Think of me like a midwife for your book. Someone who will offer guidance on the process, provide a sounding board as you make decisions, encourage you as you rise to the challenge and pick you up when you’re feeling low. Someone who is (almost) as invested in the work as you are and will celebrate with you when you hold that book in your arms.
First time mothers choose a midwife to guide, support, challenge, champion and walk beside them through what can be an equal parts terrifying and wonderful new experience. First time authors can benefit from a coach for all the same reasons.
You could and you probably have.
Group classes are wonderful – I take them all the time – but they also have their limits. A group of students may be assigned the same set tasks (regardless of your needs in that moment), or one teacher tries his/her best to nurture students who are all at different stages of the writing process. Even if you leave the class all inspired, when you next sit down at your desk it’s all too easy to fall back into self doubt and procrastination.
Writing a book is a long game. A book coach walks beside you every step of the way, meeting you where you are, offering feedback as you go, helping you rise to meet the challenge that is currently before you. A book coach gets to know both you and the work, offers deep rather than surface feedback and is fully invested in the outcome of making your book the best it can be.
It’s the difference between having a trusted midwife accompany you throughout pregnancy, labour and delivery, versus going it alone.
Writing groups, family or friends can provide a wonderful and safe place to share your work, but often at the risk of smothering your work in sunshine. It’s great to be told you’re a wonderful writer, but it’s more useful to be offered constructive, intentional feedback that will help you develop your work and grow as a writer. That’s what a book coach can offer.
Sadly creativity doesn’t come with guarantees. From the market, to the timing, to other books on the publisher’s catalogue, to book sale trends, there are so many factors that play into whether or not a particular manuscript might or might not get picked up by a publishing house.
But while I can’t offer you any guarantees about publishing contracts, I can promise you that together, we’ll create a book that you can feel proud of. What happens next – well we shall see.
That my friend, is the several-thousand-dollar question.
There’s no getting around it – writing a book costs time and money. Whether you strike a deal with a conventional publishing house or go it alone, you will need to be prepared to hustle like crazy to sell your book.
If you self-publish, you need to be prepared to pay for an editor, a proofreader, cover design, layout and print costs, and possibly distribution and PR too. Add in some book coaching and structural editing and yes, the costs of the book add up.
That’s why it’s important to get clear on WHY you are writing this book, how it’s going to impact your other business goals and the benefits it can drive for you beyond simply book sales. Maybe your book will open doors to lucrative opportunities or perhaps it forms part of a sales funnel that drives clients to high ticket offers. Perhaps you have a highly engaged audience that can’t wait to get their hands on your book. Either way, make sure you have a clear motivation for writing this book.