Posts Tagged ‘nonfiction book’

A Memoir Book Coach Can Help You Write a Book That Sells!

A memoir book coach knows what agents and publishers are looking for. She can help you prepare your manuscript to give it the best chance of success. She’ll also guide you as you prepare your marketing materials. These include query letters, synopses, and a nonfiction book proposal (if you need one).

Your memoir coach will likely start by helping you identify exactly who you’re writing for. Once you have a clearly defined target audience, she’ll show you how to engage their interest—and prove your book’s marketability to agents, too!

What you need to sell your memoir

In addition to a great writing style, agents and publishers will be interested in your hook and your platform. Also, you may need to create a nonfiction book proposal, as well.

The hook for your memoir

A hook captures readers’ (and agents’) attention. It’s what sets your story apart. For instance, many memoirs (sadly) have been written about childhood trauma. Since the market is saturated with books on this topic, if a writer is focusing their book on early trauma, they would be wise to consider what makes their story unique.

Perhaps the environment in which they were raised directly impacted the difficult events they faced. For example, they may have grown up in a circus, or in elite boarding schools, or in a series of foster homes. In any of these cases, their memoir writing coach will suggest they home in on the unusual environment (or any other distinctive element of their childhood) to offer readers a fresh angle on the theme.

Create a platform for your story

A writer’s platform describes the various ways they connect with their target audience. If your memoir is about the healing energy of horses, for instance, your platform might include a podcast on that topic—or, more broadly, on horses in general. Or maybe you’ll have written a series of articles about equine therapy or belong to a list serve that discusses the value of time spent with horses. You might also regularly blog or give talks on the subject.

Agents and publishers put great value on a writer’s platform. A robust following on social media or a dedicated readership of your blog provide a ready-made audience for your book. This is important because it means your book is more likely to sell, making your memoir a sound investment for the company.

While blogging, podcasting, and regular posting take time (away from writing your book!), the bottom line is this: platform matters. You will be rewarded for creating a strong platform by the interest shown you from industry professionals.

Nonfiction book proposal

A nonfiction book proposal is basically a sales proposal or business plan for your memoir. You’ll submit it to agents and publishers to convince them that your book is marketable. Your book proposal will include a table of contents, two or three sample chapters, a marketing plan (referring to your platform!), and a literature comparison.

Currently, many agents and publishers require book proposals for memoir submissions. Although this hasn’t always been the case, now it is quite likely that you’ll need a proposal to win a contract with a larger publishing house. If you’re a first-time book writer, you’ll also need to have at least half of your manuscript complete as well. (Smaller presses may only ask you to submit your manuscript, not a proposal.)

While the book-proposal process may seem daunting, it’s actually a wonderful way to organize your thoughts about the business end of having your book published. A well-constructed nonfiction book proposal will make you look like a pro!

Want to write a successful memoir? An experienced memoir book coach can help!

Memoir book coach Jamie Morris, pictured smiling. Both writing and marketing your memoir are big undertakings. The more you understand the current memoir market, the better prepared you’ll be to give your story the launchpad it deserves! Wondering if a coach can help? Start by scheduling a free 30-minute consultation with me. You might also want to check out THE WRITER mag article Should I Hire a Writing Coach.”

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Book Writers’ Coach

Why am I a book writing coach? Great question! Over the last ten years, I’ve coached writers of all types. New writers, short story writers, dissertation and thesis writers, hobbyists and journalists. But after a decade of working with a myriad of different writers, I’ve found my greatest joy as a book writers’ coach.

red book cover for book writers' coach Jamie MorrisFolks who commit to writing a book are a different breed. They’re tenacious (and sometimes hard-headed, lol).

They see the long view. They know their actions today (and tomorrow, and the next day/week/year) create their future: If they keep writing, they’ll be authors.

Me? I want to be along for that ride. Sure, there will be ups and downs. (If it were easy, everyone would write a book, right?) So when I agree to become a book writer’s coach, I’m declaring myself in it with you for the long haul.

I’ll be there to remind you about your goals, sure! But more than that, I’ll listen to your ideas and help you develop them in ways that (almost magically) transform your book into something more than you ever imagined it could be! (Believe me, I have a track record for doing just this!)

I’ll guide you to be more efficient when you need to get something—chapter, outline, query letter—done. But I’ll also encourage you to explore enticing paths that may make your work both richer for you as a writer and deeper and more meaningful for your eventual readers.

So, why am I a book writers’ coach? Because I consider it a gift and an honor to help creative people—you!—accomplish the huge task of turning your dream into a book.

It’s possible. It’s hard. It’s worthwhile. And you don’t have to do it alone.

Gearing up to write a book? A chat with a top book writers’ coach might help!

As a book writers’ coach, I have tricks of the trade to share! Book writers' coach Jamie Morris Schedule a free initial consultation with me. And also check out THE WRITER mag article Should I Hire a Writing Coach.” 

How a Book Writing Coach Critiques Your Book

Jamie Morris Writing CoachWhether your book writing coach calls it a “critique,” a “review,” or an “evaluation,” they mean the same thing. Your coach will read your work and give you their professional feedback on essential elements of your manuscript.

But wait! Does that sound scary?

For many writers, the idea of a critique—no matter what term we use to describe it—can be anxiety-producing. If you’re worried about sharing your work with a professional writing coach, here’s something to keep in mind. Your coach is not assessing your work to judge you, but to help you achieve your writing goals! As part of your book-writing team, your writing coach has only one objective—to support you.

To support you effectively, when you hire a book coach, the first thing they’ll want to do is evaluate your book-in-progress. It doesn’t matter how far along your book may be. You might only have an idea for a book. If so, that’s fine! In that case, your book coach will work with you to develop an outline or a synopsis from that initial concept. Whatever you have in hand—an idea, an outline, a partial draft, or just a few chapters—your new coach will want to get a feel for where you are in your book-writing process.

This initial critique will allow them to give you feedback on what’s working and what needs further thought. And it’s a great way to get the writing-coaching ball rolling in the right direction.

What your book writing coach looks for …

Writing a novel?

Specifically, if you’re writing a novel, your novel writing coach will probably ask you for a synopsis, a character list, a rough plot outline, and a sample chapter or two. From these materials, your coach will be able to review your story for significant story elements. They will want to know, is your pacing tight and suspenseful? Do your characters’ voices support the general tone of your story? Is your main character facing enough of a challenge to create their all-important internal arc?

You and your coach will discuss these and other aspects of your novel-writing craft after their review of your materials. From there, you’ll create a road map of the path you’ll take as you complete your novel.

Writing a memoir?

While writing a memoir is surprisingly similar to writing a novel in some respects, your memoir coach will first want to consider the scope of your story and its focus.

Memoir vs. autobiography: You see, a memoir differs from an autobiography in two ways. An autobiography considers the entirety of a person’s life—from birth up to time of writing. It will be written chronologically, start to finish, and may well include quite a bit of information about the writer’s parents and other family members.

A memoir, on the other hand, considers either a limited period in a writer’s life or focuses on a single aspect of their life over a longer period of time. Because of these limits, a memoir might be effectively written in any one of a number of non-chronological ways.

Therefore, when they are assessing your memoir concept, your writing coach will want to know the timeline you’ve planned to develop: For instance, where does your story start and stop? Does it cover just your high school years? Your first ten years of sobriety? Or the six months you were in rehab after your accident?

They’ll also be interested in understanding how you are “framing” your memoir. For example, are you focusing your story on a specific event—like the summer you were a ball girl for your local AA baseball team? Or are you writing about a trait from childhood that you overcame in adulthood—like a debilitating fear of dogs?! Your memoir’s scope and focus will determine the outline, so that’s where your coach will start their critique.

Writing a nonfiction book?

If you’re writing a nonfiction book—especially an instructional book, like a self-help or how-to title—a chapter by chapter outline is the most efficient way to convey the organization of your ideas to your nonfiction book coach. This outline will guide you in your drafting process—and it can also form the basis of a nonfiction book proposal, if you choose to create one.

Add in a sample chapter or two, and your nonfiction writing coach will be able to “hear” how you’re addressing your audience. From there, you and your coach are well on your way to tweaking what needs to be tweaked and getting a good, solid draft—or book proposal—done.

Accountability partner + cheerleader!

In addition to reading and responding to your writing, your coach will act as your accountability partner, creating a regular meeting schedule and offering assignments to keep your book moving forward. Your writing coach will also cheer you up when you feel discouraged and cheer you on as you make strides towards completing the very best book you can write!

If you need support in finding a book coach, check out this article on how to find a writing coach. Also, check out Should I Hire a Writing Coachin THE WRITER magazine. If you are considering hiring a book coach, I’d love to invite you to schedule a free 30-minute consultation. Let’s see how I can help!

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