If you're serious about writing your book and becoming a published author, a writing coach could help you achieve your goals faster.
It takes more than persistence to become a successful author. A dedicated book writing coach can help you reach each milestone and guide you through the various obstacles you might face. Even still, you may not feel like you need a coach – or you may want one but not be sure where and how to find the right person for you.
You're in the right place! Let's get into it.
This guide covers:
The Value Of A Writing Coach
The value of a great coach cannot be overstated. When I started my author journey, I found a writing coach online who had sold millions of copies of his books and landed on the New York Times bestseller list many times.
My writing coach taught me fundamentals that I didn’t even know I needed, such as:
- Key writing rules
- How to self-edit
- Creating round characters
- The importance of the first sentence, page, and chapter (and how to write a strong first sentence)
- Avoiding clichés and writing original storylines
The above is a brief overview of the value he brought to my author career, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without the benefit of his coaching.
But what if you already know writing rules exist, you've become a great editor to review your own work, and your plots are full of intrigue?
Why should you invest in a book writing coach?
The value of having professional support multifaceted. Some benefits you might not even realize until after. Depending on the type of book you are writing and your writing coach's past experience, you can focus on many different things during your one-on-one sessions. These could include things like character development, reviewing a list of genres to make sure you're writing and marketing your book for the right niche, overcoming imposter syndrome, maintaining accountability when writing your book, and more.
While getting a second pair of eyes on your work is always helpful, sometimes you need help in other parts of your author journey. That's where the power of having a great coach can come in.
How A Book Writing Coach Can Make You A Better Writer
If you are truly serious about self-publishing a book and becoming an authorpreneur, finding a writing coach online or IRL is a worthwhile investment. This person will be in your corner for the entire journey. They are a mentor that can help you avoid common pitfalls.
But understanding what a writing coach does is very important.
Remember, different coaches and mentors focus on varying aspects of writing. Some coaches prefer to focus on craft, while others may specialize in helping you stay on target to hit your word count goals. Other coaches may work with you to develop your plot, characters, or even your marketing plan.
It's important to note that your writing coach is here to support you and help you with specific problems that arise while writing your book. While they may help you with a few lines or paragraphs, they are not an editor and will not be reading your entire manuscript.
Here are the top three things that a writing coach (online or IRL) WILL help you with, though:
Hold You Accountable
Whether you are an aspiring author or have published multiple books, staying on schedule can be difficult – especially during the summer months, holidays, or busy family seasons. You make a promise to yourself, establish an ideal writing process, and then life gets in the way. Hitting your daily word count goals can slip down on the list of priorities.
This is where your writing coach will step in. First, they'll help make sure your writing goals are realistic for you and your schedule. Then they'll keep you accountable. Whether you choose to find a writing coach online or one local to your area, you will establish a meeting cadence and check-ins with your coach. Simply knowing that you meet with your writing mentor tomorrow or next week can be the extra push you need to hit your goals.
Additionally, if you fall behind, this person can help you reschedule your writing days to enable you to still meet your original publish goal.
Help You Through The Steps Of Writing And Publishing
Just as coaches hold you accountable, they also act as a guide for navigating the shifting world of publishing. Whether you choose to self-publish or publish traditionally, your writing coach will be familiar with both processes.
If you self-publish, there are a lot of milestones for you to hit beyond just writing the book. Your book writing coach can help you understand how to self-edit, hire a professional book editor, get your book cover designed, create a marketing plan, organize your book launch party, and more.
For authors traditionally publishing, coaches can draw your attention to the publishing timeline. They will advise you on your role in the process, and give you tips on book signings and the various appearances you will make. As the day of your launch draws near, this guidance is extremely helpful.
No matter which avenue you choose to publish for publishing your book, self-publishing, traditional, or a hybrid, book writing coaches are the fictional mentor trope come to life. They will make your writing journey much less overwhelming and far more fun.
Be Your Sounding Board
Every author needs a sounding board to bounce ideas off, speak up when imposter syndrome takes over, and help you get back on track – especially if/when writer’s block rears its ugly head. The publishing journey can get long, lonely, and overwhelming.
At times, you may even feel like giving up.
Your book writing coach will come sure you don't.
Over the years, there have been numerous times I’ve presented my coach with my progress, pros and cons, positive and negative feedback, and asked what to do next.
Having an outside opinion from a professional who is both familiar with your writing journey and with the industry in general, is indispensable. Below are just a few ways book writing coaches can provide a sounding board:
- See the big picture of your journey and areas for improvement
- Encourage you that you are going in a positive direction and to keep at it
- Help you reset when necessary and establish new goals
- Provide contacts and networking opportunities
- Remind you why you started in the first place
Just as an athletic trainer can assess your progress, so can a writing coach. They see the big picture when you don’t, and their expertise will prove invaluable.
How to Find A Writing Coach in 3 Simple Steps
Regardless of whether you are a debut author or working on your third series, finding the best writing coach for you and your writing needs is crucial.
It takes time to research the various coaches out there, find one that fits your requirements, is available, and works with your specific genre.
1. Search For Writing Coaches Online
Though this route can be a bit daunting, your favorite search engine can provide countless options to choose from.
Book writing coaches often have their own websites, work in guilds (with a website), host online classes, share their availability in private Facebook groups, and interact on many other platforms.
Simply search for “writing coach guild” or something similar and you’re bound to find options.
The challenge with this method is making sure the person you found online is vetted and has a proven track record of helping authors like you successfully publish their books and launch their writing careers. Make sure you ask for a list of authors and books they've helped with. Reach out to their past and current clients and get some testimonials.
2. Query Editors
Many book editors offer coaching, mentoring, and different coaching packages and services.
Find an editor whose work you respect and send an inquiry regarding your desire for their services as a coach. You will likely be surprised at how willing editors are to help other writers.
Again, make sure you review and carefully vet anyone you are thinking about working with.
3. Ask Your Writing Community
Finally, reach out to your writing community for recommendations. Ask your writing friends if they’ve worked with anyone in the past, if they are aware of anyone who offers coaching, or if they know of any professionals who may be open to it.
This method fast-tracks the process of vetting a potential book writing coach. However, it is limited to your existing network. You might miss out on an excellent coach simply because you aren't in the right groups. If you are a first-time author, you may not have a solid network of author friends and/or you may not have a strong group of people that write in the same genre as you.
4. Join AAA For Your Own Dedicated Writing Coach!
The best way to find a writing coach? Enlist the help of a company that's dedicated solely to helping people write, publish, and effectively market their book!
At SelfPublishing, the entire team is passionate about helping authors gain access to the resources and support they need the most based on their writing experience, genre, and publishing goals. When you join the AAA program, you don't just get access to a self-publishing course, you also get access to a thriving community of authors, regular accountability group calls, AND your very own personal book writing coach.
A writing coach that's been carefully selected for you.
If you’re already part of the SelfPublishing community, or interested in receiving curated help for your book, you are welcome to browse through our coaching services. Our one-on-one coaching is designed to provide you with a customized approach for writing, marketing, and publishing your book so it gets in as many hands as possible.
Ready to find your perfect writing coach online and become a published author? Watch our free webinar and get started today!