Wednesday, March 6, 2002
Deborah Malmud, Director of Norton Professional Books, recently approached CoachVille to publish the book form of its Coaching Forms collection under the title "The Coaching Starter Kit from CoachVille.com: Everything you need to launch and expand your Coaching Practice." Estimated publication date is September 2002.
Deborah and Norton's special interest in the coaching field makes her article of particular worth to any Coach considering book publishing as a next step, or, a veteran author working on that next project. Thank you Deborah for allowing us to introduce you to the Today's Coach readership!
Also in today's issue is information about the Coaching Forms collection itself, which is available immediately as part of the CoachVille membership. To give you a glimpse of the professional quality of this collection, I've included 3 of the 501+ forms below, for your immediate use. Enjoy!
heard that publishing a book can be an excellent way to market yourself.
Or perhaps you've self-published
a book and want to move to another level of professionalism and exposure.
Whatever the reason, you feel ready to approach publishers for a contract
to write a book. You know that publishing is notoriously hard to break
into, and you're not sure how to begin. What will help you maximize
your chances of getting a contract for your coaching book and work successfully
with an editor? Here are some thoughts, based
on 16 years of experience
in the publishing industry, and
as an editor who publishes books on coaching.
1. Be certain that you are really ready to be published by someone other than yourself.
Serious writing is likely something you have already done. Most successful coaches have marketed themselves through flyers, newsletters, or conferences, and many have self-published books. Nonetheless, writing for yourself and writing for someone else (your editor and paying customers) is an extremely different proposition. In working with a publisher, your will be relinquishing some control over your work in exchange for professional editorial, sales, and marketing input. It is important for you to assess whether or not you are ready to do this. Before approaching publishers, think seriously about whether you are:
If you do not honestly agree with all these statements, then you should not waste time trying to get a book contract - no matter how excellent your editor or publisher, you won't be happy with the publishing experience.
2. Be able to explain coaching to an agent or editor.
While it is true that coaching has received mainstream media attention and while there are coaches who have written bestsellers, do not expect a literary agent or book editor to be familiar with coaching. Include in your proposal a short explanation of what coaching is and why people will be willing to pay money to read about it.
3. Identify the genre of your coaching book.
As far as agents and editors go, all books can be categorized by genre. There are numerous ways to define these genres, but in the broadest terms one can identify 4 major areas. A coaching book could conceivably be written in 3 of these 4 genres, and it is vital you know where your book fits. Yes, it is possible to write a book that draws readership from more than one of these areas, but any successful proposal needs to be identified clearly with a particular genre and for a primary group of readers.
The genres are:
Here are examples of some fictitious coaching books in the different genres.
Note: Given that coaching is not taught at the undergraduate level, it seems unlikely that you'd be writing a coaching book for the college market.
4. Relate your coaching book to an established market.
Most bookstores do not have a "coaching" section, yet your book will need to be placed in somewhere in a store once it has been published. While someday coaching may be an established section, you can't afford to wait for that day to arrive. Thus you will need to relate your coaching book to a shelving area currently in stores in order to sell your idea to a literary agent or editor.
With your proposed book in mind, visit local bookstores. Where would your book be shelved? If you are having trouble identifying an appropriate section for your book then you need to refine and hone your idea. Common areas for coaching books are self-help and personal growth, business management, consulting, finance, psychology, and counseling.
Let's look again at the three fictitious books described above. If you were the author of a proposal for Book A, you'd sell that to an editor as a "self-help" book. If you were the author of the proposal for Book B, you'd pitch it as a book for the "psychology" or maybe "business management theory" section. Book C would be pitched as a "small business" title.
5. Don't get hung up on trends.
Basing your pitch to an editor on the trendiness of your subject is dangerous; what is a trend today will likely be out of favor two years down the road when your book is published. Furthermore, it is fruitless to try to guess what sort of coaching book a publisher will want. A poorly conceived proposal isn't going to get beyond an assistant's desk, no matter how "hot" the topic; a strong proposal on a subject of interest to you and one that you are qualified to write on will make its own case for relevance and salability.
The relationship between an editor and author is a complicated one and shares characteristics found in many other relationships including that of friends, colleagues, therapist and client, and even coach and client. Nevertheless, do not expect your editor to be your coach. It is not your editor's job to help you work through writer's block, deadline problems, or difficulties juggling a career, personal life, and major writing project. If these or other issues will significantly impact your ability to complete the manuscript you have been paid to write in the timeframe you have agreed to deliver it, work with a coach, therapist, or other helping professional to get the job done. Your relationship with your editor will definitely benefit, and you'll have a much more positive publishing experience!
A. Deborah Malmud,
Ph.D. is Director of Norton Professional Books, an imprint of W. W.
Norton, and publishes books for professionals in the fields of psychotherapy,
neuroscience, and coaching. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many thanks to A. Deborah Malmud for this article. Copyright 2002 by Coachville.com All rights reserved.
> from a PDA
Being a PDA Coach, it's important that I "walk the walk and talk the talk"... using my Palm™ powered PDA as a success tool. To that end, I'm able to have the Coaching Forms right in the palm of my hand whenever I have the need. And an incredible number of forms there are! What a time and money saver... an incredible value included in the Coachville membership. Thanks, CoachVille!
John F. Collins, Palm(r) powered PDA coaching, consulting and services
> forms saved the day!
The Coaching Forms Book Saved The Day! Well, it was one of those days... I was running behind schedule and I couldn't find anything in my office. I was scrambling around looking for the notes I prepared for a coaching session with this new client. I couldn't find them anywhere so I started to panic.
I suddenly remembered that I had everything I needed right in the Coaching Forms Book. Phew! Not only did the forms rescue me from sounding like an unprepared fool, but I ended up hitting a home run! My client thought the session was sensational!
It was so simple, it was like a miracle. I just grabbed the forms I needed, spent some time looking over them, and I was totally prepared for the call. If that isn't the greatest tool for coaches, I don't know what is!
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"Life is simple."
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I am a "resource collector" and always looking for ways to enhance the coaching experience with my clients. The Coaching Forms collection puts everything I need (and didn't even know I need!) in one easy-to-access place and helps stimulate new ideas and approaches to use with my clients.
> Outstanding tools to use with clients and make me a better coach...
All Right! I am crazy about the coaching forms that you have made available on line.
I absolutely love learning new concepts, however, before I took training courses at CoachVille, I at times felt as though I hadn't been given the physical tools necessary to help me actually apply what I have learned! CoachVille has changed this permanently; coaching forms are outstanding for they give me the physical tools, assessments forms and work sheets that I can use with my clients, and they help both the client, and me the coach feel more successful and accountable! Thank you CoachVille for giving us the goods so that we can truly deliver! My Very Best in Appreciation!
Dr. Jason Kolber, Life and Health Coach, www.livinginline.com
All CoachVille members receive immediate access to our online collection of 501 (and counting) Coaching Forms collection at the password protected coachingforms.com.