Ghostwriting
“I… am a writer.”
— Quentin “Q” Morewood, Wonder Boys  

ou’ve probably said “I always wanted to write a book” a few times. Maybe a few hundred times. That’s OK. There are lots of great reasons to be an author. To a brand-conscious professional or tech visionary, a book is a gateway to recognition and leverage. To a consultant, coach, or public speaker, a book is a platform to raise credibility and visibility—and speaking fees. To anyone with a message for change, a book is a megaphone. (Wow. That’s three metaphors in one paragraph.) Selling copies and collecting royalties is also a good thing.

ghostwritingHere’s the problem: You have the vision and the passion, but not the confidence or time to write a 70,000-word book. That’s where I come in. A good ghostwriter’s task is to listen, intuit your ideas (hence the name of my company), and tell your story. Once I understand your voice, vision, and goals, I move forward with interviews, anything you’ve already written, and whatever research is necessary. I develop the right content and structure, and write your book—in your voice, not mine. After that, my job is to disappear and let you reap the rewards of being an author.

As my colleagues will tell you, I’m curious about almost everything. So I’ve written or ghostwritten on a wide variety of topics. However, I like to focus on certain types of nonfiction:

  • Visionary technology trends in communication, design, lifestyle, and healthcare
  • Business practices that are both disruptive and sustainable (Yes, they can be both.)
  • Social and political change, both historic and present-day

I can also help develop your book’s publishing strategy—but that’s a discussion for another webpage.

Just the FAQs

Will ghostwriting hurt my reputation? – No. Many well-received nonfiction books are ghostwritten.

Who owns the rights to my book? – You do. Ghostwriting does not give me rights to your book, or to any derived work, such as an audio book, podcast, online lecture, or documentary.

Can I submit my book manuscript directly to a publisher? – Yes, but it will most likely end up in a pile of other, unread manuscripts. Whether the publisher is large or small, your best bet is to find a literary agent. He or she will be your champion. I can help you find one, starting with a good book proposal.

If I don’t land a publishing deal, do I have to settle for self-publishing? – You’re asking the wrong question. Self-publishing is a respectable alternative to traditional service providers. It’s certainly NOT the same as “vanity” publishing. Depending on the book and your overall goals, a self-publishing plan (on your own or with a trusted ally) may be the ideal choice.

How long does it take to ghostwrite a book? – If the book is simple and short, it can take 2-3 months. If it’s complicated, with lots of original research, ghostwriting can take up to a year.

How much does it cost? – That depends. Ghostwriting a typical nonfiction book from scratch costs between $27,000 and $47,000, depending on length and complexity. If you already have a publisher, my fee might be 30% of your advance, plus 30% of your subsequent royalties. We’ll talk about details.