Having trouble getting started writing a book?
Give It Up to the Ghost!
Do you have an area of expertise and a story to tell? Do you want to write a book but something keeps getting the way? That something, typically, can be time, and money or maybe an inability to wordsmith your way to a compelling telling of your tale. My advice: stop stalling! Like most things in life, you only have to “do it alone” if you choose to.
Some people do actually sit down and write that book themselves, be it a memoir, novel, play, poetry, short stories, young adult/children’s book or business book. Maybe they write to help enhance their reputation and raise their rates, or anything else they deem worthy of precious time and hard-earned money. However, others find another way to accomplish their objective of becoming an author: they intelligently seek out the very best collaborator—by asking other authors for references, doing online research and vetting the kind of writer they believe will best serve their needs.
What’s a would-be author to do? Does he or she just Google “ghostwriter” or “book collaborator?”
A personal introduction is best, as in all things. But just as the family or friends intro or blind date has gone the way of the dinosaur, as Match.com and eHarmony.com now fill the breach, more people are entrusting their books to strangers and hoping for the best.
I suggest that you talk to the potential scribe, tell that person what you’re up to, and see what kind of feedback he or she gives you. Have them send you their books, or buy and actually read them. Meet the person—that’s a must. Ask for a list of references and call them. Ask their clients questions such as—Did your writer bring your project in on time and within budget? Where there any surprises, good or bad? How was he or she to work with? How did well your book do for you? How much did the writer charge? Yes, ghostwriters are expensive, though their prices can vary depending on whether you want And here are few tips for managing your relationship with your ghostwriter:
In the beginning, there was the business card.
Then the e-mail address.
Next, the website.
Today, as a businessperson, if you are not an author, you lack a certain credibility.
Authoring a book has become the must-have for big media placements, speaking opportunities, and bigger clients (not to mention your chance for grabbing that elusive brass ring, a bestseller. Hey! You just never know!).
A few short years back, I was running my midtown PR firm, Katz Creative, and going through a period of angst. Every client—even the ones I had just put on “Today” or “Oprah” or who had just been written up in The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal—was asking, “What have you done for me lately?” At the same time, my staff was making it impossible for me ever to watch another soap opera. Someone in my business life had an existential crisis every day, and now I was having mine!