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 have got the first few chapters down, then got stuck. You might have fallen victim to the tricky bit in the middle. 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 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 book a session, then yes. The fee includes advance reading, usually up to 1000 words.

How much?

The first session is £75. This lasts one hour, and includes the advance reading mentioned above. Subsequent sessions are £60 an hour, whether that time is used for me to read the work, or to meet and talk.

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 Zoom, email and phone.

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

I offer a tailored submission package for writers ready to approach agents or publishers. Click here for the details.

Will coaching be useful for me?

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

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

- Have you got stuck with your synopsis ?

- 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. In 2021 alone, four writers I've worked with will be published (see the testimonials here). And lots more have had other successes, including completing 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.