Need a Ghostwriter?

bl2Do you have a great idea for a book and want to make that dream a reality? Maybe you need a ghostwriter!

I know quite a few people who spend a lot of time tossing around book ideas. They plan to do it themselves themselves, but for one reason or another they have had trouble getting started. Do you fall into this category?

Maybe you don’t have the time or discipline. Perhaps you’re not a huge fan of research, or maybe you just plain don’t enjoy writing. Whatever the stumbling block, it doesn’t have to keep you from publishing a book! A ghostwriter can help you take your idea from conception to fruition.

Here is a handy checklist to help guide you through the process:

  1. Decide on your budget. Ghostwriting pricing can span a broad range, but remember the old saying, “you get what you pay for.”  There are some cheaper options for a ghostwriter, but chances are if you are interested in producing a high quality book written by an experienced author, you’ll need to cough up some dough. Make sure you interview them, check out their testimonial page and review their writing samples to see if they resonate with you.
  2. Be able to answer basic questions. In order to get a bid, you need to be able to answer various questions. A ghostwriter will need to know how many words you’ll need, whether you’re self-publishing, what your deadline will be, and the general subject matter or genre of the book. It is also good to discuss money right upfront with your ghostwriter prospect. No sense in pouring your heart out only to learn that they are way out of your price range. I was recently told that I was a Ferrari, but that particular client was looking for a Fiat. Oh well!
  3. Find a good fit. After checking work samples, getting bids, and consulting with ghostwriting prospects, you should have a good idea about who will be the best voice for you and your book idea. Your choice should be based on not only how well you mesh with the writer, but also on their experience and qualifications. Writing a book is a financial investment, but also an endeavor of the heart, so there is a balance.
  4. Pay your first installment and get started. Once you have made your weighty decision, it’s time to make your first installment payment and begin the project. Don’t wait too long, because the more popular ghostwriters will get booked quickly. If you love a writer, know you want to hire them, don’t dawdle.
  5. Work steadily with your ghostwriter. It is important to answer emails promptly and set up a regular time to talk on the phone with your ghostwriter. Don’t allow too much time to go by without communication. Most likely they will want to talk to you once or twice a week, interviewing you and getting feedback on the work they’ve provided.
  6. Create and implement a marketing plan. Writing the book is certainly the foundation of your book project, but make sure you have strategies in place for marketing your book once it’s published. Do you want a website? Will you be publishing a Kindle version? Do you have social media strategies in place? Do you have a newsletter list in place? It’s always a good idea to start marketing early!

With a great idea, a little bit of help, and a lot of preparation, your book can become a reality!

Share with me your book idea in the comment section. I’m interested!

If I can help in anyway, do not hesitate to email me. Or if you realize that you need a ghostwriter, submit a quote request!

Additional articles you might find helpful:

A Ghostwriter’s Fee: How Do They Charge?

Hiring A Ghostwriter

Do You Want To Write A Book About Your Life?

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

There Is No “Standard” Ghostwriting Deal

 

Steps You Can Take To Write Your Book

StepsDo you often think of how you would love to record your life story, or maybe pen a novel?

Getting a book published is not out of the realm of possibility. With the advent of new technologies, it’s easier than ever to be a published author. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Answer the question, “What is my book about?” This may seem like a simple task, but it can be difficult. You should be able to answer this question within a few lines, as a sort of pitch. Once you have this down, you have a guiding light to see you through the journey. This answer will help you stay on track through the writing process.
  2. Create an outline or table of contents. This is a step that will give you the mile markers you need to get from point A to B then C and all the way to the end. Don’t spend too much time on the details, just summarize the sections.
  3. Write the rough draft. Get the words out of your mind and onto paper. Follow your outline, presenting your scenes as you go. Do not edit at this phase, just write and write and write!
  4. Take a break. It’s a good idea to walk away from a manuscript after you complete the first draft. It is much easier to edit if you can see it with fresh eyes. I usually give myself three to ten days before starting the editing process.
  5. Edit all the way through. Now is the time to play with the words and tighten your book. If you love a scene, but realize it doesn’t fit, scrap it. It might help to pretend it isn’t your book, but a client’s manuscript. Nothing is too precious to keep.
  6. Hire an editor or show the book to fellow writers. Now is a good time to get other feedback. What are you missing that someone else finds glaringly obvious? Get good feedback then make changes as you see fit.
  7. Read your book again. If this is your first book, I highly recommend that you read it out loud. There’s no better way that I know of for catching errors or stale dialogue. If you can, read it out loud to another person.

Next, you can brainstorm titles and a tag line. Write down candidate titles. I like to ask friends for their ideas, too. Once you have a few, you can survey them with many people, discovering the title that really communicates to your readers. That’s the one to pick.

Once you have your title and tag line, and if you’re self-publishing, you’ll need to hire a designer to create your cover art. It is important that it be professional and appealing. If you can get your artist to create three unique designs, survey those and see which is most popular. If it’s close, survey more people. You want the winner to stand out.

If you don’t have a blog, now is a good time to start one. Blog weekly (or biweekly) about your book. This will help promote your book. If you get an agent and publisher, they will be looking for a healthy blog promoting the book.

I would also recommend getting onto various social media sites. Start now, as it takes time to build a following. Keep your content relevant for you and your readers.

Writing a book is a huge undertaking. Finding a ghostwriter to help can aid the effort tremendously. Please feel free to email with any questions you might have about the book writing process or click here to submit a quote request.

Additional articles you might find helpful:

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

Tips For Writing Good Dialogue

How To Write A Nonfiction Book

A Ghostwriter’s Fee: How Do They Charge?

Do You Want To Write A Book About Your Life?

 

 

Tips For Writing Good Dialogue

lossless-page1-671px-Two_people_talking.tiffHave you ever read dialogue that doesn’t sound real? It stands out. Your attention is suddenly shifted from the story onto the awkwardness of the wording. It happens to me all the time in movies.

If you’re new to the wonderful world of writing, here are some basic tips on creating dialogue that will sound natural:

Read a lot of books with dialogue

When you read a book which captivates you, go back over the scenes you liked best and look at how the author conveyed his or her message. Look for style points that you might be able to use.

Check out the words. Are all the thoughts completely spelled out, or are there short cuts?

Some new writers might wonder about contractions. As a child, I was taught that one never used them in formal writing. Well, they’re a must in dialogue.

Of course, there are times someone might say, “I will not do that!” versus “I won’t do that!” Each version offers a slightly different feeling (“I will not do that!” being stronger, while “I won’t do that!” feels more casual). You’re making a choice, just know it means something to avoid the contraction.

Delete the boring stuff

In real life, we discuss mundane topics, ask each other how we are and usually say good-bye when we leave. This sort of dialogue is terribly boring for a book. No one wants to read it.

Alfred Hitchcock once said, “Drama is life with the dull parts cut out of it.”

As a writer, you must be creative and work out how you can get your point across, forward the story, develop your characters, all while trimming the humdrum.

Watch the dialogue tags

When I started writing, I loved to use any alternative to “he said” I could think of: “She argued” or “He pontificated” or “She moaned.” You get the idea. I went way overboard. I soon realized that this was terribly distracting. It’s much better to stick with the bland “he said.”

Remember that if there are only two characters in the scene who are chatting back and forth, you don’t need a tag each time. Just use them when needed.

Read your dialogue out loud

When you complete your book, leave it alone for a few days to a week before you edit. Then read your dialogue out loud, preferable to someone else. Bad dialogue pops out beautifully this way. If it doesn’t slide off your tongue easily, your characters shouldn’t be saying it.

If you’re bored as you read through your book, you need to edit. Even though you wrote your book, you should be just as enthralled as your readers. When it flows and you get sucked into the story, you know you have a winner.

Eavesdrop

I know it sounds weird, but if you pick up the new hobby of eavesdropping, it will help your ability to write good dialogue. Notice how people chat. What slang do they use? Take notes, observe how they interact. It’s very instructive!

Slang and pop culture references will date your piece, but sometimes that’s very helpful. For instance, if your teenage character said, “Gag me with a spoon. As if!” Well, we’d instantly know that we were in the early 1980’s.

Like your characters, even the evil ones

If you don’t like your characters, at least to some extent, people won’t relate to them. I remember Robert De Niro told an interviewer that he must really like every character he plays, even if they are evil. Remember, evil people don’t think they’re evil, not usually. They have purpose and drive, just like anyone else. Their purpose is just more unusual or disturbing.

When you’re writing dialogue for a bad guy, make sure you keep it real. You have to get his or her viewpoint. Think and talk as they would. Otherwise, your character won’t be believable.

Additional articles you might find helpful:

Easy Tips For Writing Your Book

Do You Want To Write A Book About Your Life?

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

How To Write A Nonfiction Book

 

 

Easy Tips For Writing Your Book

Once_Upon_a_Time_LogoToday it is easy to self-publish a book and sell it through Amazon.com. You can pick your length, set your price and start selling copies relatively quickly. Ah, but you need to actually sit down and write the book first! That can be challenging for some.

It doesn’t have to be difficult, though. Here are some tips:

Start by jotting down notes for your book

It rarely works to start writing the first page, without know where you’re heading. It’s much easier to jot down general notes and ideas about your whole book, perhaps forming an outline or table of contents.

Personally, I open a Word document and organize my thoughts into short paragraphs. Sometimes, I create a Who, What, When, and Where sort of format for each scene when I’m writing a novel.

Some people like to write notes on index cards. That way, their ideas are easy to shuffle around!

Whatever you decide, allow yourself to simplify the process by just writing down the key factors to start. You can get into the details later.

Set a target and make it

Once you have your outline and you feel confident you can start writing, set a word target for yourself and make sure you do your best to make it each day. If you need to do research, then set aside a certain amount of time to do that. It counts toward meeting your daily goal as research is a part of writing.

Don’t set a target you can’t possibly make. I write 2000 to 5000 words per day, but if that seems overwhelming to you, start with 300 to 500 words per day.

It’s also a good idea to give yourself deadlines for completing sections of your book. I often break up my projects into four milestones for my clients:

  1. The outline and research
  2. The first half of the first draft
  3. The Second half of the first draft
  4. All revisions

Each milestone takes about six to eight weeks for me to produce. You may decide to break this down even further, perhaps setting yourself a goal of completing a chapter a week.

Schedule time to write into your day

It’s a good idea to schedule quiet time to write each day. Make sure you’ve had enough to eat, that you’re not exhausted and you have some peace and quiet. It isn’t the best time to write when you’re starved and have three young children clamoring to sit on your lap. Many writers enjoy creating early in the morning or late at night.

Seek out helpful feedback

Once you’re finished with your book, you will need to get feedback. Send your manuscript out to friends who will give you constructive criticism and praise (both are important).

The last thing you want to do is publish a book and find that there’s a gaping hole in your plot or a character doesn’t come off as realistic. Or perhaps you’re writing your autobiography and you’ve left an unanswered question in the reader’s mind.

Once you publish your book, find people who are willing to write reviews for you on Amazon.com. Such reviews are helpful to those who may wish to read your book.

Enjoy the process! Feel free to write me anytime for a consultation. Let me know how I can help!

Additional articles you might find helpful:

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

A Ghostwriter’s Fee: How Do They Charge?

You Must Market Your Own Book

Working with a Ghostwriter – What steps should you take?

How To Write A Book

First_Book_logo_-_mediumIf you cannot afford to hire a ghostwriter to help you write a book, you will need to write it yourself. Since you are working with a very low budget, you will need to make your book an ebook (an book that can be read online or through an ereader). Printing costs are expensive.

The good news is that an ebook can be any length, so don’t be concerned with reaching a word count target a publisher would expect (50,000 words or 200 pages is a typical minimum for a full-length book).

Start with an outline

Some people like to use flash cards, while others jot notes on a sheet of paper. I just open a Word document and start typing away.

When you’re writing an outline, keep in mind that you do not want to go into tons of detail. Just get the salient facts out of your mind and onto the paper. Who is doing what? Where?

When you have all your notes in order, review each event and see if it is necessary to the story. Does it move the story forward or is it just there because you like it? You must make sure every scene has a purpose.

Work on your dialogue

If you have never written dialogue before, you should practice this skill. Dialogue is a great way to keep a story fresh, exciting and easy to read. You can develop characters through dialogue as well.

The best advice I was ever given on writing dialogue was to observe others. A writer friend of mine used to hang out at malls and just listen to people, taking notes from time to time. I will write down phrases people utter sometimes, especially when they make me laugh out loud. I often tell them that one of my characters might quote them in my next book.

Take the time to notice how people talk. They don’t always complete sentences and their grammar usually isn’t perfect. They use slang and contractions. How do people answer questions? You’ll see the short cuts people use in natural speech when you really listen. Use these natural short cuts. You want your characters to sound realistic.

How do you begin a book?

If you’re writing a novel or a memoir, it is important to grab the reader’s attention right from the start, dropping them in the middle of the action. A memoir rarely begins with the line “I was born…” Rather, it starts when something exciting happens.

For instance, if you’re an athlete writing your autobiography, you’ll probably want to start your book when you had an important victory or loss. If you’re writing a science fiction book, you may choose to land the reader in the middle of a fight or chase sequence.

However, I recommend going in chronological sequence whenever possible. It can be dizzying for a reader to bounce forward and backward in time.  When did that happen?  Where are we now?

Of course,  you may need to flashback here and there, but use that tool sparingly and only when it is really needed to fill out the past. Sometimes, you can provide the needed information in a dialogue sequence between two characters and avoid the flashback entirely.

Enjoy the process of writing a book! If you need help, feel free to contact me. I sometimes run an introductory special on coaching and am happy to help!

Additional articles you might find helpful:

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

Writing a Book Proposal

Do you need help writing a book?

Working with a Ghostwriter – What steps should you take?

How To Write A Nonfiction Book

how to write a nonfiction bookDo you want to write a book, but don’t know where to begin? The process doesn’t have to be hard. Here are my thoughts on how to write a nonfiction book.

Pick a topic

Some people want to write a book, but have no idea what to write about. Or they have a concept, but all their ideas don’t quite fit and the words just don’t flow. The first step is to pick a subject you have a specialized knowledge about.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to get started:

  • What is something you know about that others don’t?
  • What really interests you?
  • What could you write about that would help your business?
Read More

Are You Writing A Book?

Writing a bookIf you are writing a book, I would love to hear all about it. What is it about?

It is a good idea to be able to give a brief pitch for your book, so now is a good time to start. Describe your book in one or two lines.

Over the life of your book, you will need to give this elevator pitch over and over. Now is a great time to try out different ideas and see what is most effective. Share it with us and get feedback!

When should you develop your one- or two-line pitch?

As soon as possible. If you are still developing your book, coming up with a good line or two will help you stay on track as you write. I got that little sage piece of wisdom from my first writing mentor long ago and it has served me well. Throw out segments that don’t forward the motion of the story.

Read More

How to Become a Ghostwriter

If you are interested in becoming a ghostwriter, I can offer you a free 20 minute consultation, which will get you started. Contact me today for a special introductory package!

I was recently asked to speak about how I became a successful ghostwriter. Enjoy this radio interview:

Listen to internet radio with Help 2 Succeed on Blog Talk Radio

Write and write and write

Do you want to be a writer? Great! This world needs more good, creative writers.

How do you start? You start by writing. I know, it sounds too easy, but it is true!

A writer improves by writing and writing and writing and then writing some more. Through experience, you sort out how to communicate concepts and carve out a story that people want to read, or a non-fiction piece that people can easily understand.

How many words do you need to write? As many as you can! If you talk to most professional writers they have written hundreds of thousands or millions of words.

Please don’t get overwhelmed and give up. Just start writing, logging in those words, pages, and stories!

It helps me to have a deadline. Paying clients would be optimal, but if you’re just starting, why not enter a contest or start a blog. Give yourself a definite deadline and be firm with it.

Another piece of advice I have for you is to read books you enjoy reading. There’s a reason you enjoy those books. Read them over and over and learn from them. How do your favorite authors communicate their ideas? You can pick up pointers.

It isn’t a bad idea to get advice from a supportive friend or group, people who are interesting in encouraging your writing goals. Please don’t seek out critics. They are the ones that will pass along snide comments that make you feel like quitting, selling those comments as if they were nuggets of gold. Just thank them kindly for their advice and keep writing.

If you don’t have the time to write, but wish to see your book in people’s hands, hire a ghostwriter. It will still be your book and your ideas.

However, if you can, write and write and write and soon you’ll have your book in print for all to read!

Do you need a writing coach?

People often write to me, asking for help with their writing project. Sometimes, they don’t have the money to hire a ghostwriter, but their idea is very good. My advice for you, if you fall into this category, is to write the book yourself and hire a writing coach to help you through the process. Yes, it takes time, but it is a lot cheaper!

I really want to help many people write their stories. I believe this world needs more writers!

Despite what the critics will tell you, many people could learn to write. It takes time and perseverance, but you can do it!

Finding my writing voice was a pivotal moment in my writing career. I remember the day I realized that I had a voice and that it was unique. It was a huge accomplishment for me.

You can find your voice, too, but you will need to write many pages before you discover your style. I would estimate that the average writer pens hundreds of thousands of words before discovering his or her voice.

It’s also is wise to read books that you enjoy, noticing how the author tells their story. If you find yourself getting caught up in the book, read it twice, so that you can study the style and techniques. Enjoy the process!

If you need a writing coach, please feel free to email me anytime!