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Alexa Whitten, book coachAlexa – Book Coach and Typesetter

My coaching story started over eight years ago, when I found myself helping out a great friend and mentor to get his book finally finished. It was a light bulb moment, as I have always been passionate about helping people, and my job at the time, was helping clients with marketing and getting new leads to their business. One of the main strategies for doing this was to help clients niche their business category, and then write a book explaining their knowledge within that niche. It only seemed logical that there could be a link between helping others identify their ‘expertness within’, writing a book and then using that as a very powerful  lead generator.

At the time, there were very few specific coaching programes designed for people wanting to be perceived as an ‘expert’ by writing a book, so it became a logical avenue to pursue.

Once I had helped my colleague finally finish his book (which had been sat on his hard drive for a few years) – I went and joined his team, and together we helped over a dozen busy business owners get their books published! (Not to mention Ed himself writing and publishing 2 further books in quick succession)

Prior to joining Ed Rivis’ team in March 2010, I was second in command for a prominent UK based company which primarily used paperback books for front-end sales lead generation. I therefore have many years of hands-on experience laying out and typesetting books, and have developed a way to ‘coax the content’ out of my clients minds and into their books, in a gentle yet firm way.

Ed Rivis, my colleague generously attributes my coaching skills with the fact he successfully authored and published three books in three years, two of which have since gone on to achieve a highly-coveted Amazon 5-star rating.

“If it hadn’t been for Alexa coaching me, I know for a fact I would never have got my first book finished and in print. I started properly writing The Ultimate Web Marketing Strategy in 2005. As with so many ‘authors in waiting’, my book sat unfinished on my hard drive for more than two and a half years until I finally decided to get a book coach.

I already knew Alexa after I attended what was billed as “The World’s Most Expensive Marketing Seminar” (£35,000 for 5 days in Brighton in 2003). Alexa was one of the organisers. So I already knew that she was not only very experienced in the publishing process, but also at that event I got to know her on a personal level and knew she was someone I could work with to finally get “that damn book” (as I had started to call it) finished.

Within a few months Alexa coached me (or in some cases ‘coaxed and cajoled me’) into finally finishing off my book. She also organised the design and layout and printing, and made the whole process so easy that I since decided to release another two books – which were a lot easier and quicker to write and publish, in part because I made sure Alexa was coaching me right from the beginning.

Becoming a published author changed my life, and I can’t recommend it enough to any professional services business owner, or anyone looking to differentiate and raise themselves and their personal brand way above their competitors.

For this reason I decided to add a publishing operation to my range of marketing services for business owners, and Alexa was the obvious person to run it.

Anyone who gets to work with Alexa on a one to one basis will discover she’s an amazing, warm and friendly person, and has an extraordinary ability to pull the very best out of everyone she works with.

When I’m not helping clients, I like to spend time with my son Oliver, travel the world and drink decent red wine with friends.

Danielle – Editor and Proof Reader

Danielle-1bwI am a London based editor and decided to set the company up after being disappointed by the quality of some self-published books I’d read. I felt sad for the writers too. Although their books were obviously interesting and well thought out (otherwise I wouldn’t have bought them in the first place), they were let down by their lack of readability.

My aim is therefore simple; to make sure that your book is the very best it can be, and not to leave your readers feeling disappointed.

I wanted to become a professional writer as soon as I learned how to put pen to paper and create sentences. After graduating from Lancaster University with a BA(Hons)in Philosophy, I completed an intensive postgraduate course in journalism.

My first job was Junior Reporter with the Hackney Gazette in East London. I later settled in Crystal Palace, south-east London, and in the decade since then, I have focused on writing and editing features, mainly on a freelance basis, for a variety of national newspapers and magazines, including: The Guardian, the Daily Mirror, Prima, Best, Woman, Chat and Chat it’s fate. See my portfolio for examples of my published work.

I write in a variety of different styles and on many different subjects, including world news, travel, crime, health, spirituality and relationships. I also have experience of creative writing and write fiction in my spare time.

Case Study – Tim Wareing, author of Toddler Soccer

“Hi, I’m Tim Wareing, author of Toddler Soccer. I have been coaching soccer for over 15 years now and I am a UEFA licensed Soccer coach. I started my business 5 years ago, and introduced Toddler Soccer into the programme about 3 or 4 years ago. The interest that we have had from that, both locally, and further afield, has been astounding to say the least.

Initially when I started the programme my first point of call was Google, and the internet to try and figure out what information there was out there, in regards to a Toddler Soccer and a games programme, and there was very little out there. So I thought to myself, hang on, there is a really good market here. So I got together with a group of other talented coaches and designed a soccer programme, and from there on in, I thought, you know what, there is defiantly scope here to bring out a book as well, and share this information that we have put together as a result of our collaboration.

As I was thinking of the book idea, I already had an on-line coaching resource website that was available for other coaches, and that was something I had been working on for a good couple of years, so all the games I had put together for Toddler Soccer, were already available on line, and what I wanted to do was to incorporate what we already had, into a book format. So not really knowing where to start, or how to go about doing that, I got in touch with Alexa in October 2009. At this stage it really was a concept of web-pages on line, and the idea of getting it into book format, but I didn’t really have a clue as to where to start.

Alexa and I then worked together – from the original brief of what I had, to the idea of what I wanted and it very quickly started to take shape, with Alexa guiding me each step. I may be a coach in Soccer, but I had no idea the complexities of putting together a book, and that was with most of the material already written!

When I first got in touch with Alexa, it took a good number of calls, and a few weeks to come up with the idea and general feel for the book. Plus of course all of the legal parts that a book requires – in fact I didn’t even realise there was any legal requirements to a book, so knowing that at the beginning of the process was a huge help – and didn’t cause any delays at the end of the project. For instance, if you want to sell your book on Amazon, then you must obtain an ISBN number – and that in itself can take up to 10 days to process, plus, you can’t just buy one of them either, you have to buy in blocks of 10 – at great expense, so I was delighted that Alexa was able to take care of that for me!

Also, in terms of general content, although the main body of the book were exercises that me and my other coaches had come up with, it desperately needed an introduction – and what I wrote (which to me sounded fantastic!) was in fact all wrong. Alexa kindly, but objectively pointed out that it was all about ‘ME’ and not about the reader – and how much use they would get out of the book, so it had to be re-written (in fact Alexa helped me with this, as I did find it difficult) – but I’m so pleased I did, otherwise it wouldn’t have resulted in what I have now, as it brought the book together and then resulted in a much more professional piece.

Now I consider myself a very motivated person, and I did have a print date in mind, so even though I was confident that I could reach this ‘end point’ the fact that I had Alexa on board as my coach, made me think of it like a soccer coach on the sidelines of a soccer pitch. She was there as a Leader, a guide, she was someone in which I had to have accountability with, and we formed a goal. All of this of course leading to the end result, the end product, and for me, Alexa did this off the pitch as well.

What was so nice about having Alexa as a coach, was that I was able to get in touch with her whenever I needed too (in fact, sometimes it felt like 24/7, I was embarrassed sometimes with if I got something in my head, and I sent an email to her, at silly o’clock, or got on the phone with her, she was always there!) It was just really reassuring that knowing the fact that she was there every step of the way, and that I wasn’t doing this on my own. Any little minor fact, Alexa was able to give guidance.

Sometimes, when you run your own business, you can be ‘in it’ too much, and this in terms of book content, will probably encourage you to try and fit in as much as possible. I know with my book, I had lots of pictures – not only of the games themselves, but throughout the book as well, and even though I wanted every one I had, this was not possible. Having an experienced coach like Alexa, was invaluable at this stage too, as she was able to give her totally objective opinion of which pictures worked best, and which ones to get rid of. And I think, there is no one who would have been able to give a better unbiased opinion. This is critical in producing a continuous – readable book, and although it might seem disappointing, as each and every picture is a ‘must’ I understood and took on board Alexa’s expertise, and got rid of the ones that just didn’t serve their purpose.

This obviously was the same for the written text too. I knew what I was talking about, so the natural assumption is that everyone else will too – but that is a bad mistake! There were times when Alexa and I would go through some pages of writing, and we would have to edit it quite carefully, so that is made sense to the reader – the most important thing to keep in mind throughout the whole process, but at the same time, so easily forgotten.

So to achieve great results, like what we’ve seen and because Alexa makes it so easy, with the step by step approach, you don’t feel so alone. Knowing that you’re working with an expert in the book field, takes all the worry, and the stress of all the nitty gritty things you need in place to get a book not only printed, but written and laid out, off my shoulders, and it freed me up to get on with adding more content, and getting the end product strategy in place.

Anyone writing their own book, will know their product, or brand really well, but they don’t know the ways of how to get the book to a physical product. Having a book coach, takes all of that pressure off, and suddenly the dream, or reports, or like in my case, the web-pages on line, suddenly became a printed tangible product with the minimum amount of effort.

In terms of what becoming an author has done for me, well – it’s really made me an expert in my field. It has propelled me higher than anything I have ever done, and since publishing the book in Feb of 2010 – it’s been sold in over 18 different countries. It puts you in the forefront of your industry and it’s opened up interviews on the BBC radio, newspaper articles, so in terms of not just a book, but also my whole business, it’s just really strengthened who I am, and what I stand for.

“Basically you turned my dream into reality by getting the book out there.”

Click here to enquire about working one to one with Alexa Whitten as your book coach, or call us on 02392 378625 and ask for an initial free consultation with Alexa to discuss your book project in more detail.