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Start Here (Book Coaching Q&A)

Why work with a Book Coach? And why me?

I want to help you connect meaningfully with your readers.

Sharing your work and being edited is an act of bravery and deserves to be treated as such. I believe in the vision of my clients and want to help them succeed with their writing goals.

If you’re…

Starting a new project: Together, we will use a variety of tools to build a solid outline, create deep character profiles, set solid goals and intentions, and discover and deepen the point and heart of your story.

Stuck in the mushy middle: Together, we will work to identify the barriers that are holding you back, help you push through and write forward, level up your storytelling and craft along the way, so you can cross the finish line with a complete manuscript.

Struggling to finish a book: Together, we will review what you have written, identify and assess any issues and gaps, develop new material where necessary, revise and polish.

Wherever you are in your writing process, I will meet you there. Whatever your writing challenges, I will provide specific, individualized support. Each step of the way, you will receive detailed notes and summaries of our sessions, useful tools, and honest, heartfelt feedback. Together, we will push through the layers of resistance to deepen your work and we will celebrate your successes along the way.

As your Book Coach, I will support you on your writing and publishing journey, reminding you to recognize the wonders of your creative genius while helping you to develop and grow your craft.

Book Coaching is a deeply collaborative effort, as well as a personal one.

Every package starts with a free consultation call in order to determine whether or not we are the right fit for working together and how I can best support you.

I am an avid proponent of “Writer’s voice, writer’s choice.” So, the focus is always on your book, your story, your goals, your creative process and needs.

I can help you by:

  • Identifying what is working/not working in your manuscript.
  • Suggesting revisions to improve your manuscript.
  • Showing you ways to fix what needs fixing.
  • Helping your book reach its full potential.
  • Supporting you in honing your craft and becoming a better writer.
  • Respecting your talent and honoring your voice.

I cannot:

  • Write your book for you.
  • Revise your manuscript for you.
  • Guarantee your book will land you an agent/publisher or become a bestseller.

Resources:

For a good article on Finding and Working with an Editor, see: https://www.janefriedman.com/comprehensive-guide-to-finding-working-with-editors/

Want to write for kids? Check out SCBWI (Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators)

Find out more about Author Accelerator

Resources for Self-Publishing: Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi)

 

“I really enjoyed working with Sharon. Her insight proved to be invaluable as I struggled to work through the plot holes I’ve been struggling with. I am very optimistic and excited to move to the next stage. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”—H.R. Cling

Written Q&A:

 

Q: What is a Book Coach?

A: A book coach is a supportive partner who can help you write the best book possible, someone who works with you from the idea phase through drafting and completion of their book.

As a book coach, I will be your accountability partner, your writing partner, your brainstorming support, your biggest cheerleader, and a teacher/guide to help you level up your writing craft. I will ask questions, push you to dig deep, and help you over your writing hurdles.

Key components that a book coach helps with include, refining your story idea, identifying your target reader, defining your reason for writing, creating an outline, developing a writing schedule (with deadlines), drafting your chapters, revising/editing the work, and more!

Q: Why should I work with a Book Coach? What’s in it for me?

A: Working with me is like getting a complete MFA program PLUS decades of studying the writing craft and staying abreast of the publishing landscape broken into bite-sized bits  focused on your specific needs for the work at hand. So, you will be leveling up your writing craft every step of the way and learning the ins and outs of publishing as we work together to get your story ready for publication.

Q: What’s the difference between a book coach and a developmental editor?

A: A developmental editor will read your partial or full manuscript and make suggestions. These typically take the form of inline comments, an edit letter, or a call (or a combination of all three). But this service is usually offered without any additional support to implement the revisions.

A book coach offers a more hands-on approach. A book coach is part teacher, part editor, part project manager, part cheerleader. Many of my coaching clients work with me long-term,  anywhere from three months to two years or more. As a book coach, I can offer a solid developmental edit, but I can also help you with everything from:

  • clarifying your writing goals
  • supporting you through your story planning
  • developing believable, engaging characters
  • providing accountability so you can reach your writing goals
  • leveling up your writing craft
  • brainstorming solutions for your sticky story challenges
  • helping you implement your revisions
  • offering guidance and insight on the current publishing industry
  • supporting you on your writing and publishing journey

Author, book coach and founder of Author Accelerator, Jennie Nash, wrote a great post about Why Writers Hire Book Coaches.

Q: What genres and age categories do you coach and edit?

I am an eclectic and voracious reader across a wide variety of age categories and genres. Speculative fiction (especially fantasy and sci-fi) is my sweet spot across all age categories. I have a special fondness for female heroes, especially reluctant ones, awkward and/or unusual or quirky characters, imaginative worldbuilding, magic and magical creatures.

Please reach out to talk about book coaching, if you are writing any of the following:

  • Fantasy of every ilk in all age categories
  • Sci-Fi of every ilk, including dystopian/alt-history/post-apocalyptic in all age categories
  • Paranormal, especially KidLit
  • Historical fiction, particularly historical fantasy, in all age categories
  • Short story/essay/poetry collections or anthologies
  • Narrative Memoir

I’m not the best fit for:

  • Thriller
  • Mysteries
  • Adult nonfiction/self-help
  • Adult romance
  • Graphic Horror
  • Erotica

If your work is on my “not the best fit for” list, no worries! I know a lot of fabulous coaches who take these genres and am happy to provide referrals.

Q: Do you recommend any specific craft resources?

 A: The best way to level up your writing craft is to read like a writer. That means reading widely (beyond your preferred genre/age category) and paying attention to the structures and elements used in other story formats, including films to television to plays to short stories, comics, and graphic novels. When it comes to craft books, I recommend you focus on the ones that will help you build on your strengths and help you improve in areas of opportunity. Here are some of my favorite writing craft resources to get you started:

There are also many helpful blogs, podcasts, webinars, and magazines with excellent craft information. Some of my favorite podcasts include:

#amwriting

Writing Excuses

And, if you’re writing KidLit, make sure to check out the podcast I co-host with fellow Book Coach, Christy Yaros: Coaching KidLit.

I also offer a monthly email newsletter that includes writing tips and resources. Subscribe today!

Q: Where can I read some of your writing?

A: You can find my published books anywhere books are sold. Or head over to my author page to view the full list.

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