How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

How much does it cost to hire a ghostwriter?Have you been wondering just how much does it cost to hire a ghostwriter?

Well, you aren’t alone. This is a very popular question. Shopping for a writer is a bit like walking into a gallery with the hope of acquiring a special piece of art. As you peruse the beautiful paintings on the walls, you might just wonder about their cost. After all, the price tags can vary widely. It can be intimidating to ask the artist, because the price could be well outside your budget.

When you buy a car or a house, don’t you have a rough idea of the expense involved? Probably! However, how can you know the cost to hire a ghostwriter?

Allow me to address the question directly: I charge one dollar per word to ghostwrite.

I’ve noticed that some ghostwriters don’t like to broach this subject on their websites. Maybe they’re worried you’ll just click away when you discover the price. For me, I figure why bury my pricing in some dusty corner of my website? There really is no need to dance around the subject.

As you’ll discover, writers have different fees and some charge in different ways. For instance, some writers may charge by the hour or the page. Most charge by the word. While manuscripts vary in length, a short memoir or novella will be 25,000 words and a full-length book will be 50,000 – 75,000 words. Some clients prefer to publish mini-eBooks, which can be 5,000 – 10,000 words in length. These can be a good option to get one’s feet wet and learn the art of marketing books on Amazon.

Occasionally I’ll run into a client who actually needs a cross between an editor and a ghost, because he has already written most of the book and the first draft is in decent shape. If that’s the case with you, I’d charge much less.

Inside Secret: How to reduce the cost of a ghostwriter

There are a few factors that might help reduce a ghostwriter’s cost. Firstly, I’m always impressed when a prospective client has taken the time to really research me and find out the steps he should take to work with a ghostwriter. I know this is a client who understands me and how I work, which is a great place to start the relationship.

Here are some key ways you may persuade me to reduce the amount I charge:

Pitch me an inspiring book

Idea for a bookWhile some ghostwriters will write about any subject matter, I’m rather picky. I prefer to write about uplifting subjects that help people in some way. Of course, the book doesn’t need to be happy-go-lucky throughout, but if you’re looking to get back at an ex or wish to delve into the horrors of your abusive past, I’m not the writer for you.

I’ve written a couple dozen books over the last two decades. Here are a few examples of projects I’ve completed from different genres:

  • The story of a man who immigrated to the United States with only a few dollars in his pocket and became a multi-millionaire
  • A nonfiction book about a how to run a specialized niche market business
  • The fictional story of a deadly family feud that spans generations and worlds, highlighting the importance of family loyalty and the overcoming of seemingly impossible obstacles
  • The heroic journey of a man who escaped communist Hungary on foot to become an affluent businessman in Canada

There are times when someone approaches me with a story that truly appeals to me. I find that I can’t stop thinking about the project. I really want to help the author, even though he can’t pay my full price. In those cases, when he shares his budget, I’ll do my best to at least guide him in the right direction.

If you’re on a tight budget and need help, let me know what you can afford. I can almost always make suggestions to help reduce your cost. Or I might be able to set you up with a student writer and supervise her work. When I do that, I can charge less.

Be flexible with your deadline

Normally, I need eight months to a year (or more) to complete a book project. If you need a fast turnaround time, I will need to increase my price. However, if you are flexible on deadlines, I can sometimes give you a price break, as I can take on other projects.

I routinely try to come in ahead of my deadlines, but it’s nice to have some leeway if it’s needed. Flexibility is worth its weight in gold.

In addition, there are times when my clients need to take a few months off, too. I always juggle projects to accommodate authors.

Reduce your word count

Since a ghostwriter usually charges on a per word basis, you can reduce the cost to hire a ghostwriter by lowering your proposed word count. As I mentioned earlier in this article, the average length of a book is 50,000 – 75,000 words (or 200 – 300 pages), but some stories can be told in 25,000 words (or 100 pages). This is an acceptable length for a memoir. So, if a shorter book is more realistic for you, know that I can make it any length, within reason. Just be aware that we might not be able to include all the incidents that occurred.

Quality is always better than quantity in writing.

Show you communicate well

cost to hire a ghostwriter, communicate wellAs a ghostwriter, I will require that my authors be available to review pages I send or answer questions that come up as I write. You will need to put in a two to three hours a week on your project with me.

I seek out clients who communicate well and respect my time. From experience, I know that working with these clients will be easier because they will respond to my queries and be a true partner on the project. Of course, I will always do the heavy lifting for any book project I take on, but the client’s contributions are vital to the success of the project.

On the flip side, if a client needs me to send five emails before answering a question or doesn’t make a scheduled appointment, it takes me longer to complete a project.

I will sometimes give discounts (or add words for free) to a client who communicates well and respects my time.

Three Categories of Writer

If you’re willing to pay the cost to hire a ghostwriter, it’s good to know that there are three main categories of writers:

  • Cheap writers
  • Mid-range professional writers
  • High-end celebrity writers

Cheap writers

the cost to hire a ghostwriter variesPrice range: $2,000 to $10,000

How to locate: Fiverr, Upwork, Guru or other freelance websites

Pros:

  • Easy to find
  • Many writers in this category
  • Very low cost

Cons:

  • You need to watch for plagiarism. It’s rampant in this category.
  • The writer will often have little to no prior experience. You’ll need to be patient.
  • Because of this writer’s lack of experience, she may miss deadlines or run into unexpected difficulties.
  • The writer will probably have a full-time job, which may cause delays.
  • Be prepared to rewrite her work.

Advice:

  • Ask for references and contact each one.
  • Get writing samples. Be sure to check each using plagiarism software.
  • Make sure they include outside editing in their fee.
  • Never pay the entire fee upfront; give an industry-standard deposit of 25% down.

Summary:

If you have a very small budget (and you can’t write your book on your own), a cheap writer really is your only option. Your biggest risk is that you’ll wind up with an unusable manuscript that will need to be rewritten. Also, you really need to watch for plagiarism with this class of writer.

Mid-range professional writers

Hire a Limo-class ghostwriter

Price range: $15,000 to $100,000

How to locate: Internet searches, blogs, and word-of-mouth

Pros:

  • You will get personalized attention from a professional writer.
  • The process will be an enjoyable experience.
  • Through the interview process, you’ll probably remember new details of past incidents and might put together some interesting pieces to your life puzzle.
  • Your ghostwriter will have years of writing experience, with at least a few books under her belt.
  • You will learn a lot about how to write along the way.

Cons:

  • The price tag is higher than a cheap writer.
  • Since there aren’t many ghostwriters in this category, it can be hard to get on her calendar. We book up fast.

Advice:

  • Review the ghostwriter’s website. Look for a testimonial page and a blog, as these will tell you a lot about the writer’s experience and viewpoint.
  • Compile a good list of questions before you interview her.
  • Make sure you sign a professional contract. Have it reviewed by your lawyer before signing it.
  • Plan to pay 25% – 40% when you begin the project.
  • Don’t restrict your search to local ghostwriters.

Summary:

This level of ghostwriter will make the project an enjoyable and educational experience for you. It’s a bit like hiring a limousine instead of calling an Uber. If you can afford a professional ghostwriter, you’ll wind up with a quality manuscript that you can either market and sell or pitch to an agent or publisher.

High-end celebrity writers

These ghostwriters are usually hired by actors, politicians, musicians and other famous personalities who will sell books just by virtue of their names. The writers for these celebrities are well-established ghostwriters and authors, who have a lot of experience in this area.

The price tag for a celebrity hiring a ghostwriter is six or seven figures.

Which category is right for you?

questions relating to ghostwritingMost people recognize that they would like a mid-ranged professional writer. And, honestly, the cost to hire a ghostwriter is actually reasonable when you consider that a lot of time, energy and hard work goes into writing a book. An excellent professional writer will often spend up to a year or two researching, writing, and editing a book for you.

As you can see, the cost to hire a ghostwriter fluctuates greatly from writer to writer.

Bottom line: you get what you pay for!

Tip: Give your ghostwriter a trial run

If you’re uncertain about the cost to hire a ghostwriter and are nervous about plunking down a large deposit, propose a trial run. Of course, you’ll need to pay for the service. If you don’t pay her, she will have to fit it in around her paid work and won’t be able to grant it the proper importance. Also, if you pay for the piece, you’ll own the rights to it and can use it anytime.

This trial run will allow you to find out how well the writer meets the agreed-upon deadline and you can really determine the quality of her work. At the end, you will have a good idea of what to expect if you hire her.

Now, some people get the “bright idea” that they can piece together a manuscript by asking many different ghostwriters to provide samples for free. This won’t work. Trust me, it will look more like a patchwork quilt than a book. This is not a good way to get around the cost to hire a ghostwriter.

When I do a trial phase, I allow my client to pick the word count, then I charge my standard dollar-per-word fee. If someone is writing his memoir, I select a story from his past to write. If I’m trying out for a nonfiction piece, I usually write an essay or a blog article. These few pages give the new client a good idea of what to expect from our budding relationship.

A Little Warning

Have you received a lowball offer to write your book?

While it might sound attractive, it rarely works out for you in the end. I have received calls from a number of prospective clients who made “excellent” deals hoping to save money, only to find they had to shell out a lot more cash to have everything re-written. It’s frustrating for the author, as well as for the ghostwriter who must now take over the project.

If you’re paying a fraction of the usual price, you often get a fraction of the quality.

Writing a book requires a certain advanced skill set, and the complexity involved with ghostwriting is even greater. A ghost needs to capture the style and voice of our authors, while meeting the goals of the client. That’s why the price tag should never be cheap.

If you have questions and need help,  don’t hesitate to contact me! Check out my testimonial page to see what my clients have to say about me and my work.

Additional articles you might find helpful:

What You Need In a Ghostwriting Contract?

Write Your Family History in 2020

Four Different Ghostwriting Methods

How to Conquer Writer’s Block

Understanding Characters

What Is It Like to Be a Ghostwriter?

Write and Publish a Book in 2020

“When my partner and I decided to write a book, we interviewed many ghost writers. Some were very inexpensive, while others were too pricey for our budget. Laura wasn’t the least expensive writer, but we chose her because she was so passionate about writing. Laura went above and beyond our expectations. I am very pleased with all her work and will continue to use her for my future writing needs.” Edwin Carrion

 

How to Find a Theme for Your Memoir

What is your theme for a memoir?When most people sit down to write their life story, they usually don’t contemplate literary elements. After all, isn’t a memoir simply a series of events that happened in real life? While that’s true, you still need to follow the rules of writing. You must find a theme for your memoir. This theme is the fundamental idea that ties your story together.

Over the years, I’ve discovered several approaches that might help you find your theme:

Look for obstacles you have overcome

Overcoming obstacles to win against all odds is a favorite theme in books and film. Most memoirs involve a triumphant victory over a major life hurdle. This makes for a great theme because the readers can root for you while identifying with the theme as it relates to their own life.

Perhaps you battled a major illness and came out the other side healthy. Or maybe you had a particularly challenging childhood and found success through forgiveness. Through sharing your experiences and achievements, you can inspire others to take action and make changes in their lives for the better.

Find lessons you’ve learned

Your readers might identify with the life lessons you have learned along the road to success. As you write your memoir, you’ll probably reveal a few personal imperfections along the way. If these flaws resolve as your story unfolds, these could become a powerful theme for your memoir.

For instance, one client of mine realized she’d been a little too trusting of unsavory characters and learned to stand on her own two feet by the end of her book. Other themes that might come from life lessons could include realizing that complacency won’t help you achieve your goals or that sometimes you need to face evil head-on to survive.

Summarize your story in a few lines

Ask what is the story about to find your memoir themeA writing mentor once advised me to answer the question What is my story about? before beginning the outlining phase. This direction was incredibly helpful to me as a budding writer because it pointed me in the direction of a good theme for my book.

This question should always be answered in a few lines, like an elevator pitch. Keep it short and sweet. From this, you can often glean your theme. For instance, if your pitch is about how you managed to escape a suppressive government, your theme might be how perseverance overcomes all odds.

I find that when I drill down to the core of the meaning of the book, I can find a theme easily.

Ask for help

If you’re too close to the story, it can be hard to pick out the theme on your own. In that case, you might try sharing your history with others and get their feedback. Getting that outside perspective can be invaluable to finding the unifying idea.

In addition, you might discover a few truths that you hadn’t uncovered before. I remember working with an elderly client who had become a successful entrepreneur. After a few in-depth interviews with me, he realized that the teacher he’d idolized as a child was, in fact, a serpent in disguise, denigrating and abusing his students. As we continued to talk, we discovered other destructive people who had caused him difficulties throughout his life. These conversations brought out a powerful theme for his memoir.

 

Finding a theme for your memoir doesn’t have to be difficult. Simply look for the universal ideas and takeaways you want you reader to receive. Once you have a theme for your memoir, you might just find that the words flow effortlessly as you share your life story with your readers.

If you’re interested in hiring a ghostwriter, check out my book: Your Guide to Hiring a Ghostwriter.

How May I Help You?

    Your Story Is Important

    Your story is important. Write your book!

    I believe that every person has at least one good book in them. That project might be an exciting life story, a memoir, a fictional piece, or a family history. Over the last twenty years, I’ve helped dozens of clients share their incredible stories. Sharing your story is important to me.

    You might be surprised to learn that out of the nearly eight billion people on this blue-green planet only 44,000 are published authors. That means that only an infinitesimal percentage of people realize their dream of seeing their books in the hands of readers.

    Let’s see if we can improve that statistic!

    How to begin

    While there are many steps to writing a book, I’d say the first is the most important. Begin with a firm decision to write your book within a year. When this step is completed, you will need to muster the courage (yes, courage) to see your dream through to the end. Whatever you do, don’t allow the many distractions of the world to hinder your progress. Remember, your story is important.

    I find that it helps if you create a schedule that you can keep. Ideally, find a time each day to write. I also encourage you to find a calm, comfortable, and stable writing space where you won’t be interrupted.

    Information Gathering

    Research your book because your story is importantThe next step is a crucial one. Before you take off putting thousands of words on paper, you need to research your topic. Collecting data can take different forms depending upon your genre. Within your notes, include your purpose for writing your book as well as your intended readership.

    If you’re writing nonfiction, take copious notes as you research the various topics you plan to cover. This will avoid confusion and frustration later. Make sure to record your sources so you can refer to them later. Dig deep. You really can’t have too many notes for your book.

    For a memoir you’d want to consider the incidents that made up your past, as well as the details about the environments and characters that will fill your book.

    For a fictional work, your research would include details on any real-world historical accounts mentioned or real locations featured. If your book takes place on a completely unknown planet that has nothing to do with any of Earth’s logic, you need to build a new world. Check out my article on World Building to learn more.

    Note: When you are embarking on a writing adventure, it’s very important that you continue to read books you enjoy that are in the genre you wish to write. You can learn a lot by studying other people’s writing. It’s a bit like when you were just learning the how to speak: the more you listened, the more you got the hang of the language.

    Now Get Writing!

    Before you dive into writing, create a detailed outline. That way you won’t get lost, stray from your purpose, or forget any of the minor plot lines or incidents in your masterpiece. Your story is important. Keep on track.

    With the outline in hand, it’s time to start putting pen to paper or fingers to your keyboard. Focus on banging out a first draft. Follow your outline and your book should flow naturally.

    As you write, don’t edit. Just write. And write. And write. Keep the words flowing. I like to record the number of words that I write per day so I can do my best to beat the previous day’s word count. Yes, I’m a bit competitive.

     

    Once you have your first draft completed, you can begin to edit. Check out my detailed article on How to Edit Your Own Book for instruction on that phase. For now, pat yourself on the back for getting your first draft completed. Well done!

    If you’re interested in hiring a ghostwriter, check out my book: Your Guide to Hiring a Ghostwriter.

    How to Conquer Writer’s Block

    Writer's block can be frustratingYou stare at a fresh, new document in frustration, but the words just won’t come. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t get your fingers to perform the chorus of taps you need. You are experiencing something very common for even the most seasoned authors. Writer’s block.

    These two little words evoke fear in the hearts of many brave warrior writers, causing them to spiral down into a swirl of anxiety and self-doubt. It’s a writer’s worst nightmare.

    While some claim that there is no such thing as “writer’s block,” the fact is that if you’re reading this article, you probably feel it’s real and that’s enough for me. Perhaps your well of inspiration has run dry. It isn’t “all in your head” and it isn’t an imagined curse.

    The good news is that there is a remedy.

    How do you conquer writer’s block? Think of writing in terms of flow—a steady, continuous stream of ideas being put into a document. Now, sometimes a flow can get stuck, just like a river can be stopped by a variety of blockades.

    So what is the solution?

    Remove the barrier and get the flow moving again. Start by writing something, anything.

    Write something, anything

    My main remedy for writer’s block is to write.

    writer's block can be handled by priming the pumpIf your creative well is dry, then you may need to prime the pump. Simply flowing words onto paper might just unstick you and pull you out of the stagnant doldrums.

    Find something you can write about very easily and just let yourself go. Don’t think about your current project. Your job is to simply get words out so you can get the river of words flowing again.

    A few ideas

    If you have writer’s block, here are a few suggestions:

    • Compose an old-fashioned letter or an email to a close friend. Share a recent experience you know she’d enjoy. Feel free to wax poetic.
    • Write in a personal journal you know no one will ever see.
    • Pen an article for a blog, sharing advice with your readers about something you know a lot about. If you don’t have a blog, now is a good time to start one.

    Even short pieces can help you get back into the swing of writing. You can write out a detailed to-do list, post messages on your favorite social media sites, jot down notes for your roommate or spouse, etc.

    It really doesn’t matter what you write, so long as you put words on paper. Remember, writers write.

    It’s in their blood.

    It’s in your blood.

    Note: It’s worth mentioning that reading can also help you write. If you’re stuck, try reading a book you really enjoy. You may become inspired!

    Plotters versus pantsers

    I’ve recently learned that in the writing world there are “plotters” and “pantsers.” Yeah, this was news to me, too. These terms describe authors who “plot” out an outline or those who “fly by the seats of their pants” and develop their story as they go.

    In case we haven’t met, Hi, I’m Laura Sherman the Friendly Ghostwriter, a dyed-in-the-wool plotter. I blog a lot about how to outline a book. I can’t even begin to write a short story without a detailed road map of where I’m going. It would be a hot mess. I’d be a hot mess.

    I realize that not everyone is a plotter. Many great writers are pantsers. That’s fine. Some of my best friends are pantsers.

    However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that you can always switch from one method to the other mid-stream. It doesn’t mean you have to give up your membership card to your team. No, if you are a pantser, you can secretly plot out the rest of the book and see if that helps you steer your way out of your writer’s block. Or, if you are a plotter, you can diverge from your outline to free flow a section just to get your creative juices going.

    Plotters, adjust your outline

    Writer's block can be helped through using a good outlineNow, if you’re a plotter like me and you find that you’re stuck, it could be that the writer’s block you’re experiencing is simply your common sense saying that you’ve headed in the wrong direction. If the words don’t fly off the keyboard, go back and make sure you’re on board with the direction of the story. It can be an easy fix; just make some adjustments to your outline.

    A book can be boiled down to a series of incidents. I often create my outline by listing all the events that will occur in chronological order. However, where an outline can fail is when the purpose of each individual incident isn’t specified or understood.

    With fledgling writers, I’ve found this to be a common problem. They’ve created a spectacular scene, but ultimately discover that it really has no purpose in the book they are creating. It just doesn’t tie into their themes.

    If this happens to me, I toss it from the current project and save it in a file for future use in a different story.

    As a side note, if you find that you’re bored with a scene, but it is vital for your story, just sketch it out and move on. You can spice it up in editing. Your immediate goal is to get a good rough draft under your belt.

    Keep in mind that it’s a first draft

    I’ve seen too many new writers spiral into vortex of self-invalidation regarding their first drafts when they write a book. One of the biggest pieces of advice I have for them is to just bang out the first draft and don’t edit.

    Your first draft is the rough draft. The goal is to get your ideas out of your head and onto the page.

    The first draft won’t be perfect.

    It might even be ugly.

    That’s okay.

    Save editing for the editing stage of the process. Don’t edit as you write. The first draft should have tons of typos and errors. Mine always are littered with them.

    You write, you fix, you write, you edit, you write, you go back three pages and re-read it all, maybe even deleting whole paragraphs.

    You sit back and ask, “Is it perfect?”

    No.

    Ack! Now what? Stop writing.

    woman has writer's block because she edits too muchIf this is what’s happening with you, it could explain your “writer’s block.” The above scenario can become very choppy very quickly, because the sequence of actions is confused. You should write, write, write, write the first draft until it is complete. Then, and only then, do you take out the proverbial red pen and edit. Or hire an outside editor to help you. I’ve written an article about the different kinds of editors you might consider hiring. There are quite a few.

    Yes, writing a book calls for a leap of faith. So, close your eyes, let go of any preconceived notions, and just start typing. You’ll be amazed at what may come to you if you just allow yourself to create.

    Can’t find the right word?

    If you’re stuck on finding the exact word or phrase to describe something, don’t obsess over it. Sure, Google the word for synonyms or pull out your trusty thesaurus, but if nothing really works, put down something as a place holder and move on.

    Personally, if a word eludes me, I know it won’t be for long. When I move away from it, it never fails to pop into my mind, sometimes in the shower. It’s kind of the same with recalling names:

    Who was that woman at the party with the cheese plate?

    You know, the one with brown hair and glasses…

    Gladys, no.

    Judy, no.

    Then, a little bit later, while I’m washing the dishes…bam! It comes to me. It was Sarah Jones.

    So, whatever you do, please don’t waste hours staring at the blank screen, trying to retrieve the exact right phrasing now. It will come to you. Later.

    Surround yourself with supportive people

    Don't listen too critics too muchSometimes writer’s block goes deeper than the writing process. Some writers fall prey to their “inner critic,” which is basically the voice inside your head telling you that what you’re doing is not good enough. Being blunt, critics aren’t my favorite class of people.

    If you’re taking on the role of your worst critic, it can paralyze you to the point where you can’t write at all. There is absolutely no benefit to cutting yourself into shreds. Show your inner critic to the door of your mind and ask it to leave.

    One very real cause of writer’s block can derive from peers who discredit your abilities. If you have helpful friends who jokingly tell you, “Hey, Joe, don’t quit your day job!” this can be damaging to you as a writer. The only purpose of such comments is to get you to stop writing. Don’t seek advice from these people. Surround yourself with supportive people who have your best interests at heart, people who want to see you succeed.

    This isn’t to say that constructive criticism isn’t very helpful to a new (or an experienced) writer. Every writer can always improve and grow. I personally LOVE it when some kind soul writes in to tell me I have a typo in a blog article or gives me tips on my writing. It’s quite wonderful!

    When you’re trying to sort out whether someone’s feedback is helpful or not, the trick is to look at the intention behind the comment and really observe how it makes you feel. That will help you figure out where to file the suggestion. If the critique leaves you feeling good about yourself, listen to it. If you feel like you’re a poser who should never write again, toss the advice and the friend.

    Final thoughts

    As a writer you are engaged in one of the most amazing activities in the world: creating. It’s a wonderful and impressive ability that you have!

    Now, that’s not to say that writing isn’t hard work. It has its challenges.

    Writer’s block can be a bump in the road. But rest assured that it is a small bump that can be handled fairly smoothly. With a bit of experimentation, you can find the actions that will help turn things around. And if the remedy works once, it will probably work again. Soon, there will be no stopping you.

    If you need advice or help in the area of writer’s block, please don’t hesitate to email me!

    Additional articles you might find helpful:

    Help! Help! I Need Help Writing a Book!

    How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Ghostwriter

    What to Expect In an Interview with a Ghostwriter

    How to Write Great Dialogue

    How Can I Help With Your Writer’s Block?

      Problems Writers Face and Their Solutions

      solutions to problems writers faceHave you been interested in completing a book that has been on the backburner for years? If you don’t do something differently, you’ll be in the same boat in 2035. You really need to fully examine the situation. While it is true that there are numerous problems writers face, the good news is there are good solutions.

      In this article, my goal is to help you complete the first draft of your novel or memoir. I’m not going to address the marketing problems or issues of rejection and criticism.

      Let’s get your book finished first.

      Over the last twenty years, hundreds of authors have written me sharing the main problems writers face. Here are my thoughts on what you can do if you have these challenges.

      I’m too busy to write

      Problem: You have a full time job or are an entrepreneur. You have a great idea for a story but just don’t have the time to write each day. How do you fit in the hundreds of hours you know it will take to complete your book?

      Solution: Well, there are two solutions. One is you just carve out the time and make it work. Reorganize your life to fit in an hour a day to write (this gives you time to get set up and end off). In order to accomplish this, many writers get up a little earlier each day. For me, mornings are an ideal time to write.

      The second solution is to hire someone to help you. You might hire a partner, consultant, or ghostwriter. Whichever option appeals to you, you will need to pay upfront for the help. No one can donate their time for a percentage of the profits from the sale of your book.

      If you’re interested in my help, please feel free to contact me and we’ll arrange for a consultation.

      No end in sight

      no end in sight, a problems writers faceProblem: You’ve been working on this book for years and there is no end in sight. When a writer can’t complete their first draft, the problem almost always is a faulty outline (or a lack of one). There is no roadmap and therefore the author often gets lost. Which way is true north?

      Solution: Stop writing the first draft and create a detailed outline. Structuring your story (or memoir) is key to success. If you need help hitting the beats (or elements) required for good storytelling, please feel free to contact me for a one-hour consultation.

      Need more time to research

      Problem: Research is an integral part of any novel or memoir. The authenticity of the piece is what will compel the reader forward, engrossing them in your story. However, some writers get lost in the research phase and never begin writing. That’s a huge problem.

      Solution: Recognize when you done enough research to properly build the world of your novel or memoir. Your next step is outlining and then you should begin writing your first draft. Understand that as you write, you will naturally continue to research. For me, researching continues through even the editing phase. So don’t feel you need to have all the research done before you begin to write.

      Shiny objects around you

      distractions writers faceProblem: When you sit down to write, it’s very easy to get distracted. Checking email, Facebook, news, etc. are all popular diversions available 24/7. In addition, interruptions from family members and calls from friends can make writing seem impossible. The hour you’ve set aside to write disappears quickly.

      Solution: Allow yourself uninterrupted writing time each day. Find a nook in your home or outside where no one will disturb you. Turn off your internet and cell phone. Without the distractions you should find yourself much more productive.

      Too many potholes

      Problem: You’ve written over 30,000 words, but don’t feel like continuing. You are more than halfway done, but just don’t feel that spark to write anymore. What happened? You’ve gotten off track and need to discover where you took an incorrect turn.

      Solution: If you have a good, detailed outline in hand, revisit it and make sure all your elements are there. Analyze it carefully to see if something doesn’t feel right about the storyline. Contact me if you need a sounding board. I can usually spot the problem within an hour consultation.

      If you don’t have an outline that’s the problem. Writing by the seat of your pants can be fun and thrilling, but one of the hazards inherent in this way of writing is that you can find yourself on a bumpy road that needs some major construction work to fill in potholes. The reason you don’t want to write anymore is probably because the story has a major flaw. Go back and put in the time to outline; the solution should pop into view. Be prepared to do some rewrites.

      I’m bored

      Problem: You’ve been writing your book for years and find the whole story line boring now. You wonder if anyone will actually want to read your book. Finding the time to finish the project gets harder and harder with each passing week or month.

      Solution: Get some feedback. It’s possible that your story (or the main characters within it) have flatlined. If you’d like my input, I’m happy to help. You can hire me on an hourly basis to review your story and give you feedback and advice.

      I just don’t feel like writing today

      being uninspired; problems writers faceProblem: Taking one day off from writing isn’t a red flag, but if you find that you feel uninspired to write day after day, that isn’t a good sign. As I’ve mentioned a few times, make sure you have a good roadmap before you start. However, if your outline is good, but you are uninspired, I have an idea for you.

      Solution: Some writers feel bored and uninspired if they know exactly where the story is going. They don’t feel like continuing because they know all the nuances of the piece. One trick to keep yourself engaged is to leave off at a cliffhanger after each writing session. Don’t conclude the scene but leave it for the next day. Yes, I stole this idea from Scheherazade, who stayed alive night after night by telling her husband parts of an exciting adventure, making sure to leave off before its conclusion. For me, this keeps the process exciting.

      I’m too tired to write

      Problem: You sit down to write but feel exhausted after the day’s events. The kids were screaming over who got the purple dish with the bunny or your boss asked you to stay late to do extra tasks because your coworker was out sick again. These are problems writers face every day and leave one feeling wholly uninterested in writing one’s book.

      Solution: Take the time to take care of yourself. A writer expends calories doing mental exercises like writing (about 60 – 100 calories per hour). You need to eat properly and get enough sleep, or you won’t write well. In addition, make sure you are getting physical exercise. Swimming, running, or even walking will help increase your energy, which will make you a better writer. For me, I love to take a two-mile walk each day. I listen to Audibles, which keeps me doubly inspired.

       

      If you find I’ve missed problems writers face, please feel free to write me. I’m here to help you. And if you’d like a consultation, please fill in the form below so that I can reach out and set up a time to assist you.

      How Can I Help You?

        Memoir Mistakes You Should Avoid

        Avoid crucial memoir mistakes when writing your bookMemoirs are an extremely popular genre with readers. Why? I think that’s because so many people love to step into the shoes of another person and learn about their world for a few hours. However, it’s important to understand that readers will put your book down if you fall into certain traps and commit basic memoir mistakes.

        If you are new to this genre, your first step should be to really understand what a memoir is and how to structure this kind of book. Really embrace this style of writing and focus on your memoir themes. This will save you a lot of frustration in writing and marketing your book.

        What is a memoir?

        A memoir is a very personal story, told by the author from his or her viewpoint, which shares a certain period in the author’s life. While it can be confused with an autobiography, it actually has a different feel. An autobiography reads more like a biography but is told from the author’s perspective. It typically commences with the author’s birth and spans through their entire life. This book a bit more clinical in style, whereas a memoir is all about emotion.

        Reading memoirs allows us to delve deeply into the lives of people who have done something remarkable in their lives. Perhaps they overcame incredible odds to reach success in some aspect of their life, or they fought an illness and survived, or maybe they lived through an extraordinary moment of history. We can learn so much about others and ourselves through memoirs.

        Popular Types of Memoirs

        Within the memoir genre there are a host of categories to choose from. Of course, there is bound to be some overlap, but here are a few options to consider when writing your memoir:

        Transformational stories

        Stories of transformation can be popular memoir themes

        As a ghostwriter, these are my favorite memoirs to write. These are the stories where the author has overcome some great obstacle in life and wishes to share the details of his or her redemption or recovery. This can encompass overcoming an illness such as cancer, surviving a traumatic childhood to achieve success as an adult, recovering from an addiction, leaving a country with an oppressive government to flourish in a new place, or the classic rags to riches story, which can take many forms.

        Success in business stories

        When you talk to most successful entrepreneurs, you’ll discover they faced numerous daunting obstacles as they climbed the ladder to victory. People in power will often tell you that they failed many times before they figured out how to make it. They wish to share the lessons they learned and their triumph with others, and a memoir is a natural vehicle for their story. This type of memoir is also a favorite of mine (and there is often crossover with the transformational memoir).

        Travel stories

        Some memoirs take the reader on a journey through an exotic land, sharing all the details of that location. These stories usually encompass another theme, so they aren’t only about the new foods the author ate or the striking vistas he or she viewed. Rather, they are usually about a spiritual, emotional, or transformational journey for the author as well.

        Memoir Mistakes

        After talking to hundreds of first-time authors, I’ve discovered there are some common misconceptions about how to write a memoir. If you’re considering writing your life story, you’ll want to avoid these very basic memoir mistakes. Don’t worry, they are easy to sidestep.

        Memoir Mistake Number 1: Focusing on the trivial rather than the big picture

        Do you need help writing a book?

        When you write your memoir, you aren’t recording your life’s trivial events in detail. This is high on the list of memoir mistakes because your readers are not interested in what you ate at each meal or which bus you took to work. Toss most of the trivia and focus on the big picture.

        This is fairly easy to do. Before you begin writing your memoir, ask yourself, “What can the reader learn from reading my story?” You might need to dig deep and really mine for the gold that’s there. The lessons you have learned over the years will form the backbone of your book.

        It might help to zero in on a theme. This will provide focus. There are a wide variety of great memoir themes to choose from. Here are just a few examples:

        • Hard work pays off
        • Self-pity is a trap
        • A positive outlook helps you attain your goals
        • Change can be a good thing
        • Life is too short not to forgive

        When you determine what your book’s theme is, your next step will be to find incidents that illustrate these ideas for your readers. Of course, you wouldn’t want to come out and tell your readers what the theme might be within the pages of your memoir.

        Instead, you should show your readers your message through the incidents of your book. Delve into the emotional sacrifices, mistakes and triumphs to share the journey you took. They’ll get the message!

        Memoir Mistake Number 2: Covering your entire life rather than focusing on a specific time period

        Remember, you’re not writing a school essay or an autobiography. A typical memoir mistake for new authors is to want to start at birth and move forward chronologically. You’re writing a memoir, which will focus on a certain period, one that would fascinate a reader and teach him or her something new about an area of life. It’s a slice of your life, rather than the whole pie.

        Now, it’s worth noting that a memoir is usually not written in diary form. Journaling can be a wonderful and beautiful expression of one’s deepest thoughts, but it usually doesn’t translate directly into a book. For one thing, the target reader of a diary is, well, you; a memoir is usually written for others to read. Having said that, one client recently hired me to help her compile her life story into a book that she could then have and read. If you are the sole target reader, you should write your book the way you would like to read it.

        If you hire a ghostwriter to write your memoir, keep in mind that diaries always have a strong place in the research of a memoir. Having been a professional ghostwriter for twenty years, I can tell you that a client’s diary is a rich source of color when I write a memoir for a client.

        Memoir Mistake Number 3: Not considering the feelings of the real people mentioned in your book

        It's a memoir mistake not to consider the feelings of others when writing your book

        Memoirs are not a good avenue for retribution for past wrongs done to you. Writing a book for revenge is a sharp-edged weapon which can do permanent damage. Besides being a morally questionable action to take, remember that you can open yourself up to lawsuits.

        When you write your memoir, you can’t avoid discussing the lives of the people around you. They will become the main characters in your book. Sure, you can change the attributes a bit—maybe alter the name of the grouchy neighbor or make the schoolteacher a brunette instead of a blond. These minor modifications can go a long way to hide the characters in your book.

        However, it will be impossible to completely conceal certain pivotal people in your life. For instance, your parents or siblings will recognize themselves.

        The safest approach would be to ask all your friends and relatives who might be in your book how they feel about that. If they agree to be featured in your memoir, take the additional step and ask them to sign a release. You can find examples of a legal release online. If any friend or family member refuses to sign, it might be best to keep them out of your memoir.

        The bottom line is that whenever you put something in writing, it becomes permanent. While you might feel fine with airing your family’s dirty laundry today, will you be all right with it two years from now? How about twenty years? To avoid these memoir mistakes, it’s best to write about everyone in a good light now to prevent potential upsets later.

        Memoir Mistake Number 4: Writing for every reader rather than focusing on a specific demographic

        It is a memoir mistake to write for every reader; pick a demographic.

        When I’m working with a first-time author, I’ll ask who the ideal reader might be. Many times a client will say, “all readers.” Writing for “everyone” is high on the list of memoir mistakes because you need to pinpoint a demographic and write to them. The more specific you can get, the better.

        • Consider that you might be at a dinner party. You have a story to share, something amusing that happened to you last year. How would you share that anecdote? I would imagine that you’d tell it differently if you were visiting the White House, seated with dignitaries, than if you were sitting with your bowling buddies or your teenage children. You’d use different vocabulary and your tone would probably change a bit. That’s because you’d want to create the biggest impact with your storytelling; you’d want your audience to receive your communication on a level that they would enjoy.

        So when you write, you need to keep your specific type of reader in mind, as if they were in front of you. Of course, even though you’re writing to that reader, that doesn’t mean others won’t enjoy your book. You may accidentally discover a new category of reader as you begin to market and sell your book.

         

        When you write your memoir, it can offer your readers a peek into your soul and universe. They will relish this. Memoirs are an important genre of the literary world. Just avoid the common memoir mistakes and you might just make a difference in someone’s life.

        Enjoy the journey!

        Check out these additional resources:

        Write and Publish Your Book

        How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Ghostwriter?

        Your Guide to Hiring a Ghostwriter

         

        How can I help you write your memoir?

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          Seven Steps to Avoid Writing Distractions

          Don't allow distractions from writing to get in your way

          Are you sitting in front of your computer or typewriter, wondering why the words won’t flow? Don’t allow writing distractions to stop you from completing you book.

          If you want to finish your project within a year, you must commit to spending a few hundred hours. That can take forever if you’re piecing together tiny increments of time, spread out over months. If you allow writing distractions to creep in, you’ll find that you will just spend your time reviewing, rather than make forward progress.

          To avoid writing distractions, here are a few tips that might help:

          Step 1: Turn off your Wi-Fi

          Unplugging from the internet will stop you from checking your email, social media feed, or what’s up with your favorite sports team every two minutes. Unless you need the internet to do research, there’s no reason to have your Wi-Fi on. It’s the number one cause of writing distractions for many. You aren’t alone.

          Now, if you need the internet for your word processing program, you can use an app like Freedom, which allows you to block various websites. Sometimes we all need a little help to avoid the temptation of distractions from writing.

          Step 2: Turn off your cell phone

          Cell phones and writing distractions go hand in hand

          When writing, you must give yourself a chunk of time when you won’t be disturbed. When I hear that familiar ping from my cell phone, politely letting me know I have a new text message, it is hard to ignore.

          A ghostwriting client needs me…

          A friend has something important to say…

          My brother has a cute meme to share…

          Remember back to the time before cell phones? We all somehow got along without a barrage of continual communication. Your friends can wait an hour or two while you write.

          My advice is to completely turn your cell phone off while you write. That way you’ll avoid many different forms of writing distractions.

          If you don’t, the temptation to check texts and voice messages might be too great. These interruptions make it difficult to complete a writing task. Even putting the phone on vibrate will interrupt your creative flow. 

          Step 3: Use the tools that are best for you

          You are an artist. There’s no doubt about that. Please don’t be pressured to conform to another writer’s methods. Write in a way that’s most comfortable and productive for you.

          I work best on my laptop using Word. I’ve known writers who prefer working on yellow legal pads, writing long hand. Some like the old fashion feel of a typewriter’s keyboard. 

          There is no “right way” to write.

          The only wrong way is not to write. Whatever works to produce words on a page is correct. 

          Step 4: Find a quiet writing spot

          Avoid distractions from writing

          It’s important that you discover a good, quiet, comfortable place to write. This might be in your car, in a coffee shop, a library, or a nook in your home. Or perhaps you prefer to sit propped up on your bed with lots of pillows for support.

          Find a spot where the distractions are limited. For instance, setting up in the middle of a busy kitchen probably won’t work well.  Likewise, if you walk into a bar where everyone shouts your name upon entry, that might not be the most distraction-free environment for your work.

          If you aren’t sure which spot is best, try different ones. Which locations produce the most number of quality words per hour? 

          Step 5: Eat well, sleep well, take care of yourself

          It’s hard to write well when you’re tired or hungry. Exhaustion and an empty stomach can cause powerful writing distractions. Get a good amount of sleep and eat regular nourishing meals. Keep in mind that while junk food will stop the grumbling in your tummy, it is liable to make you tired, which will result is poor writing. Side note: If you’re fasting, your characters are likely to discuss food more than they should.

          Bottom line, writing is hard work. Take care of yourself. Get a good seven or eight hours of sleep each night.

          It’s worth noting that you do burn calories when you write. Yes, mental activities consumes energy, about fifty calories per hour.

          You might also do some aerobic exercise before writing, as it gets the blood pumping. 

          You know what your body and mind needs! Take good care of yourself and you’ll write a better book.

          Step 6: Prepare ahead of time

          I find that I’m less distracted when I’m well prepared. When the research is completed and I know where I’m going, the words usually flow seamlessly.

          One trick that I’ve learned over the years is to end a writing session mid-scene, especially if I leave off at an exciting cliffhanger. This takes some discipline, as you will probably want to push through and just finish it, but leaving it to the next day will give you something to look forward to. That way, you’ll know exactly what to write, and can embark on the next day’s target with ease.

          If you get carried away and complete the passage, you can still set yourself up for the next day. Put your notes in order and write the first few lines before you end off.

          Step 7: Don’t edit as you write

          After coaching various writers on the craft, I’ve noticed that editing too early is actually a writing distraction. Writers start doubting their ability to write and often stop in the middle of their book. They never pick it back up again.

          While it is fine to review the previous day’s work, don’t fall into the trap of editing before you finish your first draft. I know that can be hard, but remember, you really need to just get words down on paper. As long as you have a good, detailed outline, you’re fine to continue to the completion of that initial draft.

          Editing midway can cause many problems and is usually a complete waste of time. Understand that when you finish your first draft, you’ll be in a different place. You’ll know a lot more about the story, the characters and the plot elements, so that you can do a proper edit. 

          Most writers will do at least some rewrites during the editing phase, so if you start reworking pieces before you complete the first draft, you’re just doubling your work. Just plow forward and plan to correct errors later.

          In conclusion

          Every writer is different and every writer has his or her own process. What works for you might not work for me, and that’s fine. Find the successful actions that help you be as productive as you can be. The best measure of success is progress.

          How many words did you write this week?

          If you need a little help from a ghostwriter, please feel free to email me. We can work together to create your book!

          If you could benefit from my consulting services, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I can assist you on an hourly basis and troubleshoot any problems you might be having.

          Please check out these additional articles and resources:

          Your Guide to Hiring a Ghostwriter

          Memoir Themes

          How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Ghostwriter?

          How Can I Help You?

            How to Successfully Work with a Ghostwriter

            how to work with a ghostwriterYou have a great story to tell or important information to share and wish to write a book. However, your demanding schedule leaves little time to put pen to paper. In addition, you have never written a 200-300 page book and might not be completely fluent with all the rules of writing and storytelling. This is the moment when most people reach out to me because they realize the process would be so much easier if they could work with a ghostwriter.

            A ghostwriter is a professional writer who specializes in helping her clients bring their stories to life. She will write your book but you’ll own the rights, because you’re the author. Although you’ll need to be involved, she will do 90% of the work and will help see your project through to completion in a timely manner.

            Over the last twenty years, I’ve had the pleasure of partnering with many different clients on over three dozen memoirs, novels, and business books. While each relationship was unique, I’ve picked out some common steps you can expect to take if you decide to work with a ghostwriter.

            Finding the right ghostwriter for you

            Your first course of action is to interview and select the best ghostwriter for you and your project. The most popular way to find ghostwriters by searching for them online. You’ll find there are a lot of choices, but you can begin whittling down the list by determining three important requirements before you start interviewing.

            First, know your budget. At least know your range. For instance, if you wish to write a 100-page (25,000-word) book and have a budget of $12,500, that’s fifty cents per word. Don’t contact someone who charges two dollars per word. Find writers within your range. This will save you a lot of time and frustration.

            Second, know the genre of your book. You don’t want to waste your time on interviewing a writer who specializes in novels when you intend to write a business how-to book.

            And, third, prepare a brief summary of your book. I can’t tell you how many clients spend over an hour sharing their entire story with me during our initial conversation. It’s draining and exhausting for the author and the writer. While you need to share the overview of the story to determine that the ghostwriter will be a good fit, it should be an elevator pitch lasting only a few minutes so that you have enough time and energy for the rest of the interview questions.

            After you’ve determined that the potential ghostwriter is qualified, has a lot of prior experience, and is within your price range, it’s time to interview her on the phone. Prepare a list of questions ahead of time. For a little advice about the kinds of questions to ask, please read my article: Interview Questions for a Ghostwriter.

            When you speak on the phone, make sure that you and your ghost can talk comfortably and easily. You want a ghostwriter who listens well and asks intelligent questions. Ideally, she will engage in your story right away. And there should be an immediate bond; it should feel like you’ve been friends for years.

            Signing with a ghostwriter

            when you work with a ghostwriter have a good contractOnce you’ve found your perfect match, it’s time to make it official. Your ghostwriter should have a ghostwriting contract for you to sign. Always put all the important details in writing so there are no confusions later.

            Your contract should include the following:

            • all milestone deadlines and payments
            • the expected word count of the book
            • all the services that will be provided
            • a clear agreement that the author will hold all copyrights
            • the permitted number of revision requests
            • a confidentiality agreement
            • a contingency plan in case there are disputes.

            Plan to pay 25% of the total fee upfront. This covers research and outlining, which in my experience is often the most time-consuming phase. I work on a milestone approach so that my clients always know what to expect with each payment. For example, with the first payment they will receive a detailed outline within two or three months.

            Work with a ghostwriter on research

            Now that you’ve selected your ghostwriter and have signed the contract, it’s time to gather all your research information and notes. Don’t worry if your notes are messy and disorganized. Personally, I never mind if the notes provided are riddled with typos and grammatical errors. All I’m interested in is the information, so that I can begin formulating the outline for your book. Then I’ll set up an interview schedule to fill in the gaps.

            Notes can come in a variety of forms. Over the last twenty years, clients have given me:

            • Diaries
            • Website links
            • Newspaper clippings
            • Handwritten notes
            • Audio or video files
            • Photographs
            • Rough drafts of chapters

            research when you work with a ghostwriterIf you want to work with a ghostwriter, but don’t have any written notes prior to signing the contract, that’s completely fine. Your ghost will be able to guide you, so that you can give her the information she needs.

            For instance, if you desire to write a memoir, I’d ask that you jot down a list of crucial incidents. This list can be very basic. The wording should be designed to help you remember what happened. For instance, you might write “the time I met Mary on the subway,” or “graduation day,” or “the big argument with my brother two years ago.” You know what each phrase means and can instantly remember all the details. Of course, if you’re so inclined, you could also note a few details at this time.

            In the case of a non-fiction book, your notes would take the form of chapter titles for a preliminary Table of Contents. Under each chapter title, you would list out the subheads you plan to incorporate into that chapter, along with a few comments about what you want to say.

            As you work with a ghostwriter, she will take these notes and use them as a starting place to create her interview questions. These questions will help her get more details to flesh out your story.

            Settling a few important details

            As you pull together the research notes, consider these important aspects of your book:

            • the genre
            • the readership
            • your goals

            select the right genre for your bookWhile you determined the general genre of your book before starting your search for your ghostwriter, now you can get more specific. This will help your writer when she begins outlining.

            For instance, if you’re a successful businessperson, you might have a choice between writing a memoir or a how-to book in which to share your hard-won knowledge. Or if you have led an exciting life, you might choose between writing a memoir or creating a fictionalized version of your story, turning it into a novel.

            Next, you need to determine the readership of your book. This will help you choose which incidents to include in your story and the style in which they will be written. After all, a college textbook would be quite different from a romantic comedy. Or a World War II memoir would be written in a very different style from a space opera science fiction novel.

            And finally, you need to clarify your goals. Do you hope to gain financially? Do you wish to share your wisdom and experience to help others improve their lives? Or do you simply wish to record your family history for your loved ones? When you know why you wish to publish your book, you can work with a ghostwriter to realize those goals.

            Interviewing with a ghostwriter

            Some people I speak to seem to have the impression that a ghostwriter is someone who follows a celebrity around all day, perhaps living in the guest house or in a spare bedroom. While I have seen this portrayed in movies, in real life it isn’t terribly practical.

            I find that it is most effective to interview clients over the phone and via email. It’s rare that I ever meet them in person (although sometimes I have had the pleasure). In-person interviews aren’t necessary and don’t make the process easier.

            During these interviews a ghostwriter will gather details on all the incidents in your memoir or novel. If you’re writing a how-to book, your writer will want to interview you to gain insight into the information, techniques, and tips which will be featured in the book. In addition, successful nonfiction books include amusing, illustrative anecdotes to hold the reader’s interest. These are usually best communicated through interviews.

            As you continue to work with a ghostwriter, an effective way to pass on important information is through written materials, such as documents, notes, emails, etc. But ongoing oral interviews are key to a successful outcome because they give her the opportunity to master your voice. Becoming familiar with the way you express yourself will allow the writer to convincingly write in your style. After all, this will be your book and your name will be on the cover.

            Tips on interviewing

            When you are interviewed, be prepared to be honest and candid. Don’t try to hide things. Take responsibility for your actions. If you attempt to blame others, your readers will lose respect for you and interest in the book. Embrace what happened, no matter how embarrassing or messy it may seem to you. That’s important. Then be sure to express how much you’ve learned from your mistakes. This will resonate with your readers. After all, we’ve all been there.

            use your senses when describing a scene in a bookAnother tip is to consider all of your senses when you describe a scene. People typically default to their sense of sight and describe what they saw. While these descriptions are crucial, it’s important not to forget all the other perceptions.

            For instance, let’s say you’re sharing the story of your tenth birthday with your ghostwriter. Think about the sounds of the outdoor party. Were there birds singing or perhaps cicadas buzzing and clicking? Then try to remember the smells of freshly mown grass or grilling hamburgers. You should probably also delve into the emotions of the day. Were you excited or disappointed? There are so many possibilities. The more sensory details you add, the richer your story will be.

            And finally, I’d suggest that you and your ghostwriter limit each conversation to about an hour. While an hour and a half can be fine, I wouldn’t recommend marathon three-hour talks. You’ll get worn out, and your ability to recall the details might diminish.

            Planning your schedule

            Plan your schedule when you work with a ghostwriterWhen you work with a ghostwriter, she will do the heavy lifting for your book, but remember that you also have a key role in your project. Some ghostwriters collect all the information upfront, learning as much as they can, and quickly deliver a first draft for the client to review. They basically complete the book without continued input from the client. Once the rough draft is finished, that’s when they request feedback and make adjustments accordingly. I feel that is a potential recipe for disaster.

            Personally, I want to make sure to be delivering the style of writing the authors expect. To that end, I send pages to my clients for feedback on a regular basis, as I write them. That way I can be sure to be on the right track and deliver what my clients envisioned.

            It is important to be upfront with your ghostwriter about your available time. In the beginning, you should plan to spend minimally a few hours a week on interviewing, answering questions, and providing feedback. A good ghostwriter is flexible and, with some forewarning, can work around your schedule.

            Giving feedback

            When you work with a ghostwriter, she will require feedback. It’s important to be specific in your comments, so that she can learn and improve. For instance, don’t simply say, “I didn’t like that.” Rather, explain what you felt was missing from the passage or what nuance you felt wasn’t correctly captured.

            It’s also key to point out what you felt your ghost got right. Good feedback is just as helpful as correction. We learn from both equally.

            It’s a good idea to give a quick turnaround on edits to your ghostwriter, as that will speed up the process and help her learn faster. Ideally, you can tell her when you’ll be able to review the document so she can schedule around it.

            I like working with MS Word. I find Track Changes a helpful editing tool because the client can make changes within the document and I can immediately spot the edits. Plus, he or she can write comments that help explain the changes made. It’s a great tool for any writing team.

             

            Work with a ghostwriterYour story is important and deserves to be heard. If you don’t have the time or know-how to write a book yourself, having a ghostwriter help you is a real option. Knowing how to pick a ghostwriter allows you to find the person who is best suited for you and your project. And understanding how to work with a ghostwriter allows you to two to become a strong team, one that works together smoothly and effectively to bring your story to life so that you can share it with the world.

            Do you need my help?

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              Want to Write a Book?

              Want to write a book? Start now!

              As the year progresses, I think about all the potential authors out there who want to write a book. After all, I know that many people long to see their story in print. It’s an ultimate objective for many.

              How are you coming along with your goal?

              As a ghostwriter, I see many people procrastinate when it comes to writing a book. There are many excellent-sounding reasons why their book projects get shoved to the back of the closet.

              What’s the result?

              The books never get written.

              If you have a strong idea for a book, it’s important to write your book NOW. Don’t wait. I can’t emphasize this enough.

              Why do I feel this way?

              Well, here are a few reasons.

              In a year you’ll still be thinking about writing a book.

              If you want to write, schedule it!Think about it.

              Looking into my virtual crystal ball I can see that you have been pondering this book for several years. If you wait and do nothing, several more will pass. Decades even.

              I receive emails on a regular basis from authors who are passionate about writing a book. Beyond any other goal, they want to write. However, they often tell me: “I’m not quite ready to start.”

              Now, I will try to stay in touch with these folks throughout the year, contacting them regularly. My purpose is to help them complete their project. Their reply is often the same.

              “Yes, I want to write a book, but I’m too busy. Now’s just not a good time.”

              The problem is that this business of life will never change. You will always be busy. And whenever “now” is will rarely be a perfect moment to start.

              So what’s the solution?

              Find a way to write your book despite all the difficulties. Yes, you probably have many balls in the air, which you’re currently juggling.

              Find the time anyway.

              You can do it.

              You got this!

              Someone else will write a book very similar to yours.

              People sometimes are very afraid that someone will steal their book idea. That doesn’t happen often and isn’t something to fear. However, other people can come up with a similar idea on their own. That’s not only possible, but likely given all the authors in the world.

              That exciting plot twist that you’ve never seen before will appear in the mind of another author. Or a memoir similar to the one you’ve wanted to share, which you know will become a bestseller, will grace Amazon’s top 10. A different writer will have beaten you to the punch.

              Don’t allow that to happen to you!

              You will continue to think about your unfulfilled goal.

              Girl is sad she isn't writingIf you are anything like me, failure doesn’t sit well. This really hits home when you know you haven’t really tried to do your best to make your dream happen.

              You will continue to spend time thinking and considering your book project, wondering what your book would have looked like on the shelves of your local bookstore. You may even come up with brilliant marketing strategies to sell it. It’s all wasted time and energy if you don’t actually take action and write your book.

              You may want to write a book, but that isn’t enough. You must actually take the steps required to complete the project.

              That nagging feeling won’t go away. Trust me, you won’t be satisfied until you have completed your manuscript.

              You will develop a very bad habit of not writing.

              Habits come in many forms. Some involve doing an action you know you shouldn’t do and some involve not doing anything when you know you need to accomplish a goal.

              Once you develop the habit of not writing, it can become increasingly difficult to write. If you stop and start a lot, that pattern also becomes familiar. It becomes comfortable to you not to write and becomes something you learn to expect and accept.

              Don’t start down that path.

              You know you need to write!

              In order to actually complete your book, you must overcome the additional hurdle of the bad habit that you’ve formed. Authors require discipline to write a full-length book. There are no exceptions. It requires hundreds of hours. You can’t write a book in a week.

              Honestly, some people hire me because I’m a relentless bulldog when it comes to completing projects! Just ask my clients. They hire me because they know by the end of the ghostwriting process, they will have a book in their hands.

              If you want to write a book this year, the trick is to steadily write. If you can’t afford a ghostwriter, you will need to set aside time each and every day to work on your project. Don’t allow yourself the luxury of excuses as to why you don’t have time, energy, or enough pencils. The dog ate your manuscript shouldn’t fly either.

              Develop good writing habits and you will complete your book. If you wish to hire me as your consultant, please email me. I’ll keep you accountable and together we will complete your book!

              Excuses will enter in and plague you.

              If you want to write, don't allow excuses to stop you.Oh, you’ll come up with all sorts of legitimate sounding reasons for why you can’t write one day or the next. “I’m tired.” “There’s a good show on TV.” They sound good and reasonable, but you can’t let that deter you.

              Here’s a tip from your friendly ghostwriter: Treat yourself as if you were your own client.

              Give yourself targets and deadlines and then meet them!

              And finally, writing should be a joy. If it isn’t, something is wrong. If you’ve hit writer’s block, reach out and schedule a one-hour consultation today. I’ll get you writing again!

              If writing is a chore, don’t continue a painful process; the manuscript won’t come out well. Your readers will feel your resentment pouring from the pages. Think of the advice more experience chefs give their protégés: You need to cook with love. Your diners will tell the difference. As an author you need to write from a place of joy. Your readers will thank you for it.

              So, what are you waiting for? Stop reading this article and start writing!

              Additional articles you might find helpful:

              Your Guide to Hiring a Ghostwriter

              How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

              Help! I need help writing a book!

              Can I help you?

                What Ghostwriters Charge to Write a Book

                What ghostwriters chargeIf you’re interested in getting a little help to finish that book you’ve been working on for years, you might be a tad curious about what professional ghostwriters charge. This information is sometimes hard to discover because so many ghostwriters seem hesitant to post their fees. I’m guessing they’re worried that you might bolt when you find out the cost.

                My philosophy as a ghostwriter of twenty years is to be as transparent as possible about my fees and process because that’s really the only way someone will confidently reach out to me.

                If you do a little research, you’ll discover there are three main categories of ghostwriters:

                • Cheap (a few thousand dollars)
                • Celebrity (a six or seven figure price point)
                • Mid-range (tens of thousands of dollars)

                Cheap ghostwriters

                Cheap ghostwriters can be easily found through various websites: Craigslist, Fiverr, Upwork, etc. They may charge as little as ten dollars for an article or a couple thousand to write a book. I’ve even talked to a few writers who attempted to write a full-length book for under a thousand dollars. Sounds great, right? After all, who doesn’t love a good deal.

                Well…

                You have to ask yourself, how is it that these writers charge so little when you know that it takes hundreds of hours to write a book? They can’t possibly feed their family on two dollars per hour. The answer is, they have a different full-time job. That means they are fitting your project in on the weekends or after work, when they are probably exhausted.

                Another way around the pesky factor of time is plagiarism. It doesn’t take long to cut and paste someone else’s words into a document. Sure it’s illegal, and, yes, there is software that detects this crime, but cheap ghostwriters sometimes do it and get away with it.

                Celebrity ghostwriters

                On the other end of the price spectrum are the celebrity ghostwriters. These writers are reserved for those people with major household names. People in this class include former presidents, top-tier actors, major league sports stars, etc. These are folks who have a huge budget because they know they can jump to the head of the line and easily get a publisher to pay a six- or seven-figure advance based on their name alone.

                Mid-range ghostwriters

                what midrange professional ghostwriters chargeMid-range professional ghostwriters charge from fifty cents per word on up to two dollars per word. I fall into this category. I charge one dollar per word, so a full-length book usually runs $50,000–$75,000.

                When you hire a mid-range ghostwriter, you can expect to harness her extensive writing experience. She has been writing books for decades and know her stuff. In addition, most likely this writer will also be an author and can share a few titles that bear her name.

                This level of ghostwriter will have a well-defined process but should be flexible for your needs. You will get personalized attention and should find the experience enjoyable.

                 

                Professional ghostwriters charge according to their experience, ability, and reputation. Before you comb through your options, settle on a budget. This will help narrow down your options. Then take the steps needed to find the right and best ghostwriter for you. Check out my book Your Guide to Hiring a Ghostwriter for a few tips in that area.

                If you’d like to explore working with me, please contact me directly.