New book professions • Literary coach, professional beta reader, layout professional or even literary communication coach. The professionalization of self-publishing has led to the birth of numerous professions. State of play.
During the live that I had the opportunity to do on my status as a hybrid author, invited by Nathalie Baade (you can see it rebroadcast on YouTube), we had the opportunity to discuss new book professions, born from the emergence of self-publishing. Their goal? Helping authors to become professional.
In today’s article, I wanted to take an overview of all of these new book and publishing professions. If you are yourself concerned and practice this profession, do not hesitate to contact me. I will also explain to you how I place myself, as well as my blog, in relation to this movement.
NEW BOOK PROFESSIONS AROUND SELF-PUBLISHING: DISCLAIMER
The following titles are not official.
Indeed, new book professions are still being created and are most often carried out by independents who choose the title of their activity themselves based on what seems most understandable and coherent to them.
This is why I will indicate below each of these titles which missions it corresponds to. This will also allow you to know what type of professional you should turn to!
THE JOB OF LITERARY COACH
The first profession that comes to mind when I think of new book professions is the profession of literary coach.
Literary coach: the missions
A literary coach is a person who will support you during the writing of your text: she intervenes during the writing and rewriting phase, then in the correction phase of the novel.
Some coaches also make it their mission to support you towards publishing or self-publishing, by positioning themselves as literary agents.
Literary coach: for whom?
Support from a literary coach can really help you if you are having difficulty finishing writing your novel. Especially if you have blockages that you feel like you aren’t able to overcome. Even more, it can be interesting if you are looking for a neutral person with whom to talk about writing and your project.
Literary coach: limits
As I told you at the opening of this article, the profession of literary coach is in its infancy. The profession may therefore have limits.
Difficult to make profitable
First, on a first novel, the monetary returns are low. Which makes the service of literary coach almost impossible to make profitable financially speaking. That being said, writing is not just a financial goal: finishing a novel may be worth the investment for you! (And that’s the main thing!)
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No training, no approval, no label
Nowadays, everyone can call themselves a literary coach. If some professionals are passionate and certainly exciting, the relevance of all of them can be questioned. The risk of calling on an untrained person is that you may risk being poorly supported or even losing confidence in yourself.
It’s not the literary coach who writes, it’s you!
Be careful not to put too many expectations into calling a literary coach. Indeed, it will be up to you to write your novel! If you don’t make time to write and if you don’t force yourself to write those passages that block you, your novel will remain at a standstill – literary coach or no literary coach. Writing remains a personal and solitary activity.
Watch out for Swiss knives
This opinion is personal and may sometimes be false, in certain situations, I readily agree. That being said, I believe that one cannot be at the same time literary coach, layout specialist, literary agent and communication coach for self-published publications. In short, a summary of the new book professions in one person!
I’m not targeting anyone in particular, I’m questioning the Swiss army knives who intervene at all stages of the development of a novel. Supporting a person in writing requires training as a coach, while supporting a novel in publishing requires legal skills and in-depth knowledge of publishing. Finally, laying out a novel requires knowing the rules of publishing and DTP tools.
In short, quite different skills!
How to choose your literary coach?
Having established these limits, there are quality professional literary coaches.
To choose your literary coach, I invite you to look:
- your compatibility, your feeling: you must have confidence in the person who will accompany you!
- your training: it is not necessarily necessary to be a published writer to be a literary coach (there are many football coaches who have never been a high-level player!) but to have training in support/coaching and/or literary training seem to be essential prerequisites;
- their place in the publishing world: is they a committed person, present at trade fairs, known to the various actors and actresses in the publishing world?
- its price: this criterion does not alone define the quality of the support you will benefit from but it is necessarily a criterion to take into account.
THE PROFESSION OF WRITING TRAINING
The second profession that comes to mind is the profession of writing training!
Writing training: the missions
The job of writing trainer consists of creating writing training courses. This can be online, in a completely dematerialized version, or live, via individual or group training. Some writing training courses offer books and guides to complement their courses.
Writing training: for whom?
Taking writing training may be interesting for you if you feel like you are missing some fundamentals and need additional information to succeed in writing your book. This can also be interesting thing in Book Marketing Agency, as part of group training, if you want to meet other authors who encounter difficulties similar to yours.
Writing training: reflections and limits
Like any new profession or new activity, the profession of writing training has its limits. They are quite similar to those that I presented previously, for the profession of literary coach.
Difficult to make a profit on a first novel
As with the profession of literary coach, it will be difficult for you to monetize writing training when your first novel is published. That being said, you don’t necessarily write for money and you can decide to put money into your passion of writing.
You remain the driving force behind the project!
Whether you have taken training or not, she is not the one who will write your novel! Writing it depends entirely on you and your ability to set aside time for your text and write it! There is nothing magical about writing training
Not all training will suit you
I often say it here: there is not just one way to write! There are dozens of them! This is why not all training will necessarily suit you! It’s up to you to select the one that suits you!
And the writing workshops?
Writing workshops and writing training are, for me, two quite different things.
The writing workshops are more developed to be interesting as a one-shot – while the training courses are more interesting in the long term! Writing workshops allow you to work on a particular point – style, descriptions, characters, synopsis…
How to choose your writing training?
When choosing your writing training, several criteria can help you make your choice!
- Your interest in the person giving the training: trainers are often prominent on social networks and you can appreciate their way of working and interacting
- The title of the training and its program: what does it cover, what does it talk about? Does this resonate with you?
- The format: remotely or face-to-face
- Financing: certain writing training courses can be financed with CPF (the training credits you obtain by working) while others must be financed by you. This will necessarily be decisive when making your choice.
- The price: if it does not determine the quality of training, it is necessarily a parameter that you will have to take into account!
THE JOB OF PROFESSIONAL BETA READER
A new profession in books and publishing which has appeared on the web (who still says the web ?) in recent years: the profession of professional beta reader.
Pro beta reader: the missions
Like the activity of beta reader, the job of professional beta reader consists of critically rereading a given text. The person can then annotate it directly via comments or make chapter-by-chapter summaries. It is also possible to work with a reading sheet. In short, each professional has their own supports.
Unlike the job of proofreader, the job of beta reader does not involve making corrections to the text yourself. As a beta reader, the blocking points are highlighted but it is always up to the writer to provide their solutions.
Pro beta reader: for whom?
Going through a professional beta reader is interesting if you need someone to bring a fresh look to your text. When you have been working on a text for more than six months (sometimes even for more than six years!), you no longer see either the qualities or the defects. Calling someone becomes relevant to put your finger on what’s bothering you!
Professional beta reader VS voluntary beta reader
Many people today volunteer to be beta readers on a voluntary basis. Recently, I was looking for my novel Le Refuge des betalectorices: a call to my community allowed me to have several volunteers.
So why choose to pay someone?
If you don’t have anyone around you who can help you
Not everyone has a community or loved ones interested in reading. In this case, finding a beta reader becomes a challenge. Paying someone is an easier way to meet this need.
If you want to be able to be demanding
It is not always possible to be demanding (on deadlines, types of expected feedback, methodology, etc.) with a volunteer who helps us. By working with a professional, you can ask them to reread a passage from your book several times, for example, without feeling uncomfortable.
If you want to be assured that deadlines and returns are professional
If you have a tight deadline and are planning to release your novel according to a strict schedule, calling on a professional can be more reassuring. Indeed, they are committed to respecting deadlines and the type of methodology that suits you.
If you want to be sure of the tact of the person in front of you
As a professional, the person will be more likely to surround their feedback with a minimum of politeness and courtesy so as not to hurt you. This is something that a volunteer beta reader (or a member of your family…) may not have the habit or tact to do.
Ultimately, working with a professional beta reader can be interesting, especially if you want to benefit from the professionalism of the person who proofreads your text. It will necessarily be more expensive than using a volunteer, but you will be able to benefit from this practice.
THE PROFESSION OF PROFESSIONAL LAYOUT
Another profession that I have seen arrive among the new book professions, still timidly, but which is starting to develop: the profession of professional layout of a novel, eBook and/or paper.
Professional layout: the missions
The job of professional layout consists of transforming raw text, recorded in word processing software, into text suitable for pub, Moby (Amazon) or even PDF (for printing) formats.
In general, this trade does not take care of creating the cover of your novel, it manages the interior: page numbering, line breaks, typography, integration of diagrams, if applicable. …
This profession combines the old profession of computer graphic designer and publisher – since it also involves knowing the rules of layout of a paper and digital book.
Professional layout: for whom?
This profession is interesting if:
- you are a candidate for self-publishing (on Amazon or any other platform) but you do not know how to format your text;
- you don’t want to worry about these technical aspects
Professional layout: the limits
Like any new activity, this profession may have limits.
1. It’s not a concealer
The person who layouts your text will not take care of correcting its content or form. It is not corrective. She will take your text as is and paste it into a new document before modifying it so that it meets all standards. In other words, the text you have to give him must already be perfect!
2. There is no diploma, training
This profession combines two distinct skills: mastery of publishing software and mastery of publishing codes, paper and digital books (they are different: I have already had the opportunity to write an article for you on this subject!). However, there is no diploma or training in this profession: the person will be self-taught and it will be up to you to choose your service provider carefully!
How to choose your professional layout provider?
How do you choose the person who will create your professional layout? Several criteria are taken into account and several solutions exist to do it correctly!
- The feeling: as always, this is clearly an important point!
- Her experience, the recommendations and opinions she has on her site / from other authors you know: this is certainly what will make you lean towards one person or another: the recommendation!
- His preferred formats: eBook or paper book? What is she used to working on and what do you need?
- Their price: as usual, it is not the price that will determine the quality of a person’s work. This being said, it will necessarily be decisive in your choice.