What is a Book Coach?

editing honing the craft publishing revision Apr 08, 2021

Post written by Katie Wall. This post contains an affiliate link. This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain our own.

Since you’re reading this, you’ve at least heard the term “book coach”but what does a book coach do? How do I, as a book coach, help writers?

A book coach is an important part of a writer’s team. They:

  • Work with writers at any stage of the writing process: outlining, drafting, revising, and querying
  • Are a cheerleader and guide through the writing process
  • Mentor writers as they hone their craft
  • Guide writers toward their goals
  • Act as a sounding board for ideas
  • Are invested in the project as well as the writer
  • Can assess what is and isn’t working in a story
  • Give constructive feedback

In addition, some book coaches are also professional editors and offer services like copy editing and proofreading.

In some ways, hiring a book coach is like working with an editor at a publishing companyboth give personalized feedback and want the book to succeed. However, since a book coach is being paid to provide custom support for a writer, doesn’t have to juggle as many projects at once as an editor in a publishing house, and isn’t constrained by other aspects of publishing, a book coach can more fully invest in each writer and project that comes their way.

After working with me, my clients say things like:

When I was most frustrated with my work, you were supportive and knowledgeable about how I could improve and find my voice as a writer. You were also readily available when I needed support and feedback, honest and challenging in the best possible way, and made me believe in my story again.”

“You helped me to clarify the purpose for my writing.”

You’re really in my corner helping me along, telling me when I do a good job but you’re also not afraid to say, ‘Hey! Let’s work on this, how can this be better?’ You’re an amazing coach to have by my side; your coaching is both motivational and indispensable. I can't imagine finishing this book without you.”

So how do you know if working with a book coach is the right move for you?

If you were an athlete, you’d have a coach, right? You’d want feedback on your stance, hit, whatever (can you tell I’m not big into sports?) so that you could improve your game.

Even surgeons can improve with input from a coach. (See this fascinating article from The New Yorker.)

As a writer, why wouldn’t you want that same type of feedback and support from a coach? You spend hours and hours writing and revising. You have big dreams of being published someday. You want to make your story the best it can be to do it and the characters justice.

A book coach can give you the support to take your writing and your work-in-progress to the next level.

If having someone in your court who can give you professional feedback in a constructive way sounds good to you, think about hiring a book coach! You can see my coaching services here. I'd love to chat about working together!

Not sure you can afford individualized coaching? I do also offer a small group coaching program focused on making your first pages shine! You can join the waitlist here.

You can also learn more about what a book coach is by listening to the podcast interviews I've given! They are listed on our Public Appearances page.


I am an Author Accelerator Certified 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 learn about becoming a certified book coach yourself.

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