Alexa Whitten – Book Coach and Publisher

What is your specialism within book publishing? 

My specialism within book publishing is that I help aspiring writers write. Many business owners who are experts at what they do understand that writing a book is a really effective way of showcasing their expertise, but don’t know how to. So I help them. I’m able to extract their expertise and get them to write it down in the form of a book, which they then use to help get more clients. I also then produce the book for them, so they don’t have to. I have a sister company, compass-publishing, that then is able to publish the book for them. 


Can you describe what you do in 10 words or fewer?

I am an author maker. 


What led you to go freelance? 

I was made redundant twice in a row, and the last person I worked for was really sad to let me go. They helped me get my business set up, and told me it would be the best decision of my life. He was right. I haven’t looked back.


Do you work primarily for publishing companies or independent authors or a mix? 

I work for independent authors. (I don’t work for publishers.)


What’s the best part of doing what you do?

I love the lightbulb moment when business owners KNOW that they’ve got a book in them. I also love the reaction of my newly published authors when they get their first printed book in their hands.

Secondary to that is the freedom I have by being my own boss. I love that I can be flexible in my work hours and that I have a 20 second commute!


What do you know now that you wish you had known when you started your freelance journey? 



How many books are in your TBR (to be read) pile/list? And do you plan to read them all eventually? 

I have about 4 books (actual) on my to read pile. But I have about 20 others that are long standing ‘to read’ but just haven’t physically got them yet. (And yes, I do plan on reading them all!)


Do you prefer physical books or ebooks?

Physical books – don’t, won’t, hate ebooks. I love the feel of paper in my hands. I don’t want to have to ‘plug in’ my book. I just love paper books! Also I’m trying to boycott Amazon – so that’s Kindle off the list anyway!


Do you have any advice for anyone considering a career in publishing? 

If you want a career in publishing, do your research. Find out what your niche will be, and be really good at what you do. ​


What is your favourite children’s book and your favourite adult’s book? 

‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ series by Enid Blyton were my favourite (followed by Malory Towers) and my favourite adult book? Well, the one that I always think of when someone asks me that is ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ – it was so beautifully written and I still think of it, many, many years after reading it. ​

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