Book coaching can change everything. It can motivate you to finally finish a book, turn your self-published books into page turners, or help you get an agent. But what is book coaching like? What do writers achieve through the experience? And what value does a book coach bring?
Conquer Books has been supporting writers since 2020 in getting their books on shelves. To better tell the story of how book coaching works to make that happen, we’ve compiled the data on the experience. Most of this data is self-reported by clients from surveys they’ve filled out for us. The rest comes from our own work records.
Read on to learn what book coaching looks like for a speculative fiction writer working with Conquer Books.
Book Coaching Style
What is it like working with a book coach? How do you get started?
On average, writers bring us a manuscript they’ve been working on for two years when they decide to seek outside support.
We receive a lot of inquires for book coaching and as an organization are selective in the projects we will consider taking on. Of the writers we choose to have an initial 20 Minute Chat with (our version of a meet and greet where we discuss the possibility of working together), 75% of those writers go on to work with us.
Though serious about their work, the majority of our clients lean towards a coaching style that is “friendly and approachable” rather than “all business, baby.” In addition to the writing time dedicated to their current WIP, 80% of our clients ask us to send them 60 minutes of extra writing exercises, research, and guides to review each week.
88% of our book coaching clients have previously worked with beta readers, 66% have taken a college course on writing, 40% have taken an online course on writing, and approximately a third have gone on a writing retreat, worked with an editor, or found value in writing social media groups.
90% of book coaching clients want to improve their mastery of pacing through the coaching process. 70% wish to build their knowledge of plot, and about half of all book coaching clients want to learn more about worldbuilding, build good writing habits in goal setting and time management, or find confidence in themselves as a writer.
How long do writers work with us? How many words do we edit? What was their experience like?
After working with us, when asked what they wished they knew before they started working with Conquer Books, clients commented:
- “That I should be excited for the best decision of my life.”
- “That it would eventually come to an end.”
- “I knew nothing about book coaching at the onset, but [they] provided a thorough explanation.”
- “I had a good idea of what I needed, and I interviewed individuals with that need. I believe I found a good fit [with my book coach].”
It’s difficult to pin point an average period of time writers work with us due to variance in project length and writers who come back for second or third helpings of book coaching. Our shortest projects last about a month and our longest more than a year.
With full book coaching clients, Conquer Books generally ends up editing a quarter of a million words of the writer’s work. This includes their manuscript at various stages, but also outlines, query letters, book summaries, and random experimental musings that end up in our inboxes in the wee hours of the morning.
100% of clients state that they reached their specific goals for their manuscript by the end. 80% built confidence in themselves as a writer and strengthened their character development. About 60% left book coaching with a clear path forward for their writing career as well as developed stronger worldbuilding abilities and grew their knowledge of plot.
Clients also have shared with us what they liked most about book coaching services:
- “The hand-holding through plotting.”
- “The obvious professional know-how and craftsmanship of the coach. I felt I was getting excellent and unbiased feedback.”
- “The complete explanations of why things are done a certain way.”
- “[Their] knowledge of my genre and writing in general was extensive.”
How much does all of this cost? How does this investment support the future?
And what does that investment equal? One past client stated that working with us was like, “being coached (one-on-one) by a college professor in a life-long writing course.”
The majority of clients have already invested in their writing journey by the time they come to us, either through courses, craft books, writing retreats, or editors. They have invested time as well and see book coaching as a way to leap forward into their wildest bookish dreams.
Book Coaching Results
How many books go on to publish? Do they write their next book?
Right now, 26% of writers that work with us have already reached their desired publishing goal. Compare that statistic to WordsRated’s breakdown of the Odds of Getting Published. Another third of our writer clients are still actively querying their project or preparing to self-publish. About half of writers that work with us are now working on their second or next book in some capacity.
As for those writers not reflected in the statistics above, it’s a mix of circumstances. Sometimes a writer needs to pause on the writing journey to focus on family or health. Some decide they’re not up for the long journey of publishing a book and would rather spend their time reading.
One of our favorite things as book coaches is staying connected with our writers over the months and years after our project officially closes. Growth takes time and we see it manifest in unexpected ways for our clients.
But the one thing that’s 100% consistent among all of our clients, is they reached out because they believed in themselves and in their book. Contact us to talk about your own journey.