How to Find a Self Publishing Coach

You’ve got a book in you—you’re sure of it. Everyone tells you that you have an amazing story, just waiting to be told. Or you have some solid expertise that you want to share with the world: about business, leadership, or life; about a hobby, a skill, or a special interest.

Once you’ve written your book, how do you get it into print and onto bookstore shelves (or online sellers’ sites)? You can try to find a literary agent to pitch your book to big publishing houses (most don’t even look at unagented work), you can self-publish on your own, or you can hire a publishing concierge service to “coach” you through the process of self-publishing. But how do you find a coach who will effectively help you?

Here’s how to find the right person to help you self-publish:


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    Ask about the person's experience in publishing. Someone with experience in traditional, or “royalty” publishing, is more likely to help you craft a quality product when you self-publish. A good publishing coach has been in the business and has plenty of contacts among editors, designers and so on.
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    Look for someone who has experience in marketing--specifically marketing of books. Self-publishing doesn't end with the release of your book, it begins there. You have to market your work, build a platform on social media, connect with book sellers. Finding someone who knows how to market books will help you to get your book into the hands of readers.
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    In self-publishing the author pays all of the costs of publishing: editing, design, printing, marketing, advertising and distribution. Ask about your potential coach's experience with each of those aspects--and with the "project management" side of the business, to guide you through each of those steps.
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    A publishing concierge service—which offers you coaching through each step, but still puts you in control of content, cover and all the other details--is the best option. Typically, concierge services put a team of publishing professionals—marketing experts, editors, graphic designers—to work on various pieces of the project. So you’ll be able to hand off much of the “book business” tasks so that you can focus on being an author—while still retaining control of content and the overall process. Working with a self-publishing coach, such as Kickstand Books, is like hiring a native guide when visiting a foreign country. Having traveled this way before, they can steer you in the right direction, help you avoid dangers, and take care of details that you, as the author, might prefer not to handle: everything from getting your book on amazon, negotiating with printers, hiring a designer to create an eye-catching cover for your book, and so on. But because they are helping you self-publish, you’re still the boss.


  • You'll save money by starting with an e-book—but you should still expect to spend getting your book formatted and edited, and having a cover designed. You should also count on investing significantly to market your book if you go this route. There are thousands of e-books out there—and more being published each day. Competition is fierce. Marketing is essential if you want anyone to discover and read what you’ve written.
  • Talk to other authors and get recommendations of professionals they've worked with.
  • Join a writers' group (either live or online) to connect with other writers for moral support and to get advice based on their experience.


  • Be cautious about companies that promise to sell a specific number of books. No one can control the market, or predict exactly how a book will sell. If a book is full of factual errors or is poorly written, chances are it is not going to become a best seller.
  • Go for quality--your book is your "first impression" and you want it to be a good one.

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Categories: Publishing