Author Coaching

 

Hi, and welcome to my new venture!

Having been in the publishing industry for these last twenty-five years—first in Creative Nonfiction and essays, now making my living as a novelist in SFF and Romance—I’ve long made a practice of sharing what I know. One of my author friends quips that networking is my superpower. At this point, I do know a lot of people, and I’m happy to share that knowledge. I’ve done so much mentoring, in fact, formally and informally, that I’m getting more and more requests for help. And I want to be able to help everybody who asks!

Unfortunately, I only have so much energy—no matter how I try to stretch that—and I need to guard my writing time (one of my primary bits of advice for all writers!). Also, since I no longer have a day job, anything to help defray costs like paying for my own health insurance is always helpful.

So, I’ve decided to offer formal Author Coaching services!

I’ve tried to set prices so that my help is affordable, but high enough to make it worth my time to do this. Writing is still—and I hope always will be—my primary income. I’m not interested in keeping clients on the teat forever, or milking their dreams for my profit. I will always offer honest, unvarnished advice on whatever you’re trying to do. I’m happy to tailor my packages to fit your needs, and we can choose the communication medium—and frequency—that works for us both.

What I can’t do is any kind of manuscript critique or book doctoring. Alas. But my wonderful agent, Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency, is worried about me reading pre-published work in my genre. I respect her good legal sense, so I’m staying away from that.

BUT, I can help with most everything else. Check out the below!


For the Newbie Writer

Just starting out and not sure how to go about it? I can advise you on how to develop a writing habit, even be your accountability buddy. I'll help you discover YOUR process and what works best for you to begin laying down words. I can give craft advice, or connect you to workshops and classes that will provide what you need. I'll be your cheerleader, hand-holder, and ass-kicker.

When you're ready, we'll talk about what you want from a writing career - money? awards? artistic satisfaction? - and how to prioritize your efforts.

I can also offer advice on balancing the day job with writing, carving out writing time when family demands make it nearly impossible, and taking care of your creative self.


Ready to Get Out There

So, now you have work ready to leave the nest (maybe?) and get into the world! I'll help you decide if it is ready. We can debate the merits of querying editors directly, trying for an agent, or going self-pub. (I’ve done all of these things.)

Or, maybe you have an offer on the table and you’re trying to understand the lingo, wondering what the best steps to take will be. I can explain the business and give advice on the various avenues available to you.

I can also provide short-term assistance in prepping for a conference pitch event, contest, or opportunity that’s come your way. I’ll help you refine your pitch, give insight into expectations, and possibly provide introductions to people you’ll meet.


Career-building Mode

Have you already published a book (or two, or three) and you’re wondering what next? I can advise on career strategies and best next steps. Now that you know more about the publishing business, we can discuss your good and bad experiences—and how you’d like to refine your goals and focus your energies going forward.

Maybe you’re a trad author thinking of going Indie or adding self-publishing to your toolbox. Or maybe you've been self-publishing and now you're weighing a trad deal, or thinking of trying traditional publishing. I can advise on the pros and cons of Indie, Trad, and hybrid paths.

No matter which course you decide on, I can offer assistance and point you toward resources to make that happen. If you’d like to self-publish but want help – from a one-time overview to step-by-step handholding for all stages of the process, I can connect you with a colleague who is expert in exactly that.

Thinking about taking that next big leap into writing full time? Yes, I can tell you what it takes, how the finances work, the pros and cons, and what to watch out for.


Pro Needing Advice

Wondering if your agent is the right fit for your career?, Uncertain if a deal offer is a good one? Thinking it's time to reinvent or pivot to a new genre?

I can provide an objective - and experienced - ear for your career questions. We can talk through what's going on with your current agent, and I'll provide perspective on your situation. If the conversation leads to making a change, I'll walk you through how to leave your agent and how to search for a new one. I'll brainstorm suggestions for an agent who might be a better fit - or research with industry friends who know more than I do - and I'll help make introductions where possible.

I'll draw on a wide array of friends in many genres of the publishing industry to find out if what you're experiencing is a one-off or part of a pattern. If I don't know, I'll do my best to find out. I can provide examples of authors who've reinvented or moved to entirely new genres - and sometimes connect you to them personally for advice.

Confidentiality absolutely assured.



Testimonials

Jeffe Kennedy has built a thriving career as a fiction writer. That she so willingly and supportively shares her lessons learned and best approaches with newer authors is a testament to her experience, capabilities, and her grace. Learning how Jeffe manages her time and recharges her creativity has been essential for improving my own productivity with my creative work and my commitments to supporting writer communities.” ~ Rebecca Gomez Farrell, Author & Blogger

 

As a writer, especially a newbie author or someone who wants to shift genre or publishing track, there’ll be times when you could really use some advice from someone who’s been in the industry for a while. I’ve worked with Jeffe on various writerly-things and she’s never failed to provide guidance and a fresh set of eyes. Jeffe’s ability to think through a situation, ask the right kind of questions, and give comparable examples makes her an excellent mentor. Whether you’re looking for writing help with word counts, spreadsheets, or indie and traditional publishing, Jeffe Kennedy has the knowledge base and experience to guide you through it. She’s been incredibly helpful to me in my writing journey and I can’t recommend her enough.” ~Alexia Chantel, Aspiring Author

 

Jeffe has been a much appreciated mentor to me since my earliest days as a published author and she’s the first person I turn to for advice when confronted with a new situation in my career. Jeffe brings a wide breadth of experience to any discussion about books, writing and related career issues but the most significant aspect of consulting with her is that she excels at drawing out what the person talking to her truly hopes to accomplish. She then uses her skills and background to help the individual refine what is going to work for them to achieve their goal. She encourages out of the box thinking with without advocating a cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all approach. She’s an excellent role model in today’s complex publishing environment.” ~ Veronica Scott, USA Today Best Selling Author

 

From the Acknowledgements of THE ARRANGEMENT, by Sylvia Day, Minerva Spencer, and Kristin Vayden: “I’d like to thank… Jeffe Kennedy for offering stellar input and fantastic insights that have earned her drinks for life.” ~ Minerva Spencer, Debut Author



Pricing and Packages*

Dip a toe in: $50
We can chat for 30 minutes via phone call or video chat, just to test the waters and see if I can be helpful to you. Also, I can answer quickie questions during this time.

One-time consultation: $150
Includes initial email discussion of needs, review of preliminary materials and hour-long phone call or video chat

Consult and follow-up: $300
Includes initial email discussion of needs, review of preliminary materials, an hour-long phone call or video chat, with a second hour-long phone call or video chat

A month of advice: $450**
Includes initial email discussion of needs, review of preliminary materials, and weekly hour-long phone calls or video chats

Long-term mentoring: $400/month, for three months or more **
Includes initial email discussion of needs, review of preliminary materials, and twice monthly hour-long phone calls or video chats, along with regular check ins for accountability or cheerleading

Conference/pitch-event package: $200
Includes initial email discussion of needs, discussion of event, review of pitch materials, video-chat practice of pitching, and insider advice on the event and who will be there.

Build your own package: ???
If none of these options seem to fit what you want, then let me know what would work, and I’ll give you a price estimate. We can discuss and settle on the best fit for us both.


Contact me here

 

*I reserve the right to set a different price depending on how much help you’re looking for. However, I’ll know if I need to ask for more after our initial consultation, which will be included in whatever price I quote. I imagine there will be cases where the help you need is so finite and simple, that I can set a lower price, too.

**No more than four sessions/month