How to Choose a Book Coach

The short, sweet, and comprehensive guide to choosing a book coach who understands how to get your Big Book Idea out of your magical brain and onto paper

This is where the manuscripts lie; not deadbut asleep. Abandoned.

Languishing in a drawer (or on a hard drive), started but never finished. Not fulfilling their destiny.

We can hear them whispering to us in the dead of night: come back to us! Please! Finish us off. Put us out into the world. Dont leave us aloooooooooone

This, I fear, is the fate that awaits most book projects. The ones that start with excitement, enthusiasm, joy—the ones thatll change somebodys life (let alone the author’s).

But then, something happens.

They fizzle out.

The writer juststops. Even if the writer has taken a course, or a workshop, or read a book about how to do it.

Because writing a book is bloody hard work. Starting one is hard enough; finishing it is even tougher. And when the voices in our heads start bellowing that were not good enough, that nobody will want to read it, that we cant do this, its difficult to shut them up.

At least, its difficult to shut them up on our own.

Which is where a great book coach is worth their weight in gold.

Often, writers have taken steps already to get their book written, but they havent got what they wanted out of it—usually because they werent quite sure what they wanted. Their book written, yesbuthow?

Its not just about getting that book written (although that is, of course, the obvious and tangible goal). Its also about beating back fear, imposter syndrome, and lack of confidence.

Quite often, my coaching calls with my clients start with a statement like,“I’m not sure about this chapter. This idea isnt clear and I dont think its going to work. I think people will hate it. Im stuck and Im not sure what to do.

You get the idea.

But by the time our hour is up, theyre bouncing up and down in their seats, raring to go, declaring, That was great! I know exactly what I need to do next, and I know how to write this so it works.

Then they go onto say how much more confident they feel about their writing in general—about writing articles and social media posts, about putting themselves out there and risking the possibility that someone—gaspwont like them. And they do it anyway.

At which point I wipe a little tear away and grin manically. Because book coaching can be about so much more than the book, awesome though the book is.

But how does one find a book coach wholl do all that (and more)?

Good question.

Read on.

Step 1: Cast Your Net Wide

If youve never encountered a book coach before and dont know where to start looking, start by asking questions.

What genre are you writing in? A book coach who specialises in authors who write romantic fiction may not be the best fit if you want to write a self-help book or a memoir. Thats not to say they wouldnt be able to help you, but its a good idea to find a coach who has experience in your area.

For example, I wouldnt agree to coach someone whos writing romantic fiction; I dont know anything about writing romantic fiction and I dont really enjoy reading it, so it wouldnt hold my interest.

Give me a unique take on a great idea and a problem to solve, though, and Im all over it!

Do you know someone whos worked with a book coach before? Were they happy with their experience and their outcome? Ask for an introduction.

Find out more about how authors wrote the books you love. Contact them and ask how they wrote it. Many authors will happily spend a little time to do this—and if they worked with a coach and were happy with the results, will probably refer you.

When you start to stumble across book coaches, as you will if you go looking for them, check out what theyre saying.

Are they making promises that seem too good to be true? Are they setting unrealistic expectations (your first draft in a week, for example)?

Do they have client testimonials on their website and lists of books theyve helped with?

It shouldnt take you too long to find someone you like the look of: check out their website and see if they seem like someone you could get along with.

Step 2: Become a Private Investigator

When youve found someone you like the look of, get busy following them around online. Hopefully youve already wandered around their website and read their blog posts and articles.

Now go and find their social media accounts to get an idea of their personality.

If theyve written a book—buy it and read it! Read their clientsbooks.

Get on their email list if they have one.

Listen to their podcasts, interviews, and YouTube appearances.

Pay particular attention to what they say and think about:

  • Writing and writers
  • Creativity
  • Reading
  • Publishing
  • Marketing books

Step 3: Get Out Your Magnifying Glass

If youve spent time and energy reading and listening to everything a book coach says, youll know whether or not you want to spend time (and money) working with them one-to-one.

So the next step is to get in touch and have a conversation.

This is crucial: its likely to be a long-term intimate relationship. For example, my Creative Book Coaching Programme is a 6-month arrangement and we talk on the phone for an hour every week. We have to get on.

When you talk to them, consider the following:

  • Do you trust them with your secrets and your wellbeing? People have told me things theyve never told anyone else, and they have to know they can trust me with that information.
  • Do they make you feel safe and supported? Can you go to them with any writing or mindset-related problem, and know theyll listen and help?
  • Do they want to help you write the best Right Book for you—not the book they want you to write?
  • Will they tell you the truth, even if its difficult to say and difficult to hear? Will you be able to hear the truth, knowing that ultimately itll help you write a better book?
  • Do they have a clear coaching process and contract that makes sense for you, so youre both protected?
  • Is it flexible enough to work with your individual personality—or does it feel like theyre trying to fit you into a box and a blueprint that doesnt suit you?
  • Do you think theyll make the process fun, so you feel motivated even when it gets really tough?
  • Are they honest about whats required from you to write an amazing book?
  • Are they as excited about your Big Book Idea as you are?

All these bullet points are important but I think the most important one is the last one: how excited are they? How enthusiastic about your idea?

If theyre not excited about it, how can they help you inject personality and feeling into your book?

Go Forth and Search

How do you feel about finding a book coach now? If you go through these 3 steps, youll definitely be able to find the book coach whos right for you.

Next step: writing that masterpiece!

Happy days.

And if you have any questions about book coaching, writing, creativity, and indie-publishing, drop into my comments and ask, or email and Ill answer within a couple of days.

Start Writing Your Book Today

If you want to learn more about how to write, self-publish, and market a book for your business, snaffle yourself a copy of How The Hell Do You Write A Book? Then check out the blog and podcast for more articles and guides. If you want a little (or a lot) more help, find out how you can work with me.

About Vicky...

Vicky Fraser is the founder of Moxie Books and author of How The Hell Do You Write A Book and Business For Superheroes. She helps business owners write life-changing books, connect with readers and new customers, and grow their businesses. When she's not doing that, she's hanging from a trapeze by her feet.

About the Author Vicky Fraser