Do You Need Help Writing a Book?

need help writing a bookSo many people have a burning desire to share their life story, but need a little help. It takes discipline and experience, as well as dedication and determination. The process will take a few hundred hours. However, if you’re not a professional writer, don’t despair. You don’t need to abandon the dream. If you need help writing a book, you have options.

Improve your writing skills

If you must write the book yourself, you’ll need to gain experience. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and write and write and write, and then write some more.

What should you write?

Anything and everything!

Keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings. Describe objects in your home or people you know. Record family stories or funny incidents that happen to you. Write a love letter to your partner. Jot down that silly bedtime story you made up for your child. The more you write, the easier you will find it to get the ideas out of your head and down on paper.

It is a good idea to read books on how to write. These will teach you basic techniques that will allow you to bring your thoughts to life.

And definitely read the works of other authors. Notice how they tackle challenging scenes. How do they approach dialogue? How do they incorporate descriptions? When you find a passage you particularly like, dissect it and see how they were able to communicate their vision to you.

Now that you have improved your writing skills, tackle that story! For more information on how to get started writing your book, check out my Ask a Ghostwriter series.

Hire a writing consultant

If you want to write your own book, but feel you don’t have the experience and skill set to do so, you can hire a writing coach. This person’s job will be to provide guidance as you navigate your project. With this option, you will still do all the writing but you’ll have a guardian angel on your shoulder.

Find an experienced writer to help you. She should have a few books under her belt, preferably within the genre of your work. If she has never written a book, she will not understand the process and will not be able to guide you in the right direction.

It’s a good idea to lay out your writing goals early on. Share them with your coach and ask her to keep you accountable so that you finish your book in a timely manner.

Of course, it goes without saying that you’ll need to pay the consultant for her time.

Hire a Ghostwriter

hire a ghostwriter if you need help writing a bookAnother option is to hire someone else to completely write your book. Then all you’ll need to do is make comments about her writing. Of course, this is the most expensive option for you, but it’s also the least time consuming one. Although you’ll need to review her work and be available for interviews, it will only require an hour or two a week of your time.

If you have limited time and a low budget, you might consider hiring a ghostwriter to write a novella. A novella is a shorter book, usually about 100 pages long, and will only run $15,000 – 25,000.

Once you have your finished book, plan to spend a little extra money on an editor to polish it up and do your proofreading. Personally, I include editing in my pricing (and always hire an outside professional to read my book with an expert eye), but not all ghostwriters do. Strictly speaking, it isn’t usually included in the deal.

So, as you see, there are options for you to get help writing your book. If you need help sorting through these choices, please don’t hesitate to email me for a consultation!

If you’d like to learn more about how to hire a ghostwriter, check out my book: Your Guide to Hiring a Ghostwriter.

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    Should I Write a Memoir or an Autobiography?

    write a memoir or an autobiographyIf you’re sitting down to write your life story, you’re probably considering your options. When I offer prospective clients a free consultation, one of the questions I usually field is whether they should write a memoir or an autobiography.

    Many people think they are the same thing.

    They aren’t.

    While there are commonalities between the two genres, they are quite different in style and voice. This is a point of confusion for many. So before you begin writing your book, you must decide which option works best for you.

    What a memoir and an autobiography have in common

    Both types of books discuss the author’s life, as shared by you. For that reason, you would tell it in the first person. This type of storytelling differs from a biography, which you would write in the third person. This distances the reader from the author while memoirs and autobiographies tend to put the reader into the author’s shoes.

    Although a memoir or an autobiography can be written in diary form, they aren’t actually a personal journal. For one thing, an author writes in a diary for himself, but would pen a memoir for someone else. It’s important to remember that a memoir or an autobiography must follow the rules of literature; both must read like a novel no matter the format.

    How a memoir and an autobiography differ

    While both feature a person’s life and are told in the first person, the tone and voice are often night and day. An autobiography is usually more of a formal work, which often begins at birth (or early childhood) and chronologically carries through the entire life. While there are exceptions, these books often have a dry feel, focusing on facts while just touching on emotion.

    A memoir, on the other hand, dives headfirst into a sea of emotion. It tends to be intimate and passionate, highlighting a portion of the author’s journey through life. Remember, a memoir pulls out an era of the author’s life to examine and spotlight, making the story’s scope limited.

    Which one is right for you?

    What is the right choice? A memoir or an autobiography?When you’re selecting the style for your book, think about how much you wish to share with your reader. If you know you want to write only about a particular period of time, and you plan to share the emotional journey of that era with your readers, a memoir is a good choice for you. If you’d like to explore the entire scope of your life from a more detached perspective, I’d recommend an autobiography.

    Not to throw a monkey wrench into your decision-making process, but I would be remiss if I didn’t reiterate the third option I mentioned earlier. You might consider telling your life story in the third person as a biography. I had a client who chose that option because she was a toddler during the major event of the book. Her personal memory of the event wasn’t strong, but she had a lot of details of the historical incidents, so a biography made sense.

     

    Whether you choose to write a memoir or an autobiography, I encourage you to write your life story for others to read. Readers can gain so much from your experiences. Think of how rewarding it will be when people write in to say how much you’ve touched their lives with your book.

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