There’s that old adage that everyone has a book in them. Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re one of them. What they don’t tell you though is that not everyone has the tools, time, and tolerance to get their stories and ideas down on paper and into the hands of readers.
That’s where a good ghostwriter can help. Here are the top three reasons authors hire ghostwriters:
3. Authors don’t have the experience needed to write a book. Ghostwriters do.
Most of us – just about all of us over the age of 5 – can write a text or an email. Many of us can craft a decent business letter or personal postcard. But writing a full-length book that informs, entertains, and compels the reader to turn page after page is something altogether different. It takes skill, talent, and experience.
Some authors know that from the start. Others sometimes get part-way through a project before looking for help. Often, that helps the process anyway, since authors will have a better idea of where you want your book to go.
A ghostwriter can take that book to the next level, sculpting their ideas and turning them into a professionally written manuscript. They are also good at identifying angles and story lines the author may not have thought of. Ghostwriters help with “big picture” planning as well including breaking the book into chapters and plotting out how the story should unfold. Project management is another big area where a professional ghostwriter can help (see below).
2. Authors don’t want to write a book. Ghostwriters do.
Most people simply don’t like writing. In fact, as many have confided in me, they downright hate it. Even a simple business letter can be painful. If the thought of a couple of hundred words brings fear and dread, you can imagine how the prospect of sitting down for months or years to commit 80,000 useable words to paper will affect them.
Authors usually love the idea of a book. They have life experience or an interesting story or an important message that they truly believe should get out there. Many publishers and editors would agree. It’s that big, white space between Great Idea and Successful Book Launch that can be impossible for the author to overcome. A ghostwriter fills the space with words, turning the author’s story into a finished, polished book.
1. Authors don’t have the time to write a book. Ghostwriters do.
Many authors are doers – they don’t have time to take a year or two off and write a book. Can you imagine the CEO of MegaGlobalProducts sitting alone at his or her desk on the 110th floor while the empire languishes below?
Authors, whether they are business leaders, sports heroes, entertainment celebrities, music icons, genius inventors, or [insert your niche here] are too busy doing what they do best to stop and write a book about it. It’s also why, for the most part, they don’t renovate their own kitchens, fix their own cars, or do their own accounting. Hiring a ghostwriter, like every other service they use in their lives, frees up their time so that they can keep doing what they love – and what they do best – instead.
The Other “Services” Ghostwriters Offer
The author/ghostwriter relationship is a partnership, and a personal one at that. The author is the expert in the field and the one with the vision for the book while the ghostwriter is the nuts-and-bolts professional who helps tell the story in a way that appeals to readers.
But ghostwriters offer other services that are hard to pin down. Writing your story can be a very personal thing. Even seemingly emotionally detached books like technical manuals can be emotional simply because they are meaningful for you. They are a culmination of your experiences, trials and tribulations, and perhaps your life’s work. It’s not always an easy thing to do, bringing those stories to light. Ghostwriters make the process easier.
Don’t underestimate the importance of project management, either. Books are large, unwieldy dragons that need to be cajoled and controlled and massaged into submission. For every book published in the world today, there are probably millions that are languishing in artistic limbo at the bottom of some desk drawer or forgotten hard drive.
It only takes a dream to start a book, but it takes drive and perseverance to finish it. Project management, in my mind, is the most underrated skill a ghostwriter brings to the table, and one that authors often don’t fully understand until the book is officially done.
But more on that another time…
Have I missed something here? Let me know in the comments below, and let’s talk about it.
Author: Graham Strong
Graham Strong is a professional ghostwriter, freelance marketing writer, and freelance journalist. Since 1995, he has written – and ghostwritten – thousands of articles, brochures, web pages, ads, whitepapers, newsletters, annual reports, and more. Graham launched the Strong Ghostwriting website to highlight his book ghostwriting services to clients.
Contact Graham to find out how he can help you write your book.