Frequently Asked Questions

What is a book coach?


A book coach is a trained professional who will help you write the best book you can. Whether you need accountability, story development, craft, grammar or publishing assistance your book coach will be there for you. You can count on honest feedback from someone who wants you to succeed.




Why hire a book coach?


Writing a good book is something that can be learned, but is almost never taught. Working with a book coach gives you access to this information - you don't have to figure it out on your own, because your coach is here to help you write your best book the same way a coach at the gym gets you into your best shape. A book coach provides one-on-one focus on you and your writing.




Why hire Next Step Book Coach?


Kathy Dodson is your coach at Next Step Book Coach, that's me. I'm an English major with a creative writing speciality. I also have an MBA and a Ph.D. More recently I've earned my Advanced Book Coach Certification with Author Accelerator and have particpated in many other writing courses and workshops. I am also an author who has finished three fiction novels of my own. I am passionate about writing, and love helping others acheive their writing goals.




How will you help me make my manuscript better?


I've been trained to help authors tell their best story. Whether this means helping a writer idenify the story's purpose, adding narrative drive, deepening characters, getting the emotion on the page, working on point of view, showing not telling - you name it, if it is a story or technical problem, I can help. If you need accountabillity, we can put together a writing plan that will help you get the words on the page, and I'm a great cheerleader because I want every writer I work with to succeed.




How can you help me turn my idea into a book?


I have a special eight week program for writers who are just starting a novel or who may be a few chapters in. I will provide you with a series of exercises to turn in each week that will help you cement your story and start getting it on the page. We will also talk weekly to review your submission and you willl be given a solid plan for writing forward.




I've started a book but I'm stuck in the middle. Can you help?


Book coaching helps writers get unstuck. You will get feedback on your existing pages so that you understand where the issues are, and I will work with you on a plan for writing forward. Whether you are lost in the story or have writers block, I can help you start writing forward again so you can finish your book.




I've finished my book, but I'm not sure it's ready. What's next?


This is the perfect point for a Full Manuscript Review. I will read your entire book and give you both in-line comments and an editorial letter that highlights what is working and the areas that need improvement. After the review we will speak on the phone for an hour, to review my comments. I will answer your questions and give you next steps for moving forward.




Can you guarantee I will get an agent or my book will get published?


No. Publishing is an extremely competitive industry and there are no guarantees. What I will do is help you write your best book. Whether the book will be considered marketable by agents and publishers is dependent on many variables beyond the control of either a coach or an author.




Why can't I do this on my own?


You can. Writing a novel is a skill, and not one that they teach in creative writing classes. You can learn on your own by trial and error. There are courses, workshops, books and conferences that will help you on your journey. Or you can work with a book coach - someone who already has the skills and knowledge to support your writing and will work with you one-on-one to write your best book. You can learn to run a marathon all by yourself, but it's easier if you have a coach making sure you are on schedule, in shape and have all the tools you need to finish. A book coach is similar, with your completed manuscript as the finish line.




How do I get started?


The Next Step is to fill out a form with details on your book, writing life and what you want from coaching. The form is available here. Once I have reviewed your information, we can schedule a time for a free introductory call to discuss your needs and determine if we are a good fit for each other. If so, we'll get you signed up as soon as possible.





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