The Uncommon Octopus offers high-touch, intensive Author Coaching services for nonfiction and fiction books alike. As writers, ghostwriters, and collaborators, our team has written novels, self-help and how-to guides, business books, and memoirs. It’s this experience, passion, and proven success we bring to your project.

Your author coach will guide you through the entire process of creating your book. From establishing your audience and message, through the labyrinth of those first chapters, and all the way to that sticky end when you’re so sick of the project you can’t bear to look at your laptop, we’ll be there with you.

We’ll guide you not only in the structuring, but also through the emotional turmoil that surfaces along the way. Your underbelly is safe with us. We'll help you bridge the gap between baring your heart and soul, and the critical, harsh world that will see it.

You have three types of coaching services to choose from. They look like this:

Your Book in Six Months

For every client, Tier One gets you from spark-of-an-idea to completed, polished manuscript in six months. Following our plan and process, we can take that brilliant idea of yours and turn it into a 60,000 word book.

In six months.

No excuses.

One of the keys to successfully writing a book is getting specific background work done before you actually begin writing. This is where we begin. We:

• Refine your message. What is it you want your reader to walk away with when they reach The End? Why are you writing this book?  What is it you want to share with the world? Is it a specific talent you want them to have? Or is it the experience of a world and set of characters that just won’t stop yakking in your head? We poke and prod you to consider deeply what it is you’re actually writing about.

• Understand your audience. Who are you writing for? All of humanity is great, but as we distill your audience into specific reader types, your message will become more focused and make a clearer and more easily readable bit of writing.

• Create an outline.  Once we’ve established where you’re going, we want a roadmap to get there. As with the above, we guide you through this process too. What flow will best serve your story? How can we structure it so your reader is eager to keep turning pages? What is the logical progression of material, whether how-to, story-based, or memoir?

• Begin writing.  Hemingway famously said, “Write drunk. Edit sober.” Whether pen to paper or cursor to document, now is the time to let ‘er rip. Chapter by chapter. Write without fear of criticism, without worry of what people will think, without that pain-in-the-ass, self-defeating voice in your head. We put a cork in Doubting Thomas. We’ll be there to advise and coach as you finish your chapter drafts along the way. We point out the brilliant bits right along with where you could (ahem) improve. You’re safe with us.

• See your book to completion. How many times have you said to yourself after reading a book, “I could write one way better than this!” The greatest crime in our book is not finishing your book. We’ve spoken to so many people who started their book, but just never seemed to get the time (energy, money, space, lunar sequence) to finish it. With us, we’ll goad, push, nag, and most importantly, remind you of why you’re doing this in the first place. Our job is to make sure you end up with a completed draft in your hands. Our job is to make you an author.

Included in this process are:

  • Goal of 3,000 words a week, which means your 60,000 word book will be finished in 5-6 months.
  • Set series of phone calls of 30-60 minutes.
  • Set series of email checkins. Ask questions, provide text for review, tell us about your kitten video. It’s all good.
  • Set series of reviews and feedback of text, up to 3,000 words each week.

At the end, you’ll have a completed manuscript in your hands.

We also offer two types of publishing services. 

Your Book in Six Months - Plus Editing

This tier is for those who have all the passion and energy of the above, but need more help with the nuts and bolts of writing and grammar.

You receive everything in Tier One, plus our full editing services. Please note that these editing services are discounted, because you’re getting them within the coaching package. For editing services alone, please visit our Writer Services page.

A typical book requires three layers of editing, developmental, line, and proofing. They go like this:

  • Developmental editing is when the author has a complete manuscript, but structural changes are needed to help with the flow and expression of meaning. The book can be organized better and information might be deleted or added or both. Without this structure established, the book can read as disorganized, scattered, and without the right professional feel. As with much editing, the reader may not be trained to intellectually recognize these issues, but they'll feel them like they would a pebble in their shoe. The book won't come across as smooth and professional, but rather as amateurish.
  • Line editing is the next stage. The big-picture flow is working, but line by line word choices and expression of ideas are improved. How you say what you say matters, and we look at those issues here. It’s a time-consuming and labor-intensive process but pays off beautifully. With thorough line editing your message will be clear and your tone and voice unique and compelling.
  • Proofreading is the "final set of eyes" before publishing. Grammatical errors and inconsistencies are caught, as well as capitalization and terminology consistencies. For example, is her hair color "blond" in one section and "blonde" in another? Usually, the reader feels these mistakes rather than outright notices them.

At the end you’ll have a book ready to submit to an agent, publisher, or self-publishing team.

Your Book in Six Months VIP Service

For clients looking for the most in-depth, high-touch approach to the book writing process.

In addition to everything you find in full coaching and editing services,  you have available:

  • Daily email contact.
  • Daily phone/skype calls.
  • Up to 10,000 words of text reviewed weekly.

You receive as much guidance, email, and phone/skype contact as you want. You will truly be escorted through the entire writing process and end up with a thoroughly thought out and edited book, ready to share with the world.

Whichever service you choose, you will end up with your polished manuscript. No more saying “I wish I could,” no more saying “I wish I had.” You will have done it. You will be an author.

Interested in a free consultation to see if our coaching service is right for you?

Want to see some recent Uncommon Octopus publications?