EDITOR’S NOTE: This post was scheduled to post last Friday, but due to ongoing struggles with our website’s interface, it is going up today. Our deepest apologies for the error––and look for today’s “From the Archives” post later in the day.
HELPING HANDS, MINDS and HEARTS
There is a quote about partnerships that is especially true about ghostwriters: two are better than one. When you start working with a writing-partner you’ll discover that one person’s idea spawns connecting thoughts in the other person and the collaboration produces a better book. Much like film-making where writer, screenwriter and director join forces, the author and ghostwriter bring their own unique histories into play in the making of one excellent book.
Here are three more criteria for finding that perfect partnership:
- Vision: When you (the author) have formulated your core statement about your book—what your book is about, and what it brings to the Reader—does the ghostwriter you’re interviewing share that vision? Both you and your teammate should see that picture and have that same goal.
- Adaptability: Some authors think they want a “helper” who will enhance their book by following the manuscript “exactly” as the author has written it. This is, of course, every author’s decision to make. However, they should not waste their money hiring an expert ghostwriter.
- IF you don’t want any input regarding the content/concepts of your book, employ the Editor who will correct grammar, punctuation, sentence structure; without creative input.
- However, the author who wants to explore enhancing their manuscript will be as adaptable and flexible as the ghostwriter they hire. Their manuscript may, indeed, end up being very close to the original—or—very different with improved plot, character, setting (research required) elements that bring out the author’s inspired ideas. This is especially true for authors in the Inspirational genre: both fiction and non-fiction.
- Passion: Both author and ghostwriter must share a passion for the subject matter of the manuscript. Every book on every bookshelf was written to “tell something important.” If the level of commitment is weak, so will be the finished product.
These three criteria also hold true after you’ve written the words: THE END. Then the search begins for the right publisher. Notice I’ve used the word right. From my personal perspective I see too many authors open that door of “hope-they-will-accept-it,” then send out multiple queries to the “big” traditional publishing houses—and wait—and wait—and wait. If you know that your book is ready to meet its Readers, then step up and employ the best self-publishing company you can find.
There are several quality self-publishers out there (and some not so great). However, this is where you’ll use the same criteria that I’ve outlined in these blogs. The self-publishing staff will become your book-making-crew—the cameraman (cover designer), format editor (interior designer), printer, marketing director.
- Talk with them and ask for referrals from their published list. Search their bookstore for two or three books in your genre, then ask for referral/contact information for those authors.
- LOOK at the books they’ve printed—either at the bookstore or on the Internet.
- Compare their publishing packages. This is a competitive business, so don’t be swayed by the first dollar-difference you see between companies—OR their current promotions.
- LISTEN to the Author Representatives. It won’t take you long to discern whether they have a true passion for their work (helping authors like you)—or not.
YOUR PUBLISHING journey is a grand adventure from the day you write your first page until the many days you’ll be signing autographs! ⚓︎
|ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.