From The Guardian:
“Are book doulas a thing?” asks a writer I know. “I’d love to get one.”
Book doulas are a thing, because where there is a need, there is a service. Traditionally, they were non-medically trained professionals who cared for the emotional wellbeing of women in labour. These days, doulas are used in many other contexts where you may need someone to ease you through a process and provide emotional support, for instance abortion, divorce, death – and, now, for writing books.
Distinguishing themselves from agents and editors, book doulas offer a sort of coaching service, a kind eye to reassure nervous authors who are having trouble getting their book published. Ariane Conrad, who calls herself an “editorial coach and consultant, AKA book doula”, refers to her services as “bookbirthing”.
“I take my time getting to know you, your project and your voice. I listen and focus deeply. Committing your ideas, experiences or life’s work to writing can be intimidating. I will reassure you,” writes Ariane on her website, in the warm and fuzzy tone common to many birth doulas.
Editor, writing coach and book doula Ali Lawrence says the service involves: “Meeting my clients where they are most vulnerable – needing guidance, support, encouragement, empowerment, accountability – and helping them to achieve their book goals.”
Lawrence, who says the term “really resonates for me when thinking of the creative process of book writing”, stresses: “I’m not a publisher, I’m not an agent. I’m a partner in reaching your book goals.”
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But is it all marketing rubbish? When I describe book doulas to other writers, most take issue with the basic analogy. As a mother and writer myself, I agree that giving birth is most definitely more painful than producing a book.
Link to the rest at The Guardian