Giving the Gift of Ghostwriting: More Fun and Creative Things To Do With Your Book
GIVING THE GIFT OF GHOSTWRITING: MORE FUN AND CREATIVE THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR BOOK
When you hear the term ghostwriting, what comes to mind? Celebrity memoirs? Political speeches? The Nancy Drew or Goosebumps series?
The thing is, ghostwriting isn’t just a service for famous people who need help with their manuscripts. Anyone can work with a ghostwriter, and there’s so much more that a ghostwriter can help you create.
Jennifer Rizzo, one of our professional writers here at The Writers For Hire (TWFH), explained that professional ghostwriters can also assist clients with genealogy research. Ghostwriters can then use that information to help create unique items of personal value that can be shared or given as gifts.
But what sorts of items?
Give the Gift of Books
This might seem like a no-brainer, but there are so many more possibilities beyond memoirs and autobiographies that make great gifts! Here are some of our favorites.
Have you discovered a family member with a particularly interesting life that you want to commemorate?
Working with a ghostwriter to document their story is a great way to do so.
For some inspiration, check out this biography TWFH helped Jerry E. Hendon create!
Coffee Table Books
Are there any photographers in your family with a keen eye for good pictures? Physical photo albums aren’t nearly as common in today’s digital age, but incorporating family photos into a coffee table book is a great way to display them on a larger scale.
And if someone in your family is the keeper of old family photographs—you know, from the black-and-white days—those make a fantastic addition. Moreover, by scanning old photos and including them in the book, the whole family can enjoy them.
Do you come from a family of excellent cooks? Then it’s your duty to get those recipes down!
We’re just kidding, but family cookbooks do make great gifts and are really fun to create!
Whether your family is big or small, you will surely end up with a notable assortment of recipes if you ask around.
Not only is this a great way to document old favorites from family members who have passed away, but it’s also a great way to capture current favorites from even the youngest family members (Chicken nuggets count, okay?).
They don’t just call it historical fiction for nothing! If you find yourself inspired by your genealogy research, consider using it to create a fictional narrative with a ghostwriter.
Short Story Collection
One of the best parts of diving into your family history is hearing the different stories people have to tell and share. Rather than limiting yourself to just one family member’s life story, you can create a collection of family stories.
Your collection doesn’t need to be stories from your family elders only, but it can also include stories from younger family members. Sometimes, children have a more accurate and pure memory of events that have taken place.
While taking a deep dive into your family history, you might find yourself particularly drawn to a certain time period or topic related to a family member’s life rather than the whole thing.
So, instead of creating a complete biography, you might find that a manuscript with a narrower scope is the better option.
For example, TWFH helped Dan K. Eberhart research and ghostwrite “The Switch,” a 250-page book about America’s crude oil export ban and the future of the energy industry.
This is a fun one that’s sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face!
Do you think of anyone in your family as your hero? Or has anyone undergone a particularly interesting journey?
A comic book is a highly imaginative approach to sharing their story. Similar to a novelization, you can also take more creative license with the storyline if you wish to embellish it or add new story elements.
Family History Book
Who hasn’t thought that a family history book would be a fantastic thing to have? Since most families don’t have one, this is a wonderful gift that’s sure to be a surprise.
This sentimental gift also presents incredible value. Are you unsure about something in your family history? Here’s the book to look it up in!
Passing along family stories by word of mouth is a special experience, but it can result in gaps in your family’s history.
Learn about how TWFH helped a small tribe in east central Minnesota document their history here!
The fun part about creating a children’s storybook is all the different approaches you can take with this project. The most important part, however, is ensuring the content is tailored to a younger audience. Make sure to use simplified language, avoid crude or violent details, and consider including many pictures.
Similar to a family history book, a children’s storybook can also document your family’s history and lineage.
Alternatively, you can craft it more like a collection of short stories.
Interview Compilation Book
A more official and technical version of a short story collection is an interview compilation book. When you talk to your different family members and hear their stories, ask if you can record the conversation so you can transcribe it later.
Recording the interview is essential for creating this collection with accuracy. Plus, then you won’t be scrambling to take notes!
Printed or Framed Keepsakes
With so many different approaches available to take, books are a popular ghostwriting gift.
But not everyone is a reader, and not everyone even has a bookcase in their home.
But you know what most people do have? Things decorating their walls.
When you think about diving into your family history, chances are a family tree is at the top of your mind. And who hasn’t made some sort of family tree for a class project growing up?
While arts and crafts projects from our youth are admittedly special, there’s nothing like having an official and thorough family tree to display in your home. You can include family crests and heritage flags, blurbs and photos about each member, and more.
If a family tree isn’t quite your thing or it feels too big, a family timeline is a strong alternative. This can be as simple or complex as you like: You can choose to include only the significant events or get so specific as to include everyone’s birthday year by year.
Scrapbooks or Scrapbook Items
Akin to physical photo albums, finding scrapbooks in people’s homes isn’t as common anymore.
However, they’re still valuable and can be a lot of fun to look through on your own or with other family members.
If you like to get a little crafty, putting together a scrapbook can be an enjoyable activity that also makes for a fantastic gift.
But if scrapbooks aren’t your thing, then consider framing and gifting something from within the scrapbook—like a newspaper clipping about a family member.
Custom Art and Illustrations
While you might be thinking of those silly caricature paintings you get at the fair, we encourage you to think bigger.
Are there any local artists whose work you really admire? Or do you follow any artists online that accept orders for custom-created work? Consider giving them a group family picture, a photo of your family’s vacation home, or a portrait of an elderly relative.
This is a great way to support artists while giving a unique gift that your family can treasure forever.
Even if your family doesn’t scoop up every poetry collection they can get their hands on, just a single poem is still likely to be a great hit—especially when it’s about your own family.
It doesn’t have to be a sonnet, but you might want to aim for longer than just a haiku.
Even though we all have digital calendar apps on our phones, there’s a reason why physical calendars have persisted. Being able to see something hanging up every day helps you stay present and focused.
But if we’re being honest, we all know we’re really just here for those monthly pictures.
The fun part about calendars is how many options you have. You can create one calendar and gift it to the whole family. Or you can create multiple custom calendars for specific family members.
You can work with a ghostwriter to design personalized journals or diaries for your family members. For instance, you can include family birthdays and annual events or dates to remember.
You can customize the journals even more by including diary prompts that align with family events, story blurbs that reflect family history, or even quotes from different family members.
These make great gifts that can one day become family heirlooms or contribute to a future family member’s genealogy research.
Family History Tours
For a more interactive gift, you can work with a ghostwriter to create a tour of your family history. You can keep it simple by creating a personalized map that points out locations of interest, or you can make it more complex.
If you really love an interactive challenge, consider making your family history tour a scavenger hunt. You can create personalized prompts and clues, incorporating fun facts from your family history, and include additional information at each site.
So, let us ask you again: When you hear the term ghostwriting, what do you think?
Your creative options have no bounds. We can’t wait to see what you create!
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