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Your Book Dream: How to Get Help From an Author Coach

So, you’ve got this brilliant message burning in your heart, huh? Maybe it’s a powerful framework that has helped your clients, or perhaps it’s a heartfelt memoir sharing your journey through overcoming adversity. Either way, you’re itching to get those thoughts out of your mind and onto the page. It sounds simple enough, especially if you feel God’s inspiring you to write it, doesn’t it? Just put words onto a page, reshape it with some editing, and hand it off to someone excited to publish. So, you might be thinking, “But why do I even need an author coach?”

But here’s what you’ll discover soon enough—writing a book is only a small part of your author journey and many authors tell me it’s the easiest part. You’re not just putting words on the page, you’re crafting a narrative with your words (even if it’s a non-fiction book). You’re creating content that keeps the reader not only turning pages but thinking about the concepts and anecdotes even after they’ve put the book down (no pressure!).

After you finish the first draft, come the editing woes. Does the structure work? Does the content make sense for the ideal reader? Did you say it the best way possible? What needs to be added, moved or deleted, and how do you know?

And then there’s the publishing phase–full of decisions, hurry-up-and-wait, and as packed with a many details as planning a wedding.

Basically, writing and publishing a book isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s an exercise in personal growth, surrender, and professional development. When God is at the center of it, it’s an up-and-down journey of obedience, surrender and humility. The book journey is best done with guidance, solidarity and community. Hiring a book coach means having a seasoned pro by your side–hopefully one that gets almost as excited about your book as you do.

What Is an Author Coach and What Does One Do?

So, what exactly is an author coach or a book writing coach do, anyway? Think of them as your personal writing or publishing Yoda—wise, patient, and armed with just the right amount of experience. Their job is to help you unleash your inner wordsmith and transform that brilliant idea into a polished manuscript ready for the world to devour.

But how, you ask? Well, they’ll start by helping you brainstorm ideas, craft compelling characters, and outline your plot or structure so that even you can’t wait to read the book. They’ll help you craft chapter headings that grab attention and book titles that spark curiosity. They know key marketing elements you need to connect with your ideal readers and genre—things you need to know at the writing stage, not just when it’s ready to launch. When your message manuscript is ready, they’ll roll up their sleeves and dive into the nitty-gritty of your manuscript, offering feedback, pointing you to the next phase of editing, and the occasional reality check to keep you on track.

There are all kinds of book coaches and author coaches, with varied experiences and purposes, some for specific stages of your book. Some people use the words writing coach, book coach and author coach interchangeably, however often then overlap or have a distinct difference. So let’s look at a breakdown of kinds of coaches you might consider for your book journey. On a high level, you

A Book Writing Coach coaches you through the process of writing your book. Some might focus more on technique with the words on the page, while others might get in the trenches with you as you work through the emotional turmoil of getting your draft done.

A good writing coach might help you figure out

  • how to connect with your authentic writing style
  • who you are writing for and why that matters
  • why you’re writing the book and why that matters
  • motivation, fears and distractions disrupting your progress
  • a helpful structure and flow
  • word count and writing rhythm goals and accountability
  • structure and narrative flow
  • clarity with feedback, encouragement, deadlines, skill development

Depending on the style, experience and niche preference, you could find these book writing coaches who focus on a particular niche, such as

  • memoir coach
  • fiction coach, romance book coach, fantasy fiction coach
  • non-fiction coach for business owners
  • crime writer book coach
  • book to screenwriting coach
  • academic writing coach

An Author Coach coaches you through phases of your book beyond getting your manuscript written through editing, publishing and/or marketing stages. Depending on their expertise, passion, they might help you with a particular goal or stage of your book journey, such as:

  • preparing your manuscript to get a literary agent
  • help authors land a traditional publisher book deal
  • self publish a book
  • marketing the author and the book
  • book as a business funnel
  • specific book marketing strategies such as Amazon ads, meta ads, selling direct, podcasting
  • “Go wide” with self publishing (ie. not just publishing on KDP / Amazon)
  • career strategies for indie, hybrid or traditionally published authors of multiple books
  • publishing on Amazon/KDP (but not necessarily broader methods of distribution)
  • optimizing your book description and positioning so your ideal readers can find it
  • strategies for finding your readers and growing your reader following

An author coach might position themselves as a

  • book coach who helps authors xyz
  • book launch coach
  • book marketing coach
  • Amazon book ads coach
  • author brand coach
  • book proposal coach
  • book publishing coach
  • self publishing coach
  • Amazon/KDP publishing coach

An editor will also play a crucial role in your book journey, but an editor is not a book coach or an author coach. A good developmental editor will help you make your writing clear, compelling and polished, focusing on the words on the page rather than the author.

Now you have more of an understanding of the kinds of book writing coaches and author coaches that can play a helpful role in your book journey. Lets move on to the next question. . .

Do You Need an Author Coach?

Alright, so you’ve heard all about author and book coaches, but you’re not convinced they’re worth the investment. You could do it on your own. Why would you really need one? First, consider your dream and your goal for your book with this questions:

  • What does finishing this book mean to you?
  • Is this worth your investment over the next couple years?
  • Who are you wanting to reach with your book, and why will it matter to them?
  • How vulnerable, deep and persistent are you willing to get to finish your book and get it into the hands of your ideal readers?

If you’ve pondered these questions and realized this is a dream worth your time and resources, then you’ll need to get honest with yourself. What will it take to see this through to completion? You know yourself more than anyone–what it takes to get something done, how you handle priorities, what triggers avoidance and procrastination for you.

You might need a book coach or an author coach if:

  • You are stuck getting started or finishing your first draft
  • You finished your first draft and have no idea what to do with it next or can’t seem to make yourself self-edit it enough to pass to a professional
  • You know your concept is good, but aren’t sure how to put the pieces together well and make it interesting
  • You have a manuscript you think is ready for publishing and aren’t sure what to do next
  • You published a book and it’s not getting the sales you hoped for

Exploring the Benefits of Working with an Author Coach

Whether it’s getting your book started, writing consistently to finish your first draft, plodding through the monotony of the editing phases, or facing the excitement of launching your book into the world, each new phase in the book journey comes with its challenges. Fear, impostor syndrome, fatigue, depleted motivation, or simply realizing you have insufficient knowledge or skill to proceed—these are inevitable for any author. It’s these times when it’s easy to forget why this book matters to you and your future readers.

One of the biggest perks of working with an author coach or book coach is the personalized guidance and support they provide. They’re like your very own writing cheerleader, there to cheer you on when you’re feeling discouraged and offer a gentle nudge when you veer off course.

With their intuitive questions, deadlines and accountability, a good book coach can also help you level up your writing and stay true to your heart and style. Their knowledge and experience can bring clarity and confidence to proceed, and help you prepare for the marketing phase you’d much rather avoid. They’ll arm you with the tools and techniques you need to present the heart of your message and connect with your readers.

Factors to Consider When Deciding Whether to Hire an Author Coach

So how do you know a book coach or author coach is right for you?

First, think about your book goals and how far you’ve come so far, pondering the following questions:

  • How long have you had this book idea, and how far have you gotten on your own?
  • When you set your mind to a goal, do you thrive making it happen on your own?
  • Or do you feel more focused and energized when someone else cares, keeps you accountable, and offers space and structure to get it done?
  • What exactly do you hope to achieve with the help of a coach? ie. Are you aiming for a bestseller, wanting to build your business with this book, or are you looking to finally publish that memoir you’ve been tinkering with for years?

Next, consider your budget. While working with an author coach can be an invaluable investment in your personal growth, business or writing career, make sure it’s a financial commitment you are willing to afford. Is this the season you are ready to fully invest in your book, or is something else more pressing right now?

Finally, think about your personality and working style. Do you thrive on tough love and brutal honesty, or do you prefer a gentler, more nurturing approach? Finding the right author coach with the right approach to bring out your best self is incomparable.

Qualities to Look for in an Author Coach

Experience and knowledge in the book industry: You ideally want someone who gets how the publishing world works. If they’ve worked as a literary agent or editor in a traditional publishing house, they offer insights into what publishing houses and literary agents want in manuscripts. With a good self-publishing coach, you can get guidance on the technical aspects and marketing tactics that often go unnoticed by self-publishing authors.

  • Experience and knowledge in the book industry: You want someone who understands how the publishing world works. If they’ve worked as a literary agent or editor in a traditional publishing house, they offer insights into what the publishing houses and literary agents want in a manuscript. With a good self-publishing coach, you can get guidance on the technical aspects and marketing tactics that often go unnoticed by indie authors.
  • Experience in writing: Look for a coach who has a proven record of helping authors and knows their way around writing and coaching.
  • Coaching style: Consider how you view the difference between the approach of a teacher, mentor, a consultant, an editor and a coach. Author coaches vary in how they integrate different combinations of these approaches to help you carry out your goals.
  • Compatibility: Find a coach whose personality and working style mesh well with yours. Given the considerable amount of time you’ll be spending together, you’ll want to have a good rapport.
  • Expertise: Seek out a coach who specializes in your book’s genre or type of writing. When writing a fantasy adventure, heartwarming memoir, or motivational self-help book, team up with someone who understands your chosen genre or enjoys diving into its intricacies together.
  • Structure: One-on-one coaching offers personalized attention, tailored feedback, and the opportunity to focus solely on your specific book goals. However, it can be more cost-prohibitive for some people, and may lack the camaraderie and shared learning experience of group coaching. On the other hand, group coaching provides a supportive community, diverse perspectives, and often comes at a lower price point, but it may not address individual needs as deeply as one-on-one sessions.
  • Communication: Communication is key in any relationship, and your relationship with your author coach is no exception. Look for someone who is responsive, presents clear expectations and boundaries, and communicates in a way you understand.

Tips for Selecting the Best Coach for Your Needs

Do your research: Take the time to research potential coaches thoroughly. Follow them on social media and sign up for their emails and freebies to get to now them and observe their style and personality. Read their testimonials, check out their website, and maybe even reach out to past clients for feedback.

Trust your gut: When it comes down to it, you need to trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to walk away and keep searching.

Ask questions: Don’t be afraid to ask potential coaches plenty of questions before committing to working with them. After all, you’re hiring them to help you achieve your writing goals, so it’s essential to make sure you’re on the same page.

An author coach can offer coaching in person and online, one-on-one and in groups.

 The Coaching Process Unveiled: From Brainstorms to Bookshelves

What exactly does the book coaching process look like? Well, it’s a bit like planning a cross-country road trip. You start with a vague idea of where you want to go (maybe it’s a bestseller list or a cozy little bookshop), and your book coach or author coach helps you map out the route, pack your bags, and navigate any detours along the way.

First up, you’ll have a brainstorming session to flesh out your ideas and hone your message’s theme and story’s characters. Yes, your non-fiction book has characters, too. Next, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and dive into the actual writing process. Your author coach might help you outline your plot or structure or inspire your writing rhythms. And when you hit those inevitable bumps in the road (hello, writer’s block), they’ll be right there to offer sage advice and help you brainstorm your way out of the darkness.

Closer to the finish line, your author coach will switch gears into editor mode, offering feedback or a reality check, if needed, to help you develop your manuscript better. Or they might delve into project manager mode, keeping you accountable to your timeline checkpoints and your core intention for your book.

The Typical Structure of Author Coaching Sessions

So, what exactly goes down in an author coaching session? Author coaching can be a bit like a therapy session for your creative woes—except instead of dissecting your childhood traumas, you’re dissecting your motivation disruptions, plot holes and character inconsistencies.

Typically, sessions will start with a check-in to see how you’re doing and what you’ve been working on since your last meeting. Then, it’s time to dive into the meat of the session—whether that’s brainstorming ideas, discussing your ideal readers’ expectations, or mapping a book launch strategy.

Throughout the session, your author coach will offer feedback, outline strategy options, and ask profound questions to draw the best from you. And when the session wraps up, you’ll walk away feeling energized, clear about your next step, and ready to tackle whatever challenges come your way.

Overcoming Author Challenges with Your Book Coach

The book writing and book publishing journey can be exciting as you work towards your dream, but there’s one thing you can be sure to expect: challenges. Your book journey will be full of them, whether writing woes, losing motivation, or navigating endless decisions. When your coach offers a template, reframes your perspective, or explains why an aggravating step matters in the long run, you feel relieved and grateful for the clarity and support to continue.

How to Slay the Dragons of Doubt

Let’s talk about the other pesky gremlins that rear their ugly heads at the most inconvenient times: writer’s block, self-doubt, and the dreaded imposter syndrome. Every author experiences these—welcome to the club!

But fear not, because your author coach is armed with an arsenal of strategies to help you slay those dragons and emerge victorious. Whether it’s setting realistic goals, establishing a consistent writing routine, or uncovering why God put this book on your heart, they’ve got your back every step of the way.

Until…congratulations, your first draft is done! You’ve battled through the murky depths of brainstorming, conquered the treacherous terrain of writer’s block, and emerged victorious with a completed draft in hand. But before you break out the fizzy stuff and start planning your acceptance speech for the Pulitzer Prize, there’s one more crucial step—refining your manuscript until it shines with the message you dreamed of sharing with the world.

 Navigating the Publishing Process: Charting a Course for Success

 Alright, you’ve rewritten, refined and put the finishing touches on your manuscript, and now it’s time to tackle the publishing process. But where do you even begin? Fear not, because your author coach is here to help you navigate the murky waters of publishing.

 Understanding the Various Publishing Options Available

First, let’s talk about the various publishing options available to you. On one hand, you’ve got traditional publishing, where you submit your manuscript to literary agents and publishing houses, hoping to secure a book deal. It’s like trying to land a spot on the Hogwarts Quidditch team—competitive, but oh so rewarding if you make the cut.

On the other hand, there’s self-publishing, where you take matters into your own hands and publish your book independently. It’s like starting your own business—you’re the CEO, the marketing team, and the janitor all rolled into one. It’s a lot of work to manage, even when you outsource, but it also offers a level of creative freedom and control that traditional publishing can’t match.

 Guidance on Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

Which publishing path is right for you? Well, that depends on your goals, your budget, and your personal preferences. If you’re looking for the prestige and distribution power of a traditional publisher, then traditional publishing might be the way to go. But if you value creative control and want to get your book out into the world as quickly as possible, then self-publishing might be more your speed.

Ultimately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. However, a good author coach will be able to help you understand the pros and cons that align with your values, strengths and goals. Whatever path you choose, a great book coach or author coach can offer guidance, support, and plenty of encouragement along the way.

So there you have it—everything you need to know about crafting your manuscript with guidance and navigating the publishing process like a pro. With your author coach by your side, the book world is your oyster, and the possibilities are endless. Now, enjoy the adventure, my friend—someone is waiting for that message you have to share! 🚀📚

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