Your Book Your Way ghostwriting service specializes in business books, handles non-fiction books, book proposals, marketing materials, and web content. Founded by Rich Mintzer. Rich Mintzer is an expert ghostwriter with over 20 years of experience.
You may not be writing a book, but if you’re in the business world, you’re writing thousands of words a day. Yes, in an age of the latest, greatest and smartest phones we have ever imagined (until the next one is rolled out in a few weeks), we spend more time texting and emailing than we do talking.
And, whether you like it or not, those texts and emails, along with memos, business letters, sales letters, blogs, online postings, bios, web content, ad copy, product descriptions/instructions and press releases are all forms of written communication used all the time in business. With that in mind, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Know what is and is not important: Most business communications are short and to the point. Filter out all the unnecessary details. I used to attend meetings where one member would discuss the conferences he attended. He would inform us about new ideas he learned and then branch off into ten minutes on what food was and wasn’t served. Fortunately, the menu sections didn’t make it into the minutes. Unfortunately, we had to listen to the details. Be concise and to the point when writing business communications.
2. Know your audience: Industry specific terms and references that make sense to colleagues and team members may not play well on a website, in a blog or a marketing piece written for rest of the world. Re-read your words from the perspective of someone who does not know the language or the references in your industry and don’t be afraid to explain them to a lay audience. Too often we take short cuts assuming everyone knows the terms and the references we’re using.
3. Put things in context: “How he got in my pajamas I’ll never know,” is the second half of a very old Groucho Marx joke. On its own it makes no sense. If you use the preceding line “I shot an elephant in my pajamas,” it’s worth at least a groan because you get it. We want everything written quickly today – but if you leave out the context, it may not provide the reader with the entire message…even in a memo.
4. Facts Count: Despite what you hear from Kelly Ann Conway or others in Washington, facts still need to be accurate. Theories, conjecture and assumptions are not facts. I remember working at AXA Equitable and there was a brochure coming out for a product that was available in 49 states. On the brochure it mentioned that it was not available in Oregon and Washington (the state). No matter how you slice it 49+2 =51 states. Fact is we have 50 states. Problem was that it included Washington D.C. as a state. Fact number #2, D.C. is not a state. I pointed it out to the manager of marketing who, “We’ll see what we did last time,” meaning if we had the facts wrong the last time, it’s okay to have them wrong again. No it isn’t. Gotta love corporate America.
5. Headlines Matter: If you need a headline, think about what it tells readers about the written material that follows. I recently finished a book where the author had creative headlines which gave no indication of what the chapters were about. While this may work in a novel or a mystery, it does not bode as well in business, where it can lead people astray. Creativity is great but business folks want to know what they’re going to read about from the start – they don’t have t time to read long winded material only to find out it wasn’t important to them in the first place. Also, you want keywords in your title to draw people to postings.
6. Attribution: If you’re using quotes, comments or various sources, please provide the proper attribution. It’s so embarrassing when it’s obviously not your words…and it’s easy for the reader to find the source on Google. It can be actually advantageous to include quotes from notable individuals (in the proper context) and/or outside resources.
7. It may obvious BUT – read EVERYTHING closely – especially emails and texts! Living in a fast paced world does not preclude you from taking a few precious seconds to look over what you are sending. I once invited someone to join me for lunch at the fast food restaurant Bare Burgers. However, somehow my iPhone invited him to join me for lunch at Bare Buttocks. Oops.
There are so many tips on better business writing. If you have some, please email me and I’ll post them.
Are you sick of reading the great success stories about the 40 under 40, 30 under 30, 20 under 20 and a 13 year old that started a business, made a million dollars and is now a consultant? After all, he has a wealth of experience to share, before his bedtime, of course.
I’m sick of ageism. It’s the one ism where discrimination is widely accepted, especially by those convinced that they will retire before they turn forty and never grow old. Of course the irony is that the ageists of today will be on the other side of the fence tomorrow.
Why is there Ageism?
You will hear the argument that as people get older they will slow down physically and mentally. While this is true, it is also true that many, if not most, people maintain the necessary skills to work in a vast number of positions in the business world if given the opportunity. And, while the forty, fifty and sixty plus crowd may need to brush up on the new technology du jour, they make up for it with life experience, patience, common sense and interpersonal skills which are rapidly decreasing amongst the growing generation of text crazed millennials for whom a real conversation has become a lost art.
Consider that when you look at most captains of industry, fortune 500 CEOs, boards of directors, and corporate advisors you will notice by the hint of grey hair that they are not kids. This holds true for the majority of successful entrepreneurs. In fact, a Google search of businesses that were actually started later in life will produce a long list of entrepreneurs that launched businesses over the age of 50, including the founders of McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Geico and Kentucky Fried Chicken, among many others.
So, why are we up against so much ageism in the business world? One of the primary reasons is psychological. The media promotes “young” so it becomes ingrained in the minds of employers and recruiters. While the over 50 sector has far more wealth than the 20-somethings, businesses want to market to a younger more impetuous audience.
Want to dig one step deeper? For decades, if not centuries, the younger generation has always wanted to gain independence from their elders. Why? It’s simple – mom and dad are restrictive while young people are seeking independence. So why on earth would you hire someone the age of your mom or dad? They will only rain in your parade. These older employees, simply “don’t understand,” which is a phrase owned and copyrighted over the generations by teenagers who (obviously) know much more than their parents. The reality, however, is that life experience brings with it a lot of “understanding.”
What Can We Do About Ageism?
Well, if you watch the television program Younger, starring Sutton Foster as a 40 year old (now 41) who landed a job in the publishing world by telling her employers she was 26 (now 27), the answer would be to “lie your butt off!” But not all of us look 14 years younger than we are.
Therefore, you need to stay current, be open to new ideas, reinvent yourself if necessary, bone up on technology and take good care of yourself. Statistics show that nearly 50% of the 55 million gym memberships in the United States are held by people 50 and older. Most importantly, if you are seeking a job or a well-deserved promotion, and know you can do the job, don’t take no for an answer. Ask if your age is a factor – when they say “of course not” push them for a better answer. Tell them you want to demonstrate what you can do. If you’re on the outside, ask for a freelance assignment and if you’re looking to move up the ladder ask to take on a project that demonstrates why you should be at the next level. Give them no legitimate reason to turn you down. If you still aren’t getting satisfaction, spread the word on social media and in articles (or blogs), that’s the only way discrimination in business slowly starts to erode away.
In recent years, the annual number of self-published books has surpassed the number of traditionally published books. Why? Because people are not just looking to profit directly from book sales. Instead, they want to market their businesses and their skills to gain new customers. They also want to tell stories, book speaking engagements, and make their mark on the world. Since most writers are not yet celebrities in their fields, and have not built the major personal platform necessary to land a book deal through a literary agent, most join the DIYers and self-publish their books.
So, if you are planning to write and self-publish a book, here are five tips to keep in mind:
It takes a village (or at least a hamlet) to publish a book. You can write it, or hire a ghostwriter, but books also need editors, proofreaders, cover designers, publishers, marketers, and perhaps even a good fact checker. These are all players in the publishing game of which you should be aware.
Have a budget in mind. Books can cost you anywhere from $10,000 to $70,000. This depends on several factors, such as many pages and how many graphics (including photos) you wish to include, whether or not you are planning to write it yourself, and how good you are at marketing. Note: If you have a marketing budget, use it toward your book.
Be wary of most of the big all-in-one writing-editing- publishing-marketing “everything” houses. These large entities, such as Arbor and Advantage, among others, plus the “writing sweatshops” (Elance, Upwork, etc.) ask for a lot of money from clients but do not pay writers or editors the going rates, leaving you with less than quality work. Just as most of us opt to buy the individual components of a salad, rather than “salad in a bag,” you’re usually best served finding a ghostwriter, editor, self publisher, and marketing expert on your own, through referrals and/or social media.
Commit to the process – have a realistic end date in site – usually 6 to 12 months. Hold both your “village” and, most significantly, yourself accountable. I can’t tell you how many people take forever to get their books completed, or never finish at all.
Plan to do a lot of marketing! This is no different than having a traditional publisher publish your book. Gone are the days of major marketing campaigns by the big houses (unless you’re an all-star in your field). Ramp up your social media presence while writing the book (or having it written) or hire someone to help you. Do some blogs and start talking about your book well before you publish it.
There are two things people are always saying they’d love to do; open a restaurant and write a book. Of course, if they’re in the culinary field they can do both.
The closest I came to learning about opening a restaurant was writing a book on how to get started with your own food truck. However, I do know quite a bit about writing a book and the excited feeling of getting published. When my first book came out in 1987, my wife Carol and I would see it in bookstores (yes, they still had bookstores) and if the books were not facing outward, we’d turn them – when nobody was looking – so the cover would be facing forward. Once as I was turning a few of my books from having only the spine facing out, to the cover facing out, someone asked me if I was the author – I admitted that I was. He said he was an author too and did the same thing.
There are a number of reasons for writing a book, and oddly enough making a fortune in book sales is not high on the list. Unless you are a celebrity, or the next James Patterson or J.K. Rowling, don’t count on making the big bucks. I once had someone call me about helping him with his novel. He asked if I could assure him of 20-million in sales. I asked him if he was Stephen King.
So if it’s not money, why are so many people eager to get a book deal or self-publish? Here are the top 5 reasons – in no particular order:
1 – To share their expertise: We learn from experts; which explains the tremendous success of self-help books. As an expert, you can not only display your knowledge, and provide guidance, but you can become a “go-to” person for the media. It’s also a boost for business if your expertise is in your chosen field. If for example, someone is choosing between two contractors, and you’re the contractor with a book (or e-book), they will more often choose you.
2 – To tell a story: Most of us have at least one engaging story to tell. It is often a personal story, which describes some aspect of their life – a personal struggle, a great learning experience, an awakening, or a turning point – something that will resonate with readers. This is often the impetus for a book.
Of course a story can also be a researched, documented, true account, or a complete work of fiction (a novel), or sci-fi focused on the experiences of original characters (sometimes based on real people, other times straight from the author’s imagination). Truth is; people simply love to read a good story.
3 – To motivate or inspire: Whether this ties into a story, as mentioned above, a series of stories, or delves into research on how to move forward when you are “stuck” personally or in business, you can have a significant impact on other people through your book. Not only can readers learn from you, but you can touch them emotionally or even spiritually – which is especially rewarding to an author.
4 – To market your business: If you are an entrepreneur, a book is the best business card you can have. Many business owners appreciate the benefit of having a book to draw in new customers. Whether you charge for the book or hand it out, customers can connect with your company by reading about how you started and grew the business, what products or services you offer, and how you can meet their needs. Books make great marketing tools.
5 – To amuse or entertain: Now, more than ever, we need some humor. Satire, funny stories, cartoons, silly cat or dog photos, or “an irreverent look at,” all make the list. These books are typically short, and should (obviously) be enjoyable. I started my career as an author with 5 humor books, one of which sold 100,000 copies. Go figure. The internet has not cornered the market on humor and entertainment.
As a ghostwriter, I now help people with all of the above. We talk, establish a rapport, and chapter by chapter, or story by story, create a book. And usually the author (my client) enjoys the process very much. Then he or she also enjoys that great feeling of being a published author.
So, why not write a book, it’s cheaper than opening a restaurant.
I was recently discussing the latest edition of a theater book, which I had worked on, with an indexer/fact checker. We were double checking titles such as Book of Mormon vs. The Book of Moron, and reviewing which of several shows mentioned won Tony Awards. Most authors, and ghostwriters, appreciate editors, fact checkers and proofreaders, who help us get it right. And yes, most authors out there still want to get it right.
Today, however, in an age in which truth often takes a backseat to “Alternative Facts,” (a.k.a. lies) and conspiracy theories, which can easily spread like wildfire, we are at the risk of sadly drifting into a misinformation malaise encouraged by extremists, internet trolls, and radio talk show hosts.
What is most disturbing is the new-founded theory that “if enough people believe something, it must be true.” Therefore, if you were to take a survey and more than 50% of the people asked, believed that 10+10=25, then it must be true. This is the new “facts by popular consensus,” approach to reality. Of course it may not work very well when you try convincing an IRS tax auditor to agree with your new math. And while you’re at it, try convincing scientists that Climate Change is a hoax created by the Chinese.
Has Lying Become Fashionable?
Lying certainly seems to be gaining traction, and acceptance, or at least tolerance. After all, we have a compulsive liar in the White House who, much in the style of a con man, cult leader, or multi-level marketer, makes up fabrications and sells them on a daily basis to those who still want to believe his unsubstantiated line of thinking. Then he has a hand-puppet, Sean Spicer, back up the lies. Was that 20 million people at the Inauguration?
Of course lying has always been a staple in politics. Richard Nixon stated, about Watergate; “I can say categorically that… no one in the White House staff, no one in this administration, presently employed, was involved in this very bizarre incident. LBJ took us to war based on two of our ships being attacked in Vietnam’s Gulf of Tonkin. A year later, he admitted that for all he knew our Navy was shooting at whales. And who could forget G.W. Bush with those weapons of mass destruction or Bill Clinton with Monica, you might say he had his own weapon of mass destruction.
A significant tip of the hat also needs to be given to the U.S. media who, in an effort to draw higher ratings, often sanctions fiction over fact. They then do the fact checking as an afterthought. Yet, lying isn’t tolerated everywhere. Canada has laws to prevent the broadcasting of false or misleading news. Imagine how such a law might affect the American news media?
We’d end up with more stories about a dancing Pikachu being taken down by Korean security guards, or other such filler.
Fortunately, however, lying has not yet permeated throughout all of our culture:
Children have long been taught to tell the truth, and are still reprimanded for doing otherwise.
Adults have found that liars do not always prosper, just ask Bernie Maddoff or the folks at Enron.
We are still asked to solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, (so help you God) when taking the witness stand in a court of law. This comes with a very real penalty of perjury.
Truth in advertising laws still pertain to television, radio, print media and yes, even websites. According to The Federal Trade Commission, federal law says that ads must be “truthful, not misleading, and, when appropriate, backed by scientific evidence.”
Of course even the FTC cannot catch all of the misleading claims, such as those made by Nutella, which slipped past the FTC with claims of being a “health food.” A mom in California sued and won big. And one of those phone companies, which all claim the fastest service, has to be wrong.
The point is; while mistakes are inevitable, we should not turn a blind eye toward lies and misinformation. Complacency isn’t an excuse for allowing unrelenting fabrications to become the norm. We need to applaud fact checkers and demand honesty in the media, and from our politicians, on both sides of the aisle. For that matter, we should expect honesty from people with whom we interact in business, in schools and in our communities. As a ghostwriter, I’m happy to say that most people with whom I work are still looking for fact based stories and making an effort to find correct information for their books. Yes, facts still matter, even if we have to look a little harder to find them.
If you’re thinking about writing a book to tell your story, promote your business or illustrate your expertise in an area of interest, please contact me, Rich Mintzer, at 914-244-1020.
And if you happen to know someone who’d like to write a book, I’m happy to provide a finder’s fee for a new client.
Ironically, in an age of trying to grab attention in 10 seconds or less, content marketing is making its mark largely due to the determination of people like Joe Pulizzi who heads up the Content Marketing Institute.
Pulizzi started working in media at the time so many of us jumped into the dot.com bubble with great expectations. He saw the growing disconnect between traditional advertising and having a better way to connect with customers.
In retrospect, I also saw what Pulizzi was starting to see when I worked (briefly) at a startup web based consortium of higher education. The dotcom was designed to bring together thought provoking courses from leading universities worldwide. A seasoned educator, and Rhodes Scholar, was hired to facilitate the process of negotiating content with tenured professors to present a series of sophisticated courses on various topics in arts and literature, world history, global economics and so forth. As a writer, my job was to describe such courses in a succinct but appealing manner to potential students…or create content. As it so happened, a very young CEO (whom I guessed was about 12) decided that instead we needed a more relevant MTV style slant for the course listings. “We want to grab them in three words,” was the edict from the junior CEO. As you might have guessed, a content-rich online brochure was replaced with in-your-face-advertising to an academic audience with little response and the dotcom soon disappeared. Now, more than a decade later, content marketing has finally come of age. It has not replaced slogans or ad copy, but given us so much more information with which to make buying decisions.
Speaking with Pulizzi recently, reminded me of how important it is to have passion for what you do. His enthusiasm was evident throughout our entire conversation. “My thought was the best kind of marketing on the planet would be giving your customers such great, amazing value that they came to you whenever they needed something – why don’t brands position themselves as media companies and come to you instead of just selling something?,” asked Pulizzi as far back as 2007.
Of course it was hard to get advertising-centric businesses onboard. Who wanted actual content when you could splash a 15-second TV ad or web banner ad in someone’s face? Apparently the public did.
When movie theaters began showing pre-movie commercials, audiences actually hissed and booed. Yet, while we adjusted, and went out to buy popcorn, the hissing and booing of those early ads was an indicator of what was to come. We collectively began to mute commercials, DVR programs to bypass them entirely and opted for generic searches rather than clicking online ads. Today we bypass advertising overkill and create our own commercial-free content on social media platforms and through our blogs.
But What Exactly IS Content Marketing?
Taking a short version of one of Joe Pulizzi’s six useful definitions:
“Content marketing is the strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
“People need to understand that it is not a marketing or advertising campaign. It is a constant, it is ongoing,” explains Pulizzi, adding that “it doesn’t replace advertising, but it is how you build and maintain an ongoing relationship with your customers. Too many companies drop the ball on this. Only 1 in 3 has an audience building program. Instead they are looking at things such as ‘likes’ which is pretty much meaningless unless there is another objective behind it,” says Pulizzi, and that objective should be to build a relationship. “I consider the best metric of all to be subscribers. Most organizations look at the short-term, trying to get people converted. Once they are converted, companies stop dealing with them,” Pulizzi explains. This is in contrast to the idea that 80% of your business comes from loyal returning customers. “Very few companies are loyalty driven,” adds Pulizzi, in hopes that will change.
Today, as marketing execs wrap their minds around new strategies behind using content, from blogs to books, to build an audience, Pulizzi is now at the forefront of something that is more than a passing trend. In fact, content marketing has actually been around for ages. Back in 1895 the John Deere Corporation began publishing The Furrow, a magazine that educates customers on ways to utilize technology to run their businesses. It’s still published today. The content is not about selling tractors, but the idea is to educate readers, since the more they learn, the more tractors they buy from John Deere. Likewise, the Michelin Tire Company started their auto maintenance guides in 1900 and again, quality content and knowledge proved rewarding through sales.
Today, our rapidly growing means of communication provides more businesses, large and small, with the opportunity to provide quality content to their audiences.
“Smart marketers understand that traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective, and that there is now a better way,” says Pulizzi, of content marketing.
CMWorld2015, the fifth annual Content Marketing Convention, will be held at the Cleveland Convention Center, September 8th-11th. Last year, over 2,500 people attended and this year more are expected, including keynote speaker John Cleese.
One of the first questions people ask when talking to a ghostwriter is “how much?”
You’ll see rates for book ranging from $2,000 to $200,000. So let’s just say, it varies. As a result, just as everyone on an airline has paid a different price for their seat (and will end up at the same location) ghostwriting has a similar inconsistency in pricing.
Why such a disparity?
There are many factors involved. For example, a 20-page children’s book should cost considerably less than a 250-page, well-researched, corporate history.
The real reason, however, that the rates vary so greatly is because buyers and sellers are both operating in a vacuum. Some folks are convinced that for $3,000 they can get someone to write their autobiography (and they can) while others are more than happy to fork over $100,000 to have their memoir written because they believe that is the going rate, which it is not.
Writers are no different. I once argued with a (U.S. based) “journalist” on LinkedIn who was convinced that $10 was the going rate for an article and that I was only making a lot more because I was a “big city writer” – seriously!
Here’s the truth
Narrowing down the range just a little bit, books will typically run you somewhere between $12,000 and $52,000. Leah Nicholson, production manager at the Jenkins Group, a book publishing service company, says the sweet spot is $20,000 to $30,000 for ghostwriters on most of their projects. The Editorial Freelance Association quotes $50 to $60 per hour while the Writer’s Market website (from a few years back) showed the average hourly rate at $70 and the average per project book rate at just over $36,000. One ghostwriter breaks it down very clearly by word count starting at, 20,000 words at $13,000, and going up to 80,000 words at $52,000. Others have hourly rates or page rates. A ghostwriter should have some justification behind a project rate. It should be specific and not “I wrote a best seller 10 years ago” or “I did a book with an A-list celebrity.” Consider that a car salesman may have once sold a Lamborghini, but is now selling you a Honda CR-V, so get priced accordingly.
Also, be wary of very low rates from places like Elance or oDesk. You are most often not getting a professional writer and, in some cases, you may have a book written by someone who does not have a firm grasp of the English language. Often “bargain” rates that are “too good to be true,” are just that.
Rates should be determined by:
The length of the book
How much research is required
How much material you provide
How quickly you need the book completed
The ghostwriter’s track record
His or her availability
How much you personally like the work of this ghostwriter – don’t judge by other people’s opinions
Your rapport – are you on the same page?
What you should and should not do:
You should check references – what were other people’s experiences with this writer?
You should not give much credence to Amazon’s reviews – most non-celebrities have their friends and family write the reviews
(Personally, I find this very disconcerting. On my non-ghostwritten books I never asked for reviews, always wanting a fair and honest assessment. I received 63 real, unbiased reviews and 51 of them are 4 or 5 stars, which makes me personally feel much better than seeing 100 terrific bogus reviews)
You should get a free consultation
You should talk directly with the writer. Don’t let a writer’s service “assign” someone.
In the end, hire the person with whom you connect. A satisfying relationship, money notwithstanding, creates the chemistry necessary for an excellent partnership and a terrific book.
According to a Gallup poll, 40% of people are afraid of public speaking, or have Glossophobia, as it’s called. I’m sure you’ll also find a large percentage of people who aren’t afraid, but simply don’t feel confident in their speaking abilities. Then there are those of us who love public speaking.
First, I should dispel the myth that you need to be an extrovert to get up and speak publically. I was never particularly outgoing or outspoken, especially when it came to parties, bars or the club scene. I was shy, reserved and much better at foosball than striking up a conversation.
Today, however, with a microphone and a podium, I have no problem speaking up. After 25+ years of writing and ghostwriting, professionally I have found that I have a lot to say on the subject and… enjoy saying it. I talk about what it takes to write a book to enthusiastic attendees who are considering doing just that. In fact, a large number of people typically raise their hands when I ask if they have already started working on their manuscripts or have at least thought about what they wanted to write.
What’s in it for them? / What’s in it for me?
I find that people typically attend my workshops on writing a book because it’s something that intrigues them. They know that a book is a great marketing tool, a marvelous way to brand a business, a terrific means of presenting oneself as an expert, or simply an excellent way to tell a story.
A workshop about writing a book, at a professional conference or business gathering, is also a marvelous diversion for attendees who want something other than the same old same old.
The truth is, people get tired of annual seminars with the same lineup of workshops on sales techniques, purchasing and supply management, shaping your future, more sales techniques and the latest e-mail marketing tactics that won’t get you deleted (even though they will).
For me, and for those of us who speak publically about our passions, public speaking is a place to teach people something new, spark their enthusiasm and possibly generate clients who want our help on their project(s) perhaps through coaching. It’s a win win.
I might add that public speaking shows up on lists of things that release endorphins, along with laughter, exercise and making love. Let’s face it…it’s a rush when you conclude a speaking engagement. And for my audience, it’s a delayed rush when they see their books in print!
Getting Ready & Getting Started
Having done some standup comedy in my earlier life, I knew that speaking was not something you do extemporaneously. The best comics or public speakers are not talking off the cuff, even if they make it appear otherwise. I learned the hard way how important preparation is by getting blank stares instead of laughs one Sunday night when I tried to “wing it,” at a comedy club.
For any type of public speaking it’s all about preparation and practice. It’s about wowing them, not with the credentials in your introduction or your list of previous accomplishments, but by giving them something to walk away with, something of value. I’ve witnessed speakers with all sorts of letters after their names talking to audiences staring at their cell phones and I’ve also seen impassioned individuals with far fewer (if any) professional accreditations in front of a full house touching the hearts and souls of everyone in the room.
It’s all about how you effectively communicate a message that comes from within and resonates with the people in front of you. From my comedy experiences and nearly three years of speaking in New York and Connecticut (from local libraries to conferences), I’ve learned how to read the room and found that not-unlike a You Tube video, you too can go viral by giving them something to talk about.
When I speak in front of groups, I discuss what it takes to write a book and get it published. I talk about outlines, chapters, edits, rewrites, agents and all sorts of fun stuff. Then the audience asks questions which I try to answer and, in the end, people seem very happy with some insights into the book writing and publishing process.
Yet even with their new insights, only a small few of the people in that room will actually sit down and follow their desire to write a book. Some will start and stop a few times, others will write a few pages only to be found years later when cleaning out the files on their hard drive and many will simply shrug off the idea because they don’t have the time for such an endeavor.
That’s where a ghostwriter comes in.
Please, don’t get me wrong, ghostwriters don’t want to see people fail at their goal of writing a book. They do, however, know how difficult the process can be, especially for someone embarking on a first, or even a follow-up, book. Ghostwriters are like other contractors, able to step in and take on a task at which they excel, leaving you to go about your business. It’s not unlike having a contractor remodeling your kitchen while you are off to an important conference.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, educator, athlete, entertainer, financial planner, medical professional, CEO, CFO, COO, CIO, CPA or even a member of the CIA, you have your own skills, your own passions and your own areas of expertise. And let’s face it, writing a book can get in the way of all of these. So, here are three compelling reasons to hire a ghostwriter.
Saving Time – You can talk your way through the book and/or write down your notes and let the ghostwriter do the grunt work which will save you many hours in front of the keyboard or keypad.
Doing it Right – If people are going to read your book, you want it to be polished. A ghostwriter should be able to craft your thoughts, using your voice, into a professional, book in which you can take pride.
Getting it Done – The fact is, most of us usually waited until Sunday night to do our homework. It’s the same problem when writing a book. No deadlines, no schedule, no book. A ghostwriter keeps you on top of the project so that it will be completed (even if he or she has to nag you a little.)
So, if you have a book in mind, to tell your story, promote your business or present your expertise to the world, a ghostwriter can save you a significant amount of time, utilize his or her writing skills and keep you on top of the project. What more could you want?
I’m not going to bore you with statistics, but suffice to say, marketing can turn your business around. It’s been proven time and time again by companies large and small that getting their name, their brand and their story in front of their demographic audience is a big boost for business.
One author whose ebook had sold a few hundred copies decided to sell it at half price on Groupon. In just a few days, thanks to the mass marketing potential of the esteemed daily deal site, he sold roughly 6,000 copies. It’s all about getting the word out there. And it starts with having a book!
I recently spoke at the annual conference of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) on a ghostwriting panel. Some of our audience wanted to know more about ghostwriting as a craft, while others were interested in how a ghostwritten book could benefit them. We addressed both sides of the equation, especially the latter and ran nearly a half hour over the allotted time answering questions from the audience.
Most of the attendees, who were thinking about having projects written, were already aware of the benefits of having a book and how it could tremendously improve their businesses and/or careers. Experts in their field, such as a Forensic Psychiatrist who spoke to me after the panel, knew that a book could make him the g0-to guy for media inquiries. They knew that a book would lead to them sitting on panels and making TV, radio and webinar appearances. Others were aware that a book written about their company history, their expertise, their restaurant or whatever business they were in, could build upon their reputation and bring in more business. A book is a giant 50,000 word business card that doesn’t fit in the wallet but generates a hell of a lot of new founded respect.
A Whole New World
It’s not only about business. To steal a phrase from Disney (amazing marketers in their own right), I can’t help but think of a woman named Naomi Brunner, who was not promoting a company or her skills, but was instead championing a cause that was near and dear to her heart, deadbeat moms. Naomi’s goal was to have a book ghostwritten about moms who are deadbeat in their responsibilities as a parent, whether it means not paying their fair share of financial support to their children or being neglectful, physically abusive and totally irresponsible – deadbeats when it came to taking care of their children.
Her book (Deadbeat Moms) is written to spread the word that such neglect and abusive needs to stop, as she tells heart-wrenching stories of her own life and those from women she has known. I worked with Naomi on the book for roughly a year. It recently came out and her website www.deadbeatmomstories.com is abuzz with interest.
The point is, whether your book will market you as an expert, market your business, tell your story or help others, there is a reason why so many people want to write books – of course many of those people have neither the time nor the commitment to sit down and do the grunt work…the writing.
That’s where those of us on that ghostwriting panel explained that we can help. We can bring their messages to the forefront, using their voices, their information, their stories and speaking to their different audiences. Ultimately, we can help them – and you – market yourself, your business, your cause or tell your story in a very powerful way, through a book.
Tell me what you’d like to write about: firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s get the process started.
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