For authors seeking the artful assistance of a ghostwriter, the quest often begins online. Most explore the intricacies of the ghostwriting method—a pathway to transform their ideas into literary masterpieces. If you find yourself among these aspiring authors, welcome to my blog! Here, you’ll find a treasure trove of articles delving into the mysteries of writing and the ghostwriting method. In this particular piece, we will unravel the steps I follow in my ghostwriting method, offering transparency to ensure a seamless journey.
Step 1: Pre-interview Emails: Initiating the Ghostwriting Method
Embarking on your journey starts with a simple online form to request a quote. Afterward, expect an email from me, armed with a set of essential questions. This initial interaction aims to determine if our literary spirits align. After all, our collaboration is destined to be a long-term endeavor, and we must harmonize our creative energies. While each author brings a unique vision, certain facets of the ghostwriting method remain constant.
To expedite this initial phase, consider addressing these key points in your initial query:
- The essence of your book’s content
- Your desired word count
- The budget you have in mind
- Your envisioned project deadline
I thrive on crafting uplifting fictional narratives, inspiring memoirs, or nonfiction works aimed at enlightening and empowering readers. While genres like romance novels may not be my forte, I excel in the diverse realm of fiction. Memoirs hold a special place in my heart, having penned dozens over two decades. Additionally, I relish the art of composing prescriptive (how-to) books, and within my ghostwriting method, my approach remains consistent across genres.
Budget and timeline
It’s wise to be transparent about your budget. Some prospective clients call me and try to dance around their spending limits. This makes it difficult for me to determine how to best help them. For instance, if someone wishes me to ghostwrite a 200-page book for them, it would cost $50,000. However, if their budget is only $10,000, I have alternative packages I can offer where they assist more with the writing. I’m happy to work within someone’s tight budget, but I need to know the numbers so I can bid appropriately.
Typically, most books within the ghostwriting method take about a year to complete, but expedited timelines are possible when urgency calls. Please communicate your specific needs, and I’ll tailor my approach accordingly.
I also recommend acquainting yourself with one of my published works, bearing my name on the cover, such as “Chess Is Child’s Play” (nonfiction), “Joshua’s Missing Peace” (Memoir), or “Discovering Kindness” (Fiction), to gain a deeper understanding of my writing style.
Once I understand your needs and feel I can be of help to you, I’ll extend an invitation to a complimentary 30-minute consultation. This initial conversation is pivotal, allowing both of us to ascertain if we’re destined to become a harmonious writing duo.
Step Two: Our Initial Interview: A Crucial Phase in the Ghostwriting Method
Before we engage in conversation, it’s advisable to compile a list of questions pertinent to your project. We’ll explore these queries to provide you with comprehensive insights into the workings of my ghostwriting method. This consultation carries no obligations; my primary aim is to assist you, regardless of whether you ultimately choose to enlist my services.
Our discussion during this phase delves deeper into the specifics of your project, surpassing the preliminary email exchange. However, this is not the juncture to unveil the intricate details of your story; we’ll save that for later. For now, a summary suffices. If we’ve reached this stage, know that I’m interested and feel your project is worthy of exploration.
We’ll also delve into your objectives for the book. It’s vital to acknowledge that if your primary goal is financial gain, a robust marketing plan becomes essential. Profitability as a first-time author can be challenging, but an existing platform for book sales, such as an online presence, an extensive mailing list, or an established store, can significantly bolster your prospects. Amazon, while a valuable tool, thrives when complemented by these resources.
Many of my clients are driven by the desire to publish their works within their lifetime, sharing powerful messages that benefit others. Their primary focus may not be monetary gain, and some aspire solely to share their stories with close circles of friends and family. Your goals are of paramount importance. My approach is to intertwine your objectives with my own, ensuring they come to fruition.
Step Three: Signing My Contract
I adhere to a first-come-first-serve basis. Once we mutually agree that my ghostwriting method is the path forward for your project, the next step entails a thorough review and signing of my contract, accompanied by the initial payment. Payments are structured into four installments, each due before a specific project milestone. These milestones typically encompass:
- The research and outlining phase
- The first half of the first draft
- The second half of the first draft
- The final draft
The deadlines for these milestones are determined collaboratively, considering the unique attributes of your project. While most milestones take approximately three months to complete, the research and outlining phase may extend further in the case of a complex project. Documenting our agreements in writing ensures clarity throughout the ghostwriting journey.
Step Four: Researching Your Project
Commencing the research phase, I favor accumulating most information in written form. As I develop a foundational understanding of your narrative, receiving additional insights from you through email is key to our success. Your responses play a pivotal role in shaping a written voice that authentically reflects your unique style. Additionally, phone conversations will be necessary to gain deeper insight into your voice.
It’s imperative to note that some clients may not feel entirely confident in their writing abilities. For those who prefer phone communication, I adapt my approach accordingly. Ultimately, your comfort and needs hold precedence.
Furthermore, I will need to conduct comprehensive independent research. This entails scouring the internet for historical accounts or delving into subject matter expertise, ensuring the narrative’s authenticity and accuracy.
Step 5: Outlining Your Book: A Critical Phase in the Ghostwriting Method
Once the essential information is in hand, I proceed to construct an outline that serves as our project’s navigational map. The format of this outline is tailored to your preferences, ranging from a succinct summary of the story to a comprehensive table of contents. In some instances, I employ a unique technique outlining the key events that will form the backbone of your novel or memoir. This meticulous outlining phase is integral to the success of my process, ensuring alignment on structure and content before proceeding.
In my view, venturing into the writing journey without a clear agreement on the book’s structure and content is akin to entering a complex maze without a way to plot a course out. I prioritize the outline phase as it is a core aspect of my ghostwriting method. It’s one of the most difficult segments of a project, but one I have learned to construct easily.
Step 6: Writing the First Draft
The writing phase constitutes the most time-intensive segment of the ghostwriting method. As previously mentioned, I divide this phase into two milestones to ensure your satisfaction. For instance, if you enlist me to write a 200-page book (approximately 50,000 words), I’ll deliver 25,000 words as the second milestone and the remaining 25,000 words as the third milestone.
It’s worth noting that some ghostwriters prefer to deliver the first draft as a whole. After 20 years of experience, I found this to be unworkable as I prefer to receive feedback as I write. That allows me to make adjustments along the way and minimize surprises.
Step Seven: Editing Your Manuscript
Upon completing the initial draft, I’ll gather your feedback and integrate your suggestions. Subsequently, my focus shifts to refining the manuscript, an internal phase of my ghostwriting method that doesn’t involve you as extensively. Multiple reads are undertaken to enhance flow, continuity, and style. To ensure the highest quality, I enlist the services of an external editor for a comprehensive review. I firmly believe in the value of an objective perspective to examine your book before it takes its final shape.
This collaborative process with my editor typically spans about six to eight weeks. Upon receiving her feedback, we engage in discussions to address various points and finalize the manuscript.
Step Eight: Publishing within the Ghostwriting Method
While I do not directly oversee publishing, I can offer guidance and referrals to prepare your manuscript for self-publication or assist in crafting a compelling proposal to secure a literary agent. It’s important to note that there are no secret shortcuts to agents or publishers. Traditional submission channels remain the official avenues.
In essence, this is the ghostwriting method I use—a refined approach honed over two decades of experience. I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with a diverse array of authors, and although each project is unique they do tend to follow the above ghostwriting process. Prior to engaging a ghostwriter’s services, I urge you to thoroughly understand their approach. Ask questions and conduct research to ensure that the final product aligns seamlessly with your vision and goals.