E25 – What Is Book Coaching?
In this episode, Miss Catherine M.H. and V.E. Griffith have a conversation about book coaching. They ask what is a book coach, who might benefit from one, and discuss how they can help you!
Transcript at: https://revisionwizards.com/?p=2318
The scene and edits so you can read them! http://revisionwizards.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/2023-04-20-E021-Lily-Ann-Fouts.zip
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:00:00
Welcome to the Revision Wizards podcast. I’m Miss Catherine MH. And I am joined by my fellow magician and cohost, VE Griffith.
V.E. Griffith 00:00:07
Today we’re going to be talking a little bit about book coaching and get some answers to some common questions. So, Ms. Catherine, what is a book coach?
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:00:17
OOH, good question. I have no idea. No, I’m just kidding. Okay, so a book coach is somebody who is going to coach you through your book. To get a little bit more specific on that. They can be someone who is your accountability person. You go to them to be like, I need to get A-B-C and D done, and they will help you get through those points. So think of it like if you’re going to the gym to get a gym trainer and they’re helping you reach your goal, a book coach is doing the same. We are helping you get to the goal of finishing your book.
V.E. Griffith 00:00:57
Okay, and what kind of book coaches are there? What are the different services that you might run into?
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:01:03
So there’s quite a few. Now, they will vary depending on the person and depending on what they’ll call them. But this is the general from what I’ve been able to see. So you will have the single coaching sessions where you just call them a quick one on one. It’s usually about an hour long. Sometimes it’s like 30 to 60 minutes long is usually what they give. And in that time you bring them a question or a spot that you have trouble with and they will help work you out through it. We’ve done a few of those on our podcast where we’ve just helped them with a few of the things that they’ve had. Then there’s the multiple sessions. So maybe you’ve hired somebody for maybe a month or three months, and each week or every two weeks or however they put their package out, you meet with them, you work on a spot, they help keep you accountable, and you move on to the next pieces. A themed coaching session is when you’re going to somebody and they have a specific looking for the word…
V.E. Griffith 00:01:03
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:01:03
Thank you. Yes, expertise, and that’s why you’re going to them. So for me, I’m very good at world building. I have specialized in steampunk, Victorian, historical and mythology. So if you have stuff with that, I mean, half of my bookshelf behind me is all set up with those subjects. So for me, I really like to help people with world building. Or if you have historical things and you really want that in your book, that’s what I’m doing. Some people do horror themed, some are doing romance. I mean, romance is huge and there are many different types of romances. So sometimes you will see different kinds of slow burn or how do you write a reverse harem or how do you have enemies to lovers. So you can get different themed coaching sessions where you’re just really learning how to get that into your book. And then the other one that you can do is the full manuscript. Now this is different than editing because this is having somebody who’s reading your manuscript with you. They’re keeping you accountable and they are helping you move your plot along. They’re helping you with the character arcs. They’re similar to an alpha reader, but they would know story and they know structure and they know a lot more of the process that it will take to finish a book. So those are really the big main types. You have the single multiple themed and manuscript.
V.E. Griffith 00:03:47
Okay, that makes some sense. What kind of a person wants a book coach?
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:03:53
Everybody. No. So those who are really looking to improve their craft, those are the ones who are really searching for those themed coachings. They have something in mind and they really want to learn it and improve it. So they’re going to take this coaching. Those who are doing the single coaching really need somebody who just wants to bounce ideas off of really quick and somebody who understands maybe that genre, who understands the situation in the book that they’re happening. So they’ll seek those people out. And then if you’re doing like a multiple session, maybe you’re just trying to finish this book and you need to make sure that you’re staying on track. I mean, writing is kind of lonely for a lot of people and it can be really hard when you have your own deadlines. So having that coach who is going to push you through to the end is really important. And those who are looking for the manuscript coaching, so those are usually the people who are on the beginning end of writing a book. They really want to get this done. They have a really big passion. Not that other people don’t have passions about it, but they’re really passionate about this book and this story and they want to get it done. So they’re going to have a coach help them through all of the manuscript to make sure that they’re actually able to get it finished. So those who are looking for book coaches, it really just depends on exactly what you’re looking for.
V.E. Griffith 00:05:22
What kind of relationship should somebody expect? Is this just sort of an arm’s length business relationship or does it wind up getting to be more friendly than that?
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:05:32
I like them more on the friendly side. I am a person who enjoys both the critical side and that, hey, this was good and I really enjoyed this piece. Maybe if we shift this and we move this, it’ll make your story better. So I like to have a good relationship with the person I’m working with or the coach that I’m going to because I’ve been on both ends of this. So you want to make sure that you have the relationship that you are looking for. So go into the when you’re like looking for a coach, a lot of them will do a 15 minutes consultation or maybe 20 minutes. You get to chat with them a bit and then you’ll see if they fit for you, if you vibe with them. I know that sounds weird in our digital age because most of the time you’re not meeting them. But if you can talk with them and they put you at ease and things seem to be working well, cool. Just make sure that you are going in and when you do those beginning talks with them, tell them exactly what you want. So if you want someone who is going to be hard on you for deadlines, you need to put that out in the beginning. Be like, this is what I’m expecting. Can you meet this expectation or not? So the relationship will depend a bunch on exactly what you’re looking for. So if you want that friendly, let’s do this, we got this. Or if you want that helicopter parent feel where they’re constantly like, have you done it? Have you done it? Have you done it? Have you handed it in? Did you get it done? Did you get it done? Then you really need to talk to your coaches about that. Look at their reviews. If you know people who have worked with them, talk to those people and be like, hey, what was it like to work with them? How did they do? Can they help push me towards the end of my book but let me know if I did something really cool and they liked it? Or hey, I need somebody to make sure I hit these deadlines. They need to pester me all the time to hit these deadlines. Is this a person who will do that? So really know what you need and then go and look for your coach because that will determine the relationship you have.
V.E. Griffith 00:07:56
What’s the pricing look like? What is a service like this cost?
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:08:01
So that’s where it gets interesting. Pricing can range all over the place. You can get some of the top notch famous authors who will do some coaching and their pricing can be like $2,000 and you’re like, wow, wish I had the money for that. Or you can go somewhere and like their coaching sessions, it’s like $500 a month. So it really just depends on where you’re going. Definitely look at their reviews when you do that consultation. Talk to them, ask them how often they’re getting work, stuff like that. So this way you can make a better idea of what your money is going to be worth. Because like I said, each coaching session will be different. It also depends on what type of coaching you’re going for. Most people who do a single coaching, those can be anywhere between. Sometimes they are free and they’re a package and they sent it out to get you on like a mailing list. And those are like 15-20 minutes free coaching. Or you can pay up to like $200 for a single session, multiple sessions. Those can either go by a monthly rate or how many times do you meet? This will be the price per meeting. Yeah, it really varies.
V.E. Griffith 00:09:30
Okay, well that sounds interesting to me. If I find a coach is the best way to just reach out on their website or how do I get started?
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:09:44
Right. So a lot of it will be word of mouth. A lot of writing communities will have recommendations on who to go to or can point you in directions of like, look at this person. You can find a lot of people through podcasting. If you’re listening to a lot of writing podcasts, you’ll eventually get a plug in for, hey, check out, I have these courses, or hey, I’m doing this coaching, or this guest has this coaching services. But a lot of the times you’re going to find them online, it’s going to be through their websites. You’ll occasionally meet the in person like word of mouth and wow, they’re right there and then you can talk to them. But most of the time it will be through websites online. If you’re just googling, hey, I need a book coach. You might want to narrow it down a little bit, start looking at some of the writing podcasts and look through the people through there first to get a good understanding of what pricing is going to be like because you also don’t want to get scammed. So definitely look for reliable sources. And podcasts are a great one. YouTube is another good one. Look for that kind of stuff.
V.E. Griffith 00:10:59
Okay, well that sounds good. I guess that pretty well closes out my questions. Is there anything else we didn’t cover?
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:11:07
Yes, I have some questions for you. So what would you want if you went to a book coach?
V.E. Griffith 00:11:17
If I went to a book coach, I would be looking for somebody who steps through the manuscript with me and gives me detailed feedback every step of the way. I guess that would be considered sort of a manuscript level. Look at my stuff. I know from experience with my own writing that those kinds of coaching situations can be very, very helpful. As I plot through the manuscript, as I think through the events that happen, as I look at character development, as I look at description, as I look at dialogue. And that works really well for me. That’s my personal style. I have done sort of one off coaching sessions with people whose name you would recognize that were helpful, but not my style. A single session for me is useful for working on a particular problem, but the coach doesn’t have the larger overview of what I’m working on and they just can’t in an hour or hour and a half session. So that’s usually where I land, is on the manuscript side. I have looked at doing themed coaching for specific topics like science and technology questions that I have. I know a coach that does that. One of our previous guests, JP Rindfleisch, does that sort of thing. So I’ve looked at engaging his services as well occasionally. So that’s where I wind up usually is the manuscript coaching.
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:12:45
I haven’t done manuscript coaching. I really enjoy personally doing manuscript coaching for people. That’s one of my favorite if they’re like, hey, I have this manuscript. I finished it. I really need to be coached through to make sure I have everything there. Or they’re coming to me and they’re like, I have a book idea. And I’m like, good, you haven’t started ha. And then I’m like, hand me everything and I’ll just coach them through that. When I’ve been on the receiving end of coaching, it’s usually more of an accountability side where I’m like, here’s what I need to hit. Here’s what I need to do. I haven’t done a manuscript one, and I kind of want to at some point be like, here’s my crazy brain, help me. Maybe they would keep me on track and I wouldn’t be as pantsing as I am. That’s a lie. I probably would, like, murder my coach if they tried to make me plot. That’s another thing. Definitely talk to your coach and see if they do plotting or panting or plantsing or puzzling, whichever one you call it and see if they’re good with it. I do both. I will teach people through pantsing it. I’ve had some who are like, hey, I don’t want to plot a single thing. This was the idea that popped into my brain and I want to talk it out and we’re going to go over this. And I’m like, sure, let’s do it. And then I ask like 7 billion questions about it. And then they’re like, oh my God, let me go write my book. And I’m like, bye. And then there’s people who are like, I need every chapter plotted. And I’m like, wow, this is boring, but let’s do it in my opinion as a pantser. So definitely that is a big thing when you are going for a coach to ask them, do you work with pantsers or are you going to consistently make me plot if you are a pantser? Because that is I went to one person who was like, we need to plot everything. And I was like, no. I was like, that is not how my brain works. I’m sorry. So definitely make sure that you ask them that question in your your relationship questionnaire.
V.E. Griffith 00:14:55
Well, that sounds good. Yeah. My my thing has has gravitated toward manuscript coaching. And when I have the occasional manuscript client, I really like it if they have finished the first draft and gone over it themselves at least once. And that way I can help them polish it. But it winds up being, in some ways, I think less frustrating because they’ve already got the hard work done. For me, the first draft is always the painful hard thing. And then we can work specifically on the revision and look at sort of my specialties, which are the nitty gritty details of the sentences of the sentence structure and looking at tightening that sort of thing. So that’s usually what I run into and what I work with. So I really enjoy it, and I’m looking forward to the next opportunity to do that.
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:15:45
Yeah, and see, I like them where, like I said, the beginning of that section, where they have finished draft zero/one, and they’re like, Help. And I’m like, yes. And that would be before you get really into the nitty gritty editing. This is where I’m like cool. We get to add scenes. Because I’m an over-writer. We will get to add stuff. Interesting. I’ll have to ship them over to you after I work with them.
V.E. Griffith 00:16:17
I would love that. Okay. Do we have anything else before we let it go?
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:16:24
V.E. Griffith 00:16:28
Okay, then we will sign off for this week and see everybody on the next episode. Thanks very much.
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:16:35
Thank you so much for joining us. For today’s episode, you can find every episode on your favorite podcast player and on YouTube. For transcripts, please visit our website at revisionwizards.com. They go live the same day as our episodes.
V.E. Griffith 00:16:51
If you’d like to reach out to us separately, you can find me at vegriffith.com and Miss Catherine scribes-pen.com.
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:17:00