Today a book coach can choose to be a writing coach or he or she can also choose to work with the writer on book publishing and book marketing as well. Today’s book coach may be the primary person guiding the publishing process, especially if the writer is planning to self publish.
Book coaches owe their clients mastery of the subjects they coach on – it is just that simple. No one should charge money to coach on a subject that they cannot claim mastery to. How do we define mastery in this area? I would suggest that you should not charge for work as a book coach unless you have helped 10 people successfully publish books by working alongside an experience book coach. I am shocked to think of how many clients will work with someone without checking out their credentials in this area.
To consider oneself a book coach or publishing strategist, our clients should be able to expect:
- Real experience in book publishing with an established book publisher (not a POD publisher and heaven help us if you don’t know the difference)
- Real experience helping writers self publish books that are of professional quality (bookstore quality)
- Referrals to professionals we value (and not just people who are willing to pay us for the referrals)
- That we aren’t selling them get rich quick schemes, or you-can-publish-in-a-week courses
- Honest, candid feedback about their work, even if we lose clients in the process
- That we stay up to date with all the changes in the book publishing industry to help our clients avoid scams but take advantage of trends
- That we don’t become the sales force of a vanity press who promises to pay us for sending them new clients
When these simple rules of professionalism aren’t followed, we don’t deserve our clients’ trust (or their money).
Something to think about in your own book coaching practice:
- Do you know how to help a client select an editor, a publisher, a cover designer?
- Do you know how to guide a client to making a good decision on a publication date?
- Are you recommending vanity presses to clients? Do you know what types of clients may profitably self publish and for which self publishing would be a huge mistake?
Our clients trust us and expect us not to guess at the things that may make the difference between tremendous success for them and a costly mistake.