Name/Company name:Jennie Nash

Jennie Nash, Author Accelerator

Website/SM handles:

Status: parttime/full time?

Book coaching can be a part-time gig or a full-time career. I have worked in both capacities as a book coach.

Annual salary range/hourly pay rate?

$30,000 is the average annual salary that newly certified book coaches in Author Accelerator’s program make in their first year, usually working part time. Two or three years in, someone working full-time can be making multiple six figures, especially if they are running workshops, retreats, or VIP intensive programs. $400,000 is what I made in the best year I had as a book coach.

Can you define the duties of a book coach? What does your day look like?

Book coaches help writers while they are writing, not just when the writing is done.  This means that in addition to giving editorial feedback, we are helping writers with the big-picture parts of the writing process — their creative habits and their mindset, their publishing goals and dreams, and the way they approach their work. It’s akin to a basketball coach, who is designing practices, developing a team culture, nurturing the players, and preparing the team for the championship.

A book coach is an editor, so some parts of the day are almost always spent reading and commenting on pages – so that’s quiet, interior work.

We are then on the phone with our writers, deep in discussion and relationship with them – which is intense, extroverted work. Some book coaches run workshops, memberships, or mentorships, so they may be doing this kind of work in a group setting in addition to 1:1.

A book coach is also running their own business, so on any given day, we may be researching the industry, talking to colleagues, figuring out a new technology, designing marketing materials, or delivering a webinar or workshop to potential clients.

It’s a great career for someone who loves to teach and to learn; we’re always doing one or the other!

What sort of training/education did you receive?

I built my book coaching business on a foundation of more than 30 years in the publishing industry. No one else that I knew of was doing this kind of work—it’s a new industry—so I had to make it up. I took what wasn’t working in a traditional writing workshop setting and made new systems and processes for helping writers.

I quickly saw a hole in the marketplace for tool-agnostic, holistic, and excellent training for book coaches and so I started Author Accelerator to provide that training for other book coaches. We have trained and certified more than 200 book coaches.

What’s a recent project you worked on?

I coached a writer who teaches at a top university and runs a thriving nonprofit. He is the author of five books in his given area of expertise that have made him well-known by academics and policymakers, but he wanted to write a book that might enjoy a broader reach. We worked through my 14-step Blueprint method of inquiry and just had the best time discussing ideal readers and where the book would be talked about and what message it would carry. It was strategic work, and also detailed work about phrases and wording. It involved a lot of give-and-take and back-and-forth. He ended up with a solid outline for book that he can’t wait to write. This book coaching project was a total delight from start to finish.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I love being deeply involved in someone else’s creative process and helping their idea come to life. My favorite phase of the work happens at the start of a project, when the book idea goes from shadowy and vague to crystal clear.

What’s something someone wanting to get into your career field should know?

To build a successful book coaching business, you have to shift your mindset away from the race-to-the-bottom pricing mentality that plagues freelance editors. The idea that you will just take whoever comes to your door, at whatever lowest price the market dictates (based on the word, the page, the hour?) is the road to chaos and resentment.

The best book coaches are strategic partners to their writers. They are providing editorial feedback, accountability, strategic guidance, marketplace intelligence, and project management skills – and that is some big value. If the coach can convey what they are offering, and effectively describe the outcomes they are helping their writers achieve, writers will happily pay for this kind of support.

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