Before we start contemplating on the topic let us first clear the air on what a book coach really is. In fact the job descriptions of a book coach, writing coach and editor are different yet analogous.
Let’s have a look, shall we?
A writing coach will assist you in the actual writing of your book. These folks may have you write a certain number of words, chapters, etc. and then will review what you’ve written. Depending on what you’ve accomplished, they may tell you to move on or do a rewrite to make it right.
Writing coaches can be hired by authors for the entire book development project from initial idea to final manuscript draft. Or, if authors are having difficulty with various passages or some writing technique, they can hire a writing coach to help get clarity, build skill, and get encouragement.
Book coaching is a much more fuzzy service. Some book coaches are actually writing coaches. Others strictly help authors with non-writing book publishing tasks such as production, design, and marketing. Some handle both the writing and non-writing sides of the equation! So it’s important for you to determine what expertise you need and confirm that a book coach you’re considering can deliver.
Non-writing book coaches function more like business coaches, treating your work as a marketable commodity. Your book manuscript must be complete by the time you start working with them. Their input can be especially helpful as you go through the editing process. Expect to get some “tough love” from them if they think your work could struggle with sales. Informing your editors of your book coach’s concerns can help them suggest appropriate edits to make it market ready
When you start working with editors, your book manuscript must be in a complete state. While editors may suggest substantial edits to improve the work, they will not help you with the actual writing. Their mission is to provide you with objective analysis of your entire book and evaluate whether it meets language standards for your intended audience. An editor can further break it down to various types of edits
- A book critique is an overall evaluation of a manuscript for a number of aspects which could include organization, structure, mechanics, writing style, etc. It is merely a professional opinion of the manuscript’s readiness for publishing.
- Beta reading. Similar to critiques, a beta reading provides an overall impression of the manuscript. However, the perspective is from the viewpoint of a potential reader.
- Sometimes referred to a line editing, a full scale edit will evaluate a manuscript in detail and make page-by-page recommendations and changes. This is the most detailed evaluation of the content and message of the work.
- Sometimes referred to as copy editing, proofreading is the final stage of review prior to publishing and production. It evaluates the mechanics of the manuscript to include spelling, word use, grammar, punctuation, etc.
Azul Terronez – a teacher at heart who loves to share what he has learned with others breaks it down for us as to what it is to hire a book coach and how do they help. He has also coached season writers like Pat Flynn, of Smart Passive Income and Dana Malstaff, of Boss-Mom.com find their book idea and execute it well.
Why hire a book writing coach? Maybe you’re ready to finally write your book and you need help developing your book concept and structure. Or you have no idea where on earth to start and you figure a book writing coach can guide you on those very first steps.
Perhaps you want help with the publishing decision: “Do I self publish or do I have a chance at a traditional book deal?” Your book writing coach can help you weigh the pros and cons of each type of publishing, particularly for the book you want to write.
And a book coach can help you understand what it would take for you to attract a book deal and whether your book is a likely candidate.
Benefits of hiring a Book Coach
- Get clear about your goals.
- Assess your progress and make any necessary changes to your plan.
- Organize and develop your book or book proposal.
- Improve and polish your writing—and can edit your work and teach you to be a better writer.
- Expand your author platform.
- Develop a powerful and effective promotion plan for your book.
- Get past baggage that’s getting in the way of success
- Overcome creative blocks
- Prioritize projects
- Manage your time effectively and find the time to write and get published
- Make the process easier, more fun and more effective
As you prepare to hire a coach, ask yourself these questions:
What is giving you the most satisfaction in your book writing process and your writing life? It’s always a good idea to know why, exactly, you love this work. What is giving you the most frustration in your book writing process and your writing life? Consider all the books you have read and courses you have taken. What was effective about those activities? What was inspiring? And what left you feeling more confused? Know what works for you.
Once you have a clear idea what you want, you will be in a much better position to find a coach who can give it to you.