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6 Signs You May Already Be Doing the Work of a Book Coach

Therese here to introduce Jennie Nash to you as our newest Writer Unboxed contributor! Jennie is the author of 9 books, and the founder and CEO of Author Accelerator, a company that trains book coaches. It’s a topic she knows well, since she’s been coaching writers for the last twelve years, with clients landing agents, national book awards, and deals with the top houses. Learn more about her on her website and via Author Accelerator. And be sure to check out her FREE Business of Book Coaching Summit, featuring some familiar folk, from January 20th-24th; learn more HERE.

People often say that they don’t know what a book coach is or what we do – but ironically, these are sometimes the exact people who are already doing the work, but not getting paid for their time and talent.

How to tell if this is you?

  • Everyone in your writers’ group asks you to read their pages. People slip you stacks of paper-clipped pages and email you their revisions, their updates, their tweaks. You come home with hours of extra work, and somehow you are the only one getting more than your fair share. People just seem to know that you are the go-to reader, the one who will give wise, careful and detailed feedback, the one who will say yes because you care so much about all the stories.
  • When you watch a movie on Netflix, you spend the entire time talking about plot holes until your family tells you to zip it. You can’t help it – you hold the strings of the plot in your head the way a weaver holds all the threads as she makes a tapestry. You can see it all, clear as day – what’s working and what’s not. Moreover, you can see how it might have been done better. And you can’t stand it that other people can just sit there consuming the story without picking it apart.
  • Your book club friends can’t believe how quickly you read everything, and during discussions they sometimes need to gently tell you to let other people have a chance to speak. It’s not like you don’t value robust discussion. You love robust discussion. It’s that you have so many thoughts, so many things to say, so many ideas about the way the book was structured and the characters and the message and the voice.
  • At the bookstore, you pick up a new release, read the jacket copy, snap a picture of the cover and send it to your critique partner with the text: possible comp title? Later that day, when reading the newspaper, you see an article on the exact topic the woman you met at a writing conference is writing about, so you dig up her email and send it her way. You see in story and you default to helping people.
  • At work, or in your volunteer position, you are the go-to person to organize a project. You are the one with the timelines, the spreadsheets, the goals, the overview of how to make this project work. You are good with details and good with the big picture, all at the same time, and on top of it, you do all this work with good cheer.
  • You have more books on your TBR pile than any human could possibly ever read – and you don’t care. You want to be surrounded by books. They comfort and sustain you. They make you feel that the world is a place of hope and possibility.

Book coaching is a new gig in the gig economy that’s perfect for people who love books. We work with writers throughout the creative process, shepherding them through, cheering them on, guiding them to find their voice, and helping them to keep their project on track. If you’re looking for a side hustle or a whole new career, you may want to check it out.

Have you ever considered book coaching? What, if anything, has held you back? Have you ever used a book coach? How did you find the experience? The floor is yours.

About Jennie Nash

Jennie Nash is the founder and CEO of Author Accelerator, a company that trains book coaches to help writers bring their best work into the world. For twelve years, writers serious about reaching readers have trusted Jennie to coach their projects from inspiration to publication. Her clients have landed top New York agents, national book awards, and deals with houses such as Scribner, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette. Jennie is the author of 9 books in 3 genres. She taught for 13 years in the UCLA Extension Writer’s Program, is an instructor at CreativeLive.com and speaks on podcasts and at writing conferences all over the country. Learn more about being coached or becoming a coach on her personal website and at Author Accelerator.


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About Mary Ellen Bellusci

Mary Ellen Bellusci is a longtime resident of Baltimore, Maryland... A foodie, traveler, writer, and pursuer of happiness.