What is a Book Writing Coach and What Do They Do?

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A book coach or writing coach is a professional mentor and guide who supports you in writing your book from start to finish. Writing coaches generally have extensive experience in the publishing world as writers and editors.

These are some of the ways that a good writing coach helps aspiring authors:

  • Inspiring and motivating
  • Teaching the craft of writing
  • Setting writing goals
  • Monitoring progress and providing accountability
  • Providing feedback on the writing
  • Providing a safe learning environment
  • Helping increase self-confidence and self-belief
  • Providing the right tools and resources at the right time.

Do you Need a Writing Coach?

I’ll start by asking you some questions to help clarify this for you.

How long have you been trying or wanting to write your book?

Do you know how to start your book, or are you stuck at the start line?

Do you have a structure for your book?

Do you suffer from ‘imposter syndrome’, that little voice that keeps telling you your writing isn’t good enough, and who would want to read your book anyway?

Do you have someone to give you professional, objective feedback?

Are you disciplined enough to write several times a week without being accountable to someone?

Do you know the next steps after you’ve finished writing your book?

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If any of the following applies to you ...

  • You’ve been trying or wanting to write your book for months or years and you still haven’t got there
  • You don’t know how to start and you have no structure
  • You suffer from a lack of self-belief in your ability to write your book
  • There is no-one who can give you objective, professional feedback
  • You need accountability
  • You can’t seem to prioritise writing your book
  • You have little to no idea of the publishing world and what comes after you’ve finished writing your book.

... then you will certainly benefit from working with a writing coach.

Some writers I work with have already started writing their book but then got stuck. Others have not yet started writing at all. Regardless of where you are in your writing, and whether you’re an aspiring writer or an experienced author, working with a writing coach is beneficial.

What are Some Benefits of Working with a Writing Coach?

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  • You will get your book finished!
  • Your book will be much more polished than if you wrote it yourself (especially if you’ve never written a book before). Makes sense. You’re receiving constant feedback and applying this to make constant improvement. Having a more polished book should also reduce editing fees, and contribute to more positive book reviews once your book’s published.
  • You will save time. With your coach giving you support, helping you set goals, tracking your progress, and providing feedback, it’ll take you a lot less time to write your book than if you wrote it on your own.
  • If you’ve already published books but sales are low, or you’ve received more than your fair share of negative reviews, or you acknowledge you can improve your craft, then working with a professional writing coach will help you achieve your desired goals.
  • Two heads are better than one! There’s a synergy that happens when well-matched people work together to achieve a common aim.

People who want to work with a book writing coach to write their book are also interested in learning and improving the craft of writing. Many of my clients start with the idea for a book, which they write during our coaching program, and then want to continue writing more books. They are seeking constant improvement.

(If you want to write a book but you’re uninterested in learning the craft of writing, then you’re better off hiring a ghostwriter to write your book for you.)

Is Book Coaching the Same as Ghostwriting?

No. Book coaching is as described in this article.

Hiring a writing coach to support you in writing your book is an investment of five to ten times less than hiring a ghostwriter to write it for you. (See ghostwriting link above.)

Is a Writing Coach the Same as an Editor?

No. While a developmental editor may provide similar feedback to a writing coach, they do not help you set goals or track your progress, and it is not their role to keep you accountable and on track with your book.

What Makes a Good Writing Coach? What to Look for

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You’re signing up for a medium-term professional relationship with a writing coach, so you need to work well together. While you don’t have to be best friends, you need to be compatible. There needs to be mutual respect. There needs to be trust.

Think about these things when you speak with a writing coach you’re considering engaging:

  • Do they have good communication?
  • Are they empathetic?
  • Do they have a professional but friendly approach?
  • Are they excited about working with your genre?
  • What does accountability with them look like – how frequent are touch points with you, and how does that work?
  • How do they keep you on track?
  • How do they determine if you are going to be a good fit, and if you’re serious about writing your book?
  • Do they offer a payment plan? If so, do they charge interest?
  • Do they have client testimonials on their website?


  • Is English their first language?
  • Have they published any books themselves?
  • Do they offer a free consultation to discuss your book writing goals in depth?

What Genres does a Writing Coach Work with?

I work with most genres, both fiction and nonfiction. (The only genres I don’t work with are poetry and children’s picture books.) Drop me a line or give me a call (number at top of page) and let’s chat about the book you want to write.

How Long will it Take to Write my Book with a Writing Coach?

My signature coaching program is The Book Writing Academy. It runs for 6 months. I’ve guided many writers through writing their books. The experience of seeing numerous writers finish the first draft of their book in this time bears out that a 6-month timeframe is realistic.

How Much does it Cost to Hire a Writing Coach?

From what I’ve seen of other writing coaches, charges vary significantly. Some average around $1,500 a month. It depends on how the program is structured, and if the coach offers different levels of coaching, such as a program that runs for several months, or one-off coaching charged by the hour.

Fees will also vary depending on whether the program is self-led or guided, and if coaching sessions are one-to-one, group, or a combination.

The Book Writing Academy 6-month program is a fully guided coaching program that is a combination of one-to-one and group coaching.

Book a free 'Let's Talk About Book Coaching' call to see if we'll be a good fit and to find out more.

Is a Writing Coach Worth it?

I’ll let my clients tell you in their own words!

And my client Katrina sent me this email halfway through our coaching program:

Dearest Gail

I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I find your services, skills and personal touch invaluable and I am deeply grateful for your knowledge and what you are bringing to my life. I am so glad and grateful to have found you and decided to work with you. One of my best decisions I have made in my life. Knowing when to listen to your intuition is half your luck.

I so love and appreciate our Monday sessions. I am not sure what I will do without them once I have completed my book and our sessions. I am sure I will come up with some excuse to keep working with you 

As with our books, so should we aim in life for a strong finish. I am already in a better position by having known you. So, I appreciate everything you have contributed to my life. Thank you.



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What about Hiring a Writing Coach Offshore?

Before considering this, check if English is their first language and if they understand the nuances of the English language. If not, do you think it’s reasonable to think they will understand the Australian culture and vernacular (assuming you’re writing in Australia)? Probably not.

Think about if you were wanting to write a book in another language; say, Spanish – assuming you have a working knowledge of Spanish of course – then you’d naturally want to work with a writing coach whose first language is Spanish.

Should we Have a Contract?

As with any business arrangement, it’s always advisable to have a written contract, signed by both parties, setting out the agreement between you. I provide a straightforward agreement for my clients that both of us sign before we begin working together.

Ready to Get Started? Let’s Chat!

Let's have a Zoom discovery call about book coaching to see if we're a good fit. Or a phone discovery call if you prefer.

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Photo credits (in order):

Mika Baumeister Unsplash

Toa Heftiba Unsplash

Nik Unsplash

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Karsten Winegeart Unsplash

Kasturi Roy Unsplash

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