Because of this implied simplicity, most people approach novel writing with rose-colored glasses. They imagine themselves in some romanticized fashion, sitting window side in some posh little café, during a thunderstorm. The words flow smoothly as they tap away on the keyboard while simultaneously sipping a mug of steaming coffee and daydreaming about book signings and best-seller lists.
Such a pretty dream. Now comes the pinch to wake you up...
Do not despair, dear author. Help is out there if you want it. Book Coach to the rescue!
What is a Book Coach?
Glad you asked.
Someone has to write them. I’m assuming, if you’re reading this, you’re probably writing one right now.
So we move on to the second word, Coach. Someone who helps an athlete achieve his or her potential. When you think about it, writing could be a
Yes. I like that, let’s toss that into the mix.
Sounds cooler, don’t you think?
When you hire a
Back on point. You turn to a
Stuck on your manuscript?
They will push you past the writer’s block.
Story suffering from a
They will help you trim the fat.
Having trouble hitting your daily word count? Drop and give me twenty… chapters.
They are the
Getting the idea now?
We all, new authors and veterans alike struggle with the creative aspects of writing. No one is immune to
Let’s say you want Character X to do “the thing” because it sounds like a
book coach. While a friend might have fantastic ideas for what Character X could do next, a book coach will make you see the story
Understanding the complexities of plot and story structure is essential to helping a blocked writer find their footing. Your book coach will work with you on developing your plot on multiple levels. They’ll run you through exercises like character bios, beat sheets, and help you outline the plot of your story so you can write with clarity and confidence.
Writing is the easy part. Next comes re-writing.
Oh, sorry, did you think you
Getting you through that first draft is something to celebrate. Achievement unlocked. Merit badge earned. Happy dance time! But, (see, there is always a
As the author, you will be too close to your work to see any of the flaws. You might finish that first draft and immediately want to publish it.
Don’t Do That! For the love of all that is right and good in the world, never do that!
Our brains play a little trick on us when we read our own writing. We know what we meant to say, so our brain puts that filter on as we read the hot mess brilliance we’ve slaved over.
When I coach people on the writing
draft first to suck!" is supposed
Trust me on this. A first draft is not something you want to submit to an editor at a major publishing house, or God forbid, let book reviewer get a hold of.
With the eagle eyes of your book coach, you’ll be able to catch plot holes, character inconsistencies, and basic grammatical mishaps. These are the things you’ll want to clean up before anyone, other than your mom and best friend, sees.
So you’ve made it through
Wait, what? Not done?
there’s that ( again) but
This writing thing sure is tough, eh?
Your book coach is there to help you through the entire process of producing your book. No matter which direction you take in publishing, you can feel confident that there is someone in your corner who’s been-there-done-that.
If you plan to go the traditional route, you will need a killer query.
What’s a query, you ask?
So inquisitive. I love that about you!
A query is part sales pitch and part resume. Because if you’re trying to get your book published by the Big 5, you need a killer pitch to entice them to pick up your book. Even if you’re aiming at Small Press Publishers, a query is essential. Publishers decide on whether to pick up a book based on market research and profitability projections as much as they factor in quality of writing. So, when you pitch to them,
The query typically follows the following format:
- Personalized Introduction (be polite and use their name, not a form letter)
- Logline: One sentence pitch. (exciting details only)
Two paragraphsummary (focusing on the main character and main conflict only)
- Closing paragraph with author information. (your mini resume)
- All of this should be
no more than250 words.
If you thought writing the book was tough, try distilling that 80k words down to 250 words. Yes, you read that right. Two, five, zero. Not a lot of words for all that plot you just agonized over and perfected. This is the part that has authors wanting to drive hot pokers into their eyes to avoid doing. Know anything about Copywriting? Your book coach does. This is a special skill.
Screw that noise, you say?
You’re just going to self-publish.
Eyes squeezed tight, finger hovering over the mouse button. Must click. Must look.
Ugh! Spam for a new fad diet promising 20lbs of weight loss in the next 30 days. Though it might come in handy with all the binge eating, that wasn’t what you were waiting for.
Dare you refresh again?
What if the agent replies?
What if the answer is no?
Oh god, why did I become a writer???
Sorry. Got off track again.
Don’t think you can get off easy by self-publishing your book. Oh no, dear author. Sweet, sweet, summer child! You get to write a summary too. But rather than use it to sell your book to an agent or publisher, you will use it as your product description/jacket copy.
Don’t worry, your book coach will still hold your hand as you take the plunge into the entrepreneurial world of publishing? And even beyond that, they can work with you on the marketing.
As you can see, having a book coach during any step of the writing and publishing process can be to your benefit. And the beauty of hiring one, is that you are in control of how much time you want to spend working with them. Most work by-the-hour or offer pre-determined packages so you can keep your budget in check and get the help you need when you need it.
We’ll discuss what it’s