Ghostwriting FAQs

Ghostwriting FAQs

  1. What are your writing and ghostwriting credentials?

    1. I am the credited ghostwriter on the medical memoir, Backbone: The Life and Game-Changing Career of a Spinal Neurosurgeon, by Volker K. H. Sonntag, MD (Lisa Hagan Books, 2017). Prior to that I collaborated with my husband, Dr. Tom Lombardo, on four books, and co-authored Mind Flight: A Journey into the Future (Xlibris 2011)—a philosophical and personal narrative along the lines of Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
    2. Working on Backbone led me into editing content for doctors. Projects have included website content development to blog editing, editing papers submitted to refereed journals, and editing book proposals and manuscripts.
    3. I currently also work in fiction editing, speech-writing, and other business-related writing. I am the editor of all content on the Center for Future Consciousness website.
    4. Articles or book reviews I have written and/or edited appear in the journals Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, Journal of Future Studies, World Future Review, Educause, On the Horizon, World Affairs: The Journal of International Issues, Learning for Tomorrow, and The Futurist, as well as in the annual anthology of papers published by the World Future Society, and in the anthology Science, Wisdom, and the Future: Humanity’s Quest for a Flourishing Earth.
    5. At the Maricopa Community Colleges (1999-2013), I served as contributing writer and editor for the Expressions Diversity newsletter and wrote articles for the Rio Salado College in-house newsletter.
  2. What kind of projects do you work on?
    1. I love both stories and ideas; among my most rewarding projects have been Mind Flight (interspersing long personal narrative passages with philosophical and intellectual sections) and Backbone, (which involved considerable research and integration of personal papers). In any project, what matters to me is getting into the head of my client, hearing his or her voice, and producing well-written and engaging text.
    2. I have worked on numerous non-fiction editing projects for various authors and consultants working in the field of Futures Studies, which, given the international nature of the field, involves editing content written by non-native English speakers for publication in English-language journals.
    3. In my former role in educational management, I also provided content for college reports, VIP speeches, promotional materials, and articles for publication outside the college.
  3. How are you different from other ghostwriters?
    1. When appropriate, I apply the results of broad research to provide context to your story. I hold a Masters degree in Interdisciplinary Humanities and a Bachelor’s in Spanish and Latin American Studies. The work I enjoy most involves stories, history, and creative writing of any sort.
    2. Unlike many ghostwriters, I have broad experience working with non-native English speakers, enhanced by my background as a teacher of English as a Second Language and my own study of Romance languages and Japanese. I have particular expertise in assisting writers in the field of futures studies, medicine, and in academia, but am comfortable with a broad range of writing.
  4. How does ghostwriting work?
    1. Ghostwriting involves taking your story, message, and/or ideas and turning it into a well-written text. I can work with whatever you can provide: notes, interviews, rough drafts, outlines, audio recordings, slide presentations, etc. I will take your materials, organize them, and produce a manuscript in your words. This process necessarily involves interviews and frequent communication during both the writing and revision phases.
  5. If you ghostwrite my book, will it sound like me?
    1. The more I can communicate with you, especially in in-person interviews, the more the work will sound like you. A review of any materials you provide will allow me to get a first sense of your distinctive voice and style. Our communication along the way will allow me to develop it.
  6. How long does ghostwriting take?
    1. The time to complete your project depends on many factors: the quantity and organization of the materials you provide; the time you allow me for interviews and feedback; the amount of research required; and the scope of the desired text (a full autobiography will take longer than a slice-of-life memoir or focused non-fiction book). Upon starting the project, I will create a timeline and schedule the work.
  7. How much does ghostwriting cost?
    1. The financial investment you make in your ghostwriting project will depend on the length of the text, the research involved, and other factors mentioned above. Ghostwriting an entire book will take a minimum of several months to a year of full-time work. Factors that may add to the time and cost include transcription services, preparing a book proposal, or assistance with publishing options. Transcription services are included in the fees; publication services are negotiated separately. Projects involving books generally start in the mid five-figure range.
  8. Is ghostwriting confidential?
    1. Yes, absolutely. Any information concerning your ghostwriting experience will be kept in strict confidence unless you decide otherwise.
  9. Can I contact past clients to ask about their experience?
    1. If you email me, I will be happy to provide you with the names of authors for whom I have provided editing and/or ghostwriting services (and who agree to have that information shared).

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