Over the years, I’ve noticed that many authors (even those published through the “big imprints”) often need help in two areas: knowing how something strikes a reader and knowing how to get their vision onto paper in a real, relatable way, where the story, characters, and fictional world “make sense.” And that’s where Book Coaching comes in.
Like my reviews, Book Coaching analyzes a story’s strengths and weaknesses. Book Coaching is designed to improve a short story, novella, or novel, increasing its marketability through discussions about the books’ goals, focus, characterization, description, world-building, and plot. There are a variety of Coaching Packages, from a summarized report to a detailed, line-by-line response on plotting, characterization, and grammar, so no matter your budget, you can afford to discover your project’s potential.
Book Coaching is primarily a form of developmental editing or literary engineering where we discuss the unique challenges inherent in your story and examine various options so you can find your answer–not a manufactured “right-way,” but the clarity and polish necessary to transform your work into the best it can be.
Please note that all Book Coaching transactions are considered confidential; though a coaching experience can inspire a certain line of thinking that eventually ends up in a writing post on my blog, your work, your name, and all the “real life” specifics will never be referenced. What happens during coaching stays in coaching. 🙂
And all payments are made in U.S. Dollars via Paypal.
The Coaching Process
Your story doesn’t need to be finished in order to benefit from Book Coaching. In fact, some authors prefer to let me look at the first few chapters or an early draft so they can get feedback sooner rather than later, helping them avoid extra rewrites.
However, Book Coaching is only available for works that meet the PG-13 criteria (for language, violence, and sexual content), but feel free to contact me to confirm if your book would fall outside my scope (I won’t be shocked or think less of you if it exceeds my personal tastes). I primarily coach in the Romance, Science fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult, New Adult, Middle School, Christian and Literary fiction genres but I welcome hybrids and works that fall outside these categories, too.
If you’re looking for coaching for a book’s blurb or synopsis, click here.
Here are the levels of Book Coaching:
The Coaching Report
When you sign up to receive a Coaching Report, you’ll get a 5-10 page response, noting the overall strengths and weaknesses, what was a bit jarring and what drew me in, as a reader.
- Three flat rates. Projects up to 50,000 words are $25; those from 50,001 to 75,000 words are $30, and the novels from 75,001 to 100,000 words are $45. Anything greater than 100,000 words will need a custom quote, depending on length (but chances are good that a project that long might need to be seriously trimmed or turned into two or more volumes, as the market doesn’t generally print single-volume stories of that length).
- The first chapter is free for first-time clients, so you can “test drive” to see if the coaching report service is a good fit for you or not.
- You receive both sorts of feedback. All the tiers of Book Coaching are designed to let you know what works and what doesn’t, as it’s my job is to help you become the best writer you can be and not just cut your work to ribbons with a red pen. Thus, your report will note what was done well to where your writing shines, and what still needs a bit more polish and attention.
- If you end up deciding you want more feedback, your Coaching Report payment works for you. Half the cost of the Coaching Report will be applied to your further book coaching, for the project that was already submitted.
This is the tier I most recommend. It isn’t as expensive as the Grammar-and-Content Coaching, but it will get you the same line-by-line response (minus addressing any spelling, grammar, or awkwardly worded sentences). If you’re very confident in your English skills or already work with a proofreader or line editor, this level of Book Coaching will complement that, giving you the character analysis and big picture feedback your story needs.
- Rate of $0.002 per word (or $2 per every 1,000 word) with the word count rounded down to the nearest hundred-word increment to offset any word counting software errors. This means a 100,000 word novel, a bit longer than The Hobbit but shorter than Pride and Prejudice, is $200, while shorter works like A Christmas Carol or The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe would be around $60 or $80, respectively.
- The first chapter is free (up to 2,000 words) for first-time clients, so you can get a feel for what content coaching provides.
- More specific feedback. Rather than a single report at the end of the story, you’ll get line-by-line feedback, where the comments are embedded in the text at the very moment of the reaction. This empowers you, as an author, to know just what parts of the story to focus on and where the changes will make the most impact.
- A dialogue rather than a “one-and-done” deal. If you have any questions about your Content Coaching Report, you’re free to ask me for clarification, suggestions, or elaboration on my comments. I’ll even read and respond to broad outlines of the changes you’re planning and give you feedback regarding those, and by selecting Content Coaching, you also gain access to my Rereading Service, which lets you send the same manuscript back in for further comments once you’ve made modifications and revisions (see below).
- You pay as you go. Payment is split up in increments (either into two or three equal-sized chunks, though custom arrangements are available). The final payment is due after the Content Coaching Report is completed, so you can get coaching-as-you-write rather than waiting for the finished product.
Once a project has received Content or Grammar-and-Content Coaching, you can send the same project back for further feedback at a discount once your revisions and modifications are completed. That way, you can know how effective your new content is and publish the finished product with confidence.
- Rate of $0.001 per word (or $1 per 1,000 word). Because the project has already been read and initial feedback delivered, the focus is on what has changed. While I still may need to read through the entire work to catch all the modifications, I’m already familiar with the story, and there will be some things that no longer need feedback, so the rate is reduced.
- Customized feedback. If you have particular concerns in response to the initial coaching report, you can note that when you submit your project for rereading, and I’ll be sure to include it in the Rereading Report (for example, if you want to make sure your main character is more relatable, the opposition more believable, or the story’s opening a little faster-paced, I’ll spend extra time analyzing and commenting on that).
This tier is for those who want all the comments–characterization, plot, formatting, spelling, etc.–and works best for authors whose works will not be touched by further editors or proofreaders.
- Rate of $0.004 per word (or $4 per 1,000 word). Every word will be carefully analyzed, and while some spelling or grammar errors may slip past, there will never be notes I don’t write or things I don’t mention in a Grammar-and-Content Coaching report.
- The first chapter is free (up to 2,000 words) for first-time clients, so you can get a feel for what Grammar-and-Content Coaching provides.
- More than just “spellcheck.” How an author words things can affect our understanding of a character or a story. Nonstandard English suggests that a character might be from a different culture or have a different primary language. Shorter sentences suggests a directness of manner and perhaps a forcefulness of personality. And where paragraph breaks occur can make the difference between jarring the reader and keeping them in suspense. All these sorts of facets are taken into consideration in a Grammar-and-Content Coaching Report.
- Continuity feedback. This tier also allow me to do fact-checking on your project, confirming the color of a character’s hair, what they were wearing, and how their name was spelled, among other details. If something seems off, I can track it down and confirm it against the rest, ensuring continuity and consistency.
Also, the Grammar-and-Content Coaching qualifies your project for the Rereading Service above, without changing the rate or lowering the level of feedback you receive on the new material.
If, instead of coaching the story itself, you’re interested in having me coach your story’s blurb or summary, click here.
Over the past ten years, I’ve read, reviewed, and researched books as an academic and professional reader. I’ve helped authors of romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary, and historical fiction of all sizes and lengths, and a you can find testimonials from my Book Coaching here.
I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Writing and a Bachelor of Science in Drama, Television, and Film, and I’ve been trained to develop depth in stories, looking at how the written word informs and creates believable, understandable characters, plots, and fictional worlds.
For more information or to begin discussing your own work-in-progress, please fill out the following form.
Copyright 2016 Andrea Lundgren
Photo by diannehope and svklimkin, Creative Commons