FAQs

What's a book coach?


I'm like a personal trainer, but for your writing. I guide you through the process of narrative fiction as a combination of consultant, project manager, cheerleader, sounding board, editor, and accountability partner. To learn more about how to become a certified book coach, check out Book Coach Training and Certification Program and Author Accelerator. If you want to know more about the history of book coaching and how to choose the one that's right for you, read Jennie Nash's article What Does a Book Coach DO?




What kind of feedback do you provide as a coach?


If you’re at the planning stage of your book, I can help you clarify and develop your idea so that you produce a stronger draft from the get-go. I will guide you through structure, character motivation and development, pacing, etc. If you’ve already begun drafting, I can provide accountability, emotional support, and feedback to guide you to a finished draft. Think of me as your project manager making sure you reach your goal. If you have a finished draft and have no idea what to do next, or if you’ve been querying and have received nothing but rejections, I can look at your manuscript as a whole, provide an audit, and break up the revision process into actionable steps to make it feel less overwhelming. If you’re interested in getting an agent and traditional publishing deal, I can help you with your query letter, opening pages, and provide guidance on how to build an agent list.




I've had a bad experience with an editor/coach/critique partner. How are you different?


Hiring a coach is definitely a risk. I encourage you to spend some time on my website and getting to know me. My strongest desire is to see a writer succeed. I promise to always provide honest feedback, and my tough-love style is not for everyone. If you’re ready to work hard and maybe encounter hard truths, I’m happy to help!




Can you guarantee my success?


Unfortunately, there are no guarantees in publishing or the creative world in general. I cannot in good faith promise you an agent, a book deal, or a best-seller, but I can promise you a stronger manuscript, a better understanding of the writing process, and honesty and empathy in my feedback.




I've never been published before. Is book coaching for me?


Of course! We all have to start somewhere. As long as you’re willing to learn, work hard, and are open to feedback, then coaching is for you. If you just want a yes-person to tell you how great you are and do the hard work for you, then I’m not the coach for you.




I've published several books, including a best-seller. Is book coaching for me?


Absolutely! The best way to up your game and stop from getting stagnant is to continue learning and working with people that have different perspectives and levels of expertise than you. An excellent TED talk on the subject is Atul Gawande’s Want To Get Great At Something? Get a Coach




How long will it take me to finish my novel?


Honestly? As long as it takes. Every writer is different, and so much is dependent on what you are writing, how clear your vision is, how much time you have to spend, how many books you have written before, and where you are in the writing process. My coaching packages come in three-month installments, but it’s likely to take six months or more unless you are particularly dedicated. My job isn’t to rush you to the end, but walk you through the process until you create something you’re happy with—only you can define what that looks like.




What genres do you accept?


I specialize in crime fiction, but accept most other genres, except for memoir and non-fiction. Amplifying BIPOC and other underrepresented voices is a particular passion of mine. Not the best person for overly dark/graphic material or for writers who are too in love with their work to accept feedback. Your story will always be YOUR story, so I will never push you to make changes you're not comfortable with. However, you must be willing to listen to and consider my advice.




How is book coaching different from a workshop or critique group?


Coaching is different because it’s one-on-one support focused 100% on you and your work. You don’t have to listen to a lecture designed for a different writing level. You don’t have to workshop your pages with writers who don’t have your kind of experience. You don’t have to read just a few pages to a writing group and hope they get what you are trying to do. This is all about your work, your pages, your process, and your goals.




Why should I choose you?


As a 2017 Pitch Wars mentee and 2018, 2019, and 2020 Pitch Wars mentor, I know what this process feels like on both sides and have developed tools and techniques on how to best serve you and your story. I’ve been certified through the Author Accelerator Advanced Book Coaching Training and Certification program, and will bring to the table various exercises, processes, and expertise to guide you as best as possible. In my roughly 10 years as an English language instructor and 2+ years as a writing mentor, I’ve consistently been told that I’m “strict and professional but kind.” I will push you hard. I believe in having high standards and trusting to the process. But I am also a writer and understand the need for patience and empathy in the creative process. I strive to give honest, constructive feedback as well as genuine praise because I believe that’s the best way to support and encourage writers at all stages of their career.




How do I become a book coach?


Author Accelerator is on a mission to raise the bar on book coaching – to help book coaches run successful, sustainable businesses helping writers do their best work. They have trained and certified more than 60 book coaches (including me!) through their Book Coach Certification Program. If you’re interested in doing this work yourself, click here to find out what book coaching is and here to become a certified book coach yourself . If you’re interested in working with a book coach on your writing, check out Mia P. Manansala, Author & Book Coach





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