Embarking on the journey of writing a book is both exciting and challenging. As you plow through, you might realize you need a little external support. Perhaps you need a Friendly Ghostwriter? Or a Friendly Consultant? Let’s take a moment to examine the roles and delve into which service is most beneficial for you. After all, you need to be equipped with all the knowledge to make informed decisions about this crucial step of seeking a little professional assistance to complete your book.
Signs You Might Require Help
Writing a book is a multifaceted endeavor that demands time, creativity, and a profound understanding of storytelling. Several indicators suggest that seeking professional assistance might be beneficial:
If your schedule is already brimming with commitments, be they personal or professional, finding the time to dedicate to writing can be a considerable challenge. Know that your book will take hundreds of hours to complete. Recognizing that time constraints might compromise the quality and progress of your book is the first step toward considering external assistance. If you haven’t completed your book in the last few years, it’s realistic to assume you will not in the next few without help. Many people write to me pleading for help because they have been mid their project for years. They know that if they don’t hire professional assistance their books will never grace the bookshelves of their favorite store.
Lack of Writing Expertise
You are an expert in your particular field. You’ve spent years studying your craft. Perhaps very few people have your skill level. After all, it takes time to cultivate that quality of ability. Although I believe everyone can learn to write, it takes time to find your voice and learn the rules of writing and storytelling. It isn’t an overnight process. If you talk to successful writers, they will all tell you that it took a lot of practice. Typically, hundreds of thousands of words.
Most professionals don’t have that kind of time. They are too busy perfecting their skills and spending much-needed time with their families. That’s when people seek professional assistance to complete their books. After all, everyone wants their first book to shine.
Writers often face periods of creative block or stagnation. If you find yourself staring at a blank page or feeling stuck in your writing journey, it might be time to consider external assistance to provide fresh perspectives and ideas.
It’s been my experience that when a client hits the dreaded writer’s block, they have a fundamental problem with the outline. Truth be told, when I explain this to someone writing to me for help, I find most haven’t even written an outline. That’s a bit like walking a tightrope without a net. Writing without an outline doesn’t usually work. In addition, it’s hard to go back and debug the problem areas.
If you find yourself in that position, email me. Let’s talk. The first step will be to reconstruct an outline. I can help you with that. Then we can fix any issues to make your book sing!
Unraveling the Roles: Ghostwriters and Consultants
A ghostwriter, the silent architect behind many successful books, is a skilled professional hired to craft content on behalf of someone else. The collaborative process involves closely working with the author to grasp their vision, voice, and ideas, and then skillfully translating them into a cohesive and engaging manuscript. The paramount objective of a ghostwriter is to encapsulate the author’s thoughts and ideas while maintaining the integrity of their unique writing style.
Advantages of Hiring a Ghostwriter
Ghostwriters bring a wealth of experience in various genres, infusing a level of expertise into your project that ensures a polished and professional final product. In the end, the book will still be yours. You’ll retain the rights and credit. However, you’ll be hiring professional assistance to complete your book in a timely fashion.
For those with bustling schedules or inadequate time to dedicate to writing a book, a ghostwriter assumes the mantle of the laborious writing process. We allow authors to divert their focus to other essential aspects of life. However, having said that you’ll need to budget one to two hours a week to confer with your ghost.
In addition, another advantage to you is that ghosts operate discreetly, adhering to nondisclosure agreements. No one will ever know that you hired help!
Considerations When Hiring a Ghostwriter
The bedrock of a successful collaboration is effective communication. Clear articulation of ideas, goals, and expectations is imperative for the seamless execution of the project. In addition, a good ghostwriter will answer communications quickly and effectively. Personally, I have a policy of answering all emails within 24 hours (but I usually am a lot faster).
Being upfront about cost is very important to me. I charge one dollar per word. So a 200-page book will run $50,000 if you hire me to be your ghostwriter. While cost is undoubtedly a factor, you need to consider if quality is paramount. Some clients just want a book with their name on it. You can print anything (and I mean anything) on Amazon and it will be a “book.” However, if a reader actually reads your book, you’ll find yourself in hot water if it isn’t up to par. A seasoned ghostwriter may come with a higher price tag, but the investment translates into a meticulously crafted book.
Writing Consultants and Coaches
If your budget is low and you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and write, you might consider hiring a writing consultant or coach. As a consultant, I provide guidance on various facets of the writing process. We’d start with the outline and once that’s perfected, I’d guide you to write the first draft.
As the project progresses, I’ll provide feedback on your manuscript, assist with plot development, help you create realistic characters and dialogue, etc. I’ll even do some light rewrites to help you along.
Advantages of Hiring a Consultant
As a consultant, I’m here to provide professional assistance to complete your book. So many people are mid a project and need help. We’ll start with the outline and move forward. I’ll teach you how to structure along the way.
Consultants are a more cost-effective alternative to hiring a ghostwriter for the entirety of the project. I charge $145 per hour for coaching (sold in 10-hour blocks). Or, if you’d prefer to have me guide you through the entire process, I charge half my ghostwriting fee (fifty cents per word). For that price, I’m there every step of the way, helping you with structure, writing, and rewrites.
My clients find that by collaborating with me, they learn a lot. They also avoid many of the typical first-time pitfalls. The writing process is enjoyable and rewarding.
The Role of a Book Doctor
A book doctor, or manuscript editor, undertakes the responsibility of diagnosing and rectifying issues within a completed manuscript. Their meticulous assessment encompasses evaluating overall structure, pacing, character development, and language to enhance the manuscript’s readability and marketability. Note: A book doctor will give you feedback, but you’ll need to do the rewrites.
When You Should Hire a Book Doctor
Stalled Progression: When confronted with a creative impasse, a book doctor provides a fresh perspective, identifying and addressing issues that may be impeding progress. If you know your story isn’t working, a book doctor can give you a nudge in the right direction.
Editing Imperatives: Book doctors are particularly beneficial if you’ve completed a draft but require professional editing to elevate the quality of your manuscript.
Prepublication Refinement: For authors aiming for traditional publishing, a book doctor ensures the manuscript aligns with industry standards, increasing its appeal to literary agents and publishers.
Ghostwriting fees vary considerably, contingent upon factors such as project scope, the writer’s experience, and the extent of research required. On average, seasoned ghostwriters typically charge a dollar per word or $50,000 for a completed manuscript.
Consulting fees are more flexible. I have a variety of packages depending on your needs. If you’d like someone to hold your hand through the entire writing process, becoming a writing partner with you, I charge fifty cents per word (half my ghostwriting fee). I’d coach you to write a good first draft and then I’d take it from there.
One of my more popular packages is much less. I can help you create a detailed outline for $2,000. I’ll teach you all about story structure and in the end, you’ll have no trouble writing your first draft.
I can also create a package somewhere in between. Just let me know what you need and want!
Book Doctoring Fees
Book doctors typically charge by the hour or propose package deals based on the level of editing required. Hourly rates can oscillate between $100 and $200 or more. Notably, extensive editing, such as developmental editing, tends to incur higher costs than proofreading or copy editing.
Navigating Your Choices
Before committing to a service, conduct a thorough evaluation of your needs and goals for the book. If you possess a clear vision but lack time or writing prowess, a ghostwriter is the logical choice. If you seek guidance and feedback during the writing process, a consultant can provide invaluable support. Alternatively, if your manuscript is complete but requires fine-tuning, a book doctor may be the solution.
Establish a Realistic Budget
Consider your budget for professional assistance to complete your book. That’s a good starting place. Hire a ghostwriter if you know that you don’t have the time or skill to finish your book, but have the funds required. It’s the easiest option for you and you’ll end up with a well-written manuscript. This option is an investment in the quality and success of your book.
If you can’t afford a ghost, but have $10,000 – $20,000 to spend, a personal writing coach is a good option. You’ll write your book, but you’ll have an expert next to you the entire time.
Strike a balance between financial constraints and the level of expertise and services you require.
Research and Interviews
Conduct thorough research before selecting a professional. Look for individuals with a proven track record in your genre, accompanied by positive client testimonials. Interview potential candidates to ensure alignment with your vision and an ability to contribute effectively to your book’s success.
Make sure to find someone who is not only qualified skill-wise but someone you bond with pretty quickly. Writing a book isn’t a short process; it will take a year or so. Find a good person with excellent communication skills who is passionate about your project.
Before hiring someone, articulate your expectations, timelines, and goals, Be open and transparent about your needs.
Conclusion: Paving the Way Forward
Writing a book is a monumental task. There’s no doubt about it. Honestly, seeking professional assistance to complete your book is a strategic decision that can elevate the quality of your work and augment its chances of success. Whether you opt for a ghostwriter, consultant, or book doctor, an understanding of your needs, a realistic budget, and transparent communication are pivotal for a successful collaboration. Propel your writing journey forward by selecting the right professional to breathe life into your book.