22Stories

Book Coaching for Writers

What Is A Certified Book Coach?

In addition to spending years learning how to write, then writing and publishing four novels with one of the top five publishers in the world, I spent two more years studying and testing to become certified as a book coach through one of the highest-regarded programs in the country, Author Accelerator.

Working with a professional book coach is a partnership between me and a writer. I am your very own mentor and cheerleader who has been through the process of crafting books worthy of publication several times over and will help you navigate your way through the process of writing the book you cannot wait to read — and onward for the duration of the often-intimidating submission journey. I will help you tell the story in your heart, make the point you need to express, change a reader, and find success as an author. I’ll be with you all the way.

You will never feel alone with a good book coach at your side.

Watch this brief Ted Talk from a renowned surgeon who uses a coach to help him continue to be better. Wouldn’t you want that surgeon to operate on you?: Why Hire a Book Coach? 

Who I Work With —

I work with first-time writers, others with a complete manuscript ready to dig into revisions on a much deeper level, those who are ready to start their search for agents or editors, and already published authors who need an objective, critical eye on their work and/or continuous coaching throughout the process of writing a novel. I mentor writers of literature for children as well as those writing for the adult market.

My goal is to provide clarity, an unbiased, professional view of your work, and an understanding how changes to your manuscript will positively impact the story you want to tell.

I am a support system during the often arduous process of writing a book and can help you focus on big-picture ideas, all the way to what needs to happen to make every single word count. I am a passionate wordsmith and will work with you through the entire process until you have written the story you can’t wait to read, all kinks are unkinked, and your manuscript is spit-polished and irresistible.

 

Services

Long Term Mentoring

I believe the best work is done between a writer and a coach when we commit to a customized mentoring plan over a period of several months, or even years. This is appropriate for anyone whether you are just starting a novel and have nothing but an idea, or a manuscript that has been shopped around and needs a reboot. If you need:

  • Help developing a new and exciting idea or breathing life into an old one,
  • If you work best by being held accountable so you can let go of feeling ashamed for never finishing your book,
  • If you thrive by having a reasonable number of new and/or revised pages to turn in twice a month and receive a professional editorial letter in return,
  • If bi-weekly or monthly virtual or phone meetings to discuss ideas, changes, areas that need work will energize you and provide clarity,
  • If you want a professional to help you research agents and editors, write a dynamite synopsis and query letter, and set up a system for submissions,
  • If you want someone to celebrate with you on your journey or hold your hand when it feels dark,

Reach out to me and we’ll come up with a monthly plan that works with your schedule and budget.

Consider it a lifeline to someone who understands your work, why you are writing this novel, what your challenges are, how you are best motivated, and how to help make your dreams come true. Fees for longer term coaching start at $850, but every coaching partnership will be customized for you.

Payments can be all up front or spread out. Contact me for more specifics.

If you prefer a shorter term relationship and have different needs, please see the options below. And feel free to reach out to me with any questions, any time.

Quick Look

One to two readings of the critical first 20 pages of your manuscript (double spaced, one-inch margins, properly formatted) plus a one page synopsis or summary of your book . These pages set the groundwork for everything else that is to come, and this is where you risk losing a potential agent, editor, or reader. You will receive a three to four page evaluation of your opening image focusing on grounding, structure, voice, character development, pacing, passive writing, showing and info-dumps. Additionally, I will write comments on your manuscript to show the weak spots, give examples of how to fix them and ask questions to help you understand your story and how to move forward. This is followed by a phone or zoom consult with suggested next steps and reading materials. $395.00 

Overview Read

One to two readings of up to 70,000 words followed by a very thorough editorial letter focusing on the big picture of your story along with issues such as plot, character development, pacing, and some notations on language. Includes some comments within the manuscript itself to be sure the author is clear on what my written notes mean and to show examples of how to fix weak areas including consistent mechanical errors.  We will schedule a 60 minute follow-up phone call or Zoom to discuss, answer questions, clarify, and make a plan for your next steps, plus 2 additional thirty-minute Zoom or phone calls over the following three weeks after our initial Zoom to be sure you feel confident in what you are working on. Depending on my schedule and how full I am, I can usually read, write your letter and edits within three to four weeks of receiving manuscript and payment. $1800.00 Additional pages $6/page. Payment plans available.

Deep Dive

One to two readings of your manuscript up to 70,000 words. In addition to the plot structure, character development, pacing and voice, we will take a closer, more critical look at sentence structure, passive writing, plot devices, chapter length, word count, and dialogue fixes. You will receive a five to ten page editorial letter and up to forty pages of your manuscript with line edits and detailed suggestions to point out repeat problem areas such as info-dumping, overuse of words/phrases, places where the voice drops, character inconsistencies, timeline flaws, point of view discrepancies, and places where you can tweak to enhance the writing. We will schedule a 60- 75 minute follow-up phone call or Zoom to discuss the notes, answer questions, clarify, and talk about next steps plus 4 additional thirty-minute Zoom or phone calls over the following six weeks after our initial Zoom to be sure you feel confident in what you are working on. Depending on my schedule I can usually read, write your letter and edits within four to six weeks of receiving your manuscript and payment. $2600.00 Additional pages $6/page. Payment plans available.

Query and Synopsis Diagnostics

Writing a good, solid query letter is not the time to let your guard down when preparing to submit your book to agents/editors. It is your story’s introduction to the people who can change the course of your career and deserves every bit of heart and soul as what you put into your manuscript.

I will read and critique your query letter along with a two paragraph summary of your story and help you get it spit, polished and shiny. Follow up with a 20-30 minute Zoom or phone call to discuss.  $295.00

For both query and synopsis work, I will do the above with your initial query plus read a 2-page synopsis and help you polish it and write a shorter summary (as is typically requested by agents) with two 30-40 minute Zoom or phone calls. $495

Additional help researching and identifying agents to query and setting up a submission plan is available at my hourly rate of $85/hour. Getting a writer on this path will generally take 1.5 to 2 hours.

Testimonials:

“I wanted to let you know that your feedback has given me more hope for this manuscript and for my writing in general than I’ve felt in a long time. I’m daunted by some of the work that needs to be done, but I believe I can finally, finally figure it out with your help. You have such great insights.” Sarah Yasutake, Author of The Legend of Chrystalia

“Nanci has the unique ability to zero in on exactly what is not working in a manuscript and provide very specific advice about how to change it. She is always kind and patient in explaining things to me and answering my questions so I understand not only what needs to be done, but the ‘why’ behind it. With her guidance, I have been able to take my novel to the next level and together we have just started submitting to potential agents. I am confident that those skills I learned from her will help me in all my future writing endeavors.” Jane Shuffer, author of Looking for the Magic

After researching a number of writing coaches I found Nanci. We chatted on Zoom for a bit, and it felt like I had known her forever. Her kindness and passion for teaching were exactly what I was looking for. I had one draft of a YA novel, something I had never planned on writing, but there it was, and I didn’t know what to do with it. Over the last year, Nanci has supported my journey from a somewhat insecure writer to feeling like I can do this and do it well. Her process is thorough, moving her students from side-writing to full drafts generating so much excitement along the way. I’m not sure I would still be at this if it weren’t for her. To say I’m grateful is an understatement. –
Kim Kaufman, Children’s Librarian, MFA Writing for Children and Young Adults VCFA

 

Nanci Steveson has a unique gift of being able to write with soul and teach with an equal passion. I’ve been deeply moved by her books. They entertain, but do so much more—helping children (and adults) triumph over issues like cancer, anorexia, divided families, and homelessness. But her ability to teach what she practices is just as extraordinary. I’ve taken courses on writing Middle Grade and Young Adult novels that were instructive. Hers are transformative. Moreover, she is incredibly generous in offering help and encouragement. I can’t recommend her highly enough.” —Belden C. Lane, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University

Nanci is a warm, enthusiastic teacher who encourages student participation and uses clear, concise examples to model the concepts she teaches. She offers concrete advice on conquering the often daunting task of revision, and she is open to questions and helping new writers find their way. I thoroughly enjoyed her class and would definitely study with her again!” —Erin Golden, Creative Writing Instructor Texas Christian University

Discounts & Additional Work:

Teenage writers receive a substantial discount at any stage of their progress. Please contact me for more details.

Packages can be combined up front for a 10% discount.

Additional work is billed at $85.00 per hour.

Discount for writers who I have critiqued through writers conferences, or have attended one of my craft workshops.

Feel free to reach out with any questions.