Finding the Right ‘Ghost’ to Help Write Your Book

 

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(DGIwire) — In ancient times kings, philosophers and religious leaders had “scribes.”  These educated wordsmiths wrote down what the great men had to say, immortalizing their pronouncements, many of which are still inspiring us as books, poems, plays and quotes.  Scribes were the precursors of the modern ghostwriter.  One expert who helps link would-be authors with the right “ghosts” is New York-based Judy Katz.

A prolific ghostwriter with 32 books to her credit, she is also the founder of Ghostbooksters.com, which offers a team of talented collaborators to choose from.  As she explains, “A book lets you to share your story in a unique way. If you have a great story you may even establish yourself as a best-selling author.  In the business world, a book opens doors to potential partners, buyers and investors and provides an edge for securing media opportunities. If you want a book and don’t have the ability or time, you might want to explore working with a ghostwriter.”

But how do you find the writer who can truly “get” you? Simply Googling “ghostwriters” most likely will not yield ideal results. “Aspiring authors would be better served by finding credited ghostwriters of books in fields related to the book they want to write, and then locate that ghostwriter through their agent or the ghostwriter’s website,” Ms. Katz advises. She also offers the following tips for finding a ghost you can believe in:

•  Choose your “ghost” carefully. You want a partner who is easy to work with, accomplished and flexible—important traits in any working relationship.

•  Play an active role in the process. A good ghostwriter will give you homework assignments to provide him / her with the stories and knowledge that will go into your book. Then you’ll have chapters to approve and fact check.

•  Establish an ongoing line of communication in person and by phone and email. Be specific with any objections you may have in the writing substance or style. Saying “I hate it” sends a message, but doesn’t give the person you are paying the information they need. There’s a reason there are “rough” drafts. Very often a first draft falls somewhat short, but with feedback from you, the writer can fulfill your expectations.

•  Make sure your agreement allows you to approve each step of the way with each payment you make for the ghostwriter’s services.

•  Establish timelines for delivery each step of the way. Timelines keep both parties honest and on schedule.

As Katz concludes:  “A book is the ultimate marketing tool, whether it’s a business book, memoir, self-help book, or intended to promote a personal cause. You and your writer must be in agreement on what the book is about, the audience and how the book will help you achieve your goals. If you can follow through with that, and maintain the chemistry, you will likely be on the path to publishing a great book!”

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