One of the most valuable things a first-time self-published author can invest in is a great book coach, especially if they feel lost in the process and have no clue where to start. A book coach is one of those people you wish for as you dive into self publishing, and aren't sure if they actually exist.
I'm hear to tell you that they DO exist, and that Amy Collette of Unleash Your Inner Author is one of my absolute favorites.
Amy is an award-winning speaker and author of the best-selling book The Gratitude Connection. As a Book Coach and Publisher, she helps change makers build their business, grow their tribe, and expand their impact with their world-changing books. Amy is based in Denver (which is fun for me—I use our meetings as an excuse to explore more of downtown), and someone who truly knows her stuff and CARES for her authors and their success.
Thanks for being a guest on the blog, Amy!
So many professionals would never consider writing a book. What are some of the most common obstacles you see that stop them from becoming authors?
Becoming an author also brings up other challenges that can be more daunting. You are choosing to stand on a bigger stage and speak your mind about things that are important to you. And that can be scary. Having a coach and other support helps you accomplish your dream of becoming an author.
What are some preliminary steps these professionals can take to gain the confidence to write their own book?
Most of the people I work with feel compelled to write their books; they know it’s important to get their message to the people who need it. If you like to write, I say start writing for yourself first. Every day write something about how you feel, about how you see the world, about your passions, about the impact you want to make. This helps you discover your “author voice” and feel comfortable with it.
If you are more comfortable speaking, then “Collabo-writing” is a great alternative. You get to talk and someone else does the writing!
What are some ways that book coaches help authors make vital decisions regarding their self-published book?
There are a million questions you will have along the way, such as, “I have so much content, how do I narrow it down?” “Am I making any sense?” “Who do I call to design my cover?” “I’m afraid nobody’s gonna read it!” “What the heck is an ISBN?” And “My bio photo is worse than my driver’s license!” Your book coach is there to listen, support, educate, talk you off the ledge, and advise you on every step along the way.
At what stage in the book writing process can an author utilize a book coach's services?
We can start wherever you are, from the idea stage, to organizing, to final editing. The best place to begin is the idea stage so you avoid mistakes that can cost you time and money. One of the reasons that I added publishing to my business is that I had to learn all the lessons the hard way, such as “hire a professional editor and cover designer.” My goal is to help create a book you are so proud of that you want to share it with everyone. It is a reflection of you and should be the same professional quality as a traditionally published book.
What is your number one piece of advice for authors just starting to write their books?
My best advice is to understand your audience, or what I call your “reader soulmates.” I see some people writing for months but don’t have an answer to the question, “Who are you writing this for? Who is hungry for your message?”
As a book coach, that’s one of my first questions. If you don’t deeply understand who you’re writing for, then we will work through exercises and do some research to figure that out first. Then we clarify what it is you want as the author. Do you want to build your business, grow your tribe, make a bigger impact? Everything else flows from knowing how to connect with your audience and knowing what you want to achieve with your book.
What is one of the biggest mistakes authors could make as they write their books?
Giving up their dream. After almost throwing in the towel, one author recently described her book as a “journey of self discovery.” Don’t stop before you travel the path and see where it takes you.
Can you tell me a little bit about your Unleash Your Inner Author programs?
My Unleash Your Inner Author programs are what I wished for when I was writing and figuring out all the important decisions I had to make. Through the Unleash Your Inner Author framework, you learn the whole process: writing, editing, design, publishing, marketing, and publicity. The result is a professional publication that you will be proud to call your own.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Congratulations on becoming an author! Get the knowledge, support, and experience from people who have been there before and want to help you make a powerful impact.