11 Jun 2017

A Book Coach can Help You Get Your Book Done

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One of the best ways to get your book written with the highest possible quality is to hire a book coach.

Does it seem like you’ve been writing a book forever? Or are you at the opposite end of the spectrum and can’t seem to get started? Maybe you’ve got a pile of notes and background information and diagrams and maps, but you don’t have a book.

You may have looked into ghostwriting, and after you got over the heart attack from learning the cost, decided maybe writing that book isn’t so important after all.

Hold on! Maybe what you need is a book coach.

Writing a book is hard work. I know, because I’ve written and published 63 of my own books and ghostwritten 12 of them for others. Did I say it’s hard work? The process of writing a book – getting it into a form that is publishable and might sell, is extremely demanding, difficult work.

What does a Book Coach Do?

Well, the short answer is your book coach is a coach, and they’re going to work with you, over your shoulder (or, more likely, on Skype) to get you to write your book.

That’s right. When you’re working with a book coach you get to write your own book. The idea is you will learn from an expert what needs to be done, get your quality checked out, receive advice on plots, characters and so forth.

So, you get an adviser who works closely with you, guiding you every step of the way until you have a finished book ready for publication.

That sounds great. What qualities make for a good book coach?

Obviously, a book coach needs to be a great writer, but there are other characteristics to look for when choosing one to help you.

  • Respectful of your time and needs.
  • Understand your skill level.
  • Give specific critique and not general criticism.
  • Good proofreading and editing skills.
  • Published articles, stories, books or other materials.

That last one is important. Ensure your coach is actually a published author. After all, they’re supposed to be helping you get your book ready for publication. If they haven’t done that, how can they help you along the journey? That would be like hiring a guide to climb a mountain who has never been to a mountain.

What does a book coach cost?

The coast can vary widely. Remember your coach has to earn a living, but that doesn’t mean you should overpay for he service. You can find a good coach, one who has experience writing and publishing books, for between $50 and $100 an hour. You want a professional, not some amateur you find randomly or from a content mill.

In ghostwriting, you would normally be charged a fixed price for the project. Book coaching is different because you’re receiving training and mentoring tailored specifically to your needs and schedule, and you pay by the hour.

How much time will it take?

On those occasions where I coach an author, help them write and published their book, we start with a couple of longer meetings to go through the goals of the book, the audience, the theme and anything else that is relevant. That can work out to between 4 and 16 hours at the beginning.

After that, the author and I meet once a week or so for an hour to go over what was done the previous week. After each meeting, the author receives an assignment such as “finish a draft of chapter 6”. By working in this manner, costs are kept relatively low and predictable, and the author has inventive to make regular progress towards completing their book. In fact, that alone can be reason enough to hire a book coach.

One method that I’ve used with success is to read a chapter out loud at each meeting. It’s amazing how much gets uncovered when listening instead of silently reading. Of course, I’ll stop occasionally to make comments and suggestions,and together the author and I will rewrite as we read the material.

Using this method, we can normally get through 1,000 to 2,000 words an hour.

Why is this better than ghostwriting?

In a ghostwriting project, you hand over all your notes and materials to a writer who goes off and writes your book for you. Some ghostwriters will send you a chapter at a time to review, others will wait until the first draft of the book is complete. A lot of time is spent up front to interview the author and get all of the information needed, and at the end to review and revise what was delivered.

In other words, in a ghostwriting project, you’re saying, “write my book for me.”

In book coaching, you’re doing the writing and your coach is guiding you through the process. There’s a lot more work for you, but the book is more likely to be closer to what you want in the end.

A good ghostwriter will charge between $10,000 and $25,000 for a 100 page book, and will ask for at least 25% to 40% up front.

On the other hand, you’ll pay a book coach as you go, generally weekly, and the cost is far less. More importantly, those costs are spread out more over time, making it easier to budget.

Assuming you spend 8 hours up front, plus 90 minutes per chapter for a 12 chapter book, you’ll wind up spending around $2,000 for a book coach’s time at $75 an hour. Naturally, this could cost more (or less) depending on your skill level, the number of revisions done, and so forth.


If you’ve got a book that you want to write and publish, but it never seems to get done, or you don’t have the skills needed, than a book coach can be the right way to go. Of course, you’ll do most of the work, but you’ll have an expert guiding you every step of the way. It’s an excellent way to get that idea out of your head and into the hands of readers.

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