There are nutrition coaches. Leadership coaches. Career coaches. Life coaches. Have you noticed how the people who tend to work with coaches always seem so... together? And you wonder why they, of all people, think they need a coach? They appear at the top of their game precisely because they have a coach. Working with an author coach is no different.
A professional author coach will guide you through the writing process, from the first seeds of an idea to the finished manuscript and beyond.
Imagine a talented tennis player who wants to win Wimbledon. The player will have a tennis coach who will practise with them, work on technique, and correct little problems before they become big habits. They'll set a schedule, provide nutrition advice, and help to keep the player mentally focussed. The tennis coach may become a confidante, shoulder to cry on, and cheerleader.
Helping you achieve your writing goals is the goal of the author coach too. They will guide you every step of the way as you transform your idea into a book. Depending on where you are on your author journey, their assistance may include:
If you’re a new or aspiring author, you need an author coach. Think of the tennis coach who teaches a novice player all the basics, from how to hold the racquet to different ways of hitting the ball.
If you’ve already published one or more books, but know you've got room to improve, you need an author coach. In our tennis analogy, the coach may point out that you have a habit of stepping too far forward with your left foot, throwing you just a little off balance and sending your shots astray.
If you’re a seasoned author, with multiple credits and healthy sales, it’s still a great time to work with an author coach. Here your coach will focus on fine-tuning your craft along with the subtler aspects of your game: attitude, body language, visioning of success.
Yup, the right author coach at the right time is always a good idea. It’s never too late.
What you look for in an author coach depends first on your own assessment of what you want and what you need.
Finding potential author coaches to interview starts with a simple Google search. It's easy. The ALLi Facebook Group and their approved partner lists are also great places to look. There is actually lots of choice for you out there. Here are a few things to watch for.
Once you’ve chosen an author coach, you and your coach will work together to come up with a strategy tailor-made for your book project. The work plan might look something like this.
Your first few sessions with your author coach might look a little different.
Whatever the frequency, you’ll have regular sessions with your author coach – once every two weeks, for instance – while you're writing your book. During these sessions, you’ll discuss what you’re doing right and what needs to change.
Be wary of #authorcoaches who agree with everything you have written. You’re not going to improve if all you get is, “That’s fantastic!”
If the Wimbledon-bound tennis player retains her coach to ensure she's at the top of her game, why would it be any different for an author?
As an author, every new book you start will be different. It will have its own unique challenges and opportunities. Your skill and competence will shift and grow, opening up new gaps through which learning can stride. An author coach will help you reach new levels of skill and competence faster than you might get there on your own.
If you’re an experienced writer who already has some publishing credits, do you still need a coach?
What your coach won’t do is write your book for you. That’s your job!
Want to talk to us about our author coaching? Click here to book your free discovery call.
Boni is co-founder of Ingenium Books and an author, editor, and ghostwriter. She also manages communications and media for the Alliance of Independent Authors. As an award-winning former Canadian television reporter, news anchor, producer, and talk show host, working under the names Boni Fox and Boni Fox Gray, Boni covered politics, government, the economy, health, First Nations, and crime. She won several Canadian Association of Broadcaster (CAB) awards and a Jack Webster Award for best documentary. Boni also held senior management roles in government, leading teams responsible for editorial, issues management, media relations, strategic communications planning. Boni is co-author of Rock Your Business: 26 Essential Lessons to Start, Run, and Grow Your New Business From the Ground Up.
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