help the writers to make their draft stronger. This may also include revising their query letter, synopsis, etc. to make them look enticing to agents and editors.
3 greatest advantages of hiring a book coach
Faster achievement of one’s writing goals
Many writers waste years and years to discover the right writing methodology for themselves. They seek advice from multiple people. They spend a lot of time on blogs, courses, workshops, etc. finding the answers to their queries. In the end, what they receive is frustration.
One can learn to write a book by trial and error but this can take years. A book coach can guide one through a proven method for writing and publishing a book from A to Z.
Every writer has individual needs. A personalized approach can help a writer more than participating in a writers’ group. A book coach can help tailor the coaching process to meet the needs and wishes of each client.
This may include sharpening a particular skill or delivering different levels of feedback.
The best part is that the writer will get someone to support till the end!
Improved skills and enhanced productivity
A book coach provides editorial feedback to the writer during the process. This means that with a coach beside, the writer will land to a first draft which otherwise would have been the fourth or fifth. This also improves the quality of the work in progress.
Book coaching is that it helps the writer to create and carry out the vision. A book coach asks the writer many questions that help him/her to refine the vision. Some examples are:
Who consists of your target audience?
What connection are you trying to build with your audience?
What message do you want to leave the reader with?
After identifying the writer’s vision, the book coach helps to deliver the same most effectively.
What do people consider while hiring a book coach?
Is the coach the right fit for me?
Your clients will always look for a coach whose style matches their personality, schedule and philosophy. Some may want a coach who has a ‘tough love’ style while others may look for one who is more ‘laid back’. Some would prefer communication via phone while others may go for emails.
Make sure that your coaching and communication style matches the clients’ need.
Does the coach have expertise in my genre?
Each genre has its obligatory conventions that readers expect. Writers generally look for coaches that have experience in their genre. You can either go for specialization in a specific genre or become a master of all.
Is the coaching website convincing enough?
Most of the writers will do a good amount of research before choosing their book coach. A great coaching website design can increase your chances to come into notice.
You must make sure that your ‘about page’ is enchanting.
Some of the most common questions whose answers your prospects will look for are:
Does the coach have specific certifications or skills in my genre?
Does the coach read widely in my genre?
Does the coach share the same values as mine?
Are the testimonials convincing enough?
Does the coach understand my goals?
Any writer would want a book coach who can understand his/her goals well. If this doesn’t happen how can the coach lead the writer to the destination?
You must ask great coaching questions to better understand the goals of the client. Make sure that you have complete clarity on the client’s expectations.
Does the coach offer a test run?
Many writers look for coaches who offer a test run to validate the compatibility. It completely depends on you whether you want to offer it or not. I recommend you to offer one as it demonstrates that you are confident.
How much does a book coach charge?
On average, book coaches charge $50-$150 for an hour. Many coaches also set the prices as per the package. This varies from one coach to another depending on various factors. This may include- offerings, market price, writer’s genre, the period of the project completion, etc.
This article entitled- Can you really make money as a book coach– will broaden your perspective.
Next steps to becoming a book coach
If you are aspiring to become a book coach, this is the best time to start.
You can either start as a freelancer or kick-start your book coaching business.
Build an amazing online presence. Invest in social media marketing.
Plan out ways in which you can conduct effective coaching sessions.
Getting your first five ideal clients can be difficult. Don’t lose heart. Put efforts and invest time and money judiciously. Take feedback and improve your weak points.
Leverage the power of referrals.
Invest time and energy to establish yourself as an authority in your niche. This is possible by sharing resourceful content. Participate in Facebook groups and propagate your knowledge via case studies and videos.
Remember that Rome was not built in a day. Keep trying and the day is not far when you will witness your dream transforming into reality!