ghost·writ·er/

Noun: A person whose job it is to write material for someone else who is the named author.

It’s defined. It’s what I’ll do for you – your life and your expertise with my words. It’s not all spooky ghost stories; though hey, I can write those.

I can help you write your book, your article, your report – anything you’re struggling with. It is completely confidential, so you keep your ideas under your own name.

You might be:

  • Just an everyday person with a great idea for a book … but no idea where to start.
  • An academic ready to convert your years of research into a book.
  • Looking to turn your passion and knowledge into a published book or an e-book.
  • Representing a company looking to inject some spice or a more professional approach into your website, reports or corporate materials.
  • A fellow professional writer facing a road block in your story.
  • Someone with a near-complete manuscript, but need help improving your dialogue, bringing your story together a bit more or making your characters more exciting.
  • Just looking for some professional advice on what your manuscript needs for it to have a better chance of being turned into a published work.

I’ve written countless articles, books and other materials with my clients. You’re from all walks of life – corporates, professionals, everyday people, experts, celebrities and notable public figures, fellow writers.

Anyone with words to say, I can help you put them together in the best possible way. See, I can even do poetry!

I work under the cloak of confidentiality, keeping your work as your own.

The key thing to remember about ghostwriting is that it is tailored for you. Personalised. Everything is negotiable, and I am very flexible with what I can offer you. Timeframe, contribution, writing, editing, development, assistance – it will all be personalised to your project’s needs and your budget. I will spend time with you on an initial consult to let you know your options – there are many!

It’s my job to get to know you so that I can write like you. Depending on the size of the project, I can do this by speaking with you, reading your own background materials, and perhaps seeing how you work, seeing you ‘in action’. The process is about bringing the most authentic version of your voice to your project.

I’ve written in the shoes of inspiring speakers and teachers, CEOs, leading experts, adventurers, political figures, notable public figures and everyday people. Part of my job is to write for you like I am you.

I’ve detailed two major areas below – articles and books.

Articles

Being asked to contribute to a journal, magazine, newspaper or other publication can be a great strategic move for your career. You’re an expert in your field, you know your area of expertise back-to-front, which is why you’re looking to write.

Like you, I know my business back-to-front – partnering with me, with my writing and your knowledge, we can craft strong articles that capture your message, all under your name.

With most articles, turnaround can occur well within a week. Time is allowed for ‘back and forth’ and pre-reading research to make sure I understand your message, and focus on creating a solid submission. Once I’ve written an article on your behalf, the process for further pieces is faster as I’ve gotten to know you and your voice. We can build a strong partnership!

Books

Books will require a lengthier process. If you’re looking for my general contribution, briefly explained under the ‘How Can I Help You’ tab above, the process will be quite straightforward and won’t necessarily take a lot of time. For full ghostwriting projects, there’s a process that we’ll work with.

Books on store bookshelves range in size from short and sweet (often around 50,000 words), to longer and more detailed (around 120,000 words), and anywhere in between. There is no rule for the length for e-books, they can be a few thousand or a few hundred thousand.

First, I’ll meet with you. I need to get to know you and what you’re all about. I’ll also get to know your project. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, you’ll have background reading, research and notes for me to read, you may have even made a solid start on writing. I may even spend time with you at work, with your blessing of course, getting to know how you operate and a first-hand sense of you ‘in action’.

Next, I may undertake my own additional research – interviewing people around you, spending time interviewing you further, and doing my own background research, using Google like an expert!

From here, I will put together a draft. Part of this draft may involve some ‘back and forth’ for you to see how it is coming together. I will emphasise that this is a draft, by no means a final version. You’ll be able to give me feedback about each chapter, each paragraph, each sentence. I’ll need to know whether I am on the right track with capturing your voice. Sometimes it takes some fine-tuning to make sure we get the balance between you and me just right, this is perfectly normal.

Finally, we will craft a final draft. Some clients like to be heavily involved in the ‘back and forth’ process, others prefer a more stand-off approach. The final result is your work, your name and a product you can be proud of. Nothing gives me greater pride than handing over a complete work to a very happy client.

Books generally take months to craft, and the turnaround time is mainly dependent on the time you can dedicate to your project. Fully ghostwritten works often range in price from $25,000 to $50,000, on average.

Getting published

It is important for me to emphasise that I cannot get you a publishing deal. I can help you write the strongest article or book that you can, and I can offer you general advice, but it is your role to get your work on the shelves. These days, we have self-publishing and e-publishing as strong alternatives should traditional publishers be elusive. E-books actually outsell ‘real’ books!

Payment

It’s a professional process, and the parameters of the project will be set out very clearly in your contract. I am able to negotiate payment options and packages, but it is important to note here that this is my business. I will be as passionate and excited about your project as you are, but I am not able to work for nothing.

We may be able to discuss portioning some of the package as royalty based, but this is largely dependent on whether there is a publishing deal already in place. Many wonderful books never get properly published. There are brilliant stories in drawers, life-changing works sitting on shelves. It’s an unfortunate reality of our business. But writing can reap other reward – writing can increase your profile, boost your reputation and prelude all your introductions with “Author of…”. Prestige alone is worth the investment of a good book, especially one with you as an ‘expert’ in your field.

With the increased popularity of e-publishing, this is becoming less of a tragedy – your work can sit in menus besides JK Rowling, Stephen Hawking and EL James.

 

I’d love to chat with you, obligation free of course, about your project. Look me up under the ‘Contact Me: Let’s Write!’ tab.

Sarah Smith WORDSMITH

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