Photo Credit: Abigail Lynch
“The world must be coming to an end. Children no longer obey their parents and every man wants to write a book.”
From a tablet dating to 2800 BCE, unearthed near Babylon
“Everyone wants to have written a book. No one wants to write one.“
Do You Have a Book Inside of You?
If you have landed on this page, you must be interested in what I can offer you as a writer-for-hire. Typical reasons for using a ghostwriter include the following.
- You may feel your written command of English does not adequately reflect your level of expertise or what you want to express.
- You may not have the time it takes to produce a well-crafted document or book.
- You may appreciate that as intelligent and articulate as you are, truly effective writing requires the skill, mastery, and dedication of a writing professional.
As a published writer with advanced degrees in languages and Humanities, I take writing very seriously. Whether it is a full length book, blog posts, resumes and cover letters, speeches, web landing pages, business letters, grant proposals, or even personalized fairy tales, I can help you craft a written work that will express your ideas and personality accurately and with style. (Note that on principle, while I will proofread or edit research papers, theses and dissertations, I do not ghostwrite entire academic papers or any kind of assignment for credit.)
What to Expect when Working with a Ghostwriter
Trusting your story to another person’s “pen” is a leap of faith. And each ghostwriter approaches the project differently. For me the key to the ghostwriter/author relationship is a shared sense of commitment to and excitement about the project. Naturally following from this common ground is the formation of a solid collaboration. Here are a few things to think about as you consider hiring a ghostwriter.
Step 1: Consultation: I offer a first consultation, which is free, to meet with a prospective client and discuss the goals for the desired project. Depending on the scope of the project, this meeting may take place in person or by phone or Skype. For longer projects such as a book, I highly recommend an in-person first meeting. If both parties wish to proceed, I will provide a detailed proposal and timeline within one week.
Step 2: Review of materials: For longer projects, in particular books, many authors will have attempted to write out sections, or will have compiled materials for research or inclusion. This may include photographs, journals, letters, reports, published articles, historical documents, etc. Such materials provide the basis for a first rough outline and framework for the project, the creation of which takes place during the first weeks. Time needed for this first task depends on the quantity of materials and the level of organization required.
Step 3: For book projects, initial outline of main sections/chapters: At this point, the genre of book will determine the process. For full autobiographies, a chronological approach will be taken. For slice-of-life memoirs, the client will be guided through the process of selecting pivotal events or themes around which chapters will be built. For business or other non-fiction books, a similar process will be used and various points considered: reason for writing the book; target audience; ultimate message; goals for publication; etc.
Step 4: Weekly or biweekly interviews: For most projects, in particular full-length books, your authorial voice will be a critical factor in the quality of the book. The best way to capture your voice is through in-person interviews. Based on the preliminary materials you have provided, I create a series of questions for these interviews, which I provide to you ahead of time. When we meet, I use a recording application on my MacBook (AudioNote) to record your responses to my questions, while simultaneously taking notes. This allows me to capture the nuances of your speech patterns and the details of and back story to key incidents or points in your narrative.
Step 5: Build-up and review of chapters: From the interviews, I create scenes, sections, and chapters. Within one to two weeks, I will send the recent section back to you for your review. (Generally this is done through email, with attachments in MS Word, Apple Pages, or PDF files. Other options can be arranged.) You will be responsible for correcting passages and may add details at this stage. We may choose to meet again in person to go over your comments and points, or we may deal with this step over the phone. (When at all possible, I prefer to meet in person for the simple reason that, when relaying their stories, most people veer off the track into other, often fascinating, anecdotes or points. Use of the recording app ensures that none of these possible additions will be lost.)
Step 6: Review and revision of first and subsequent drafts: Within an agreed upon period of time (usually from 6 months to 1 year for book projects) I will email you or otherwise deliver a draft of the manuscript. You will have the chance to suggest final changes at this time. Once your changes are incorporated, a revised draft (or drafts) will be sent. The project will be considered complete when you have approved the final draft.
Step 7: What about publication? My first charge as your ghostwriter—the creation of a well-written, properly formatted, ready-for-submission (or self publication) manuscript—is finished at this stage. Additional services such as the creation of a book proposal, a review of publishing options (traditional or self-publishing) or an agent or publisher search can be negotiated separately.
On a Final Note
There are various ghostwriting services available, some of them large businesses with an impressive list of projects and clientele. Such businesses may be able to provide you with a skilled, experienced writer who can meet personally with you, but many will rely on Skype and other communication technology when it comes to collaboration between you as the author and your ghostwriter. For me, nothing beats the personal touch and engagement that in-person meetings can provide. As in other areas of postmodern life, going local is worth your consideration. Alternatively, travel for the purpose of interviews can be arranged.
For additional information about my qualifications, experience, fees, and approach, please see the FAQs.
Or CONTACT me. I would love to hear about your project.
Samples of my writing will appear in this space soon, and are available upon request.