Book Coaching

Before I became a best-selling novelist (and hell YES I like saying that) I was an editor, and since switching my focus to fiction I've found that my editorial focus shifted as well. My specialty is helping professionals--especially lawyers and journalists--who have a goal of becoming traditionally published in upmarket women's fiction or romance. I help writers evolve from professional writing to a novelist's voice, build a story that pulls the reader through the pages and  create an emotional arc that satisfies.

I'm tough, honest and encouraging and I believe that you CAN learn to do this. I can't guarantee that you'll write a book that will snag an agent or a excite an editor. No one can. But I can help you write a book you'll be proud to submit and approach that process like a pro.

My coaching availability is constantly changing, and I only take one or two clients at a time. Here's what I have right now:

Pitch Proof: Think you're ready to pitch agents? Here's the hard truth: you are probably wrong. I say this with love, and from experience--most people who send me manuscripts hoping to pitch them still need a round of revision or two before they're ready. I'll read your entire manuscript and respond with an honest assessment of how agents might perceive it, either as the first 5 (or 50) pages that often accompany a submission or in response to that exciting "full" request--because sometimes, your pitching materials promise something your manuscript doesn't—yet!—deliver. That sucks--because most of the time, it means you've burned a bridge with an agent who might have been a good match.

I'll respond with a detailed evaluation of the manuscript and a description of what steps you need to take before pitching agents. This is not a line-edit or a copy edit (although I will tell you if you need those things) but an evaluation of the plot and emotional arcs, pacing, characterization and impact of your story and what it will take to achieve that "good-enough draft" that will make an agent pick up the phone.

If you've nailed it and my comments are minor, we'll focus on polishing and move on to an evaluation of your query, synopsis and pitch plan, and I'll offer comments and edits on your pitch materials. Either way, we'll meet (via Zoom) to discuss and make a plan for you to complete your project and get those pitches out there. There will be tough love and warm encouragement, and you'll come away excited and energized whether you're heading back to your desk for a major re-write or making the tweaks that mean pitching with confidence. AVAILABLE DECEMBER 2021 (to find out more, fill out my coaching questions below or use the contact link in the upper right hand corner.)

Full Manuscript Evaluation. For the writer who's taken a completed draft as far as they can go, but isn't sure of exactly where that gets you. I'll read an entire, completed manuscript and offer both big-picture observations and a discussion of what's going right along with any areas of concern and suggestions for where to focus your attention in your revision. I'll be honest about the good and the challenging, because I respect your desire as a writer to learn and grow and to make this project the best it can be.

I'll focus on what you need and tailor feedback to where you are. I'll help you see what you have and what you need, whether you have a great hook that isn't carrying through the narrative, fantastic characters and an emotional arc that need more action or a rock-solid story that needs attention to dialogue, language and pacing to really sing. You'll get a lengthy edit letter (5-10 pages) that lays out where you are in your drafting and revision process and offers clear, detailed ideas for what to do next and how, and then we'll spend an hour on the phone talking it through. You'll come away excited and energized about heading into your next phase of work. Manuscript Evaluation: $2500 AVAILABLE DECEMBER 2021 (to find out more, fill out my coaching questions below or use the contact link in the upper right hand corner.)

Before we work together, we should be sure we're suited to one another. (I am truly not every writer's cuppa.) Tell me a bit about you, what you're working on and what kind of coaching you're ready for by filling out my COACHING QUESTIONS here. If it looks like we're a good fit, we'll book a short discovery call to make sure this is what you need.

Blueprint for a Book. Perfect for the writer who's honing an idea before getting started, or trying to find where an existing draft goes off the rails, the Blueprint process—developed by Jennie Nash—demands that you find your why, know your point and be able to describe your book to anyone, in a few short sentences and in longer flap copy form, because that description is the promise you make to the reader and the book you ultimately write must fulfill that promise. You'll narrow down your genre and ideal reader and then decide whose story you're telling and when before building a plot that carries that protagonist on their journey.

I'll provide a "blueprint" workbook and then offer comments and guidance on every part of the process in written form, both as comments on your work and in a 2-3 page letter summarizing my observations and suggestions and offering recommendations for your next step and in a one-hour phone call. You'll come away with clear guidance on what to do next to strengthen and ultimately draft or revise your story. Basic Blueprint: $2000. NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE. Sign up HERE to be notified when availability resumes.

 

Pitch Plan: For the writer who's ready to take their work out into the world in search of someone who will champion it! (Okay, an agent.) I'll review your query letter and synopsis and help you polish each until they shine (via email and traded documents) and then help you to create agent-selection strategy, choose specific agents to target, figure out the right approach to each one and develop a pitch plan for reaching those agents--all of which we will do by phone/Zoom and by email. I love querying agents--and I'm good at it! I can help you feel good about it too. (I can't promise it will work, though. Nobody can!) Pitch Plan: $2000 Pitch Plan with 3 months follow-up: $3500.

NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE. Sign up HERE to be notified when availability resumes.

The Chicken Sisters cover

Want more Mae and Amanda? 

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