The Big List of Book Coaches and Book Doctors

Why Book Coaches?

Book coaching is an emerging new way that many writers are accelerating their writing.

Book Coaches: Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison worked on her books with trusted editor Robert Gottlieb

Writers are generally in need of an experienced editorial companion and writing coach. In the past this role was fulfilled by an in-house editor at a traditional publishing house. Ernest Hemingway had Maxwell “Max” Perkins who shaped his work for publication; editor Tay Hohoff took the manuscript Harper Lee submitted and found the gem of To Kill a Mockingbird in that rough first draft; and Toni Morrison had Robert Gottlieb at Random House who shepherded her books to great success.

Today, that type of daily hands-on mentorship has largely disappeared from publishing houses. Editors who in the past only had to work on one or two books a month are now handling 30-40 a month. There’s no time to mentor an individual writer.

Of course, line editors and copy editors are a dime a dozen. (Many of them are quite excellent!) But where is a writer to go to get hands-on help with the larger questions about their manuscript direction and their overall vision for the book?

That’s where a good book coach (also known as a book doctor) comes into the picture.

What A Book Coach Does

List of Book CoachesA great book coach can fill the “companion” and “mentor” role for a writer who wants someone who can travel with them through the entire publishing journey.

Joanna Penn describes book coaches as “writing with writers at every step of the creative process, offering editorial guidance, emotional support, and project management to help writers do their best work.”

Book coaching is thus a combination of support, conversation, and editorial feedback. A book coach will work with you over a period of weeks or months and help a writer to finish their project and seek publication.

The List of Book Coaches

Here’s a brief list of book coaches for writers. One caveat — I have recently launched my own new professional book coaching service, and my own site is listed along with the rest of the book coaches in this list.

The Book Doctors

  • Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry have appeared everywhere from NPR’s Morning Edition to The New York Times to The Wall Street Journal to USA Today.
  • Their book, The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published, is the go-to book on the subject, and contains all the information you’ll ever need, taking you through the entire process of conceiving, writing, selling, marketing and promoting your book.

Jennie NashBook Coaches: Jennie Nash

  • Jennie Nash is a very well known and successful book coach.
  • Jennie also runs Author Accelerator which trains book coaches.
  • She is the author of Altared States: Surviving the Engagement. Her writing has also been featured in Glamour, Mademoiselle, and The New York Times Magazine.
  • She is the national spokesperson for the Ford Motor Company’s Breast Cancer Awareness Program.

Jane Friedman

  • With more than 20 years of experience in the business of publishing and media, Jane is well known in the publishing industry.
  • Jane can help writers make smart decisions about publishing and digital media strategy, and position your writing for long-term growth.
  • Jane’s Hot Sheet is the go-to publication in the publishing world and is useful for agents and editors.

Lisa Tener – Book Coach

  • Lisa Tener and her team can help you write your book or book proposal, as well as guide you with the “platform building” (developing a following and reach online and offline) that publishers are looking for.
  • Lisa can help you develop a publishing strategy and can also connect you with publishing industry professionals that can help you with various aspects of the journey from editors to ghostwriters to social media and PR experts to web designers and marketing experts, as well as literary agents and publishers.

Ned Hayes – The Novel Doctor

➤ For Book Coaches: if you’d like to be added to this list, contact me

Nathan Bransford

  • Nathan Bransford is the author of the writing guides How to Write a Novel and How to Publish a Book and the middle grade Jacob Wonderbar novels.
  • Nathan’s blog has consistently been named one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers by Writers Digest. He helps authors write what they love, navigate the publishing process, and successfully market their books.
  • Nathan was formerly a literary agent with Curtis Brown Ltd., and has gone on to help companies develop online community and social media strategies to achieve business objectives and recruitment goals. 

Artful Editors

  • Artful Editors is an editorial agency helping writers improve and polish their books for publication. They take a team approach and their team also edits for publishers, literary agents, and businesses.
  • The editorial team includes developmental editors, copyeditors, proofreaders, book coaches, ghostwriters, and copywriters.
  • The Artful Editors team have edited in-house or freelanced for New York publishing houses such as Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and HarperCollins; university presses; and small presses.

Michelle Richmond – Bay Area Book Doctor

  • Michelle Richmond’s books have been published in 30 languages.
  • She taught creative writing at the university level for more than a decade, working with dozens of graduate students on their novels and short stories.
  • She has also taught writing classes through Stanford Continuing Studies, and in the last few years she has had the opportunity to mentor writers through her online Fiction Master Class.

Write Now – Book Coach

  • Book Coaches: Rochelle MelanderAuthor, book coach, and teacher Rochelle Melander has helped thousands of people design a writing life, create great books, and connect with their readers.
  • She is the author of ten books, including the National Novel Writing Month guide—Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (and Live to Tell About It).
  • Rochelle teaches entrepreneurs and professionals how to overcome writer’s block, write more, turn their ideas into books, navigate the publishing world, and use speaking and social media to reach their readers.
  • She interviews authors and publishing professionals on her blog, at the Write Now! Mastermind class, and in her podcast, Business Boosting Books.

Brooke Warner, Writing Coach

  • As a writing coach and publisher, Brooke offers writing coaching and publishing solutions—soup-to-nuts—for all writing needs.
  • Whether you’re just starting a book or looking for a great editor or designer, she has an extended team of book professionals ready to take you all the way past the finish line.
  • Brooke has been working in book publishing for seventeen years, first as an acquiring editor, then executive editor, and now as a publisher for an indie “hybrid” press.

Beth Barany

  • Beth Barany is an award-winning novelist, master neurolinguistic programming practitioner, and certified creativity coach for writers.
  • She specializes in helping writers experience clarity, so they can write, revise, and proudly publish their novels to the delight of their readers. Her courses are packed with useful hands-on information that you can implement right away.
  • She runs an online school for fiction writers and a 12-month group coaching program to help them get published. More resources on publishing, book marketing, and novel writing on her blog, Writer’s Fun Zone.

Sherry Gottlieb, the novel doctor

  • Sherry Gottlieb, the Novel Doctor, can help you turn your manuscript into a novel that editors will want to buy. Intensive line editing by an experienced professional can make all the difference by teaching you to rewrite well!
  • A former bookstore owner, Sherry Gottlieb knows what sells; her own books have been published by Forge/Tor, Viking and Warner, one has been aired as a TV movie. Her clients have subsequently sold their books to Knopf, Harper-Collins, Berkley-Putnam, St. Martin’s Press, Greenleaf Book Group Press and Jossey-Bass.

Jen Braaksma

  • Jen is a certified book coach and is also a high school English teacher.
  • She has written four Young Adult novels and worked closely with Jennie Nash, founder of Author Accelerator.

Read more notes on writing: 

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