Do you ever wish you could spend all day reading books and get paid for it?
There's a new job in the gig economy. It's perfect for people who love to read, who love the challenge of capturing ideas on the page, and who feel they can inspire writers to do their best work. It's called book coaching – and we're going to teach you everything you need to know to learn how to do it and build a book-coaching business.
Jennie Nash – book coach, founder and chief creative officer of Author Accelerator
We’re so excited for you to start your book-coaching journey!
To get you started, we’ve developed a 6-part email course. We’ll introduce you to book coaching, its history, and what it takes to be an effective coach, so you can decide if it’s the right career path for you. You’ll have the opportunity to learn firsthand what it’s like to be a book coach through videos, lessons, and assignments.
Book Coach Basic Training
The Book Coach Basic Training email course introduces you to the fundamental principles of book coaching. 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 – the writer's doubt and your own
What you can expect to earn as a book coach
With video lessons from Author Accelerator co-founder 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.
Once you complete the Book Coach Basic Training course, talk with a member of our team to answer any questions you have, and join the Advanced Book Coach Certification course to get on your way to becoming a certified book coach.
Book Coach Basic Training is a prerequisite for the Certification Program.
The Business of Book Coaching
AVAILABLE STARTING: Summer 2019
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.
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
Note: 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. Certification cannot be earned through this master class.
The Path to Certification
Prerequisite: Completion of the Book Coach Basic Training email course.
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.
Completion of this course will allow you to apply to earn Advanced Certification. Advanced Certification is good for two years – at which time you must renew it and pay a renewal fee to retain certification.
Note: This course is focused on fiction only. To learn how to run your own book-coaching business, help a writer prepare to pitch or self-publish, work in particular genres, and more, stay tuned for forthcoming master classes and our Pro Certification course.
*Course price does not include the fee to apply for certification ($499). Payment plans are available for the course.
Author Accelerator Master Classes
INITIAL LAUNCH DATE: Fall 2019
These master classes will give you credit toward Pro Certification and can help you narrow the focus of your book-coaching offerings.
Coaching the Romance Writer: 5 credits – $149
Coaching the Young-Adult Writer: 5 credits – $149
Coaching the Middle-Grade Writer: 5 credits – $149
Writing Through Trauma: 10 credits – $299
The Basics of Self-Publishing: 15 credits – $499
Coaching the Memoir Writer: 15 credits – $499
Other courses to be added.
What Our Students Say
Your Book Coach Certification Instructors:
Jennie Nash started Author Accelerator because she believes that one-on-one coaching is the best way to help writers bring their books to life. She's seen it work again and again for writers at every stage of the writing process and at every stage of their writing careers.
Her book coaching quickly turned into a multiple 6-figure business, because as the publishing industry sped up and flattened out, writers became hungry for sustained, professional, and strategic support. When they get it, they fly.
Laura Franzini has trained under Author Accelerator Chief Creative Officer Jennie Nash for 5 years, working with writers to bring their stories to life on the page and cultivating each coaching relationship. She currently oversees Author Accelerator’s writing and coaching programs, working to bring writers the support they need from expert coaches trained in Jennie’s proven, personalized method. She has a background in journalism and marketing communications.
Frequently Asked Questions
+ Is there a refund policy?
Author Accelerator Book Coach Certification Program
We offer a 14-day refund policy on our Advanced and Pro Certification courses. You may request a refund up to 14 days after the course begins.
To be eligible for a refund, you must submit your request to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your completed work for the first two modules before your 14th day in the course. We will also check to see that you have watched the available course videos.
No refunds will be provided after 14 days following the start of the course. 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 that you cannot afford the payments, or deem the program too intense, or just don't want to do the course anymore, does NOT qualify you for a refund. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE make sure you are 100% ready to take our courses 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 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 Certification Program includes three courses:
• 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 Certification course.
• Advanced Book Coach Certification, a self-paced online course that includes curriculum in 11 areas of book coaching and two practicums to grow your skills. This course is a prerequisite for the Pro Book Coach Certification course. Your acceptance to the Pro Book Coach Certification course depends on your satisfactory completion of the Advanced Book Coach Certification course, your commitment to pay the full course fee, and your ability to complete the course requirements.
• Pro Book Coach Certification, a self-paced online course that includes curriculum in three areas of book coaching.
• Master classes, totaling 15 credits, are required to apply for and earn Pro Certification. Additional master classes are optional. All master classes are available a la carte.
+ How long does it take to get certified?
The full 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 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?
The Book Coach Certification Program is focused only on fiction. However, each course in the program covers foundational elements of book coaching that can be applied when working with writers in any genre. We call say that the program is focused on fiction because there are two or three lessons in each course where we use fiction examples, and in a proper nonfiction course, those samples would be nonfiction. The Advanced and Pro Certification courses contain full lessons applicable only when working with fiction writers, and so are slightly less transitive than the Basic Training email course, however, many of the skills covered are applicable to all writers in all genres. Until we have a nonfiction program completed (scheduled for late 2020), we encourage you to take the current Basic Training and Advanced Certification courses – with the understanding that there is a bias toward fiction.
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?
The Book Coach Certification Program is technically focused on coaching fiction; however, as we say above, we believe that every book is a narrative, and understanding the elements of fictional design is applicable to coaching any genre.
For coaches interested in coaching memoir, the Basic Training and Advanced Certification courses 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 future master class that will build on the Advanced and Pro Certification courses.
+ 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 Pro Certified coaches.
+ What kind of focus on the publishing world and market does the program have?
Insight on the market and publishing world is woven through each course in the 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 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
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 Certification
+ When can I enroll in the Advanced Book Coach Certification course?
The Advanced Book Coach Certification course will be available on a rolling basis starting April 1, 2019. You may enroll at any time and go through the course at your own pace. We recommend taking 3-6 months to go through the full course.
+ Do I need to apply for the Advanced Book Coach Certification course? If so, how do I apply?
To enroll in the online Advanced Book Coach Certification course, you do not need to apply for the Advanced Book Coach Certification course. Note, however, that the Book Coach Basic Training email course is a prerequisite for the Advanced course, so if you enroll in the Advanced course without going through Basic Training, we may hold your enrollment until you have completed the Basic Training course.
To apply for our in-person Advanced Book Coach Certification course and workshop, you will need to fill out an application. For details and to see when the next workshop is happening, check out this page.
+ How do I get access to the application for the in-person Advanced Book Coach Certification course?
Once you complete the prerequisite Basic Training email course, check out this page for details on the next in-person Advanced Book Coach Certification course and workshop. Your application will not be approved unless you have completed the Basic Training email course.
+ Is there anything I need to do prior to starting the Advanced Book Coach Certification course?
You must complete the Basic Training email course and enroll in the Advanced Book Coach Certification course.
Once you have enrolled in the Advanced Certification 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 Certification course?
We estimate that it will take the average student 6 months to complete the Advanced Book Coach Certification course and earn certification. 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.
+ When are the working sessions with Jennie Nash and Laura Franzini held?
Jennie and Laura hold monthly working sessions throughout the year, which any Advanced Certification course student is welcome to join. The exact dates and times will be posted in the Book Coach Certification group in our Membership Circle when they are determined. If you are unable to attend a live session, the recording will be available in the Membership Circle within 48 hours.
+ 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
+ When will the Pro Certification course become available?
We are planning to have the Pro Certification course ready to launch in 2020. We will update this page and our interest list as more details become available.
+ How do I get access to the application for the Pro Certification course?
Once you complete the prerequisite Advanced Book Coach Certification course, you will gain access to the Pro Certification course application via our online course platform. Until you complete the prerequisite course, you will not be able to complete the Pro application and move on to the next level of certification.
+ Is there anything I need to do prior to starting the Pro Certification course?
You must complete the Advanced Book Coach Certification course and apply to enroll in the Pro Book Coach Certification course.
Once you have been accepted and enrolled in the Pro Certification course, we will provide a list of required reading for the course that you can get a head start on if you wish.
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 Advanced Certification 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 do secure clients and what to say, we provide scripts and templates to use, and we talk about how to approach friends and family, writers groups, and followers on social media. Students may also help each other find the writers they need for their practicums.
We will be offering a master class on running a business, which will get 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. The master class will be available to Pro Certified coaches.
+ 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.*
- 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.