What is a book coach?
Think of it like a personal trainer for your writing life.
Book coaches edit, but we also motivate, inspire and cajole, and sometimes give you the kick in the pants you need to stop making excuses and get the work done. It's not just about the words on the page. It's about setting an intention, establishing effective habits, and harnessing the incredible power of having someone in your corner while you write.
- If you can't get started, we'll give you the steps you need to start strong.
- If you're stuck in the middle, we'll provide the accountability you need to find your way forward.
- If you are revising or pitching, we'll offer you the expert editorial eye you need to get over the finish line.
Expertise + Support
Our book coaches LOVE what they do – you can see the proof below. Each has been hand-picked by Jennie Nash after passing a series of extensive editing tests that assess their editorial expertise, their creativity, and their ability to communicate feedback clearly and effectively, with patience and compassion. Jennie has personally trained each of them in four key editorial areas: technical proficiency, big-picture vision, commercial viability, and the realities of the writing life.
At Author Accelerator, we don't expect you to seek out a coach who is right for you. We work hard to pair each writer with the book coach we believe will bring out your best. We'll ask you a series of questions about your goals, your writing history, and your idea, then make the match. It's part of the secret sauce that makes us different from other writing programs.
"You can find a lot of people who are good at mechanical edits," Jennie says, "but to find someone with the vision to see a story, and the compassion to help a writer bring it to life is a very rare and beautiful thing."
Most of our book coaches are writers themselves, and some have even gone through Author Accelerator with their own books. They love to read, they love to write, and they are waiting to help you make your dream of becoming a writer a reality.
Amy Sue Nathan
"My favorite part of editing is watching as a writer's story and ideas evolve and come together and things 'click.'"
Favorite books: “Ella Minnow Pea,” “Cat's Eye,” “A Walk On The Beach,” “The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus”
"I love the process of immersing myself in a writer's unique mindset and story world, searching for those critical – but strangely elusive! – threads that will pull it all together and make it sing!"
Favorite books: "The Boys in the Boat," "Seabiscuit," "And the Mountains Echoed," "The Remains of the Day," "Cutting for Stone"
"The most rewarding thing about editing is helping a writer clarify his/her vision for the story, and watching it evolve into something magical."
Favorite books: "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and "We Were Here" top the list, but there are many more
I love "helping discouraged writers gain insights which energize them and get them excited about revision!"
Favorite books: "Ceremony," "The Temple of My Familiar," "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao," "Anna Karenina "
"I love that moment when a writer takes a piece of my editorial feedback and transforms it into something even more amazing than I had imagined on the page. Editing is a collaboration between the editor's insight and the writer's creative spark."
Favorite books: "Kavalier & Clay," "Prep," "Before I Fall," "Middlesex," the "Harry Potter" series
"I love helping writers develop their own voices and fine-tune their storytelling abilities and seeing the creative fulfillment they get as a result."
Favorite books: "Possession," "The Handmaid's Tale," "The Time Traveler's Wife," "House of Leaves," "The Raw Shark Texts," "Valley of the Dolls," "Brave New World," "Immortality"
"It's fun to watch people fall in love with a new edit, to see how a change can make their story actually CLOSER to what they wanted it to be rather than further away. Plus, it's great to see an author's reaction when I get really into their characters or story."
Favorite books: "Daughter of Smoke and Bone," "The Sky is Everywhere," "The Fault in Our Stars," "Name of the Wind," the "Hard Ink" series
"I love helping writers deliver compelling stories that make it impossible to put their books down."
Favorite books: "Their Eyes Were Watching God," "Cider House Rules," "Light In August," "1Q84," "The Goldfinch," "On Such a Full Sea"
"My favorite part of editing seeing the progress and refinement of a draft between point A and point Z, and helping authors realize long-held goals!"
Favorite books: "The Game of Thrones" series, the "Outlander" series, the "Abarat" series, "The Time Traveler’s Wife," any Roald Dahl book
Erin Lindsay McCabe
"I love the moment when I can help a writer unlock part of her story and share in that excitement, and when I see a writer master a new skill or push his writing even further."
Favorite books: "Alias Grace," "Away," "The Story of Lucy Gault," "Outlander," "True Grit"
"The most rewarding thing about editing is helping writers translate the beautiful stories in their minds to paper."
Favorite books: "Jane Eyre," "Pride & Prejudice," "Lord of the Rings," "Danny," "Champion of the World," "The Raven Boys," "Dirt Music"
"The most rewarding thing about editing is helping someone shape their work into something publishable."
Favorite books: "Jane Eyre," "How Green Was My Valley," "Shantaram," "Gone Girl," "The Madness of a Seduced Woman," "Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married"
"I love how collaborative editing is, the back-and-forth between writer and editor, the spark that ignites as we dig deeper into a story to find what’s there."
Favorite books: "1Q84," "Life After Life," "Cloud Atlas," "The Little Stranger," "The Passage," "Truth & Beauty," "Bad Feminist," "The Giver"
"Watching that enthusiasm come back to writers when the light bulb turns on is my favorite part of editing."
Favorite books: "Pride & Prejudice," "The Scorpio Races," "If I Stay," "This is Not a Test"
"I love learning from all of the writers whose work I have the pleasure to edit. I am constantly learning about new things and exploring new ideas."
Favorite books: "A Homemade Life," "Mountains Beyond Mountains," "The Looming Tower." The journalist in me loves reading real-life stories.
"I love helping writers learn to welcome and embrace that crazy, mystical force that called them to create a story to begin with. I love when my questions spark a student's deeper understanding of their story."
Favorite books: "The Artist's Way," "Nineteen Minutes," "The Husband's Secret," "Eleanor & Park," "Come Away with Me," "A Walk Across America," "The Thorn Birds"
"Fast drafting gets the words on the page, but it's through editing that the story – the characters, the plot, the emotional arcs – really comes to life. I'm honored to be a co-pilot with the author on this incredible journey."
Favorite books: "The Outsiders," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft," "The Princess Bride"
"I love the exchange of passion, helping writers find their grit and an even deeper understanding of their story; the development and the growth in their writing and confidence; and watching the melding of fantastic ideas, determination, and passion. "
Favorite books: "Paint It Black," "Some Girls Are," "Lit," "The Sound and the Fury"
"The most rewarding thing about editing is rescuing the kernel of an idea from the mire (be that self-doubt, half-formed ideas, choppy writing, or stringy structure) and helping a writer turn what they thought might be dross into their very own gold."
Favorite books: The "Gormenghast" trilogy, "Slaughterhouse- Five," "Child of God," "Bounce," "Bonk," "Persuasion"
"I love being able to work with writers one-on-one. It's a privilege to get to know them and their unique stories, and I'm awed by the incredible growth that happens over time."
Favorite genres: narrative nonfiction, essays, memoirs, philosophical commentary and references; and literary, realistic and social sci-fi
"Getting super excited about a writer's work – which then gets them super excited about finishing it – is one of the best feelings in the world."
Favorite books: "The Thing Around Your Neck," "Mysterious Skin," "The Chrysalids," "Written on the Body"
"I enjoy mentoring and sharing what I know to help someone else grow beyond where they are and where they thought they could be. Editing is a form of that. It's edifying to take what you know, push it out into the world, and see it blossom in the hands of someone else."
Favorite books: "Anna Karenina," "Middlesex," "Lord of the Rings," "La Bâtarde," "For Whom the Bell Tolls," "On the Road," "Slaughterhouse-Five," "What Is the What," "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich," "To Kill a Mockingbird"
"I love when a comment I've made or a question I've posed sparks a breakthrough for a writer, and when their revision is even better than I could have imagined!"
Favorite books: "Prep," "Before I Fall," "Hold Still," "Forever, Interrupted," "White Oleander"
Susan Gray Foster
"I love figuring out what is and isn’t working in a manuscript and conveying it in a way that helps another writer create what they've envisioned."
Favorite books: "Eleanor and Park," "Anna and the French Kiss," "Ella Enchanted," "Where the Red Fern Grows," "The Giver," "Holes," "The Scorpio Races," the "Harry Potter" series
CO-FOUNDER + CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER
Jennie is the author of seven books: three memoirs, four novels, and counting.
Her book publishing credentials include:
She has freelanced for dozens of publications, including:
She has been on staff at:
Random House | New York Woman magazine
She has been featured on blogs such as:
Lately, her private clients have been racking up some seriously awesome success – books published by Scribner, Norton, Hazeldon, Ten Speed, and Simon & Schuster; self-published books that have won top awards; and writers who have landed some of the best literary agents in the business.
One client recently landed on the front page of the Sunday review section in the New York Times, and the next week, went on the "Today" show.
Jennie has been an instructor at the UCLA Extension Writers' Program for eight years and has served as a private coach to fiction and nonfiction writers ranging from a British soap-opera star to a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and has two grown daughters.
Some of Jennie's raving clients:
"Want to change your life? Hire Jennie!"
"You have this amazing ability to explain how a story actually works, and not in a hoity-toity way but in a way I actually GET and can DO."
"I've never seen anyone with so much whip-cracking, can-do, positive energy."
These are Jennie's books:
Matt Sand has an extensive background in technology and entrepreneurship. He holds degrees in computer science, mathematics, and political science from Tulane University, as well as a master's in business administration in from UCLA's Anderson School of Management.
Matt served as a communications officer in the Air Force, and, after a brief stint in corporate America, decided to pursue his passion for entrepreneurship full time. He has consulted with entrepreneurs, invested in early-stage companies at two Los Angeles-based investment firms, and started three companies of his own. In addition to building his own startups, he is a co-author of "The Agile Startup," which was published by Wiley in 2013. Matt teaches courses in entrepreneurship at UCLA and LMU.
MANAGER OF OPERATIONS
Jade graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in English literature and creative writing. Prior to starting her own business and working at Author Accelerator, she worked as a creative copywriter at a top-notch higher education marketing firm. She is a hybrid author who has published both novels and short stories. You can find a list of her published works here.
Jade built her own virtual assistant agency to help other authors in the publishing industry and has worked with multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. She continues to teach authors about the independent publishing process and steps.
As a self-proclaimed "Crazy Cat Lady," Jade spends her free time with her brood of felines and volunteers at the local humane shelter.
LAUNCH AND OPERATIONS SPECIALIST
Terri M. LeBlanc is a master planner and a self-professed book dragon. Working in higher education and marketing for over 10 years, Terri successfully planned and launched hundreds of calling and email marketing campaigns to students around the world. On computers since 1983, Terri loves seeking out and learning new technology and sharing her knowledge with others.
In her spare time, Terri enjoys reading and reviewing books for her blog, Second Run Reviews, and the Cedar Rapids Gazette. She volunteers for ICON, Iowa's longest running science-fiction and fantasy convention, and is one of the lead organizers for Imagine Other Worlds with Authors, a multi-genre author-signing event. When not absorbed in the world of books, Terri can be found riding horses, shooting pictures, and spending time watching movies with her husband while cuddling with her two cats.
Laura Franzini is a native New Englander with a passion for storytelling. With a degree in journalism and photography from Emerson College, she has worked on the copy desk at the Boston Globe, where she also covered the city's western suburbs as a regional correspondent, and delved into the marketing world as part of the Internal Communications team at Natixis Global Asset Management.
She has managed and produced editorial content for an online environmental magazine, as well as for GlobalPost, a digital leader in world news coverage. Previously, she was a copy editor at the Los Angeles Times, where she was part of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning team covering the San Bernardino attack.
Whitney Astbury has a background in accounting and teaching. She received a certificate from Florida Gulf Coast University for completing their Pharmacy Technician program, but jumped right into working as an accounting assistant for an independent insurance firm instead.
She served as the treasurer for her local chapter of the International Association of Insurance Professionals for two years in an effort to understand more about the insurance industry. With more than 10 years' experience with Microsoft Office Suite, she taught Microsoft Excel at a college for several years before joining Author Accelerator. Whitney is an author of five fiction novels published under a pen name and is represented by a literary agent. As a former employee of The Write Assistants, she found her calling helping other authors succeed.