Part 2: What is Book Coaching?


Yesterday, I posted a blog, What is a Book Coach?, where I talked about what makes a good book coach. Today I want to describe the book coaching process.  I’ve been coaching people on self help, memoir, and fiction for nearly 20 years, through my business Art of Storytelling. Often, people come to me not knowing what book coaching actually is.

Here’s what it looks like:

  1. You have a book idea. Or you’ve written a few chapters, and now you’re stuck. You don’t know why. You’ve always wanted to be a writer, but you put it off to start a career, or have a family. Now you’re hearing the call again to get back to writing. You make the first contact with a book coach.
  2. The coach talks over your book idea with you. What is the subject of the book? The plot? The themes? What are your hopes and dreams for the book? Where are you stuck? How much time do you have to devote to writing? How many other commitments are pulling at you?  She’ll do an initial read through of a chapter or two, to get a better understanding of your writing ability. For me, I’ve been doing this coaching so long that I can name that book block in five pages!
  3. You decide to become a client. At Art of Storytelling, this means we schedule you for twice a month phone sessions, on the same day, and at the same time.  During each session, you’ll be given assignments to be completed within 10 days. These assignments include things like filling out character analysis sheets to better understand your protagonist, or deepening the setting, or working on dialogue. Our coaches provide extensive written feedback on the work, and email this feedback to you prior to your next session.
  4. During your second session, we review the feedback, and talk about next steps.
  5. We look at all aspects of professional writing during our sessions, from structure, to characterization, setting and plot.
  6. We look deeply at your path as a literary artist. What is blocking you? How can we help you overcome those blocks? We explore everything from deep-rooted childhood issues around speaking your truth, to finding the time in a busy schedule to do the writing.
  7. Step-by-step, chapter-by-chapter, we go through your book together, incorporating the lessons around high-end professional writing, as well as your soulful path as an artist. We commit to you professionally and personally.
  8. Over several months, we work with you through the rough draft, through a few revisions, and finally to the editing phase.
  9. We help you send your now finished book to an outside editor for a thorough polishing.
  10. We help you draft a killer pitch letter, and find literary agents to approach.
  11. If you want to self-publish, we help you do that — find a cover designer, a proofreader, and someone to get it onto for you.
  12. We discuss the author platform — how to build this platform over time via website, social media, and blogs to draw your audience to you.
  13. Our primary intention is not just this one book, though. Our greatest passion is helping you find your literary self, and live out that self to your greatest ability for the rest of your life. We don’t want you just to finish and publish THIS book. We want  you to be a fully fledged writer, who now knows how to live the path, who has many books yet to be written.

Art of Storytelling offers a free initial consultation.

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