Independent Publishing and Managing Expectations

My latest blog post at Writestream Publishing:

In talking to clients and potential clients, invariably the following logical questions arise in one form or another:

  • Can I really make money from my book?
  • How much money can I earn from my book?
  • How long will it take to recoup my investment?
  • Can you guarantee book sales?

These are all perfectly acceptable and understandable inquiries; after all, if someone is considering hiring us in the form of one of our Publishing Packages or for Ghostwriting, they want to know if their outlay of hard-earned money will be worth it. While it’s gratifying to see your work in print, for most of us it’s not just about the accomplishment of producing a book; it’s about reaching your audience, connecting with your readers, building a following and yes — selling as many copies (in paperback and Kindle) as possible.

There are many pros to choosing the independent publishing route with Writestream Publishing:

  • You keep all of your royalties once the book is released
  • Depending on the package you select, you also benefit from our social media presence including Writestream Radio Network (which provides a non-threatening opportunity to develop your ability to discuss your work)
  • Your book and social networks become part of our regular social media posting rotations
  • We offer plenty of Add-Ons to help you market your book both in person and online

That said, we cannot offer a guarantee that doing X will result in Y. As much as we’d like to, we simply cannot promise that you’ll sell a certain amount of copies within a specified amount of time — even if you actively promote on social media, host book signings in your local area, speak at various community events, garner hundreds of reviews on Amazon, and participate in regular interviews on internet radio. While we highly recommend a combination of marketing efforts the truth it takes consistent, daily action over a long period of time (which can range anywhere from a few months to several years) before you’ll start selling books, breaking even on your investment, and eventually seeing a profit from your book.

What can we guarantee?

  • You will receive a no-obligation, free 30-minute phone consultation to discuss your project
  • If you choose to hire us, you will receive everything promised in your selected package or add-on services in a timely fashion
  • During the course of our partnership, you can call us at any time and receive personal, individualized attention
  • You’ll work with Writestream’s contracted professionals to achieve the perfect book cover design and formatting for paperback and Kindle
  • Your book will receive professional editing, which is included in all packages (a stand-alone value of $2,500)
  • You’ll receive the benefit of our social media promotions via Twitter, Facebook, Writestream Radio, Google Plus, and LinkedIn
  • Depending on your choice of package, you’ll have exposure as a guest on Writestream Radio Network

Still not sure we’re a good fit? Read these testimonials from our clients. We are more than happy to provide you contact information for clients who have graciously agreed to share their feedback about Writestream Publishing with you privately.

Ready to set up your free, 30-minute consultation? Contact us here.



Writestream Radio: Big Plans for 2015

People have asked me why I set up a Go Fund Me account for Writestream — as if the rest of the world doesn’t routinely do so for much more frivolous and serious reasons. But since the question has come up, let me take a few moments to respond on my blog. I founded Writestream Radio Network two years ago for various reasons:

  • To be a built-in marketing arm for my clients once we released their books
  • To promote independently published authors in a variety of genres
  • To cater to diverse tastes and interests

My ability as a ghostwriter, editor, blogger, social media consultant, and internet radio host has no bearing on the current Go Fund Me Campaign we’re running. I’m a small business owner, sole-proprietor, which means I use my brain and my God-given talents to make a living. Ghostwriting just one book demands a significant amount of time, energy, effort, and commitment — which is why experienced ghostwriters charge a minimum of $8,000 for a 200-300 page book. That does NOT include formatting, consulting with a graphic designer, managing the self-publishing process, or setting up blogs and other social media accounts.

In an attempt to make hiring a ghostwriter more accessible to the greatest amount of people possible, I came up with competitive rates that include the above-mentioned services. Basically, I do more for less. And judging by these testimonials, my clients are very happy with my work.

But back to Writestream.

Lisa Tarves and I share the responsibilities for growing this network, which entails a significant amount of time spent booking guests, setting up episodes, blogging about them on our site, and then promoting them constantly before and after the interviews. Up until this point, we haven’t charged our guests a dime.

However, Writestream costs us money including Blog Talk Radio membership and website hosting, just to name a few. This year, we’re working hard on a collaborative marketing venture, a website redesign, and plans to launch our own publishing company by the end of the year.

To help defray costs, I set up a Go Fund Me account a few months ago. If you would like to contribute, please visit If you’ve been a guest on our network (on any of our programs) we hope you’ll consider sending us a testimonial about the experience. Contact me here.

Lisa and I would like to thank everyone who has cheered us on over the past two years, and of course, all of the folks who have contributed to our fund. We’re passionate about our work as authors and social media marketers, which is why we’ll continue to work hard to produce quality programming and books.

Soon we’ll be unveiling our new site but in the meantime, please like us Facebook and follow us on twitter.




Got A Story to Share with the World? Writestream Publishing can help!

What’s your story?

Perhaps you’ve overcome countless obstacles in your life and would like to share the lessons you’ve learned with others. Or maybe you have a brilliant idea for a contemporary romance novel, a paranormal thriller, or a compelling mystery.

Well, what’s stopping you?

Could it be that although you’ve got the content or the concept, you have no idea where to begin? That in spite of your rich life experience and boundless creativity, you’re stuck….and stumped. For a variety of reasons.

Maybe writing’s just not your thing. Or, maybe you haven’t a clue as to how to find a good editor, navigate through the independent publishing process and/or use social media to connect with your audience. The consequences?

You — and most importantly — your readers are missing out. Because even though technology has leveled the playing field for new and unknown authors, your fabulous idea remains locked inside your head or hidden away in private journals because publishing and marketing in the age of the internet is just too overwhelming.

That’s where Writestream Publishing can help. Founded by Lisa Tarves and me in May of 2015, Writestream Publishing believes that everyone has a valuable story to tell. We’re committed to making the writing, editing, and independent publishing, and social media marketing process effective and affordable.

As a seasoned ghostwriter and editor, I know how to bring a client’s concept to life. Whether it’s a slightly fictionalized or straightforward memoir, or a creative work of fiction, I consult with each client to make their dream of writing and publishing a book a reality. All while remaining true to their vision and voice. Now I offer this service through Writestream Publishing, in addition to a full menu of services to enable our clients to reach their publishing goals, no matter how big or small.

Are you intimidated by the prospect of setting up a blog, Twitter account, Facebook Page and other necessary online marketing tools? Writestream Publishing takes the guesswork out of it and positions you for social media success!

Whether it’s simple set-up and training, or ongoing social media management, we can help you create your brand; establish and maintain important relationships with your readers; and ultimately attain your desired level of success.

Here are just a few of the services Writestream Publishing offers. To view our Publishing Packages, click here. We also offer a free, 30-minute consultation to discuss your unique project. Ready to get started? Contact us here.

  • Ghostwriting
  • Editing
  • Document Formatting
  • Management of Independent Publishing Process
  • Word Press blog set-up
  • Blog Content Creation
  • Social Media Sites Set-Up
  • Social Media Management
  • Social Media Training

Please note: In the slider above, I’ve included ghostwriting, editing, web content, and social media clients. While some of these services overlap depending on the client and book, all work together to help them reach their audience.


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.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...