Book Coach Training and Certification Program

DEEPEN YOUR WRITING. INSPIRE OTHERS. GROW YOUR BUSINESS.

 

Jennie Nash – book coach, founder and CEO of Author Accelerator

 
 
 

Your Book-Coaching Journey

 
 

Our free Book Coach Basic Training email course introduces you to the fundamental principles of book coaching.

Go deeper into all the elements of book coaching, from managing a project to developing story structure to giving expert, effective feedback.

After completing Advanced Book Coach Training, you will be eligible to submit your portfolio to become a certified coach.

 Step 1

An Introduction to Book Coaching

Our Book Coach Basic Training email course introduces you to the fundamental principles of book coaching. With video lessons from Author Accelerator founder and CEO Jennie Nash, downloadable resources, and exercises and reflections, the course is designed to give you a holistic view of what book coaching is, so you can decide whether it’s the right career path for you.

 

In this FREE 6-part course, we’ll introduce you to:

  • The history of book coaching and why now is a great time to get in the game

  • The differences between a book coach and an editor

  • The key skills you need to be an effective book coach

  • How to deal with doubt – a writer's doubt and your own

  • What you can expect to earn as a book coach

 

Once you complete the Book Coach Basic Training course, you’ll be ready to join the Advanced Book Coach Training and Certification course to get on your way to becoming a certified book coach.

Have questions? Read the FAQs.

 Step 2

Deepen Your Skills

Enroll in Advanced Book Coach training (Fiction)

Go deeper into all the elements of book coaching, from managing a project to developing story structure to giving expert, effective feedback. Learn step-by-step how to coach a story from zero and how to analyze a complete rough draft. Gain experience with live clients and get feedback on your coaching so you feel confident about your ability to effectively help writers raise their voice and reach their goals.

 

This course covers:

  • How to guide a book project from zero

  • How to help a writer build the fundamentals of their story, using Jennie Nash’s Blueprint for a Book and Inside Outline tools

  • How to give constructive, action-oriented feedback on partial and full manuscripts

  • The basics for building your business with client intaking and project management

  • Featured interviews with experts in the fields of writing, coaching, and emotional support

 

Additional BENEFITS

  • Free access to our growing community of writers and coaches via our Membership Circle

  • Monthly working sessions with Author Accelerator founder and CEO Jennie Nash and vice president Laura Franzini

  • The opportunity to work with practice clients for hands-on experience toward becoming a certified book coach

Have questions? Read the FAQs.

What Author Accelerator is doing with this book coaching program is something I’ve never seen done before, and it’s really important for everyone out there who wants to become a coach and help writers.
— Kathryn Dodson, certified book coach

Step 3

Become a Certified Coach

 

Getting certified is optional. Some writers take our Advanced Book Coach Training course to enhance their own writing. Others take it to find out exactly what a book coach does.

If you’d like to work as a book coach, Author Accelerator offers some amazing benefits for our certified coaches, to help as you grow your business and do this good work out in the world.

certification comes with:

  • Access to all the Author Accelerator tools and resources mentioned in the Advanced Training course to use with your own clients

  • Access to our master classes to add more coaching skills to your arsenal

  • Continued training and education exclusively for certified book coaches

  • Continued access to our Membership Circle and support from the book-coaching community

  • Working sessions with Jennie Nash and Laura Franzini

 
I loved my experience in this course! The most satisfying part for me was to walk away from it with a sense of authority about the writing advice and support that I am now able to give writers.
— Sarah Krosschell, certified book coach

Have questions? Read the FAQs.

Level Up Your Business

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Enhance your skills with our master classes

The Business of Book Coaching

Is it your dream to open your own book-coaching business? Are you looking for a way to optimize your existing business? Being an entrepreneur requires a vastly different skill set than being a book coach, but we’ve got you covered! Author Accelerator co-founder and multiple 6-figure book coach Jennie Nash harnesses all of her business experience and know-how into this robust course. Learn the steps you need to take to open and run your own successful book-coaching business, including tips on contracts, payment processing, marketing, and more.

Course curriculum

  • The 9 Business Channels for Book Coaching

  • Defining Your Mission, Services, and Target Market

  • Naming Your Values – How You Will Do Business

  • How to Make Money

  • Taxes and Other Costs of Business

  • Business Systems and Processes

  • Optimizing Your Business

  • Marketing Your Coaching Business

  • Building a Client Base

  • Writing a Business Plan

Featured Experts

  • Sarah Avenir, chief of strategy at &yet

  • Dan Blank of WeGrowMedia

  • Lisa Cron, author of Wired for Story

  • Nicole Lewis Keeber, a business therapist and mindset coach

  • Gabriela Pereira, founder of DIYMFA

  • Beth Ricanti, author of Braided

  • Marion Roach Smith, author of The Memoir Project

  • Kendrick Shope, creator the Authentic Selling process and founder of Sales School

  • Natasha Vorompiova, owner of SystemsRock

Honestly, I’m shocked at the level of details she shares in here on the process of book coaching, marketing, pricing, packaging services and so much more. What’s more, she doesn’t present it as one-size fits all, but instead allows the reader to personalize her advice in a Choose Your Own Adventure manner.
— Dan Blank, author of "Be the Gateway: A Practical Guide to Sharing Your Creative Work and Engaging an Audience" and founder of WeGrowMedia

Have questions? Read the FAQs.

additional Course details

This master class is not part of the Certification Program and there are no prerequisites to enrolling in it. You may take it at any stage of your book-coaching journey to optimize your business. Advanced Certification cannot be earned through this master class.

The following master classes are available to certified coaches only.

Pitch Prep

  • Coaching a Full Manuscript Revision

  • Coaching the Fiction Pitch Prep

  • Helping a Writer Navigate the Path to Publishing

  • The Basics of Self-Publishing 

Genre/Age Specific

  • Coaching the Memoir Writer — available now

  • Coaching the Romance Writer

  • Coaching the Young-Adult Writer

  • Coaching the Middle-Grade Writer

  • Coaching the Thriller/Mystery/Suspense Writer

  • Coaching the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Writer

  • Coaching the Historical Fiction Writer

I was surprised, and delighted, at the quality (and quantity) of material made available. In addition, the assignments made me think, learn and I got lost in the work—which is a good thing. It was more work than I had anticipated, but that is not a complaint but rather a compliment that the course is real work, and not padded with any fluff.
— Elissa Mackintosh on Advanced Book Coach Training

Have questions? Read the FAQs.

Additional Details about these Master Classes

These master classes are open to Advanced Certified coaches, and may give you credit toward Pro Certification. They can also help you narrow the focus of your book-coaching offerings.

Earn Pro Book Coach Certification

 
 

Once you earn Advanced Certification, we encourage you to continue growing and honing your skills to serve the specific clients who will seek out your guidance. By completing the following classes in our Training and Certification program, you will be eligible to earn Pro Certification.

 

Required Master Classes:

  • The Business of Book Coaching

  • At least three (3) Pitch Prep master classes

  • The Business of Book Coaching Mastermind (coming soon)

 
I am reminded every day that the work I do matters enormously — to the individuals with whom I work, and to the betterment of the world.
— Jennie Nash, founder and CEO of Author Accelerator

Have questions? Read the FAQs.

Additional Details

Completion of the above courses will allow you to apply for Pro Book Coach Certification. Pro Certified coaches will be featured in an online database of Author Accelerator Certified Book Coaches.

Frequently Asked Questions

+ Is there a refund policy?

Author Accelerator Book Coach Training and Certification Program
We offer a 14-day refund policy on our Advanced Training course and master classes. You may request a refund up to 14 days after you enroll in the course or class.

To be eligible for a refund, you must submit your request to contact@authoraccelerator.com along with your completed work for the first two modules of the course or class before your 14th day in the course/class. We will also check to see that you have watched the available course/class videos.

No refunds will be provided after 14 days following your enrollment in the course/class. All refunds are discretionary, and eligibility is determined only after all requested items are submitted to our support team.

If you opted for a payment plan (when applicable) and you do not request a refund by the end of the 14th day, you are required to complete the remaining payments of your payment plan according to our one-payment-per-month schedule.

Deciding after you purchase the course/class that you cannot afford the payments, or deem the program too intense, or just don't want to do the course/class anymore, does NOT qualify you for a refund. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE make sure you are 100% ready to take our course or class before signing up.

This refund policy is designed to give you 14 days to try our system, get acquainted, and learn. If you do the work, put in your best effort, and feel that we haven’t delivered on our promise, we will issue a refund.

We ask for the above evidence as we only want students who are willing to be present in the course/class and actually do the work. We are giving our 100% effort to provide the best and most effective learning environment possible, and want our students to have the same high standard. You owe it to yourself to give it your best shot!

+ What is the certification process?

The Training and Certification Program includes:

Book Coach Basic Training, a free email course that includes curriculum in four areas of book coaching and is a prerequisite for the Advanced Book Coach Training course.
Advanced Book Coach Training, a self-paced online course that includes curriculum in 11 areas of book coaching and two practicums to grow your skills. You have the opportunity to apply for Advanced Certification upon completion of the course. Advanced Certification is a prerequisite to enroll in our master classes and to earn Pro Certification. Your eligibility for Advanced Certification depends on your satisfactory completion of the Advanced Book Coach Training course, your work on the two practicums, and your commitment to pay the full certification fees.
Master classes are self-paced online classes that delve more deeply into specfic aspects of coaching, including running your own business, working with writers in particular genres, and helping writers prepare to pitch. They are exclusively for Advanced Certified coaches. The following master classes are required to apply for and earn Pro Certification: The Business of Book Coaching, and three Pitch Prep master classes of the student's choosing, in addition to the Business of Book Coaching Mastermind. Additional master classes are optional. All master classes are available a la carte to Advanced Certified coaches.
Pro Book Coach Certification is available for Advanced Certified coaches, and can be earned upon successful completion of the following master classes: The Business of Book Coaching and three Pitch Prep master classes of the student's choosing, in addition to the Business of Book Coaching Mastermind.

+ How long does it take to get certified?

The full Training and Certification Program is designed to be flexible based on your particular schedule and capacity to do the work. We do not yet have data on the average length of time it takes someone to through the full Training and Certification Program and earn Pro Certificiation. We believe that 9-12 months is a good estimate if you were to go through each part of the program consecutively.

+ Does this program cover nonfiction as well?

Our Basic Training course and Business of Book Coaching master class are applicable to coaches working with fiction and nonfiction writers alike.

Currently, only the Fiction version of our Advanced Training course is available. Our Advanced Training course in Nonfiction is scheduled to be available in spring 2020.

If you are planning to work with nonfiction writers but are eager to get going, the Advanced Training course in Fiction covers foundational elements of book coaching that can be applied when working with writers in any genre. Until we have the Nonfiction course completed, we encourage you to take the current Advanced Training course – with the understanding that there is a bias toward fiction. When the Nonfiction course is available, there will be an option to "add on" the nonfiction-specific lessons that you missed in the Fiction course for less than the full fee of the Nonfition course. More details on that to come.

And all that being said, Jennie's strong belief is that story is story is story. Every book is a narrative – even if it's a self-help or how-to book. Understanding the elements of fictional design will help make you a better coach, even if you are primarily coaching nonfiction.

+ What if I'm interested in coaching memoir writers? Will the certification program help me?

For coaches interested in coaching memoir, the Basic Training course and Advanced Training course in Fiction will offer an excellent foundation. Memoir writers need to learn the same narrative principles as fiction writers: how to make a point, how to structure a story, how to create narrative drive, how to hold a reader's attention, when to leave things out, how to show the reader why they should care, and how to know who the reader is. The nuances that memoir coaches should be aware of (e.g., legal ramifications of publishing nonfiction, dealing with the real-life people the writer is writing about, etc.) will be covered in a forthcoming master class available to Advanced Certified coaches.

+ Would taking the Story Genius workshop that Accelerator offers help me be a better coach?

Story Genius is a writing method and a tool for thinking about and developing a story from scratch. It's a complimentary alternative to our Blueprint for a Book program, which is covered extensively in the Advanced Certification course. Taking the Story Genius workshop would add another tool to the toolbox a coach uses to help writers. We'll be offering a Story Genius master class, focused on how to coach a writer through the method, that will be available to Advanced Certified coaches.

+ What kind of focus on the publishing world and market does the program have?

While our forthcoming master classes on how to help fiction and nonfiction writers prepare to pitch will touch very directly on the market, insight on the market and publishing world is woven through each course in the Training and Certification Program. Our philsophy at Author Accelerator is extremely market-focused, because we believe that every writer wants to be read. The writing process does not come full circle until a reader gets involved. However, we make no guarantees or promises of a writer's success. We are not teaching people how to write best-sellers, but we're always focused on the market and what it's demanding, because we think that helps writers seek excellence.

We also believe that this focus on the market gives coaches and writers a language to be able to talk about audience, and to think of the book they are working on as being in the marketplace one day. Based on the notion that each writer wants a reader, they therefore need to know who that reader is and write for that reader. Our approach does the hard work of starting to balance the story that is in the writers' heart with what the market, and their reader, will demand.

For a specific example, in the Advanced Training course, we walk students through client-intaking (asking the writer what their goals are; what they want; whether they're looking at publishing or self-publishing; whether they have an agent, want an agent, or have tried to get an agent, etc.). These questions are all about the marketplace – any time a coach talks with a writer about their goals, they must consider the marketplace.

+ What kind of technical support do you offer?

We'll be honest. We are not technical support experts. As a result, we are able to provide minimal technical support to resolve any issues you might have accessing our courses and our materials. Beyond the areas covered below, we are unable to help you troubleshoot your specific issue. If you are having problems that extend beyond those covered below, we encourage you to contact support for the specific program or device you are using.

General Browser Issues
• Make sure you are using the most up-to-date version of your preferred browser. Click here to learn how.
• Clear your browser's history. Click here to learn how.
• Clear your browser's cache. Click here to learn how.
• Close all the applications on your computer and restart your computer.

Problems Opening Files
• How to resolve the problem: "Word experienced an error trying to open the file" when opening a Word 2007/2010 file
• How to fix the problem: "The file cannot be opened because there are problems with the contents"
• How to troubleshoot problems opening PDFs

How To Unzip Files
On a Windows computer
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Support For the Programs We Often Use
Teachable Support
Zoom Help Center

Book Coach Basic Training

+ Is there anything I need to do prior to starting the Basic Training email course?

No. The course is designed to be a holistic introduction to book coaching and what it takes to be an effective coach. You do not need to have any prior knowledge or experience in the worlds of writing, publishing, or book coaching to benefit from the course.

+ How long will it take me to complete the Book Coach Basic Training email course?

The email course is delivered right to your inbox in six parts. Within a week of signing up, you'll have a better understanding of the role of a book coach and will be ready to enroll in the Advanced Book Coach Certification course.

Advanced Book Coach Training

+ When can I enroll in the Advanced Book Coach Training course?

The Advanced Book Coach Training course is available at any time. You can move through the course at your own pace, though we recommend taking 5-6 months to go through the full course and complete the practicums.

+ Do I need to apply for the Advanced Book Coach Training course? If so, how do I apply?

You do not need to apply to enroll in the Advanced Book Coach Training course. Note, however, that the Book Coach Basic Training email course is a prerequisite for the Advanced Training course, so if you enroll in the Advanced Training course without going through Basic Training, we may hold your enrollment until you have completed the Basic Training course.

+ Is there anything I need to do prior to starting the Advanced Book Coach Training course?

You must complete the Basic Training email course and enroll in the Advanced Book Coach Training course.

Once you have enrolled in the Advanced Training course, if you are interested in getting a head start, the books you'll need to read for the training can be found here. You do not have to read them all before you start! They are equally effective if you read them during the course or when you are finished with the course.

These books are not provided as part of the course, so you may check them out from your local library, or otherwise borrow or purchase them.

+ How long will it take me to complete the Advanced Book Coach Training course?

We estimate that it will take the average student 6 months to complete the Advanced Book Coach Training course. That said, the course could be completed in a minimum of 3 months, and students are welcome to take as much time as they need to complete the practicum portions of the course, so it could take much longer. The exact timing will depend on each student and their schedule.

For those who apply for certification, you can expect to hear back about your application within 4-6 weeks from submission.

+ What do the practicums entail?

To earn Advanced Certification, students must complete two practicums. The practicums entail working with 2 practice clients on three chapters, and working with 1 practice client on a full manuscript. Students will be required to find these practice clients, provide written feedback on their work, host a call with them to go over the feedback, and submit all of their work as part of their portfolio for feedback and to earn Advanced Certification. We will support you in each step of this process, so don't let it stress you out! This is the real work of book coaching, and we want you to get as much experience as possible before you go out on your own.

+ What payment options are available?

Option 1: One payment of $1,250, paid immediately upon registration.

Option 2: Three monthly payments of $420, with the first payment immediately upon registration.

Pro Book Coach Certification

+ How do I earn Pro Certification?

Pro Certification can be earned by Advanced Certified coaches, upon satisfactory completion of the following master classes: The Business of Book Coaching and three Pitch Prep master classes, in addition to the Business of Book Coaching Mastermind.

Coaching in Real Life

+ Will completing the program help me get a job at Author Accelerator?

We will welcome certified coaches to apply to work at Author Accelerator, and will be looking to certified coaches to fill roles as appropriate. That being said, there is no guarantee that completing our Certification Program will lead to a job with us.

+ Will you help me find book-coaching clients?

We do not offer client acquisition or referrals, except in cases where clients come to us looking for a service that we do not offer. In those cases, we will refer them to our Coach Referrals page, which is a list of contact information for Advanced and Pro Certified coaches. The writers are welcome to independently reach out to anyone on that list. Author Accelerator takes no other part in any sequential coaching relationship.

With that said, we cannot guarantee that you will get any coaching clients. We are teaching you a marketable skill, but we offer no guarantees. Author Accelerator only works with coaches whom we hire in a process that is separate from this program.

+How challenging is it to get clients independently? Is there any guidance in the program for helping a coach secure clients?

We made a conscious decision to require students in our Advanced Training course to bring in their own clients for the two required practicums. This practice builds the skill of talking about being a coach, running a business, and building a brand. We guide students on how to secure clients and what to say, we provide scripts and templates to use, and we talk about how to approach writers groups and followers on social media. Students may also help each other find the writers they need for their practicums.

Our Business of Book Coaching master class gets into nuts and bolts of finding and working with clients: contracts, terms and conditions, refunds, protecting yourself, taxes, determining your niche, designing messaging, branding and marketing yourself, and networking.

+ How long does the coaching relationship generally last?

We've found that writers stay with us for a very long time, through multiple book projects. We believe this is because book coaching is, at its heart, relationship-based. It's about much more than just editorial feedback. It's about writers' doubts, motivations, the habits of their writing life – and their coach becomes a valued resource of expertise and support. Many of our coaches have become deeply involved with their writers and their process, which is a beautiful thing to witness and experience.

+ Do you find that writers have an expectation that their coach will help them find an agent or publisher?

Some writers do, and so we try to manage their expectations. Part of doing that comes from establishing the speciality or niche you will have as a book coach. Will you focus on helping writers get started? Helping writers rescue a book? Helping writers get their book ready to pitch? You can detemine your focus by undersatnding your own strengths, understanding where you can help writers, and understanding what you want your focus to be as a coach. We talk about all of that throughout the Certification Program.

The other part of managing expectations is understanding that the publishing industry cannot be controlled. While there are many writer-centered businesses that are set up with the best-seller mentality – "Here's how to crack the best-seller list." or "Here's how to sell a million copies of your book in one month." – that is a very metric-based approach that is focused solely on outcome, and we don't believe that's a fair approach to take. Not every book is going to be publishable, and the stars are not always going to align, and we feel it's our duty to be honest with writers about that reality. We (and everyone else) can't guarantee they will write a book that ends up being a best-seller, and so we do not promise that.

The truth is that the deep satisfaction that comes with writing doesn't come from making the best-seller list or selling a million copies. It comes from finishing. What most writers really want is to just do it – they don't want to be someone who simply talks about writing but doesn't actually do it; they want to be a writer who actually writes and actually finishes their book. Often, our writers have tried a million other things (workshops, conferences, classes with famous writers, writing groups) but haven't been able to produce a book. They come to us with a certain level of desperation, of wanting to make it happen.

So we focus on that – on helping them write the best book they can and actually finish it – which is often the most gratifying thing in the entire process, for both the writer and their coach.

+ What type of backgrounds make good book coaches? Any specific experience?

When we consider hiring a new coach, we look for five main elements:

  1. Mechanical editing skills: A good coach must have a basic understanding of the English language, or the language they are coaching in. This doesn't mean knowing exactly why a writer's grammar or syntax or style is wrong, but you need to be able to identify mechnical issues in a writer's pages so you can flag it for them to fix.
  2. Project-management skills: A good coach must have the ability to inspire and motivate a writer, and to evaluate and work within the writer's goals. A coach must understand how to move a project forward on a timeline, and be able to adapt to any shifts or roadblocks that crop up.
  3. Understanding of structural narrative design: A good coach must understand how narrative works and how it's designed. Many people have an instinct toward this, but may need to learn the language behind it, to be able to articulate and explain what might be working or not working in a writer's pages.
  4. A sense of the marketplace: A good coach must understanding what the publishing marketplace looks like, how books are bought and sold, why people buy books, why certain authors are popular and other aren't, and how the marketplace ebbs and flows. Publishing is changing at lightning speed right now, and it's impossible to keep up with it all, but a coach must have some sense of what is happening.*
  5. Compassion: A good coach must understand what it's truly like to try to write. Writing is never just about writing – people don't spend years of their life writing just for the sake of putting words on a page. The little idea they have for their story is speaking to something important, deep within them, that they have to say, and they're probably fighting a lot of barries (internal and external) in trying to say it. If a coach cannot help a writer confront these barriers to raising their voice, and how compassion for how hard, and often slow, it is, they're not going to be an excellent book coach. This does not mean that you have to be a writer a coach; just that you have to understand what it's like to work through something very difficult and persevere, because you know that the work is worth doing.

*If the marketplace does not interest you, you CAN run a book-coaching business that is not market-focused. The Certification Program can help you make this decision based on your strengths and interest.

We truly believe that No. 5 is the most important element, mostly because it's the hardest one to learn. Someone new to the writing world can absolutely learn mechanics, project management, narrative design, and the realities of the marketplace. But the compassion piece often has to come inherently. So if you have a desire to help people raise their voice, speak out, and share their stories with whoever they want their audience to be, you will make a great book coach.

For a beautiful explanation of what a book coach does, and what makes a good book coach, read this blog post from our veteran coach Kemlo Aki: Seeing What's Missing.

+ Do you find that writers expect their coach to have completed novels or published books themselves?

We do, but we strongly believe that that expectation is erroneous. Being an exceptional book coach has nothing to do with one's ability to write – it's very much like the cliche that sometimes the best athletes don't make very good sports coaches. We are constantly trying to educate writers about this fact, and it was one of the drivers behind creating the certification program. You can be good at book coaching without going through the publishing experience.

That said, writers do often care about their coach's experience, so it's a question you should be prepared to answer.

+ Do you have a sense of how coaches who are writers themselves divide their time between coaching and writing?

We have always conceived of book coaching as a part-time gig, one that can ebb and flow as your other responsibilities in life change. We believe it can be very satisfying part-time work that someone can do from home, regardless of what those other responsibilities might be. Some of the coaches on our team do coach full-time, but not all of them. Ultimately, how you balance your own time is completely up to you. In the certification courses, we do talk a lot about setting boundaries – personal and professional. We ask students to explore how they want to prioritize and protect their time; and we talk about how to be more efficient – the things a coach needs to consider when running their own business.