Friday Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer 9/13/13

Today’s blog may sound a bit technical as my thoughts have turned to the importance of having your work published. The old adage is true: Everyone has a story to tell. There is another saying that is equally true: Everyone is not a writer. And, some of the books that reach the shelves and/or the internet—whether published in the mainstream or self-published—should not be there. The author may have had the best idea on the planet, but could not communicate it well, or chose a genre that does not fit the subject material. Thus the positive impact of the book is lost. Here is where a ghostwriter can make a world of difference.

Finding the right ghostwriter to assist you is likened to finding the right marriage partner. Although this writing relationship may not exist for a lifetime, the connection between writer and ghostwriter must be compatible. Here are a few things to look for when discussing your project with a potential writing partner:

1) It is preferred to meet with and interview the ghostwriter in person. However, if this is not possible, telephone conversations can provide you with enough information to make your selection. I have successfully worked with several clients long-distance yet we have never met in person.
2) Ask for information about their past projects. If referrals are available—authors who will talk with you about their experience with this ghostwriter—this is the best resource.
a. Responsibility and reliability are two key components in a writing partner. When talking with referrals, ask about the timeliness of the ghostwriter’s production work.
b. Your budget is important, too. Although the former clients may not choose to reveal their personal payment plan, you can ask them if they felt they received poor, fair, good or excellent value for the amount paid.
3) As you talk about your project, listen carefully to the ghostwriter’s responses.
a. Are they knowledgeable about your genre of choice?
b. Do they actually hear what you are saying?
c. Do you find it easy to talk with them—as if you are already friends?
4) As the author of your project, you have a distinct writing voice. If you have quickly established a comfortable rapport with the ghostwriter, chances are good that they will be able to identify your voice and use it to enhance your project. This is vital to the authenticity of your book. When you are asked to a book signing and/or speaking engagement, it is essential that you speak in the voice of the book.
5) Your writing partner must have an excellent “handle” on the English language.
a. Grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation all hold a valuable place in communicating with the reader. However, I’m one of those people who believe that the concept of communication is the key component in the use of grammar and spelling skills. This skill must be used in maintaining the author’s voice throughout the book.
b. If you are writing a technical document for publication at the university-level of academia, you definitely need a ghostwriter who has that experience.
c. If you are writing in the genre of historical fiction, romance, mystery, science fiction, memoir, pet stories, cookbooks, etc. then the ghostwriter who loves language for its communication value is the preferred choice.

Bottom line: Harmony between author and ghostwriter is essential and produces excellence.

Royalene ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.

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