How can a ghostwriter help get my book to the finish line?
HOW CAN A GHOSTWRITER HELP GET MY BOOK TO THE FINISH LINE?
Your book is your passion project. It was going great for a while, but then life got in the way. Work got busier. Kids are kids. Accidents happen. Or sometimes you just hit a wall.
Unfortunately, sometimes passion projects end up on the back burner.
Now, what you really want is for your book to be done, but you’re not sure how to get back on track. It may not seem possible at all. If that’s the case, it’s time to bring in a professional ghostwriter.
While it may seem like handing over your baby to a stranger, try not to think about it like that.
Think of a ghostwriter as a baseball reliever. You started the game and did great, but when you hit your wall, he comes in just to wrap it up with a fresh arm and a slightly different repertoire of pitches. At the end of the game, you still get the win!
What a Ghostwriter Brings to the Table
You’ve done a lot of work on your book, so why bring in someone else?
It’s really as simple as this: Ghostwriters are professional writers.
They’ve 'been there, done that' and they can help you get your project to the finish line, no matter where you’ve stalled.
Here are seven reasons why a ghostwriter gives you a better chance at finishing your project, with a few insights from professional ghostwriter Barbara Adams.
1. They have an established process.
For many people who are trying to write a larger project for the first time, the excitement of the idea can quickly give way to the realities of getting it completed.
A professional ghostwriter knows what it takes to get a project completed successfully on a consistent basis. If that weren’t the case, they wouldn’t be surviving as a ghostwriter.
To stay consistent, professional writers establish a process that helps keep them on track.
Adams knows this firsthand. “Most people can’t really imagine the work that goes into writing a book or professional article ahead of time. On the other hand, an experienced ghostwriter knows what’s involved and has the bandwidth, patience, perseverance, and talent to get the job done.”
2. They have fresh eyes.
Have you ever looked at something so much that you don’t really see it at all anymore?
A big writing project can get like that.
You’ve been emersed in it for so long that you don’t even know where you start in again and what needs to be done.
When you bring in a ghostwriter, you are bringing in a fresh set of eyes.
She can review the completed work and figure out what’s missing, see what might need to be re-done, and may even have new ideas you hadn’t thought of for your project.
The key is to be open to their ideas.
A good ghostwriter is never looking to take your project away from you; they just want to help you make it the best it can be.
3. They have experience.
Once you start your project and begin to understand the amount of time, editing, research, cataloguing, and other things that go into the process, it can be incredibly daunting.
Part of the reason that it seems so impossible is that you have to learn it all as you go. That’s not the case for a ghostwriter.
Remember, “been there, done that!” Because they’ve done it all before, it’s no longer intimidating to them. Plus, as we mentioned, they have a process now.
4. They know your market and what sells.
What is your goal for your project? Is it an article that you want to get published in a high-end industry magazine? Are you creating family history just for a keepsake? Perhaps you think you have the next great personal memoir to fly off the bookshelves.
Those are all perfectly valid goals, but they each come with different requirements.
A good ghostwriter knows the industry and how to cater a project to meet those end goals. Sometimes that can mean they’ll have to bring a little tough love and make you pivot your story direction or make cuts that are difficult.
Remember, the ghostwriter has your goals in mind. If you want to reach that finish line, you need to be open to new ideas.
Adams says, “A ghostwriter has to understand the author’s goals and objectives, conduct interviews, gather and review all the source materials, and create a plan from there.”
5. They may have publishing connections.
An added bonus to hiring a ghostwriter is that they may have some connections in the publishing or printing industry that could be of use to you.
Consider their portfolio and look for publishers you’d like to partner with for your book or magazines in which you’d love to see your article.
There are no guarantees here, but a ghostwriter’s experience in the industry could open a couple of doors for you or at least get you pointed in the right direction.
6. They can bring an editorial eye.
Ghostwriters serve as editors, too.
They’ll look at your work with the eye of an experienced writer and help you clean it up, shape it, and get it in better condition than ever before.
It is still your ideas and mostly your words, but they can bring a little polish.
7. They work fast and efficiently.
While you toil away at your project, get distracted, agonize over certain passages, and give yourself mental breaks, your project is moving at a snail’s pace, if at all.
Ghostwriters get paid to get the job done.
To this end, they’ve learned to be very efficient with their time and energy. You might be amazed at how quickly your project leaps forward in the hands of a pro.
Don’t worry, it’s in good hands! It’s like the average person changing a tire versus those professional pit crews. They have the experience and tools to make it look almost easy!
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Remember, the goal is to get the book done. The ideas are still yours. You’re just bringing in someone who can tie the loose ends together and wrap up your project, whether it’s a novel or a family history.
However, don’t expect to hire a ghostwriter and simply wait for a miracle. When asked about what misconceptions people have about ghostwriters, Adams said: “That we can read minds! We rely on the author to provide the information we need, although we’re always willing to do supplemental research.”
Trust your ghostwriter’s advice, but follow your gut, too.
Your ghostwriter isn’t looking to steal your ideas or take credit for the final work.
This is what they do, and they understand the rules of the game.
But that being said, it is your project, so if you feel strongly about leaving in a passage or some other edit, stand firm. Your ghostwriter won’t be offended.
You’ve already put a lot of time and hard work into your project. Don’t shelve it before it has a chance to shine! You’ll always wonder “what if….”
As Adams says, “Once you see the finished project and you can share it with pride, you’ll realize that getting it moving again was worth every penny!”
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