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Hi Writers!

I hope everyone’s enjoying good weather and fun, productive days.

I want to share with you three ways you can collaborate with your client as a ghostwriter:

1. Rewrite A Raw Manuscript

These days, this is my favorite way to ghostwrite a book. If your client has written most or all of her manuscript, you’re in a great position to help her reach the next level. She’s written down her ideas. Now it’s your turn to do your magic.

Starting with what she’s put together, rework it to produce the most engaging, professional product possible. Hack away! Create new chapter titles and section headers. Rewrite to your heart’s content. Remove redundancies. Expand points. Add anecdotes and examples to support her points.

Keep the main messages, and make sure your client’s voice comes through. But use your own savvy to rework the manuscript, transforming it from amateurish to a highly professional work of art, with every sentence a joy to read.

2. Write A Manuscript From Interviews

At the other end of the spectrum is the client who has written nothing and has a million ideas floating in his head. He’s brilliant, and his ideas are worth sharing with readers, but as soon as he tries writing anything down, he loses them. He’s an eloquent speaker, not a writer.

In this case, schedule a series of interviews. They can be conducted in person, by phone, or through Skype. I interview clients by phone, and since I’m a fast typist I go ahead and type what they say, creating a written record in real time. This saves me the expense and extra step of having an audio interview transcribed. Then as I piece together a manuscript from scratch, I simply copy and paste sections from the written record, rewriting and expanding them as needed.

By the way, in this case it’s a good idea to charge separately for the interviews. I typically charge clients a per-page rate for ghostwriting plus a per-hour rate for phone interviews.

3. Piece Together What You’ve Been Given And Gather More

In this approach, the client has some material to give you. For example, she might hand you 19 pages she’s written with rough ideas for her book, plus five articles published about her in different magazines, and two YouTube videos of her being interviewed on the subject you’ll be ghostwriting about.

Your job is to take this hodgepodge and incorporate it into a new work. In addition you’ll need to figure out what’s missing and schedule a few interviews to gather more information.

Since I enjoy writing a hundred times more than I enjoy talking, I try to conduct email interviews whenever possible. This won’t work for clients who love to talk and hate to write. It does tend to work for very busy professionals, though, since they can sit down and address your emailed questions at their leisure.

When I conduct email interviews, I do not charge extra. I charge only a per-page fee for ghostwriting the manuscript.

*****

I hope you’ve found this information helpful! If you need specific guidance, feel free to contact me for a consultation. And be sure to check out my ghostwriting (and other) eBooks on Amazon.

To your writing success,

Graciela Sholander

What Does The Ghost Say?

Where Are The Ghostwriting Jobs?

Tom Hiddleston Trivia!

 

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Hi Writers!

Can’t believe the year is almost over. We’re about to embark upon a new year, and it’s an exciting time. It’s when many of us evaluate where we are and where we want to be, then take steps to better align with our goals. It’s also a time to see how we’ve grown in our writing, to review the lessons we’ve learned from our experiences, and to celebrate our successes, both great and small.

Colorado Snow

As you navigate into a new year with a sea of possibilities swimming before you, keep the following tips in mind:

1. Make Time To Write. You produce the written word. In order to get more of your “product” out there, you must make time to create your product. I know many of you are incredibly busy with jobs, classes, taking care of kids, and a host of other activities that need to get done. But don’t skimp on writing. Make it a priority. Write while your children nap. Write just before you go to bed. Write during your lunch break. Make it happen.

2. Pick Up Business Skills. As an independent writer, you’re also a businessperson, so it’s always beneficial to pick up a new business skill or two. Read up on writing contracts, collecting payments, paying taxes, marketing your work, and finding clients. The Internet and your neighborhood library are great resources; use them.

3. Give Yourself A Raise. Don’t over-think this one, folks. Just do it. Raise your rates by 5% to 10%. It’s time.

4. Get Yourself Out There. Advertise your services as a ghostwriter. You don’t need to invest in expensive ads; use every free avenue you can think of. Create a free blog on WordPress. Make a page for yourself on Facebook. Utilize Craigslist. Send your resume to self-publishing houses and ghostwriting agencies, and be sure to follow up. Talk to people and ask if they know anybody who needs writing services. Now is not the time to be shy.

5. Learn A New Computer Skill. So in Tip #4, I mention WordPress, Facebook, and Craigslist. Perhaps you’re new to these, which means it will take time to learn how to leverage them. How do you create a blog? How do you find people who’ll read it? How do you post a free ad in Craigslist’s services section? Don’t be afraid to poke around and figure it out. The Internet is becoming more and more accessible to everyone, even those who are challenged by technology. Dive in and learn a skill that will ultimately help you run your ghostwriting business better.

6. Respond To More Ads. Do you hold back from responding to ghostwriting posts because you feel you’re not qualified? Reply anyway. You’re probably more qualified than you think. You don’t need to be an expert on a topic to ghostwrite about it. You just need solid skills in writing, researching, and interviewing. I’m certain you’ve got a good foundation. You get better with practice.

7. Enjoy What You Do. Ghostwriting is work but it’s also fun. Get passionate about it. Enjoy the process. If every step becomes a burden, it’s time to move on to another career. But if you like what you’re doing and you want to make it work, remember to focus on that which brings you joy, whether it’s the writing process itself or interviewing fascinating people, or running your business from home … or all of the above!

One of my goals this year is to get more information out to writers and other audiences via eBooks. I’ve been wanting to do this for years but haven’t made the time to complete and release these books. Wish me luck in my endeavors!

And I wish you all the best in your writing and your life in 2014.

Happy Writing,

Graciela Sholander

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