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Author Mentoring

The process of writing a book from beginning to end can be a solitary journey. Initial excitement often wanes as the weeks or months wear on with no feedback of any sort. And then, when you’re finally flush with the victory of having “finished” your project, you might learn that it’s fundamentally not working. You might even feel frustrated to realize that if you’d had a partner from the start, you could have avoided a few nasty traps.

Mentoring, also called coaching, is a service designed to give you a partner through the writing process. Editing is something that happens after a book is written, and before it’s published, but what about all those other steps? Who can help with that? You might not be ready for an editor yet. In fact, you might be so new to the craft of writing that you need someone to help guide you through the basics. Conversely, you might have done this a dozen times before, but need a new perspective. Perhaps you’re even feeling the strain of burnout.

Tailored to suit your needs, mentoring can take you from first concept to publishing advice, and everywhere in between. A mentor’s job is to help you set and achieve reasonable goals. The tasks a mentor might perform include, but are not at all limited to:

  • goal setting
  • goal reminders
  • brainstorming
  • outline review
  • chapter-by-chapter feedback
  • writing evaluations
  • writing advice
  • career/publishing advice
  • marketing advice
  • light editing (Full-service editing is available separately)

Mentoring is a diverse service designed with few preconceptions in mind. It can include phone calls, on-line chats, video chats, or e-mail, depending upon the client’s needs and comfort level. Coaching tends to be much less formal than traditional editing, and invites a dialog between client and coach.

This service typically begins with a manuscript review to give the mentor some idea of the client’s strengths and weaknesses. The manuscript need not be complete, polished, or particularly good; it’s just a starting point. From there, the client’s goals are discussed openly and a plan is put into motion.

Mentoring is provided at an hourly rate and can take as much or as little time as the client needs/desires. Some seek sparse, intermittent advice. Others want weekly contact with their mentor to help keep them on track. In the typical mentoring relationship, the client does most of the work while the mentor guides them. For this reason, it can be a low-cost service with only 1-5 hours billed each month. Clients on a budget, who are concerned about hours adding up outside of their control, can choose to set a spending cap (weekly, monthly, or overall) for peace of mind. In other words, the billing tends to be as individualized as the service itself.

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