Yesterday I received the following email message:
“I have a journal that I wrote to Harper Publishers about. They suggested I get a ghost writer to help me with the proposal and manuscript to send to them. I have no experience in writing books! I really want to get this done as soon as possible. It is important to me and my late husband. I want to write this story to reach millions of hearts out there! I don’t have money but could sign a contract to pay as soon as I get an advance on the book. If you could help me find someone who knows the process and has written a book please contact me.”
What’s wrong with this picture? Plenty.
There is no money whatsoever up front. The ghostwriter will spend hours upon hours on this project with no guarantee that payment will ever be received. That’s because the book may never be published. If the book is published, there likely will be no advance. If the book is published and sells (which will require a great deal of marketing and promotions on the author’s part), it may not make enough money to adequately repay the writer for her time, effort, skills, talent and dedication.
Here’s my response to this individual: