New York, NY (PRWEB) April 29, 2011
You have a book in you, nibbling at your consciousness. You do want to be an author. You do know that a book is the ultimate marketing tool for your business. Or perhaps it’s not a business book but a memoir, the hard-won wisdom from life’s lessons that you want to share. It might even be a novel or a script that keeps reminding you it’s inside you, waiting to be let loose.
But are you a writer? And even if you are darn good one, but have another business or profession that keeps you busy, do you really have the time to write it? If the answer to either of these questions is no, you might want to take your potential project to a ghost: a ghostwriter that is!
But, how do you find a compatible, affordable ghostwriter who truly “gets you” and can and will write your story in your voice and then disappear, leaving you with the book you always wanted. And is it an advantage to find a collaborator who can also make sure your book is beautifully designed and marketed so that it reaches your target audience, or a mass audience? What's a would- be author to do? Does he or she just Google "ghostwriter" or "book collaborator?"
Well yes, you sure can do that. Just be careful. As in all things a personal intro is best. But just as the family or friends intro or blind date has gone the way of the dinosaur, and match.com, eharmony.com, and jdate.com now fill the breach, more people are entrusting their precious inner book to strangers and hoping for the best.
Let me caution you-Not all ghostwriters are created equal. And no, it's not just a matter of writing talent. Lots of writers can ace their own projects. Conversely, getting inside another person, being able to write as if you were that person, and being able to express those ideas rather than one's own, is not easy. In fact—it is one of life’s most difficult mental and emotional balancing acts. You want that writer to feel your pain, get under your skin, and help you tell your story to the world. Let's face it, the ghostwriter you select has got to be a combo of Ellen Burstyn in "Resurrection" and Whoopi Goldberg in "Ghost."
So what's a would-be author to do?
Well, what do you do when you go online, trolling for a soul mate? Date! Talk to the potential scribe, tell them what you're up to, and see how he or she feeds it back to you. Meet the person - that's a must. And then ask for a list of references and call them, every last one. Ask penetrating questions, such as did your collaborator bring your project in on time and within budget? Where there any surprises, good or bad? What did your book do for you? And, would you use that person again?
Here are few tips for managing your relationship with your ghostwriter:
1) Set definite timelines, and be the squeaky wheel. Writers are human, meaning they can be, shall we say, distracted? They may be juggling multiple projects. Nobody wants to have to be a pest, but wouldn't you rather be a little annoying and get your manuscript (or book proposal, or novel, or script) done on time?
2) Play an active role in the process, with homework assignments to complete, chapters to read and approve of or correct, etc. Make sure you're also batting the ball back over the net with full consideration for your writer and for the timeliness you both set up.
3) Be specific with your objections. If you don't like something the writer shows you, don't just say, "Ugh, I hate it." Say why! The more specific your feedback, the better your ghost will be able to come back to you with a new, improved version of that chapter or the entire manuscript, if you are already that far down the path. Often "master edit" carries the day. Remember, there's a reason the work, till it’s completed to everyone’s satisfaction, is called a "rough draft.”
4) Cut your losses. If your ghostwriter is Ms. or Mr. Wrong, to heck with the first check. Move on to another collaborator. As with dating, you don't always know who's absolutely right until you've gone a ways down the road with them. Don't throw good money - or time - after bad.
So now let’s say you've found a good ghostwriter. She or he shares your vision for your book, the references checked out, and you're ready to begin. What should you expect to pay them? I get an average of $50,000 a book, and for more complicated projects, up to $100,000. That rules out a lot of potential clients. Life isn't always fair, but being an author is like having an MD, PHD, JD, etc…it is with you forever and can bring you to a higher plateau in so many lucrative areas. Those who want to, and can, invest in themselves to that extent, should take this seriously, and at least start the dialogue with writers who do this kind of work.
For more on this topic, and some other critical information on birthing and marketing your book, visit http://www.ghostbooksters.com or call 212-580-8833.
Let's recap: to find a ghostwriter, look online, ask around, and even call a literary agent if you know one for recommendations. Ask anyone you know who may have worked with a ghostwriter or book collaborator or editor (though creative writing and editing are different functions). You can also pick up a book you love and look at the acknowledgements. If you don't catch my drift on that one, call me to discuss. I don't want to say it out loud.
Here's the very good news: Just as there's someone for everyone romantically if you stay enthusiastic as you search for your perfect match, there is a ghostwriter out there who's right for you, with the right fit, the right price, and the right uncanny ability to help you write your book.
Best of luck, my friend Your reading public is waiting!