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BookCamp Review: The Writing Hub You Didn’t Know You Needed

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2021-11-09

BookCamp is the writing hub you didn’t know you needed

If you’re dreaming of writing and publishing a book one day, but aren’t sure what to do next, then Chad R. Allen’s community may be exactly what you need to reach your goals. Read on the for the full BookCamp review.

Quick disclaimer before moving on: We are affiliates of BookCamp. That does not affect any of the breakdowns below.

BookCamp is a membership community providing expert guidance to help you find shortcuts to publication. Offering self-paced training alongside group events and coaching, BookCamp helps writers become authors and build their platform.

This program is designed to help a variety of writers, but if you’re a nonfiction writer who wants a book deal with a traditional publisher, then you’ll get the absolute most out of this program and community.

What is BookCamp?

BookCamp is a mentorship community built around creating accountability and training to help you get your book out into the world. Through BookCamp you’ll set goals for your project, establish personal accountability and create a writing and marketing schedule that works for you.

Inside BookCamp, you’ll discover a supportive group of writers who are working towards the same goals and who want to help one another. And while having a supportive community is great, there is also a huge library of practical training available as soon as you become a member. Topics range from the steps to getting a book published to the best way to develop a great book concept and so much more. 

In addition to pre-recorded training, every month more expert interviews and training are added to BookCamp. This is in addition to opportunities to attend live virtual events such as co-working, group coaching, and masterclasses!

Here’s what you’ll learn about in BookCamp:

When you sign up for a membership you have an all-access pass to all the training and features of BookCamp, including previous coaching and training sessions.

Upon entering BookCamp for the first time, you’ll be prompted to go through an orientation where you’ll learn how to use the site and set goals for your book project. 

Everything in BookCamp is themed around going to summer camp, so as you navigate the site you’ll come across:

  • Your Trail Map (an outline of the path to publication)
  • Fireside Chats (one-on-one mentoring and group coaching)
  • The Writer’s Cabin (dive into writing process and craft)
  • Pitch Your Tent (learn how to create your online presence)
  • The Pavilion (learn how to grow your platform) 
  • Capture the Flag (focus on developing a great book concept)
  • The Amphitheater (learn the ins and outs of publishing)
  • The Blob (get training on how to market your book)
  • The Tool Shed (a resource library filled with worksheets and guides)

When you first review your Trail Map and consider your personal book goals, this should help you identify where to start in BookCamp. If you’re confident with your idea but need some help with craft, then The Writer’s Cabin will be your first stop. If you’ve written your book but you don’t know whether to pursue traditional or self-publishing, then The Amphitheater will be a helpful place to visit.

No matter your question, there is likely a training or masterclass available in BookCamp. And if there isn’t? Then take it to the next Fireside Chat where you can ask your question during the weekly group coaching session.  

How much does it cost?

BookCamp is a monthly subscription of $37. There is no minimum time commitment, and writers can cancel their membership at any time. The best part about BookCamp is there are no hidden fees or upsells once you’re inside the community. Your membership grants you 100% access to everything BookCamp has to offer, including all past training and interviews.

There is a lot of material to go through in BookCamp, which is why it’s so important to understand your individual goals and where you require the most help in the process. Getting a book into the world takes considerable commitment and effort. Joining a supportive and focused community can help you stay on track.

Who’s Chad Allen?

chad r allen - bookcamp review

Chad R. Allen is the creator of BookCamp and is passionate about helping writers get their books into the world. He’s also a writer, editor, speaker and writing coach with a BA in English and a MA in Theology. Before going full-time with his own business, Chad spent 20 years at Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, and has collaborated with numerous bestselling authors such as Michael Hyatt, Jeff Goins, Caroline Leaf, Ernie Johnson Jr., Chip Ingram, Mary DeMuth, John Burke, Mark Batterson, and Phyllis Tickle.

Who will get the most out of BookCamp?

Chad’s primary expertise is with nonfiction and traditional publishing, but the training and community available in BookCamp is helpful to any kind of writer. Several longtime members of the membership are fiction writers and find a lot of value in BookCamp. No matter if you’re new to writing or a published author, writing fiction or nonfiction, many parts of the writing, publishing and marketing process are the same and BookCamp will be especially helpful in those crossover areas.

BookCamp Perks

From it’s inclusive environment to its in-depth training on a wide variety of topics, there’s a lot to love about BookCamp. Here are a few additional perks you receive as part of your membership.

  • You don’t need to be tech savvy to go through the training material

If you can press “play” on a video and have an Internet connection, then you’re all set. But even if you can’t do video, or have a weak wireless signal, many of the training videos have an option to download the video, audio and the slides so you can still follow along.

  • Private Facebook Group

BookCamp subscribers are invited and encouraged to join the exclusive Facebook Group where they can interact with the community, ask questions, receive feedback and so much more. 

  • Weekly “work together” sessions

Every Monday at 11 a.m. Eastern Time, Chad or someone from his team hosts a “work together” session. The Zoom session begins with five minutes of encouragement and then the timer is set for 50 minutes. At this point, everyone does focused work on their own projects for the remainder of the session.

  • Bi-weekly co-working sessions

Twice a month on Thursdays at 7 p.m. Eastern Time, Chad or someone from his team hosts a co-working session. This drop-in virtual meeting is run the same as “work together” sessions except in the evening, for those who can’t make the daytime sessions.

  • Monthly group coaching sessions

Every month Chad answers writing, platform and publishing questions during Fireside Chats. Participants can show up and ask questions live, or submit questions in the Facebook thread announcing the next Fireside Chat.

  • Submit work to be considered for feedback

During the first seven days of any given month, BookCampers are invited to submit up to two pages of material for possible critique and feedback. While the team can’t guarantee feedback on every submission, they review as many as they can.

BookCamp Areas of Improvement

It should be pretty clear by now that BookCamp is a training and community hub dedicated to helping writers get their books into the world. It’s focused on being helpful and encouraging while drawing like-minded writers together.

But like any course or membership community, there are elements of BookCamp that aren’t for everyone. Here are a few potential drawbacks to be aware of when considering joining up.

  • There are a LOT of emails and virtual live events

In order to get the most out of your membership, you really do need to set aside time to engage with the material and the community. There are several emails each week letting you know what’s happening at BookCamp, and it’s the best way to stay in the loop. In addition, the write-ins, masterclasses and other events are great ways to get writing and stay accountable, but only if you show up and do the work.

  • There’s a LOT of material to go through

While the material is organized into large sections, apart from a search bar at the top of the page, there aren’t additional filters to help find the specific training or topic you want. This means you’ll need to search through the sections until you find what you’re looking for.

  • Training material is à la carte

There isn’t a natural order to take the different courses or training in, apart from the direction you get from your Trail Map. This “choose your own adventure” approach may work great for some people, but it could be overwhelming for others who are looking for a higher touch experience.

The setup of BookCamp can be both a blessing and a curse. There’s training on pretty much everything you can think of related to writing and publishing, which is great. But getting through it all could be challenging. Your best bet is to get clear on what you want to learn in the moment and leave everything else for later.

What You’ll Learn With Chad R. Allen’s BookCamp

While this isn’t so much a course on writing and publishing, it is definitely an education on the process and industry. Looking to grow your platform? There’s a seven-lesson masterclass on that. Or how about learning how to design a writing process that works for you? Yes, you guessed it. There’s training on that as well. But maybe you need some technical help with your blog. Believe it or not, there’s training on even this topic inside BootCamp.

Here are the main sections you’ll find in the membership site, where all the different training is organized into.

Fireside Chats

This is your opportunity to join in for live group coaching and receive one-on-one mentoring from Chad. You can also review more than 50 previous Fireside Chats at your own pace.

The Writer’s Cabin

All of the training in this section is focused on the process and craft of writing. Learn how to be a better writer, glean writing tips from established authors and so much more.

Pitch Your Tent

If you’re at all curious about how to create your online presence, this is the section you’ll head for. Featuring interviews and training on topics such as web design and blogging.

The Pavilion

Once you have your online presence set up, now it’s time to focus on growth. The Pavilion hosts everything from tips and interviews to specific training on how to attract your ideal reader and build a significant platform.

Capture the Flag

This section focuses on setting up your book for success. Learn how to identify felt needs, develop strong titles and subtitles and craft a marketable concept your readers will love.

The Amphitheater

Look forward to lots of insider guidance in this section as you learn how to get published! Wondering how to choose the right agent and publisher? Maybe you are trying to decide between traditional publishing and self-publishing. How about a proven book proposal template? Visit The Amphitheater for help with all of this and more.

The Blob

Ready to launch your book? Head to The Blob for tips and insight on marketing your book. Make sure to check out the multi-part masterclass on Tim Grahl’s book, “Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book.”

The Tool Shed

Any time Chad creates a worksheet or guide, he adds it to The Tool Shed for BookCamp subscribers. There’s a BookCamp editor and proofreader database, crafting a killer bio worksheet and much more.

If you’re searching for a safe and fun writing community to join, then BookCamp should certainly be on your shortlist. It’s focused on creating a positive and encouraging environment with high-level and practical training that will help you create and launch a book that sells. With no minimum commitments, this monthly subscription-based membership allows you to access the complete backlog of coaching and receive training on a multitude of topics in addition to weekly live virtual events and plenty of coaching through the monthly sessions and Facebook group. For just $37 a month, you have access to a publishing veteran with a wealth of knowledge he’s happy to share.

So, are you ready to join BookCamp?