As a Project Manager at Redemption Press, I have seen many authors through the process of their books, with and without Content Coaching. In my eyes, it really is the defining process that takes their books to the next level.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, “Content Coaching,” it is the process by which an editor reads through your entire manuscript, becoming your personal coach, listing strengths and weaknesses of your book.
Content Coaching isn’t always comfortable; constructive criticism can be a hard pill to swallow when you have worked very hard to create something that is so near and dear to your heart. However, in the long run, I promise you, it’ll be worth it, because you’ll be able to communicate most effectively what God has placed on your heart to share in a compelling and concise way!
I’ve noticed three specific things while walking authors through Content Coaching:
First, Content Coaching is valuable. Many authors that I’ve worked with honestly don’t see the value in content coaching at first. I’ve heard everything from, “Oh, well my editor friend looked at it and offered suggestions” to, “My book doesn’t need content coaching. It doesn’t even need editing!” and my response is always that every book needs editing, and most need Content Coaching.
Well, you might be an excellent storyteller or speaker, but the skills needed to write a compelling book are often different from those required to write for the spoken word. You may be an exhausted parent whose book has been pieced together as you’ve had the time, or you may just need an objective professional to help take your book to the next level.
No matter who you are, no matter what your shortcomings or strengths are, coaching will enhance your writing. You will never leave the content coaching phase without the benefit of great advice and a stronger manuscript to present to your readers.
Second, Content Coaching doesn’t make a bad book good, it makes a good book better! As a project manager I have heard many incredible stories from my authors. Each story is unique, and each is good. I haven’t published a book that wasn’t good.
But, there’s something defining about content coaching that brings a book from good to excellent. A manuscript should have an unbiased set of eyes on it, and I believe that all authors should desperately seek out a coaching experience that leaves their book marked up and red, rather than having it passed off as “good enough.”
A coach will give an unbiased perspective to your writing and provide constructive praise and criticism to it. The priority in publishing is for your book to be read and esteemed, but it needs to engage the reader to meet that goal.
Lastly, coaches are 100% invested in your story. Every coach that I’ve interacted with thrives off working with authors and editing books. They are passionate about what they do and why they do it! They learn your voice, respect your point of view, and strengthen your book from that place. They meet you right where you are in your writing and raise the bar for excellence. Each one operates in patience and kindness, knowing full well the place of vulnerability that the author is in.
As an author, you should be surrounded by those who will challenge and encourage you in your writing, and who better to come alongside you than an experienced and unbiased coach?