by Allison Hannah
Akosua (Jackie) Brown, founder of What’s Your Story Author Services (formerly Jackie Brown Books) kicked off 2022 by presenting to the WCYR about the role a book coach plays at any stage along a writer’s publishing journey. Akosua is the author of several best-selling books and has helped many authors achieve the same level of success in a variety of genres. Akosua pointed out the many advantages of having a coach, including accountability and emotional support. Many writers work for years on projects that they never finish. Whether a writer is a pantser or plotter, benefits can be derived from developing an overall blueprint for the project at hand. Engaging the services of a book coach is not inexpensive, however it must be seen as an investment in the finished work. There is a range of services that a writer can choose from when working with Akosua including group sessions. She shared examples of situations she has encountered while coaching authors with various needs and how success was achieved. This helped us understand how writers might benefit from a BFF — a biggest fan — along for the ride.
A program called Author Accelerator trains book coaches and matches writers with the right coach for them. Book coaches usually have connections with other professionals such as editors, illustrators, and marketing specialists that can assist writers.
Akosua finished her presentation by sharing information about how to become a coach for other writers. There is a market for book coaches as there are so many writers searching for this level of support. In order to do so, you must love to spend time with writers and be comfortable with the writing process. You must love to read, since you will be reading versions of your clients’ projects multiple times before they are polished and ready to publish. Akosua thoroughly enjoys working “side by side one page at a time” with each of her clients. She also makes sure to put some time aside for her own writing. Akosua is active on social media, often promoting books written by her clients. You can find her at:
Sprouting Your Own Green World with Paul Coccia – February 20, 1:30pm to 4:00pm
Collaborating for Success: No Writer is an Island with Mark Leslie Lefebvre – March 6, 1:30pm to 3:30pm
Writing Unforgettable Kids’ Books with Maaja Wentz – March 24, 7:00pm to 9:00pm, FREE
Poetry Workshop: Secrets of Creativity in Life and Art with Patricia Keeney – May 15, 1:30pm to 4:00pm
The Genesis of Stories: Idea Mining with M.C. Perron – May 26, 7:00pm to 9:00, FREE