FAQ's 

About Book Coaching Packages

What if I'm not sure which package I need?

  • Let's talk! I offer a free 30-minute Trailhead Call consultation to discuss your writing goals, where you are in the writing process, and what you're looking for in a coach. It’s easy to get started. 

Can I get more deadlines or turn in extra pages?

  • Yes, so long as I have space in my calendar, you can add as many deadlines as desired. All pricing information is on the Plans and Pricing or Extras page. 

Can I save up pages I don’t use during deadline submissions or for other plans?

  • Unfortunately, no. Pages do not carry over from one deadline to another. If you submit only 14 pages on one deadline, the remaining six expire.

Will I finish writing or revising my book within the package deadlines?

  • Likely not. It's difficult to predict since many factors weigh on the outcome.  

  • Please know this process isn’t about speed, it’s more about learning to craft your words with each progression.

  • Plus, if you're a new writer, several deadlines may pass as we work through a single chapter, developing essential skills with each revision, such as scene writing, how to demonstrate not narrate, and how to place character's emotions on the page.

Coaching Stuff

So what can you guarantee?

  • Excellent question! What I give are promises—a promise to take the journey with you, guiding you through the entire book writing process. 

  • I promise to ask good questions, (ones that take thought and reflection on your part) challenge problem areas you might be ignoring, and help you find your voice. 

  • While I make no promises, guarantees, or assurances about the outcome, I will be another set of eyes, use proven methods and tools, and be a steady presence on your journey.

Can you guarantee me a book deal or make me a successful self-published author?

  • Putting it bluntly, no one can, including me. The market is a constantly moving entity and hard to please.

  • Obviously, I cannot lay Excalibur upon your shoulder to grant you  magical powers to guarantee you’ll be the next Stephen King, J.R.R. Tolkien, Isaac Asimov, or a slew of other household names. 

  • Maybe this year's ‘hot’ books will be mystery or horror, thereby making you Fantasy book a bit more difficult to be heard. 

Will you help me write a bestseller?

  • Dreams are fantastic. They spur us on and keep our motivational fires burning. Does that mean I can assure you’re going to be a New York Times Best Selling Author. No.

  • What I can do is help you write the best book you can, whether you’re going to submit to agents, self-publish, or hybrid publish your book.

  • One guarantee I do give is I will bring all my experience to the table to help you write the best you possibly can.

Will my book be ready to publish/pitch after I work with you?

  • Probably not. A first draft is never ready to publish.

  • Even if we revise your book together, it will likely need several more passes of revision, beta reader feedback, and copyediting and proofreading if you’re self-publishing.

  • If you hope to traditionally publish, you'll need to work on your pitch and polish your first chapters. 

  • But, if you choose to work by my side, your manuscript will be much less likely to have fatal flaws and could read like a multiple draft manuscript. 

Can you guarantee that the book I write with you will work?

  • As with the other questions along this line, no. There are risks in any creative process. 

  • I promise you won’t be alone and I’ll be with you to confront the occasional overwhelming choices, to remind you and cheer on you're writing, and to brainstorm your best options based on the information we have.

Why should I hire a book coach?

  • Hiring a book coach is the best investment you can make as an author. As a coach, I’m with you for the long haul. 

  • Through ongoing coaching, you’ll learn how to plan a book that will hook your readers and pull them through until the end. 

What is book coaching? How is it different from hiring an editor?

  • Book coaching is an ongoing relationship based on meeting pre-determined deadlines that include reading and commenting on pages; exercises to help focus your project on genre, audience, and market; and having regular, scheduled conversations to discuss your work.

  • It’s like having a cheerleader, project manager, editor, and friend by your side every step of the way as you reach your writing goals.

  • The right book coach can help you conquer writing challenges. It’s a way to ensure that your book is in the best shape it can be—for submission to agents and editors or for self-publishing.

  • A book coach is also an experienced, professional editor.

How do you choose a book coach?

  • A book-coaching relationship is personal, one-to-one. Not all coaches are a fit for all writers. That’s why our relationship has to start with a Trailhead Call. After you complete the Intake questionnaire, we’ll chat on the phone or have a video call to talk about your goals and expectations.

  • If we work together, I will help you make a plan for your work with concrete deadlines, usually every two weeks. Each deadline includes a written review of your material and comments.

What kind of feedback do you provide as a book coach?

  • My focus is on developmental level feedback. Does your book work on a story level. Do your project have narrative drive and clear protagonist change?

  • Is your main character moving your story forward rather than reacting to it? Are there ‘logic holes’ in the pages? Are you showing rather than telling? 

  • Once the foundation is solid, I can help you refine your storytelling through editing—focusing mainly on pacing, rhythm, word choice, etc.

  • Please note that after coaching you should not expect a grammatically, or picture-perfect, manuscript. 

  • My feedback style is honest, not always want you want to hear, but comes with a great deal of encouragement and goofy comments. 

  • Throughout it all, remember I’ll ask a ton of hard questions and make you revise until it's good. It’s actually I process I love and have had repeated success with. 

What do you expect from your clients?

  • Most importantly, commitment to the process is essential. 

  • You must be teachable. This doesn't mean you have to blindly accept everything I say. But, it does mean you'll consider my suggestions, willingly try new methods, while being professional as we go.

  • Having your words critiqued is hard. But you will come out of our collaboration a skilled storyteller. 

What kinds of writers do you work with?

  • I work with new or experienced writers who want to go deep in their books and those who seek traditional, hybrid, or self-publishing.

  • If you're writing a book only for your grandma, I'm probably not the coach for you.

Money Talk

Does Next Journey Books require a deposit?

  • Yes, all package deals, manuscript evaluations or edits, require a non-refundable, $250. USD deposit. Providing they are not paid in full from the start. (Some extras require no deposit.)

Do you accept payment plans?

  • Yes, for most. See the Plans & Pricing or Extras pages. Payment options cannot be modified. Some ‘Extras’ do not provide payment plans.

Do you give refunds?

  • No. However, there are exceptions. Each instance is different. If you experience a lack of motivation and do not finish the course, then no refund will be issued. The same is true if reaching the course end feeling you did not receive the result you wished for.

How do I pay you?

  • Next Journey will send a service invoice which can be paid by PayPal, Square, Stripe, or debit/credit card payments. There are no discounts for paying in full. Keep in mind, for any purchase(s), coaching will not begin or continue until payment has been received.

Misc. Things

Is there a standard manuscript formatting?

  • Yes. All project work must be submitted according to standard manuscript formatting, which averages to about 250 words per page and requires the following specifications: 

  • Letter-sized paper 

  • Times New Roman font

  • 12-point font size 

  • Double-spaced text

  • One-inch margins

Swords & Shield

"I received a feedback email from a short story contest I entered, and I am in the top five! Very exciting! I wrote the pages after having a couple of calls with Mark. His tips definitely pay off."

 

-John Osachuk / Fantasy Author

Terms and Conditions 

Terms and Conditions

By using this website and/or purchasing services, you are agreeing to the our Terms and Conditions. Contact me should you desire to read them prior to any purchase. I will be more than happy to provide you with a copy


 

Stonehenge

While we provide coaching input from an experienced perspective, it is not a copy or line edit. (We would be happy to put you in touch with our trusted associates should our services not meet your needs.)

At Next Journey, we provide solid input and recommendations related to your writing— such as concept, content, style, grammar struggles, and much more.

Please read and agree to the Terms listed above before making any purchases.

​​Note: Coaches are not ghostwriters. What we do is coach you through the writing process with some editing along the way.
 
Purchase indicates your agreement to all terms.

Pentacle