It’s Not as ‘Spoooooky’ as it Sounds

You! You have talents, expertise and value to share with the world, don’t you? How to share it, is usually one of the great questions posed to any writer. Written formats include books, articles, blogs, e-books and whitepapers. To choose which depends on the audience you desire to reach and the outcome you wish to achieve.

I often am asked, “How do you work with authors?” After a recent July event, I realized I should share the answers to that question with future authors and my readers. When an author desires to have written content in any format, a ghost writer may be hired to do this work.

Why would someone hire a ghost writer to write for them? Most often, the author is not a strong writer or does not have the time. The book writing process can be very overwhelming for a lot of people. It takes time, patience, processes and attention to details.

The Steps for Hiring a Ghost Writer

1) Best-Fit. The book process can take several weeks to several months and in rare instances, longer. Partnering with a ghost writer who is a great fit to meet your goals to share your expertise and talents is extremely important. Here are some attributes to consider:

  • Personality: What vibe do you get? Does the energy, passion and connection match or compliment yours?
  • Experience:
     – Ghost Writing. Previous writing assignments are important. Feel free to ask for samples of previous books or writing projects.
     – Industry or Topic Knowledge. While not necessary, experience or knowledge about your topic is a bonus.

In my case, I have experience in many industries: legal, IT, business, corporate, marketing, development, not-for-profit, entrepreneurship, and more. This is an advantage because I can write about many work-related and non-work-related topics.

Even though I am not an esthetician or skin care expert, my first book was Skin Deep by Samantha Dench. In a case like this, Samantha is the expert, I am the student who translates the information, message and passion to the reader. In some of the passages, it helped that I didn’t understand the technical information because I asked questions for which the answers will be helpful to the readers.

I didn’t have to be a skin-care scientist. I only had to share passion with Samantha and care about sharing her expertise, education and information with the reader.

Some qualities to seek for ghost writers who do not know about your topic may include:

  • Varied background
  • Passion to learn more and to be the vessel to translate your message
  • Ability to think big picture, connect the dots and ask questions
  • Find even more value than you know you have

2) Strategy. A solid strategy that can remain flexible is important in the book writing process. Why?

  • You need to start somewhere.
  • A plan will guide you to the content needed.
  • In my experience and with my approach, content is fluid. I let the content dictate where it needs to elevate the author’s message and to give the reader what they need.
  • Flexibility will allow for changing chapter titles, content placement, chapter order and the like.
  • Time frames are important for book projects because they can either run efficiently or they can run for—ever. Get a start date and an anticipated schedule. Review it with your calendar and agree or adjust. Remain somewhat flexible because life happens, book changes happen, more content could be needed, and direction can change.

3) Process. After the strategy and time frame is set. Pick the process that works best. Ghost writers may operate differently. These are the three processes I have found to be the most desired.

  •  Interview, Transcribe & Draft. This is the most time-consuming process for both the author and writer because the interviews require a lot of time for each chapter. Based on the chapter content and outline, the writer interviews the author with recording, transcribes recording and drafts the chapter content. Author reviews and makes changes. Both determine if more content is needed.
  •  Audio, Transcribe, Interview & Draft. This is the most efficient option because there is less work to do on the author’s part, and it offers a seamless exchange of information. Following the chapter outline, the author audiotapes everything he/she wants to include in the chapter. Think ‘brain dump’. The writer transcribes it. If more information or explanation is needed, the writer interviews the author, and then, provides a draft to author for review.
  •  Author drafts, Writer Interviews, Transcribes & Drafts. Depending on the strength of the author’s writing, this could be an efficient or the least efficient process. The author drafts each chapter content, and the writer reviews, edits and when necessary, interviews author. If interviewed, the writer transcribes and then provides the inclusive draft to the author for review.

After each chapter is written, the author reviews it and provides changes. The writer makes the revisions, and the author reviews it until it is approved as ‘final stage’. Once the manuscript is completed, it is given to an editor for the final review and approval.

Ghost Writers, Editors and Designers… Oh my! Have no fear. Now that we know Ghost Writers are not spooky, we will address editors and book designers in my next article!

About Cindy Tschosik

Professional writer, Cindy Tschosik, crafts superior content with her formula, “4 C’s and a D”:  clear, concise, creative, consistent and direct. Close-knit relationships with clients are the secret sauce that defines a succinct message and uncovers the extreme value offered.

Once defined, Cindy has the magic needed to craft high quality and compelling writings found in books, speeches, articles, blogs and marketing collateral.

When Cindy is not behind her laptop, she spends precious time with her three teens and her husband, ‘wine-ing with friends and reveling in nature’s beauty.

If you are ready to partner with a writer, get SoConnected with Cindy Tschosik at www.SoConnectedLLC.com.