Why We Started Ghostwritepro.com

Would you be willing to give up a little bit of profit in order to significantly increase your potential workflow and grow your professional network?

That was the question on my mind six months ago when I called up Joey Robert Parks, a local ghostwriter here in Phoenix, Arizona. Joey and I had met on and off for commiseration and camaraderie for quite some time. Both of us had experienced success as ghostwriters and freelance writers, but we also wanted to find that magic bullet to take our business flow and client base to the next level.

So over a cup of coffee, I made what Bill Hybel’s refers to as “The Big Ask”.

“Joey,” I said. “Have you ever considered partnering with another ghostwriter?”

To my surprise, he had not only thought of it, but he’d been thinking of asking me the same thing! Turns out that Joey knew another ghostwriter whom I’ve had the great pleasure getting to know, Ed Sweet, whom he wanted to bring into the discussion. And the beginning foundations of ghostwritepro.com were set. Continue reading “Why We Started Ghostwritepro.com”

3 Ways To Handle Travel Expenses Professionally

Part of the fun of ghostwriting is seeing new and exciting places with your author as your personal tour guide. But traveling out of town to meet your author raises the sometimes prickly issue of how your traveling expenses will be paid for.

Be sure to settle this in advance — the last thing you want to do is get into a fight with your authors over the cost of airline tickets, meals, and hotel rooms, especially if you prefer First-Class and The Four Seasons and they’re expecting you to fly Economy and stay at Motel 6! Continue reading “3 Ways To Handle Travel Expenses Professionally”

Sometimes The Best Question Isn’t a Sentence

In 2003, a woman in her early 60’s hired me to teach her how to write a children’s book. Three months later, we sat down for the first time and this is what she said: “Before we get started, I need to tell you something. Three days ago I was diagnosed with terminal spinal cancer.” I asked if she still wanted to write a kid’s book. “No. I want to write my memoirs.”

And so began my first ghostwriting gig. At the time, I didn’t know it was ghostwriting. I only knew that I could write in any style of writing I wanted to. That’s all well and good, but what happens when your client has been in chemotherapy for a week, a month, a year, and either doesn’t have the energy or isn’t motivated to talk about her life? What do you ask someone like that when the scent of death sits at every turn?

You don’t talk at all.

Continue reading “Sometimes The Best Question Isn’t a Sentence”

Why the Future is Now for Ghostwriters and Freelance Writers

My future is dependent on the future of books and publishing. And if you’re a writer…so is yours. As such, we should follow the trends and changes in the publishing world with great interest—especially the continued rise of ebook publishing and the growing acceptability of self-publishing.

Here’s a nifty little video produced by the marketing group at Dorling Kindersly, a division of Penguin Group. Watch the whole thing—it’s worth it.

 

Continue reading “Why the Future is Now for Ghostwriters and Freelance Writers”

7 Interview Techniques to Keep Your Author Talking

I was excited about the assignment. I had flown in to my destination late at night, and tossed and turned all night in anticipation of meeting the subject of the business book I was hired to ghost.

Not as well-rested as I would have liked to have been but running on adrenaline, I got ready and went down to the hotel lobby to meet my author for the first time.

We got through all the “How was your flight?” small talk and ordered breakfast, so it was time for me to get out the digital recorder and ask the first of many questions during my two-day visit.

“Fire away!” he said.

I can’t remember the specific question I asked first, but I do remember the answer: “Yes.”

Then silence. Continue reading “7 Interview Techniques to Keep Your Author Talking”

The Art of Dialogue

There’s an interesting post by Evan Maloney over at the Guardian Books Blog on “The unreal art of realistic dialogue.” Many writers find the task of writing dialogue to be daunting. And Maloney hits the nail on the head by pointing out the reason why: It’s hard to write dialogue that sounds realistic—but that also filters out the “dull” parts of reality.

Here’s a quick snippet of the post:

Writers of fiction are told to “listen” to how people speak in order to create realistic dialogue but, like all our perceptions, our hearing is unreliable. We unconsciously filter out the crap in people’s speech to refine sense and meaning. What we’re left with is a type of distilled speech far removed from the realism of what we hear and, crucially, we rarely notice this until we see it with our own eyes, while reading a transcript of what someone said.

Maloney goes on to give three primary ways that writers approach dialogue.

Continue reading “The Art of Dialogue”

Bestselling Ghosts: March 2010

Every month, we showcase cover-credited ghostwriters who’ve cracked the Top 15 on the New York Times bestseller list for Hardcover Nonfiction. As you can see it’s been a good month for some of our fellow ghosts:

6. No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller, by Harry Markopolos with others. (Wiley, $27.95.) The man who blew the whistle on Bernie Madoff and was ignored.

11. Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices, by Mosab Hassan Yousef with Ron Brackin. (SaltRiver, $26.99) An insider’s view of the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization.

12. I Am Ozzy, by Ozzy Osbourne with Chris Ayres. (Grand Central, $26.99.) Recollections of heavy metal’s “Prince of Darkness.”

Congrats to everyone for a job well done!

*All links are affiliate. Hey, we have to eat too!

[Photo by Wallyg]

5 Reasons to Kill Your Inner Generalist

Chances are there’s a type of writing at which you excel. There is an equal chance that there are other types of writing at which you’re average at best. Over the years one of the best lessons I’ve learned about being a Ghostwriter is that you’re not just hurting a client when you take on their project outside your specialty—you’re also hurting yourself.

Why?

Because you’re spending time and energy slogging through projects outside your skill set, which costs you money whether you know it or not.

Here are five reasons you need to kill your inner generalist and start feeding your inner specialist.

Continue reading “5 Reasons to Kill Your Inner Generalist”