Beth Miller

Writing and tea

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a book coach?

It's a coach in the football coaching sense, rather than the bus sense. As your coach, I can help you improve your book, whatever stage it's at. You might just have a rough plan, or an outline. You might be stuck half-way through. Or you might have a finished draft that simply isn't working.

Won't it take ages?

A lot of people only need one or two sessions.This isn't psychotherapy. Together, we will look at where you're at, where you want to be at, and see how we can narrow that gap between the two. It's completely your call how many sessions you have - this is an individual, tailor-made service designed to support you and your writing.

How do I know if this might suit me and my work?

Drop me an email, telling me where you're at with your writing, and what you want help with. I'll answer quickly, and let you know if I think I can help. This email exchange is completely free, in terms of both money and obligation. If I offer to work with you, but you subsequently change your mind, that's completely fine! If we both decide to go ahead, then we'll book a session...

Will you need to read my writing in advance?

If we decide to go ahead and book a session, then yes. The fee includes some advance reading, usually up to 1000 words. If you would like me to read 5000 or 10,000 words, we can negotiate a higher price for that.

How much?

The first session costs £60. This lasts one hour, and includes me reading up to 1000 words of your work in advance. Subsequent sessions are £50 per hour unless more reading is required.

Do we have to meet in person?

I do love meeting in person, but of course this isn't always possible. So I also do coaching work via email and phone, and if I absolutely must, Skype (but I don't like Skype much) or Zoom.

I've finished my book and am ready to send it out...

Well done! If your book is ready to plunge into the exciting but shark-infested waters of agents and publishers, you might want an objective eye on your submission package before you cast it adrift. Agents receive hundreds of submissions a week - but there are simple ways to improve the chances of yours being read.


I can advise on your letter, synopsis and opening paragraph. This useful service costs £100 (up to a maximum of 1500 words).

Will coaching be useful for me?

If any of the following apply, then you might benefit from a coaching session:


- Do you have a great idea but are struggling to work it into something book-shaped?

- Have you got stuck with your synopsis or outline?

- Have you sent off your manuscript to agents or publishers only to stack up the rejection letters?

- Are the characters OK but the dialogue flat? Or the dialogue sparkly but the characters one-dimensional?

- Are you half-way through and losing faith?

- Are you on your second re-write and losing faith?

- Is there just something not working but you're not sure what?

Has anyone you worked with been published?

I'm delighted to say that they have. Seven writers in the last three years (see the testimonials here). And lots more have had other successes, including completing their first drafts, winning grants, being invited to give readings, re-kindling their love of writing, and getting back to their books after long breaks.

What's your experience?

I have been through this stuff myself. For years. Loads of rewrites, tons of rejections, a synopsis that ran to 14 drafts, not knowing whether I was writing the best or worst thing ever...

I've learned to see quickly what works - and what doesn't - in a story. I can see the wood for the trees, which is hard to do yourself when you're close to a piece of work. Since being published I have a better understanding of what 'they' are looking for. I am honest, fair, kind-but-firm. I will listen to what you want and try to help you get there. I will tell you if your goal is unrealistic. I will boost you up and give you confidence if the project is good. I will leave you with a game-plan for the next phase of your work. I am quite nice.

I want to know more!

Here's a piece about being a book coach that I wrote for the Books By Women website. Or just email me - go to the 'Say Hello' page.