Six Steps When Hiring A Writing Coach

Posted on May 31, 2013


Now that you have decided that you want to work with a writing coach is, you must begin your search for finding one right for you. Google is an excellent source but not the only way for finding the right writing coach. Social media outlets such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter can be great ways to locating a writing coach. Here are six  things you need to know when hiring a writing coach. how_engineers_can_improve_technical_writing-writing-hero

1.      Rates – Most writing coaches charge by the hour. The rates can vary from $30 to $300 an hour depending on what you need help with. If you need to improve a blog, it will cost  less than edits for a  500-page novel manuscript.  However, cheaper doesn’t mean better.  But more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better either. It’s hard to know how much information a coach can pack into an hour until you get into it, so I recommend starting with 1-2 hours to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

2.   Process – Most coaches now work via the internet. Face-time is a bonus, but don’t expect it.  If you hire a coach, you can probably expect to pay hundreds of dollars to someone you’ll never meet in person. Of course, the right coach can save you from wasting time on misguided drafts now and money on editors later.

3.      Free Samples – Some coaches offer free blog articles or PDF downloads as samples of their work. Read their material. It will give you a taste of the kind of work they offer, such as their personality and style. Most coaches also offer a free initial consultation, and you should take full advantage of it. Prep for the call by checking out other coaches, comparing rates, asking for recommendations (or warnings) on Facebook, and studying the  coaches’ websites and bios.

4.      Your Needs – Most coaches can adapt somewhat to your particular needs – if you know and can state them. Otherwise, the coach has to figure out what you need – and then try to give it to you – with the meter running. A good writing coach can do a lot more than help edit your words and focus your thinking. They can also help motivate you to generate more raw material and provide strategic advice about what to write (or how to re-write) based on a knowledge of the ever-changing market.

5.      Planning – You should be able to tell from a  20-30-minute phone call if a coach is giving you the kind of advice that will help you take your project to the next level. Like doctors or therapists, not every coach will be equally productive for every writer at every stage of every project. It’s an art, not a science. Chemistry and shared sensibilities are important. It’s also important to discuss a game plan for how you’ll work together.

6.   Reliability – One coach may give you the inspiration you need to get started on a project, but run out of advice when you bog down in the  second draft. Just because you start working with someone doesn’t mean you have to stick with them exclusively for the rest of your project (or your life). In fact, a great coach may recommend other coaches or consultants whose specialties could help make the project as good as it can be.

 Once you’ve found the writing coach who will assist you, the bottom line is this: does your coach help you enjoy the writing process more, increase your productivity, and, most importantly,  does working with them  make your writing better?

Puja Dhary, Writer, Intern, Asta Publications

Asta Publications has a long history of helping writers tell their stories and get published. Since 2004, Asta Publications has helped hundreds of authors bring their book concepts to life and we are ready to help you too! Our dedication to our authors is unmatched. We deliver first-class products and services that are accurate, high quality, and exceed our authors’ expectations.


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