So You Want to Hire A Ghostwriter?

STSCoverWEBIs there a book inside of you screaming to get out? I believe every person has an interesting tale to tell, but since we’re all blessed with different gifts and abilities, not everyone can effectively write their story in a way that will sell books and entertain readers. That’s what I love the most about my work: the ability to help others bring their concept to life through the written word, whether a memoir, guide book, or historical fiction novel.

So what is ghostwriting?

Like editing (a service I also provide), ghostwriting requires an eye for detail and consistency, a grasp of the English language, and a commitment to maintaining the author’s (my client’s) voice. However, ghostwriting demands much more. In many cases I’m starting with nothing more than another person’s concept, which requires hours of brainstorming and collaboration to distill it into a workable plot with compelling characters. Although I’ve also dealt with clients who have taken the time to create an outline (thus providing at least a good starting point), I’ve learned that in order for any project to succeed, the following factors are necessary:

  • At least 80% buy-in on my part as to the client’s message, goals, and motivation for writing the book.
  • Willingness to spend time with the client via phone or in person whenever possible, to facilitate my ability to write in their voice.
  • Mutual respect between the client and me for the project (honoring deadlines, agreed-upon phone calls or meetings, etc).
  • An understanding on my part that it’s my responsibility to make suggestions for improvement based on professional experience but that the client still has the final say.
  • An acceptance of constructive criticism and disagreement (never taking anything personally).
  • The necessity of having a basic respect for the client and what he/she is trying to accomplish through the project (see 80% buy-in above). I don’t have to become good friends with them, but I do need a certain amount of passion for the project because with writing, if your heart isn’t in it, it will definitely affect the quality of work.
  • The seemingly paradoxical ability to remain detached from the project, while simultaneously pouring my heart and soul into it.
  • Flexibility throughout the entire project because the creative process is fluid, particularly when dealing with another person’s concept.
  • Willingness to conduct hours of research (depending upon the scope of the project).
  • A shared sense of urgency (when I write my proposals, I always cite a completion date of 3-4 months after the start date, depending on the scope of the project).

FACEBOOK PROFILE-600x600 copyWhen I agree to provide ghostwriting services, I know I am dedicating a minimum of 100 hours of my time for a 200-300 page book, whether fiction or nonfiction. And my time is valuable. I’ve spent countless years developing my writing and communications skills (including Writestream and social media marketing), which means every client that hires me gets my very best. My proposals not only include ghostwriting (or editing, in the case of a book that a client has already written) but also:

  • Formatting for paperback and Kindle versions (different formatting is required for each);
  • Management of the self-publishing process (from formatting to uploading);
  • Assistance with obtaining ISBN numbers (a different one is required for paperback and Kindle, even though it’s the same book);
  • Consultation with my trusted graphic designer Kia Heavey;
  • Set-up of a Word Press site and desired social media platforms;
  • Social media training;
  • Social media management (e.g. if the client doesn’t have the time to do their own marketing on a daily basis);
  • An interview on all appropriate Writestream programs (depending on the book’s content).

While most experienced ghostwriters charge a minimum of $8,000 just to write a 100-300 page book, this price does not include the services listed above. In my effort to provide comprehensive services at a reasonable cost to as many people as possible, my rates typically begin at $5,000, depending on the project. Although many ghostwriters charge an hourly rate that usually starts at $50.00, I prefer to set an agreed-upon project price at the outset, which is why I offer a 30-minute free consultation with the prospect, then carefully arrive at a project price based on estimated hours required for completion. Setting a project price avoids any perception on the client’s part of being “nickled and dimed to death” and simplifies the payment process. I offer a 10% discount on the overall project price should the client choose to pay for everything in advance.

Regardless of the fee for any given project (unless the client chooses advance payment with a 10% discount), I require a 50% advance to start working, with the balance due when all work outlined in the proposal is completed and approved.

BookStackIn terms of book credit, I never demand that my name appear on the book cover, but I do ask every client for a reference. While I’m honored to have my name appear on the book in an “as told to” or “with” capacity, it’s not required. Still, as is the case with a prospect I am currently negotiating with, I’m definitely open to the opportunity. 😉

Whether you hire me to ghostwrite or edit your book, I include the social media services bulleted above because as an independent author, leveraging the power of social media is a necessity if your goal is to connect with your readers and sell copies. However, if your goal is simply to write and publish a book to share with family and friends, I can also quote a project price limited to those services, with the option of hiring me at a future date to set-up and/or manage social media accounts.

So, is there a book inside of you screaming to get out? Contact me here and let’s get started!

UPDATE: In my original post, I’d included the photo image of the front cover of A Snobby Girl’s Guide to Dealing with Cancer, in an effort to highlight the design skills of Kia Heavey and my involvement in the project as an editor, and independent publishing/social media consultant. It has come to my attention that the inclusion of this cover in a post dedicated to ghostwriting suggests that I ghostwrote the book, which is not true. This highly recommended memoir/journal/guide was written by cancer survivor Maureen Miles Bucci. My apologies for any confusion.

 

 

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Author Franco Antonetti joins Writestream Tuesday on January 13 – UPDATED with Archive

UPDATE: Missed it live? Click below to listen.

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Antonetti1Looking for a little inspiration to get your year off to a fabulous start? Tune in to Writestream Tuesday on January 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern when I welcome author Franco Antonetti to the show to talk about his memoir, I Wouldn’t Die:

This unusual autobiography begins with me looking back on my early life and wondering how it is possible that I lived to see my first birthday.This is my life lived to the fullest,and for some reason I simply wouldn’t die.From the first sentence to the last you will wonder just as I,how and why miracle occur.My story and life experiences is about miracles.

I was born during war torn Rome,and believe me,my near death experiences were not from me attempting daring events, just unusual circumstances that for some reason,I was allowed to live through them. As reviews have stated repeatedly,”A must read for many.”

A few years ago, I interviewed Franco’s equally inspiring daughter Amilya Antonetti for the Parasol Power Chat. If you missed it, click below to listen.

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It’s easy to see where Amilya gets her work ethic, positivity, and drive. From what I’ve read about her father, Franco Antonetti, our Writestream interview will be one you won’t want to miss. Questions or comments during the live show? Call in at (347) 945-7246. You can also use that number to listen by phone. Or to listen via your computer, just click on this link to Writestream Tuesday with Franco Antonetti at 1 p.m. Eastern on January 13. To purchase Franco Antonetti’s memoir I Wouldn’t Die, click on his Amazon page.

 

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Writestream Tuesday with author Susyn Blair-Hunt and the Right Wing Riot

Several weeks ago, the beautiful Lisa Tarves hosted psychic, astrologer and author Susyn Blair-Hunt on Just Believe, where she offered free readings to listeners. If you missed Just Believe with Lisa Tarves and Susyn Blair-Hunt, click to listen.

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As Lisa’s call screener during these broadcasts, I have the opportunity to listen in. I was very intrigued and impressed by Susyn’s abilities, and the way she interacted with every caller seeking answers.  And since she’s also written a book entitled Tarot Prediction & Divination: Unveiling the Three Layers of Meaning, I decided to invite her onto Writestream Tuesday. During this interview on September 9 at 1 p.m. Eastern, there will be NO live readings; the exclusive focus will be on Susyn – her background, career, book, and knowledge of the metaphysical. I also plan to ask her to clarify the many misconceptions and stereotypes about psychics and psychic ability.

If listeners would like to call in to ask questions about the psychic profession, we welcome them to do so at (347) 945-7246. The chat room will also be open.

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In the second hour, The Luminaries of Liberty – Scary Smart, Ms. Always Right and The Prince of Whitebread – ignite the Right Wing Riot, their unique brand of Public Service Satire on the current political and cultural issues facing our country.  Will Aunt Scary Smart read a fairy tale to Pajama Boy? You’ll have to tune in to find out! 😉

Join us for Writestream Tuesday with author Susyn Blair-Hunt and the Right Wing Riot at 1 p.m. Eastern on September 9. 

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A Snobby Girl’s Guide to Dealing with Cancer – Coming in September

I’m in the process of editing, formatting and taking another client’s book through the independent publishing process. As you probably surmised by the title, A Snobby Girl’s Guide to Dealing with Cancer is a sobering memoir of one woman’s battle with ovarian cancer. Intended mainly as a guide for other women coping with the devastating consequences and side-effects of the fight against this menacing adversary, it’s a brutally honest take on a very difficult subject.

Author Maureen Bucci delves deeply into her own experiences not only with chemotherapy and radiation, but also the lesser-known facts of cancer treatment — from the loss of what you once perceived as “true” friendships, to the physical pain involved in hair loss. While she pulls no punches, Maureen also offers practical advice and inspiration for both patients and their devoted care-givers.

Since September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, we’re releasing it in the next few weeks. The multi-talented Kia Heavey is in the process of designing Maureen’s logo and book cover, which will be incorporated into her Facebook Page, Twitter account and blog very soon.

Stay tuned for details!

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