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I coach aspiring authors from nontraditional or nonlinear careers who want to impact mainstream audiences, expand their influence, or advance their credibility in their field or brand by publishing memoir or nonfiction.

Have you always wanted to write a book? Are you creative, accomplished, know you have something to say, but intimidated by where to start and how to stay focused?


My secret superpowers are pattern-finding and sense-making. I will break the big goals and tasks 
into manageable pieces so you don’t get overwhelmed. I will guide you to making the decisions you need to make. I am confident you can write a book, and I will coach you to be more confident too. 


Let’s do this.

  • Memoir has a clear story arc, a specific time frame, and a transformation of the protagonist that illustrates universal messages.

    • An example of memoir is Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb. She tells her personal story through the lenses of being both a therapist and a therapy client. What makes her personal story so interesting is not what happened to her (she was dumped and had a hard time getting over it), but how she analyzes her life through her personal and professional lenses. Because of those perspectives, she learns how to move beyond where she was stuck. Her story is told through that structure.

  • Nonfiction (narrative or prescriptive/how-to/self-help) has a clear idea or message, a mix of research and data, stories and advice, and a transformation of the reader.

    • ​Two examples of prescriptive nonfiction are: a book about how to increase your happiness by moving beyond perceived constraints (Limitless) and practical strategies for healing (Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief). The how-to information is conveyed through structural elements that share personal stories, provide evidence, and/or offer techniques or strategies for the reader.

What's all this about structure?

  • Structure is a good thing! It provides margins for us to play in. It gives us frontiers to explore. It helps us find our way from beginning to end. It gives us a map and a territory; it gives us purpose and process.

  • As your book coach, I rely on structure to guide you and to teach you, so that you can develop a structure to serve your reader.

  • Structure is meaningful organization of words and ideas. I’m sure that you, as a reader, know what it feels like when you have confidence the author is taking you on a journey, and you trust you will get to the end in a satisfying way.

  • As a writer, you need to establish that trust with your readers. Once we figure out where you’re starting from and where you’re going, there will be a payoff for your reader who goes with you on that journey.

  • If you know you want to write and publish a memoir or a nonfiction book, and you know you want structure, feedback, and accountability to get there, I will help you achieve your goals.

Why would you hire a book coach who is an anthropologist?

  • Because anthropologists study how people make meaning out of the world. And in books, information is not meaningful or understandable unless it is structured to benefit readers. As an anthropologist in the field of information architecture, I know how the structure of information is critical for it to be understandable.

  • As your book coach, I am your anthropologist, developmental editor, and project manager rolled into one.

    • I will make sure your content holds together, that the people you are writing about are three-dimensional, and your story and pacing work.

    • I will keep your project on track with goals, milestones and accountability, and help prevent problems with advance planning.

    • I will help you shape your story to have a point and a structure that conveys your meaning to your readers. 

I have 23+ years of professional experience as a writer, researcher, teacher, coach, mentor, editor and published author. 

  • I will give you efficient processes for getting started, staying focused, and keeping you on track to a solid book proposal through planning, structure, deadlines, motivation, constructive feedback, and accountability.  

  • I will reduce the fear and self-doubt of writing. 

  • I can’t guarantee your book will make you rich, famous, get represented by an agent or get published, but I will help you get your best work out of you and get you on your path to publication.

What I know about writing and publishing books:

  • I know from experience how hard it is to get started writing and to stay motivated when you’re not sure where you’re going or if you’re on the right track.  

  • I know from experience how an objective editor-reader-market-oriented view of the work impacts the development of the book. It builds on strengths, addresses areas for improvement, and keeps the writer focused on achieving her goals.

  • I know from experience that 1:1 coaching is more efficient and goal-focused than writing groups and online classes.

  • There are proven methods and tools that make writing more efficient and pleasurable.

  • Most writers benefit from actionable help before starting or while writing a book (like getting career coaching when changing jobs or personal training to meet fitness goals), versus waiting until you think your manuscript is ready for an editor. 

  • Getting a book written and published is a process.

  • There is no better feeling than getting your book out into the world.

More about my background:

  • I am a (soon to be a certified) book coach, trained under Jennie Nash, a writer, book coach, and creator of Author Accelerator, the #1 book coach certification program. Now I get to help others write their best nonfiction and memoir books efficiently and achieve their publication goals.

  • I love solving problems by looking at and analyzing why people do the things they do, which is why I went into anthropology.

  • I have taught and coached anthropology and applied research, and edited academic and other publications.

  • Before anthropology, I worked at a textbook publishing company, in editorial, marketing, and sales. I loved books and wanted to be intimately involved in bringing them into the world. Funny how it comes full circle! 

  • I love reading. Just ask my cats Alfa & Romeo who join me when I curl up and read. I’ve averaged over 100 books a year since 2013 (according to my Goodreads!). Here are just a couple of favorite books I read in the past year:

    • Fiction

      • Copperhead by Alexi Zentner

      • Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

    • Nonfiction

      • Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby

      • Private Investigations: Mystery Writers on the Secrets, Riddles and Wonder in their Lives edited by Victoria Zackheim

    • Memoir

      • Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was A Girl by Jeannie Vanasco

      • What We Inherit: A Secret War and A Family’s Search For Answers by Jessica Pearce Rotondi  

I also do ethnographic and UX research-related work.

And I am working on two writing projects:

1) editing an anthology of essays on father-daughter relationships by new and diverse writers, and

2) writing a book about anxiety and liminality.

Amy Goldmacher, PhD


Book coach




By investing in research, the overall cost and risk of big failure is greatly reduced.

Research can be done at any point in the product development lifecycle, so whether you need to explore new markets, need business or strategy direction, or whether you need to measure, test or validate a concept or design, I can help.


I design and lead qualitative research projects from problem framing and planning to execution, analysis, synthesis, and delivery of actionable results.

I partner with individuals and teams to work as part of a broader project team, or I work individually to provide you with the results you need to make business decisions.


Based on the specific project objectives, methods may include:

  • Problem Framing

  • Ethnography

  • Observation

  • Interviewing

  • Contextual Inquiry

  • Focus Groups

  • Shopalongs

  • Stakeholder Mapping

  • Qualitative Usability Tests   

  • Qualitative Concept / Prototype Evaluations

  • Alternative Worlds / Analogous Research

Deliverables may include:​

  • Personas
  • Journey / Experience Maps
  • Insights
  • Recommendations
  • Prioritizations


I also provide custom teaching, training, facilitation, coaching and workshops on methods and best practices in qualitative and ethnographic research.



I've written about anthropological work and careers, and I am currently writing nonfiction. My publications include:

Just Published! A Tiny Love Story in the Modern Love Column of the New York Times.

Just Published! Five Ways My Nervous Breakdown Prepared Me For The Pandemic, a short essay in the literary online journal Please See Me.

Coming in November! Briller, Sherylyn H. and Amy Goldmacher (2020) Designing An Anthropology Career: Professional Development Exercises, Second Edition.

Goldmacher, Amy (2019) “Do You Do UX Research?”: Articulating User Experience Research and Its Value to Clients. NAPA Blog post:

Schensul, J. J., Crain, C., Solimeo, S. L., Goldmacher, A., Hoerig, K. A., Krieger, L., Briody, E. K. and Newberry, D. O. (2017) "Anthropology Works: A Home for Professional, Practicing, and Applied Anthropology." Anthropology News, 58: e139–e141. 

Goldmacher, Amy (2016) "Helping Faculty Prepare Students for the Job Market." Anthropology News. Ed. Karl Hoerig. 14 May 2016.

Santee, Amy L and Amy Goldmacher (2014) "Practicing Anthropology in the Private Sector." Theme Issue, Practicing Anthropology (36) 2.
Goldmacher, Amy (2012) "Anthropology for Innovation Opportunities." Anthropology News. Ed. Wendy Bartlo. 04 May 2012.
Goldmacher, Amy (2008) "Located Mobility: Living and Working in Multiple Places. In Mobile Work, Mobile Lives: Cultural Accounts of Lived Experiences." Tracy L. Meerwarth, Julia C. Gluesing, and Brigitte Jordan, eds. NAPA Bulletin 30. Pp.118-127.
Miller, Christine Z., Joerg Siebert, Julia C. Gluesing, and Amy Goldmacher (2008) "The Challenge of Partnerships in Complex Cultural Environments." In Briody, Elizabeth K.and Robert T. Trotter, II, eds. Partnering for Organizational Performance: Collaboration and Culture in the Global Workplace. New York: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Pp. 159-176.



Interactive Software Manager, Software Design Company

Amy really took our project to another level. We found that she took the time to understand the goals of our project and came through with an analysis that was far beyond our expectations. After 3 weeks of research, Amy was able to bring us an analysis that communicated her findings in a clear manner as well as how it all related to our creative deliverable. Her research provided us with key information that was critical to the end product and not to mention a great tool for client presentations. We look forward to working with Amy again down the line.

Project Manager,

Market Research Company

Dr. Amy Goldmacher helps clients create products that matter. Amy uses well-developed processes to understand the customer and then create meaningful products and services. I’ve worked with Amy on several projects across North America and China. Each time, I was impressed by the deep understanding she gained about the customer segment and the fact-based recommendations she delivered. The results from Amy’s work have a direct and valuable effect on product design, marketing communication and overall market strategy. Dr. Goldmacher’s results provide rich insights about the user experience and help companies WIN in their market spaces.

Business Anthropologist & Research Professor,

Industrial & Systems Engineering Department

Without doubt, she is an expert business and organizational anthropologist with experience in researching complex problems in large global companies. She has a talent for crossing disciplines. She has worked at evaluating the diffusion of new work processes, as a design anthropologist for companies such as IDEO, and as a teacher of business professionals. Amy's work is excellent and adds value to the workplace. And, she is fun to work with!


What people say,

what people do,

and what people say they do

are entirely different things.

Margaret Mead,
Renowned Anthropologist


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You may also contact me at info at amygoldmacher dot com.

Because the coach can see 

what you can't see.

Tony Robbins,
Renowned Coach
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© 2020 Amy Goldmacher. All rights reserved.