I’m Tina Alberino, also known by my fiction-focused pen name, Alin Walker. I’m a certified copyeditor with fifteen years of publishing experience. In addition to the work I do here, I am the executive editor of The Dread Machine.
A lot of writers struggle with discipline and stamina. They start their project with enough enthusiasm to finish an outline or a few chapters, but then the initial passion fades. The writer realizes composing a manuscript is hard. It’s actual work, and it’s more complicated than they initially realized. Soon, they’re avoiding their manuscript, finding excuses to be “too busy.” The draft sits in a drawer, gathering dust, never to be completed.
Many writers need structure, support, encouragement, and maybe a bit of mentorship. They need an educated project manager who can keep them organized, on-task, and moving forward, someone to hold them accountable to their dreams while helping them navigate the publishing industry.
That’s where I come in.
In addition to managing your project, a great book coach can help you recognize the obstacles standing in your way and teach you how to overcome them, accelerating your professional and technical education and advancing your career at a must faster pace than you’d likely be capable of achieving on your own. If this is something you’re interested in, keep reading.
1. You want to get things done. I leverage my strengths as a project manager, so you can expect to receive a plan and for me to hold you accountable for sticking to it.
2. You are willing to do the work. This can mean trashing pages, killing darlings, rewriting entire chapters, and overhauling characters.
3. You want to improve. As a certified copyeditor, I can help you refine your writing skills so you can start composing polished sentences.
4. You need more than empty platitudes. I’m a supportive motivator and a problem solver, not a cheerleader. You will never have to wonder if I’m yet another person taking your cash and telling you what you want to hear. I take my job seriously, and I respect my paying clients too much be anything other than truthful.
5. You are an experienced writer. Creating a manuscript is a long, arduous, collaborative process that can easily overwhelm new writers, so I don’t accept book coaching projects from beginners or hobbyists. (Instead, I highly recommend building your confidence, endurance, and experience with our critique and weekly check-in services!)
Create and foster a supportive environment where writers can explore new ideas and techniques.
Provide loving challenge that inspires writers to think deeply and craft their art with intent and authenticity.
Ensure projects progress to publication by creating a strategy and holding writers accountable to their dreams.
Encourage personal and professional growth with integrity and compassionate honesty.
To put it very simply, a book coach helps a writer become an author.
Coaches can be a lot of things to their clients. We each have different approaches, strategies, qualifications, and values, so none of us are exactly alike.
I’ve been a consultant for a very long time and learned early on that my clients and I prefer a more transparent, straightforward approach. Other coaches can’t explain their pricing or justify their costs by citing the “value” they’re delivering to you (which is nebulous and subjective, at best).
I charge $65 per hour, regardless of what I’m doing for you, and I require a $1,000/month minimum commitment from all book coaching clients.
I will never work beyond what your retainer covers, so you will never be surprised with unexpected expenses. You will receive a detailed invoice each month. Any leftover retainer will roll over to the next month.
I do work with beginners, just not on manuscript-length projects. Creating a book is a complex intellectual (and often very emotional) endeavor. It is hard, slow work.
Taking on a manuscript as your first serious writing project is like trying to scale Mount Everest without any prior training or education.
Can people successfully do it? Sure, but they’re the extreme exception to the rule.
If you’re new to writing and publishing, start with our critique and weekly check-in services, attend some workshops, take some courses, read a ton of books on craft, and master short fiction by securing a few pro-rate placements. (Learn how to collaborate with editors by getting published by a few literary magazines first!)
The coaching process often unfolds over a long period of time (anywhere from six months to several years), and coaches are not one-size-fits-all.
It’s important that I believe in the projects I work on and am compatible with my clients.
If your project doesn’t resonate with me and I’m not invested in it, I won’t be able to serve or support you the way you need and deserve. If your methods don’t mesh with mine, or if our personalities aren’t a natural fit, neither of us will be happy.
Don’t hire someone just because they’re willing to take your money; hire someone who loves your book as much as you do, preferably one you feel comfortable talking to and whose company you enjoy. If that person isn’t me, I will happily provide you with recommendations for colleagues who I know and trust.
As your book coach, I’ll create a detailed project strategy for your book—a strategy we’ll work through together until your manuscript is ready for publication. Though every project is different, you can expect deadlines, exercises, required reading, and weekly meetings. (You can also expect me to ask “Why?” a lot and to leave reaction GIFs in my editorial comments.)
There’s a popular saying in the publishing industry:
When an editor tells you what’s wrong with your book, they’re probably right. When an editor tells you how to fix your book, they’re probably wrong.
A lot of writers do not appreciate unsolicited plot advice, so I will keep my ideas to myself unless you specifically ask me to share them. Instead, I will identify the manuscript’s problems and help you figure out the best solution yourself.
Yes, but only if that’s something you’re interested in. I provide all active coaching clients with five pages of sample edits for free. If you wish for me to continue editing your manuscript, I work on retainer. Coaching clients can buy time in 4-hour blocks.