An Interview with Virginia Bailey Parker
How did you come to be a business book coach and speaker, and what makes you unique?
Over the course of my career, opportunities came along that led me on a path from teaching to writing, public speaking, and entrepreneurship. Along each step of the way, I developed new skills, creating a unique mix of expertise and accomplishments. My lifelong mission has been to make the best use of my talents by sharing my skills and insights to enrich the lives of others, and to make their journeys easier.
My first career ambition was fulfilled when I became a history teacher. Then, loving history and good historical fiction as I do, I envisioned a new dream—to become an author. That quest took me on a 20-year journey. I succeeded in publishing my novel, The Water’s Edge, which won two national awards.
I am highly motivated to help aspiring authors navigate their way through the book writing process because I know, first-hand, how challenging it is to become a writer. I use the wealth of knowledge I have accumulated as the author of three books, a columnist, freelance writer, and book reviewer to smooth the way for writers starting out.
Attending seminars is how many beginning writers start out. One of my great joys is speaking to audiences who share a mutual enthusiasm about business and writing. I’ve welcomed the opportunity to offer advice on these topics by speaking to business and community organizations, at universities and conferences across the state of Michigan, and at national conferences.
Clients and seminar attendees also benefit from my experience as an editor. I edited professional organizations’ publications, including the international award-winning Michigan Psychiatric Society Newsletter. I can show beginning writers how think not only as a writer, but to also develop some self-editing skills.
Authors writing their first book need guidance from the discovery phase through the writing and strategic planning process. My broad scope of experience makes it possible for me to provide that guidance. Over time, I have coached countless authors and edited their manuscripts, including the bestseller, Me, Myself, and Why? The Secrets to Navigating Change by business expert, Lisa Mininni.
Of utmost importance, all successful authors have discovered that writing is also a business. To this end as my own writing career evolved, I found myself traveling the road of entrepreneurship. As a business person in the publishing world, and as a consultant for companies in a wide variety of industries, I acquired essential insights. I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned with authors about the business side of writing and publishing because it increases their chances for success.
It is this successful blend of expert knowledge and skills—in writing, publishing, speaking, and business—that I draw on as a business book coach to help you write a book that makes a difference.
What kinds of resources do you offer to help me develop as a writer?
To help you achieve your individual writing goals, I have developed a wide range of tools, services, and programs.
- FREE and low-cost resources
- Virtual and on-site workshops
- Advanced level, customized business book coaching
- Articles e-books, and videos on a variety of business and writing topics.
- Business Book Writer Ezine with valuable tips, updates, and interviews with business and writing experts
- And more that will be announced over time!
When you are working as a book coach, what are the characteristics of your preferred client?
I work with a select group of seasoned business owners, consultants, and corporate executives who want to write books that will educate and inspire others.
- They want to share their valuable insights to help others following in their footsteps.
- They want to inspire others—to help them navigate through similar business and/or life challenges.
- They see unresolved, critical issues in society or the workplace, and they are in a position to raise awareness and start a meaningful discussion.
- They know that authorship of a worthwhile book will advance their careers.
- They have positive outlooks, are respectful of others, and are open to the editing process and suggestions of how to improve their work.
I have an affinity for books that inspire—books about succeeding in business, work/life balance, self-improvement skills, and coping with life’s challenges. I would not, for example, take on a client who is writing a scientific or technical book with highly specialized terminology. I also do not work with anyone whose book is blatant self-promotion, or who sees authorship as just a quick way to establish an air of credibility.
I think working with a business book coach might be right for me. What would the coaching relationship look like?
My goal is to coach you through the process so you can carry your book project to a successful completion. To accomplish this, I take a measured approach. At the end of each phase, we reach a Decision Point where we decide together if it is beneficial to move to the next phase. This step-by-step process makes it easy for you to know exactly what to do next.
Step 1. Explore: I help you to get crystal clear about the goals for your book.
Step 2. Align: I am highly selective, so the alignment portion allows us to mutually decide if we are a good writer/book-coach fit.
Step 3. Critique: I give you a preliminary critique of the outline or manuscript and my initial recommendations for ways to proceed.
Step 4. Coach: If we decide to move forward, we agree on a plan and a timetable based on the results you want. Ultimately, the coaching is highly customized to fit the needs and budget of each client.
NOTE: My services are those of a business book coach. I do NOT publish the books. I can, however, assist you with information and resources about publishing options.
What if I’m not ready to work with you as a writing coach or my funds are limited? Will I still find beneficial resources here?
Absolutely! We have lots of free and low-cost resources available to help you succeed as a writer. Sign up for the free Business Book Writer Ezine, and take advantage of all the free materials and videos. There are also reasonably priced virtual and on-site workshops that can meet your needs and fit your budget.
What types of authors have you previously coached?
I have coached both fiction and nonfiction authors who write:
- Business books
- Family histories
- Self-help books
For which industries have you provided writing and editorial services, book coaching, and/or business consulting?
I have provided writing and editing services, and coaching for a variety of authors, associations, and companies in diverse industries:
- Self-publishing authors
- Business women’s network
- Printing industry
- Fast-food franchises
- Medical services
- Medical association
- Engineering company
- Auto dealership
- Wine shop
- Granite company
- Historical associations
What do your clients and other professionals say about you as a speaker, writing coach, and author?
You can visit the website’s testimonials page to see how people feel about working with me, individually and in groups, on business and writing projects.
- Clients share how I have helped them to achieve their business or writing goals.
- Conference attendees give you a sense of how, as a speaker and workshop leader, I give high-content presentations that bring clarity to their works-in-progress.
- Book reviewers and readers praise my work as a writer and storyteller—a skill I can help you develop so you can use the power of story and storytelling to enrich your business or self-help book.
Click here for Testimonials
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So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Business Book Writer Ezine.