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 session.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.

How is it different from mentoring?

A mentor usually works with a writer for several sessions, over a long stretch of time. A coach is more like someone who swiftly gets you into match shape, then sends you back out there, revived and ready for the writing job ahead. However, if you want more than one session I'm happy to oblige.


Will you need to read my writing in advance?

Yes. The fee includes some advance reading, usually up to 1000 words. If you would like me to read 5000 or 10,000 words, or even the whole thing, 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. Damn geography. So I also do coaching work via email and phone, and if I absolutely must, Skype (but I don't like Skype much).

Will it 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?


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.
What's more, a large number of the people I've worked with have got published. Mainly due to their own efforts, obviously, but you know... just sayin'...

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.