Your Publishing Dreams Begin Here – Meet Your New Book Coach
Why Isn’t It Working?
You’ve read all the craft books.
Your Google history is littered with searches like, “How do I get published?”
Podcasters and bloggers explain how they land agents or launch to thousands of raving fans, but all you get is crickets when you try it.
Your significant other won’t tell you the truth. Your mom says she loves your writing. And deep down inside, you don’t want to face reality—your manuscript is broken, and you don’t know how to fix it.
Beta readers give you feedback, but it’s mostly opinion which varies from person to person. Agents don’t even respond to your queries, let alone explain why they’re passing on your project.
Maybe you’ve done your best, but it’s time to get “practical” or to be “responsible.” Maybe it’s time to give up on your dream.
Or maybe you haven’t found the right book coach. Until now…
The Service That Will Change Your Life Forever
You know how to tell a story. You’ve got the “writer’s gene.” But your lack of experience about how the publishing industry works is holding you back.
Editors are crucial. 100% necessary. But having your manuscript professionally edited isn’t enough. What you really need is someone who can bridge the gap between the storytelling and the marketing.
You need a book coach.
What does a book coach do? Great question.
A book coach is someone who can tell you why agents ask for a partial and then ghost you. A book coach can help you revise your manuscript to the point that publishers will be bidding for the right to own the rights.
As with most things in life, the more you do something, the better you get at it.
Imagine a book coach with 23 years’ experience as both a book coach and a ghostwriter. Someone able to turn mediocre manuscripts into 6-figure advances.
That someone is J.D. Barker.
Trusted By Industry Heavy-Hitters
Hit the New York Times bestseller list six times as a ghostwriter.
Trusted with the legend of Dracula by Bram Stoker’s estate to co-write DRACUL with Dacre Stoker.
Received Stephen King’s blessing to use one of his characters in FORSAKEN.
Earned a blurb on THE FOURTH MONKEY from James Patterson and followed that with a co-written novel (with more on the way) which became an instant New York Times Bestseller - hitting the list at number 2.
You can spend all day Googling book coaches, but you won’t find one as qualified and successful as J.D. Barker.
Barker has spent more than two decades working with authors, agents, and editors, so he knows what sells in the publishing industry—and what doesn’t.
So how does one sell a book in the publishing industry?
Simple Mistakes That Will Burn Your Author Career To The Ground
You need a manuscript that is a 5-star read.
Agents are busy. Whether it’s an administrative assistant or the agent, most slush pile manuscripts get shuffled into the garbage can within seconds.
In other words, agents want a manuscript they can sell today. That means the book shouldn’t leave your desk until it’s been polished, perfected, and primped.
If you complete a novel and send it to agents with mistakes—even simple ones, agents will blacklist you. Those bridges will be burned, doors slammed.
The next time they see your email address in their inbox, they’ll hit the delete key without a second thought. Yes, this world can be that cold.
Don’t despair. This sounds daunting, but the good news is that most books can be fixed. If you have the right book coach working on it with you.
Secrets Of The Trade From A Successful Book Coach
J.D. can guide you through the process, chapter by chapter.
Whether you’re looking for an agent or planning on self-publishing your novel, it must be perfect.
Barker will help you address some of the most common problems that get most manuscripts rejected by agents or readers browsing Amazon: passive voice, showing versus telling, information dumps, and pacing.
How Much Time And Money Can You Afford To Lose?
Without a book coach, you’re wasting precious time and money.
Your Ticket To Success Awaits
Maybe it’s time to put your limited resources to work and get that publishing deal you’ve always dreamed about.
Whether it’s help with your query letter, optimizing your Amazon page, 1-on-1 book coaching, or an overhaul of your manuscript, J.D. is ready to help you achieve your dream and cross that novel off your bucket list.
With the right book coach and a plan for success, there will be nothing stopping you.
What Authors Are Saying About J. D. Barker
"J.D.’s commentaries and suggestions were direct and to the point. Through his mentorship, our novel improved exponentially, and in the process, we substantially refined our writing skills...Working with J.D. was an experience we will treasure forever, and dearly hope to repeat in the future. We are forever indebted to him for his support and friendship."
V. & D. Povall authors of ASCENSION – KELAHYA UNBOUND (The Perils of a Reluctant Psychic series)
“J.D. is masterful in his critique and editing style. After reviewing my manuscript, he knew exactly what I needed and helped me transform my story into a book that finally sings! With J.D.'s help, my manuscript is now at the next level, my agent is smiling and I am a better writer.”
“It's hard to express how great J.D. has been in helping the evolution of my manuscript into a much stronger book. He's a pleasure to work with and has an exceptional understanding of how to structure a novel and words. It's very kind of him to share his insight, and I feel fortunate that he took time out of his own busy writing schedule to help me improve my work. His generosity of spirit and effectiveness of critique are golden.”
“J.D. Barker’s mentoring program is the ultimate graduate study for writers. The “assignments” are challenging, sometimes frustrating, always powerful. I find myself working harder in this program than I did in my doctoral or even post-doc courses. J.D. gives straight, hard-hitting assessments of both glaring and subtle issues in my story, and he shows me how to make the necessary changes. J.D. is the perfect mentor—he’s brilliant, generous, and kind. My only regret is that I didn’t start working with him years ago.”
Jessica H. Stone
Your Future Self Will Thank You
Everything in those craft books suddenly makes sense.
You don’t need to scroll through millions of Google searches on, “How to get published?”
Information on blogs and podcasts click in a way it didn’t before. Things are making sense.
You sign with an agent who’s excited to represent your project in New York and Hollywood.
You keep writing. You’re living the dream.
Don’t miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Hire your new book coach today.
Book Coaching Services
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a writing coach?
A writing coach’s job is to make sure your manuscript is ready for representation or publication. It is not the same as editing. A writing coach (or book coach) is someone with the experience and knowledge to help you avoid the most common mistakes made by authors in the publishing industry.
What does a book coach do?
A book coach works with an author to make sure the story is a 5-star read before anyone else ever sees it. Sessions might include chapter revisions, strategy talks, work on a query letter, or all of the above.
How do I find a writing coach?
You could use Google. But beware. Anyone can call themselves a writing coach. Has that person reached the level of success you want to achieve? If not, consider finding one who has—someone with the experience to help take you where you want to go.
Can you guarantee me a multi-book, 6-figure book deal?
Absolutely not. And run the other way if anyone promises you that. If you’re willing to put in the time and work, your manuscript will be attractive to agents and easy for them to sell to publishers. But only if you do the work, and sometimes, that work includes a complete tear-down of your manuscript.
Why are you offering this service to writers?
I miss helping authors succeed. I want to find those special people who have the storyteller gene. Successful authors don’t take this journey alone. I didn’t, and you don’t have to either. Several well-known authors have helped me build a career as a full-time author, and I want to pay it forward by helping you.
How will you be able to help me with my manuscript?
This is probably a result of my Asperger syndrome, but I dissected the industry and learned exactly what worked and what didn’t. I found cyclical patterns. I made a conscious effort to incorporate all of it into my work. That’s when I wrote FORSAKEN. That book was taking off when my second book (THE FOURTH MONKEY) sold in a crazy series of pre-empts and auctions, film and TV rights…things got really nutty after that, and I haven’t looked back.
If I want to self-publish, can you still help me?
I’m not opposed to self-publishing. If you’ve ever heard me speak, you know I’ve done quite well going that route. If self-publishing is going to be your Plan B, it needs to be a Plan B for the right reasons. If the industry has turned down your book because it’s riddled with errors, or passive voice, bad formatting, or poor storytelling, do you think readers will view it differently? Sure, you can put it out there, and your friends and family will give it some good reviews, but what happens when a stranger finds it? What happens when that stranger is honest about what they just read in a review?
The answer is simple—nobody will buy the book, your ranking will plummet, and all that work you put into it will be for nothing. I’ve seen this happen more times than I can count, and it could have been avoided had the author taken the time to seek out help and fix their story before publishing it.
How did you learn all of this?
Back in college, I wrote for some newspapers and magazines, and when you work in that world, you quickly realize everyone’s got a half-finished novel tucked away in a desk drawer—something they’d been working on for ten years. I helped several authors with these forgotten projects.
At first, all I did was copyedit, but then I started digging in a little deeper.
“You know, you could combine these characters. Your protagonist doesn’t seem real, give her a cat, a sick grandmother, make her human. Move this chapter to here, cut this part. This is too linear, have you considered shuffling the story into two timelines that meet in the book’s climax?”
Some of those books got published. More importantly, it put me on the radar of many agents and editors (because they were selling and buying those books). I started getting calls from them. When you’re successful at that sort of thing, word spreads.
During those book doctor years, I saw patterns in what agents were selling, editors were buying, and readers were reading. I got a peek behind the curtain and figured out exactly what it takes to make a career out of writing.
Can’t I eventually learn all of this on my own?
Part of the problem with writing is that it is a solitary pursuit. I’ve known authors who wrote multiple books without sharing them with anyone. There is nothing wrong with that. If writing is just a creative outlet for you and you have no intention of ever trying to sell your work, write away. Fill up your hard-drive. It’s cathartic.
However, if your ultimate goal is to make a living as an author, can you do it alone? Over time you might figure out your strengths and weaknesses, pour through a hundred books on craft, and maybe find ways to improve. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, right?
But does that make sense? If your car starts making a weird noise, are you going to take the engine apart and try and fix it on your own, or are you more likely to take it to a professional, someone who might hear that noise and know precisely how to fix it?
I’m that professional. I’ll help you fix it.