Are you struggling with writer’s block? Do you need advice on the direction of your writing? If you’ve answered yes to these questions, it sounds like a writing coach could be the answer to your writing-related problems!
All writers get stuck at some point. This can happen right at the beginning of a novel, in the middle, or at the very end.
A writing coach can help you keep going during the most crucial parts of the book-writing process. In addition, they'll make your writing the best that it can possibly be.
But what exactly do they do? And should you hire one? Let’s find out!
What is a writing coach?
A writing coach (sometimes called a book coach) is an industry expert that helps writers improve their skills.
Their role is to guide you through each stage of the book-writing process. They can also advise you on writing skills, plot development, tone, style, and more!
A coach can offer you a professional point of view when you need it the most.
Think of them as an expert to tell your ideas to and get a professional opinion from in terms of the direction of your book.
In a nutshell, a writing coach is somebody that can provide real value throughout your author journey.
Benefits of hiring a writing coach
Writing can be a long process. Some people decide to do the journey on their own, and that’s fine! Or you can work with a book coach to give you the best chance of making your writing a success.
Here are the main benefits you can expect from seeking professional services.
Improve the quality of your writing
If you want to level up your writing, a coach could be great for you! Through reviews, critique, and also feedback, they will give you honest, professional advice on your weaknesses and help you improve.
Motivation is the key to achieving any goal, and writing goals are no different! Sometimes simply finding out what is stopping you from making progress is all you need. But this can be hard on your own.
Your coach will help encourage you throughout your author journey. They'll also be available for you when you need someone to talk to when you feel like you want to give up.
Hiring the services of a coach will stop you from questioning how good your work is. They are there to identify all of your writing hurdles and help you overcome them so you can move forward confidently.
Get help with setting realistic writing goals
It may be easy to get carried away and set too many unrealistic goals for a writing project. Not only will a book writing coach help you create goals, but they will also provide advice on how you can meet them faster.
Manage your time better
When life becomes too busy, it can be difficult to find the time to write. A coach is there to listen to your obstacles and recommend resources and techniques that will help you get back on track.
10 services a writing coach offers
Writing a book can be a complex and difficult process. Even established authors need the assistance of a coach to help make their books as good as they can be.
The services of a book coach can vary depending on areas of specialism and individual experience.
Here are 10 typical offerings that could help get your novel completed and, more importantly, published.
1. Help with finding a book idea
Before you even start writing, you’ll want to ensure that your idea is strong enough to appeal to a wide audience.
A coach can help you develop your idea and organize your thoughts. They'll ask you questions and offer advice on what to focus on. This is a great way to help you get your main points across!
Brainstorms are a popular way for authors to get their thoughts down on paper, so remember to show your coach all your notes, even if you don’t think they are great.
2. Support with creating a book outline
The most successful novels have a good structure, strong characters, an exciting plot, and intriguing scenes to engage the reader.
A book outline is created at the start of your writing journey to plan out all of the information that you will include in your story.
There are lots of details that need to be included in a book outline, so a coach will use their experience to guide you through the process.
3. Help with overcoming writer’s block
All writers will experience writer’s block during their careers – that feeling of being unable to move forward with your writing. It’s often caused by fear, self-doubt, or an issue in the writing process.
When it happens to you, don’t panic. It’s totally fixable. Using writing prompts, going for a walk, and eliminating distractions are all proven techniques to try.
But one of the best ways to overcome it is by using the service of a coach. They have dealt with this issue many times and will know exactly how to solve it for you by listening and advising.
4. Guidance with developing a first draft
Another handy coaching service is turning your ideas and outline into a full-length story.
Professional coaches can guide you through the structure of your story and help you lay the foundations for the rest of the book.
The first draft that you create with the advice of a professional coach will give you a solid reference point to develop your later drafts, making it a more seamless experience.
5. Draft feedback
As a writer, there’s nothing worse than spending months or years writing a story that doesn’t work. Or changing the direction of your book only to find out that it wasn’t the right path to take.
With a coach, you will receive regular feedback that identifies areas of strengths and weaknesses so you can adapt and improve areas as you write.
The frequency and method of feedback will be discussed with your coach during the consultation process so you can agree on a style that suits you both.
6. Advice on your writing style
Your unique writing style is what defines you as an author. Seeking professional help is a great way to develop your voice and make sure you stand out from other books.
Coaches will advise on:
- Whether your writing conforms to the correct style guide conventions
- If the tone and diction are suitable for your audience and genre
- The right choice of words
7. Provide writing accountability
All writers need to be accountable for their work. But it can be a challenge when you work on your own all day, especially if you’re a new writer.
Without accountability, it can be difficult to focus on writing your book and meet your writing goals. You may find yourself getting fed up with your current project or thinking that you’d rather be doing something else.
A coach can provide regular meetings virtually or in-person to help keep you on track and make you a more productive author.
8. Help getting published
For a book to be successful, it needs to get noticed by publishers.
Whilst writing coaches can’t guarantee you a huge book deal, they can advise you on how to accurately identify the correct genre and ensure your plot meets readers’ expectations.
Without these key criteria, it’s likely that your book will be rejected, and you’ll have to go back to the drawing board.
Some book coaches can also help you find literary agents and give you a point of contact for publishing houses. This information is invaluable when you’re writing a book, especially if it’s your first!
9. Marketing strategies
Marketing your book is a huge step in the book-writing process, so it pays to get it right the first time.
Coaches make this stage easier by telling you exactly how to get your book in front of the right people at the right time and at the right place.
Marketing a book successfully is a skill that comes with years of experience, so hiring the help of a professional that has done it several times can save you time and money.
10. Help with creating book proposals
Once your marketing plan is in place, you’ll need a compelling proposal that clearly describes what your book is and why people will buy it.
Book proposals need to convince publishers that people need to read your book. Using a coach will give you the best chance to ensure your proposal hits the spot and makes the industry experts want to publish your book.
How much does a book coach cost?
Now that you have all this useful information on what a writing coach does, you might be wondering how much it costs to work with one.
Professional coaches charge various rates, depending on the services you need and also the experience of the coach.
A writing coach that charges an hourly rate may charge anywhere from $50 to $300 and even more. You hire them hourly on a need basis without having to commit to a long-term package or retainer.
For coaches who charge a fixed rate, their pricing can be anywhere from $500 to upwards of $5,000 or more.
This depends on how many hours or sessions are involved for the particular services you need. Their offerings might be package based, monthly, or quarterly.
Making the investment to hire a book coach can have a significant and positive impact on your book and sales.
How to find the right writing coach for you!
It’s really important to find the right book coach for you to maximize the benefits they have to offer. There are several places to find a writing coach including:
That said, here are some good ideas to help you make the right decision.
Look up their reviews and reputation
Reviews and testimonials can tell you a lot about somebody and their services. They also give you a sense of trust that is important when you’re working with someone on a book.
Don’t forget to review a coach’s website too to learn about their skills and certifications. You'll also be able to get some insight into their working style based on the services they offer.
Choose someone with a similar personality and communication style to you
You’ll be spending quite a bit of time with your coach, so it’s important to work with someone that is on the same page as you.
Spend some time chatting with them either in person or virtually before you commit to their services. From the meeting, you will be able to discover their coaching style and whether it will work for you.
For example, some people want a “tough love” approach, while others may prefer a more laid-back style.
Leverage associations and referrals
Most people will find a coach online, as it’s the easiest and quickest place to find what you’re looking for.
But also consider a professional association or personal recommendation/referral when searching for your coach. This could help you find the right services for you much sooner than spending hours trawling through the internet.
Work with a writing coach that specializes in your genre
Each book genre has its own rules and conventions that are important to master if you want your book to be a success.
Hiring a coach that has experience in your genre will give you a much-needed helping hand when it comes to making sure your work matches expectations.
Check that your schedules match
A good coach will be flexible, but it’s important to agree on the frequency of your meetings early on, so you both know where you stand.
If you need a lot of support, you will need a coach that is regularly available. But if you’re just looking for support during the main phases of book writing, you may want fewer meetings.
Hire a writing coach and level up your writing!
If you’re currently working on a book, chances are a coach will greatly impact your work and allow you to write your best with less stress.
Don’t forget to do your research and choose a coach that’s right for you and your budget! And remember to find out more about how to become an author, and also consider finding online writing groups that can help you improve your work.