The one person vital for your book’s success (apart from you)

Here’s a sobering thought.

90% of published books sell fewer than 100 copies over their lifetime.

That’s a miserly return for a hell of a lot of hours at the keyboard.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. With the help of a book coach, you’ll stand a much better chance of writing the business book you dream of.

This post explains why.

You’ll write the RIGHT book (the one that sells)

This happened to me (again) last week. I received a manuscript from a business author who’d sweated over it for months, and who wanted to know if I could knock it into shape so it was of a publishable standard. ‘Great’, I said, ‘let’s take a look’.

The writing itself wasn’t bad, but the problem didn’t lie there. It was in the topic and angle of the book, which weren’t clear. Who was the book aimed at? What big question was it answering? Where was the gold in this book?

In other words, why would anyone buy and read it?

It didn’t end there. I couldn’t see how the author’s business model was going to benefit from the way he’d conceived of this book. It didn’t relate directly to the services he offered, nor did it entice his readers to want to find out how they could work with him.

This scenario breaks my heart, because I had no option but to tell him he needed to start again. If he’d sought help at the beginning of the process, he’d have saved himself a lot of pain.

The thing is, we buy books we want to buy (not those we need to buy). If your central message doesn’t grab your readers and lead them into buying and reading your book, it will be doomed to be one of the 90% that doesn’t sell.

This can be hard to figure out on your own, so it’s well worth getting a book professional’s advice on your strategy before you begin.

You’ll become a completer

Oh, how I wish there were reliable stats on how many unfinished books there are in the world, littered around on hard drives like dead leaves on a lawn. I imagine at least one out of every four experts and speakers has one.

But with a book coach, your chances of finishing your manuscript are infinitely higher than if you go it alone. This comes down to three main reasons:

  1. You’re held accountable. If you’ve got to update your coach on your progress tomorrow, you’ll feel a hell of a lot better if you’ve actually got something to talk about.
  2. You get feedback. Have you ever completed a mammoth task without knowing how you’re doing, month after month? No? That’ll be why.
  3. You’ve paid. Yep – having paid a book coach to help you write a brilliant book and get to the end of it, you’ll want to get your money’s worth.

Honestly, many of my coaching clients tell me this is the single biggest benefit they get from working with me. I keep them going, and I keep them on track.

You’ll have more fun

Giving emotional support and establishing a great rapport with their clients is a major part of what a book coach offers. And it’s one of the most rewarding parts for both parties.

Having a crisis of confidence? Not sure if what you’re writing is terrible or brilliant? Worried about whether your readers will understand it? Your book coach can both reassure you and help you realign your approach.

One of my clients, for instance, was worried that – as an academic – her book for lay people would be dismissed by her peers. This was stopping her moving forward with her writing; it was like she had a gremlin on her shoulder going, ‘Hmmm, not enough long words here’. I was able to reassure her that her new audience was the one that mattered. I also doubted whether her academic colleagues would look down on her for writing a ‘popular’ book, and if they did, they were probably envious of the widespread success she was going to have!

You’ll spend less on editing

None of us was born a good writer. We learn it by practising, getting feedback and … well … writing a lot. You’ve probably never drafted anything longer than a college essay before, and that was quite likely an embarrassingly long time ago.

So it’s no wonder you need some help with getting your structure clear and your writing to flow. This is where the professional experience of a coach is invaluable.

You want your book to be a page turner – the one your readers recommend to their friends as being ‘a great read’. There are plenty of mediocre books out there already, so there’s no need for you to add to the pile. If you want your book to stand out as one that makes a difference and is a joy to read, it’s impossible to do this without help.

An editor can provide part of this service, of course, and you should take advantage of their expertise. But you’ll spend less time and money on editing services if your book is in good shape before you get to that point. And that’s where a book coach comes in.

You’ll find it easier to get published

Whether your aim is to self-publish or go for a traditional publisher, your book coach can help. She’ll point you in the right direction for self-publishing resources, or support you with the creation of your proposal for a traditional publisher.

You might not even know what the options are to start off with, which is where some professional guidance comes in. It could  make the difference between you having a very long Word document, and getting it out there as a finished book.

You’ll have a book

Ta nah! Your book is in your hands.

Most of my coaching clients say they couldn’t have have done it without their coach. Of course, they could have done. And I’m careful to remind them that they did most of the work. But would they have got there as quickly, and with such an accomplished end result? I doubt it.

At this point, you may be wondering how coaching works and what it costs. The answer is, it depends.

Some book coaching is done via group program. This has the advantage of giving you feedback from others, and the vibe you get from being on the same journey as them. It’s also lower cost. However, it has a couple of major drawbacks: lack of flexibility, and limited in depth attention to you and your book.

Some coaches work one to one with their clients. This usually costs more, but has the major advantage of giving you the bespoke attention you need. So if you want to write your book in six months, your coach can accommodate that. If it’s four months, the same. You’ll also get their individual assessment of your writing as you go along, with the flexibility to adapt as your needs evolve. This is mainly how I work.

If you’re interested in working with a book coach, your first task is to find one who specialises in the type of book you want to create. I focus on non-fiction books for a business purpose, but others are experts in fiction or other types of non-fiction.

Next, set up a time to chat and see if they have what you need. You’ll want to work out if you can get on with them, and enjoy working with them over the months ahead.

I offer a free, half hour strategy session to anyone who’s serious about writing a business book, with no obligation. If you’re interested, click here to find out more.

Whatever route you take, please don’t go it alone. A coach can make the difference between your book being a soaraway success and doing your business proud, and sinking to the bottom of the sales rankings without a trace. Don’t leave it to chance. Get a coach from the beginning.

 

Ginny Carter
 

Ginny Carter is a business book ghostwriter and book writing coach. She’s on a mission to turn speakers, coaches and experts from aspiring authors to actual authors with the credibility to charge more for what they do. Do you want to get seen, heard and hired with your own book? Claim your free guide How to Stand Out as an Expert With Your Own Book here.

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