THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Turning the Page to a New Career…Book Coaching

What is a book coach? This is the question I get almost 100% of the time when trying to explain my business. When I first started on my new career path, I didn’t have an actual title for what I did. My elevator pitch at that time was, “I’m a Book Coach. I help writers write their books”, hmmmm… pretty lame sounding, but it was the truth.

My marketing and writing career began in my fourth year of elementary school, which sounds like I’m exaggerating (trust me, I can exaggerate with the best of them, but this time it’s the exact truth). My father was a Disc Jockey—the morning man of WINC in Winchester, Virginia. He went on the air at 5:00 am and after his show he put on his salesman hat and hit up local businesses to buy airtime. This was his least favorite part of the job. But while he hated writing commercials for businesses, I loved it.  He always encouraged me to read and expand my vocabulary. That’s when I realized he was training to do his job!

I learned that a 30-second spot was 13 lines on the yellow legal pads that he used. Twenty-six lines was a minute. “Use lots of adjectives”, he would say. “Make it interesting and make sure the listener understands why they need this service or product”. It was challenging for me, because let’s face it, what fourth grader understands how the decision-making process works for grown-ups? But I did it. I realized that it was fun, and boy did I love hearing my commercials on the radio! I wonder if any of those businesses ever knew a kid in elementary school created their advertising content! Best thing my dad ever taught me!

Dad didn’t realize it then, but he helped catapult me into the profession I love. I have accepted that I’m a word nerd and enjoy the psychology of “why” and “how” consumers make buying decisions. Creating marketing campaigns and strategies, writing content and planning events kept me in love with my chosen career, until after 25 years, when I finally hit the wall.

I lost the passion for my work and recognized that unless something changed, my discontent and frustration would keep growing. I certainly wasn’t getting any younger and, frankly, I was fearful about making a change. Intuitively, I knew there was something else that I was meant to do, but I just didn’t know what “It” was. I’m not defined by my work, but it’s important that it be meaningful and fulfilling. I kept coming back to writing and my love of story but wasn’t sure what to do with that.

Then I got an opportunity to work on something that I had wanted to do for years—chronicle the experiences of the World War II veterans who lived at the Life Plan Community where I worked at the time. It proved to be one of the most challenging things I had ever done. It suddenly hit me that I was responsible for telling the stories of these men and women who had served our country, and it needed to be done in a way that honored the sacrifices they made.

It was tough. Research, design, writing, editing, proofing and finally publication of this book where the main characters were dying faster than I could get the work completed. Finally, the finished coffee-table book was in my hands and was terrified to open it. I just knew that I had screwed something up or had not done justice to the stories inside. So, there I stood. Clutching the book that took two years to complete, crying (I have actually read it since that day and am relieved to tell you it turned out fine—if anybody finds any errors, please keep it to yourself—I’m finally sleeping through the night!). I am so proud of that book! More importantly, that experience opened up the door to my new career path.

My writing partner of that coffee-table book just happened to be a New York Times Besting Selling author (three times) who I will call “Harry” (you know, change the name to protect the innocent). He gave me the opportunity to work with him on his new book and I jumped at the chance. I was hooked, and luckily for me, we have continued to work together. His knowledge and guidance have been invaluable to me.

I find the entire book writing process fascinating. To see an idea become a complete and compelling book while watching the structure, characters, and plot develop was an epiphany! I knew what I wanted to do, and it turns out I have an instinct for a great story! Because let’s face it, there are many bad books out there, so helping an author get the thoughts out of their head and on to the page in a way that captivates their readers – GOLD! Yep, I yelled that because it’s the truth.

“Thanks, Harry!” There aren’t enough words to express my gratitude for the knowledge you have imparted about this crazy industry and what it takes to write an unforgettable story!

That was the start of my book coaching business. Even NYT Best-Selling authors need encouragement and truth, so they continue to hone their craft. Writing is lonely, but it doesn’t have to be if you have a coach guiding you through the rough spots, encouraging you, giving you valuable feedback with actionable items to keep writing forward, and holding you accountable. The publishing industry is changing every day and the chances of getting representation with a literary agent and a Big Five publishing contract are harder than ever. More and more writers are self-publishing and need a book coach in their corner to help them understand the next steps in their writing, provide development edits, promote/market their books and figure out the best options for getting their amazing story into the hands of readers who are starving for their next great read.

So now my new and improved elevator pitch ……

I am a book coach. I help writers develop ideas, improve their craft, and understand the publishing industry so they can confidently release their best stories into the world.


Rebecca Grogan, an avid reader, and enthusiast of creativity in all its forms. She draws upon her extensive background as a marketing strategist, event planner, content writer, and author in her new career as a Book Coach.  In 2022, she founded Kaleidoscope Book Coaching, where she offers invaluable tools and structural guidance to aspiring authors on their journey towards completing their books. Serving as both a cheerleader and mentor, Rebecca is deeply committed to her clients and their projects, providing dedicated support from idea generation to navigating the path to publication.  She brings a wealth of experience as a book coach across diverse genres, encompassing both fiction and non-fiction. However, she specializes in coaching Romance writers, both historical and contemporary, whose novels include a holiday setting. /