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Writing

What Is a Book Coach: How to Improve Your Writing With a Book Coach

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Feb 3, 2020 • 3 min read

Book writing can be an intimidating process. Each step—from outlining to writing to publishing—involves its own set of hurdles. That’s where a book coach can help. Book coaches guide authors through the book writing process, helping them stay organized, brainstorm ideas, and get their books published.

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What Is a Book Coach?

A book coach is someone who assists with the book writing process. A book coach (sometimes referred to as a writing coach or book sherpa) can facilitate the creative conception of a book idea, help develop a first draft into a completed manuscript, or assist in proofreading and copy editing. Some book coaches even offer ghostwriting services. In other words, a book coach is like an author’s own personal editor-in-chief, helping the author improve their work in whatever way they can.

What Does a Book Coach Do?

Different book coaches have specific areas of expertise, though their overall goal is the same: to assist writers in the creative writing process. Book coaching services may include:

  1. Outlining: Whether you’re writing a fiction or nonfiction book, book coaches can help you create a step-by-step outline for your work.
  2. Setting writing goals: If you’re struggling with writer’s block or are having trouble maintaining the self-discipline necessary to produce consistent pages, a coaching session can help keep you on track by setting page count goals.
  3. Polishing and perfecting: Some book coaches have a great track record when it comes to offering writing advice in the latter stages of book writing. These coaches can help you turn a good book into a great book by offering cuts, narrative advice, or proofreading services.
  4. Helping you publish: Certain book coaches specialize in the book publishing process. Whether your goal is to access the traditional publishing industry, pursue self-publishing, or submit to smaller publishing houses, the best publishing coaches know how to put together book proposals and increase the odds of you becoming a published author.
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3 Benefits of Working With a Book Coach

Book coaches can help you become a better writer by offering a variety of writing coaching services, especially if you’re working on your first book or collection of short stories. It’s important to choose the right book coach, which is why it’s often helpful to read testimonials or other firsthand accounts of your book coach’s overall efficacy. Though book coaching can be costly and certainly isn’t for everyone, there are a few benefits of working with a book coach:

  1. Accountability: Sometimes the hardest part of making progress in a freelance writing career is simply hitting deadlines. It can be hard to find time to focus on writing your novel if there’s no one to hold you accountable. Book coaches can offer regularly scheduled face-to-face meetings or video conferences designed to keep you on track to meet your deadlines. This accountability can help you complete your first draft, especially if you’re a first-time writer.
  2. Critique: Even the best books begin as a rough draft. Book coaches can analyze the first draft of a manuscript and help you address specific areas of your story that need work. Perhaps you feel like your dialogue doesn’t sparkle enough. Maybe your story is boring and predictable. Whatever the issue, a book coach can work with you to address your specific shortcomings so that your next draft is as crisp as possible.
  3. Knowledge about the industry: Book coaches generally have experience with the industry side of the literary world, which is especially helpful if you’re trying to get a book deal through a traditional publisher. Book coaches can help you draft query letters to potential literary agents, develop a book marketing plan for your completed manuscript, or reach out to publishing houses. It’s important to note that hiring a book coach is no guarantee of a lucrative book deal or even increased book sales. Do your research to make sure that your book coach has a track record of success in the publishing industry.

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