Since I started coaching experts to write books (in 90 days), quite a few other providers have joined the market. Cool. There is room for everyone. However, for would-be authors, the choice is more complex.
And, to be honest, a few charlatans are in the market. There is even a book-writing scam. I followed them up. When I challenged them, they disappeared.
Now, since book coaching is a service I sell, I start by declaring my conflict of interest. Still, it puts me in a good position to comment. I am reporting the insights I’ve gained from interviewing dozens of people about writing their book and what they hope for and expect from a coach.
Does your prospective coach believe in what you want to write about?
I love the democracy of self-publishing. Everyone can write a book about whatever they like. However, I never work with someone whose ideas do not ring true for me. I won’t work with them if their messages are not about making the world a better place. Every author has a moment of intense doubt in the process of writing. That is when your book coach needs to be 100% on your side and behind your ideas.
Do you like your coach?
When you write a book with a coach, you spend a fair bit of time together. You get to know each other. You want to have fun, laugh, and explore together. Did you like them when you first had a chat?
How will your coach hold you accountable?
When I ask my clients what they expect of me, the most common response is to hold them to account. That can be difficult when I am working with several authors at once. So I run a project management system behind every book project and employ a VA to help manage it. This allows me to deliver on my promise to hold clients to account. If your coach promises to hold you to account, ask them how they will do so.
How will you make a return on your investment?
If you have to pay a coach a fee, you want a return on your investment. In my program, part of the benefit is spending just 40-48 hours of your time writing the manuscript across 90 days, rather than months or years. Your time is the most valuable commodity in your life. The topic you choose and the market you focus on will also make a big difference to return on investment. My goal for my clients is a 10 times ROI, and I show them how to get it.
Does your coach understand your market?
In the process of writing your book, your coach stands in for your reader. Your coach must call you out if she thinks your ideas, your words or your expression will not fly with your reader. If you are writing a book for a business audience, you need a coach who understands that audience and ideally has written for them herself.
Does your coach have a proven system to help you write your manuscript that works?
Factual writing is a skill. It differs from marketing. And from editing. Factual writers use techniques to take the reader on a journey that respectfully allows them to change their minds and beliefs. Poor factual writing tries to force readers to change. Skilful factual writing guides readers to change. Can your coach show you how to write skilfully?
Does your coach have a process to help you decide if they are the right person for you?
It’s a big decision to trust a coach with your book project. It’s not something that you want to rush, nor something that you should make without a clear understanding of what is involved. I have at least two meetings and spend as much as an hour with my clients before I recommend a program to them. Is your coach guiding you through the decision and respecting the time you need?
Enjoy writing your book. With the right coach, it will be the single most powerful strategy to supercharge your business. And you will have fun.