9 Critical Questions to ask before hiring a Writing Coach
You are ready to write your book – you have 96 slide decks, 13 white papers and you are
clearly, clearly! the expert in your field. All you lack is the gravitas of the title “author”. What is your next step?
Hire a coach (actually there are many steps, this one is the easiest and most expedient way to get the book to publication). But how do you know which coach is best? What should you look for in a coach?
Here are the critical and revealing questions to ask:
Does your coach write? What do they write? A fiction coach may not be interested in helping create a non-fiction book and a non-fiction expert may have more trouble crafting the fiction novel. Either find the coach that matches your book, or find a coach who writes both fiction and non-fiction for maximum flexibility.
Has the coach finished and published books? Can you find them? Are they on Amazon? Don’t get too caught up in self versus small versus traditional publishers for the would – be coaches work since the choices (and you’ll experience those choices soon enough) are vast and the reasons for self publishing and boutique presses are very, very, good.
What is the coach’s style? Is he or she warm and nurturing, or is their coaching style similar to a drill Sargent during boot camp? And what do you need?
Does the coach offer a free consultation? If not, don’t call. You should not pay for the privilege of discovering if this coach is a stylistic fit. Unless the coach is extremely popular and you are extremely wealthy, talk with the coach at no charge, and they should offer that option up front. Most of us know that if we aren’t for you, you may know a friend who will be a great fit for us.
Is there a testimonial list on their web site? Does that web site have back links to the client’s own business? Is the coach reciprocal and generous? Are they willing to give you clients to contact? If they aren’t willing to give you former or current clients, that’s a large waving red flag.
Can the coach express a realistic time line for your project?
Most coaches can give you a ball park figure on the time and money it will take to finish your project. It’s not exact, that is up to you, but you should be able to get some idea.
Are you ready to do the work? If you aren’t ready, and don’t want to do the writing and the work of creating a book – the best most expensive coach in the universe can’t help you.
Are they honest? Will they charge you and allow you labor over a project that is essentially crap and they know it? If this is the fifth coach to turn down the project, you may want pay someone (a coach) to deliver the bad news in a honest way.
And finally, can you afford the coach? Look at their site, do they list the packages? Do they give you an hourly rate? Are they willing to work with you to make the relationship one of mutuality and benefit?
A writing coach, like any coach, will get you to your goals faster and with fewer leg cramps.
Make sure you find the best one for your needs.
And of course I offer a free 1/2 hour consultation to discover if we are a fit. Drop me a line at bramkamp (at) yahoo.com. We can consult via phone, skype or in person.
For more information go to the Your Book Starts Here site.