How it works:

With Ballast Books’ Six-Month Manuscript program, you will be matched with one of our expert author coaches based on genre, book subject, and personality. Your coach—and the entire Ballast Books team—will guide you through the writing process until you’ve completed your manuscript.

And our services don’t stop there. Once your manuscript is complete, if you need it, we can assist with editing, designing, publishing, distributing, and marketing/PR as well. Ballast Books is a full-service hybrid publisher.

But first you need to write the book. Our work will begin right away. Start by filling out our author questionnaire and scheduling an onboarding call with your coach. We’ll then create a customized writing plan outlining specific timelines and benchmarks to keep you on track. Once this detailed roadmap is laid out, the fun begins: writing!

As you write—adhering to a word count goal set with your author coach—you’ll receive constant support, guidance, and feedback. Your coach will answer questions and offer suggestions along the way. Twice per month, you’ll have regularly scheduled calls to review your progress. During those conversations, your coach will have critiques, compliments, and yes—criticism. Most importantly, they’ll provide suggestions and solutions to help you move the manuscript along and meet each benchmark set out in your writing plan. Finally, one glorious day approximately six months later, you’ll have a completed manuscript! (Don’t worry if it takes longer—we’re happy to extend your coaching engagement.)

Go ahead—take that first step. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

What you get with Six-Month Manuscript:

  • A structured plan for writing a complete, full-length manuscript of any genre: memoir, self-help, business, novel, etc.
  • Onboarding and ramp up (see below)
  • Semimonthly calls to review progress and answer questions
  • Monthly written critiques
  • Monthly tutorials on different parts of the writing and publishing process
  • On-demand support

Ramp Up:

  • First, we’ll review your story, goals, and schedule.
  • Then, we’ll create an outline and/or table of contents together.
  • Next, we’ll create a custom writing calendar and timeline—with deadlines—to hold you accountable.
  • Finally, by the end of month one, writing will begin.*
  • If you have already started writing, no problem. We will begin where you left off.


  • The Six-Month Manuscript program is $599 a month, billed monthly, plus an initial $599 onboarding fee, with no commitment. If life gets in the way (it happens), cancel at any time and keep all work completed.


Q: What type of editing comes with the Six-Month Manuscript program?
A: The Six-Month Manuscript plan does not include full edits, proofreading, or rewrites. We will make sentence structure/story flow recommendations and point out obvious mistakes.

Q: What if I already have a draft or partial draft?
A: We can tailor your writing plan to help you complete and polish an existing manuscript.

Q: What types of books do you specialize in?
A: All genres are welcome. Our author coaches have expertise in business nonfiction; memoirs; self-help; inspirational tales; and even fiction. If you can imagine it, we can help you write it.

Q: What if my manuscript takes longer than six months?
A: You can stay on the monthly plan for as long as it takes. When we create your initial writing plan, we’ll structure it for a six-month completion. If you fall behind on your writing or your grand ambitions mean it will take longer to write, we’ll build out a longer plan.

Q: Can I pause my Six-Month Manuscript plan?
A: We strongly encourage you not to. Both you and your coach will get into a routine and rhythm, and if that is broken, momentum will be lost. However, if stopping work is unavoidable, you can pause your plan and pick back up when you’re ready.

Q: Can I pick my author coach?
A: We work hard to select a coach that is the right fit for each author and project. Because our coaches often are writing their own books and have other projects on the side, we have to be mindful of availability. If for some reason you are not inspired by your coach, we will find you one who does inspire you.

Q: How much access do I have to my coach?
A: We don’t restrict access. You are able to email questions and send partial drafts for feedback at any time. Plus, you’ll be receiving proactive support and suggestions each week. We do limit calls to the regularly scheduled hour-long meetings.


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