Commonly Used Printing and Publishing Terms

To a first-time author, few stages of the book-writing process are as overwhelming as publishing and printing.

You’ll make decisions about everything from cover art to paper quality. You’ll have to decide which printing option is right for you and your readers. You’ll need to have opinions about whether you want a prologue or an appendix — or both.

You’ll also have to learn some industry jargon along the way. Need a starting point? Check out this list of commonly used printing and publishing terms:

  1. Appendix

    A section at the back of a book that contains relevant “extra” materials that don’t really fit anywhere else. Items that might go in an appendix include things like copies of original documents, letters, maps, family trees, graphics, or lists of recommended reading.

  2. Binding

    This refers to how the pages and cover are put together. A few common types of binding include:

    • Perfect Binding
      Also known as a “soft cover book,” a perfect bound book features a durable (but flexible) cover and is held together with a heavy-duty adhesive. Most mass market paperbacks (the paperbacks you find in bookstores or grocery stores) feature perfect binding.

    • *Most paperback books are perfect

    • Saddle Stitching
      This is a slightly misleading name because there’s no actual stitching involved. Instead, pages and cover are folded and stapled along the crease. Magazines, booklets, and short manuals often feature saddle stitching. Saddle stitching is very inexpensive.


    • Hardcover
      As the name suggests, these books feature hard, sturdy covers made of cardboard, fabric, or even leather and are often wrapped in a protective dust jacket. Hardcover books tend to be pricier to print than other types of binding.


    • Spiral Binding
      An inexpensive option that features a plastic or wire coil. Because spiral-bound pages can lay perfectly flat, this is a great choice for more “interactive” publications like workbooks or guidebooks.


  3. Draft

    A draft is a working (as in, not final) version of a book. In most cases, a draft is a Word document. Drafts go through multiple rounds of editing and revisions before they become final.

  4. Dust Jacket

    The removable paper cover that protects a hardcover book. Most dust jackets have a cover illustration, a book synopsis on the front inside flap, and an “About the Author/About the Company” blurb on the back inside flap (In case you were wondering, you don’t have to have a dust jacket. There are other options, such as casewrap, that look just as nice. They’re often more affordable, too.).

  5. EBook

    Short for “electronic book.” eBooks are an increasingly popular alternative to traditional publishing. eBooks look exactly like traditional books, but they are designed to be read on tablets or dedicated eReaders (like the Amazon Kindle or the Barnes & Noble Nook). Many self-published authors prefer eBooks because they are much less expensive to produce than traditional paper books.

  6. Editing

    Unlike proofreading, which focuses on small grammar and spelling errors, editing is all about the big picture. Editing typically includes things like rewriting sentences for clarity, deleting unnecessary paragraphs, rearranging sections of a chapter, or adding details to make your writing more interesting. You can edit your draft yourself, or hire an editor to help you improve your writing.

  7. Foreword

    A short introduction that appears at the beginning of the book. A foreword can be written by the book’s author, but it’s often written by someone else, such as an industry expert or a respected author.

  8. Galley

    This is a sample copy of the book once it’s been through the layout and design stages. The galley copy provides a final opportunity to review or make changes before the book goes to print.

  9. Matte Vs. Glossy

    You’ll most likely have to decide between these two options when you choose a book cover or dust jacket. A glossy finish is super-shiny and a tiny bit reflective. A matte finish is low-shine and typically non-reflective.

  10. JPEG

    Pronounced “jay-peg,” a JPEG is a common format for compressing digital photos. If you plan to include photos in your book, you’ll likely need to convert them to JPEG format. Working with older photos? No worries. You can use a scanner to convert them to digital.

  11. ISBN

    Short for the International Standard Book Number, the ISBN is the unique number and accompanying bar code assigned to all commercially published books. A book’s ISBN contains a variety of information, including the country where the book was published, the publisher, edition, and more. The ISBN is also used by bookstores and libraries.


    *Traditional publishers (and most reputable self-publishers) assign an ISBN to all books they produce.

  12. PDF

    A PDF is another common digital file format. Unlike a bare-bones Word document, a PDF looks exactly like a printed page and will include design elements, graphics, custom fonts, and more.

  13. Print On Demand

    A type of publishing option where books are printed individually when they are ordered. This is an economical alternative to traditional publishing, which typically requires you to print a few hundred books at once.

  14. Prologue

    An introductory section that appears before the main book. In a non-fiction book, you can use a prologue to provide context or background information, or to explain your relationship to the subject matter. In a fiction book, a prologue might be a short vignette that sets the scene for the main story. A prologue is written by the book’s author.

  15. Proof

    In publishing lingo, “proof” means a pre-print sample of a book. Typically, your publisher or printer will provide you with a proof to review before your book is printed. This is your last opportunity to do a thorough review and catch any typos or formatting issues before your book goes to print.

  16. Proofreading

    Proofreading means going through a final draft to correct small issues such as missing punctuation, typos, or grammar and spelling errors.

  17. Publisher Vs. Printer

    What’s the difference? In most cases, a publisher handles all aspects of your book, from layout and design to printing, sales, and distribution. (Depending on what kind of publisher you’re using, a publisher may handle marketing and publicity, too.) A printer does exactly what the name suggests: They print your book. Printers don’t normally offer additional services like graphics, design or marketing.

  18. Self-Publishing

    Self-publishing is an increasingly popular option, and with good reason: It’s easy, it’s faster than traditional publishing, and it’s a great choice if you’re writing for a smaller audience and/or you want to retain complete creative control over your book. What’s more, many of the leading self-publishing companies produce beautiful books that rival their traditionally published counterparts. Our pick for self-publishing? CreateSpace, which is owned by Amazon.com.

  19. Table of Contents

    A table of contents appears at the front of the book and lists each chapter or section.

A Survival Guide to Writing a Company History Book

Your company is getting ready to celebrate its 50th anniversary, and the higher-ups have decided that a book will be the perfect way to commemorate the occasion.

They’ve also decided that you are the perfect person to act as project manager, writer, and editor.

And they want it ready to send to clients, investors, and employees by the end of the quarter.

But is that a realistic deadline? Where will you get your information? How do you even start on a project like that? How do you know what information to include? What do you do about publishing and printing? What if you’re not really a “writer”?

Company HistoryOur team of professional ghostwriters and editors have helped dozens of corporate clients research, organize, write, and publish books. We understand the unique challenges that come with writing corporate books, and we know how to keep large projects moving forward.

This guide will give you an in-depth look at the process of writing a company history book, from planning and research to writing, project management, and final proofreading.

Big-Picture Planning

Starting a book without planning is like setting off on a cross-country road trip without your trusty navigation app.

You might have a general idea of where you’re going, but you don’t really know how to get there: Are you going to take back roads, or stick to the highways? Are you going to make any stops along the way? Are there any detours or major construction projects that could slow you down?

Before you write a word of your company history book, you need to have a clear sense of where you’re going with your book and how you’re going to get there.

This is the time to sit down with all of the project stakeholders and decision makers and answer the following questions:

Do you have a specific publication date in mind?

Do you want to release the book on, say, your company’s 50th anniversary? Are you planning on giving it out for a holiday gift? Did you want to have it ready for an upcoming conference, trade show, or convention?

Is this date realistic?

Books are big projects — and although every situation is a little different, you should expect the process to take a minimum of six months. Have a tight deadline? Not sure if your target date is actually possible? Now’s the time to start checking with printers and self-publishing companies.

Who will read this book?

Are you publishing this for the general public? Longtime customers or potential clients? Employees only? The intended audience for your book will help you determine everything from the writing style to the type of information you include to the length and format of the final manuscript.

What will the finished product look like?

Is the goal to create a downloadable eBook? A beautiful, heirloom-quality coffee table book, with lots of pictures? A paperback? Do you want a short booklet or a meaty 150-pager?

Are there specific stories that you need to include?

Any interesting stories about how the company got started? How about important milestones in the company’s history? Are there any anecdotes that would be especially interesting to the book’s target audience?

Is there anything you should not include?

Before you start gathering information and conducting interviews, ask about any sensitive stories, proprietary information, trade secrets, and other details that might be best left out.

Who will be responsible for providing final feedback along the way?

Will you submit chapters to the company CEO? To a team of executives and key decision makers? To the VP of marketing? To avoid massive rewrites, you’ll want to make sure that anyone who gets a say has plenty of opportunity to review your work as you go. 

Start Researching

Now that you have some of your big-picture details mapped out, you can roll up your sleeves and start gathering information for your company history book.

The good news: You probably have more resources than you think.

In-house records/archives/databases

You may not have to go far to get your hands on some great resources. Some companies make a point of keeping copies of past newsletters, magazine or newspaper clippings, and even old brochures. If you have a marketing department, you might want to start there.

Personal interviews

Talk to current and former employees, retired C-level executives, and current leadership. If your company is relatively young, you might be able to speak with company founders.

New to interviewing? You don’t have to be a seasoned journalist to conduct a great interview. Here are a few ways to make sure it’s a success:

Set a firm -- but flexible -- deadline. Your interviewees are busy people, and they have full schedules. To ensure that they are able to make time to speak with you, send them an interview request as far in advance as possible. Give them a few options for days and times, but don’t give them an indefinite amount of time (else they may reschedule until the end of time). Try something like, “We need to have our interviews wrapped up by MM/DD, and I am available on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from  8 AM to 3:30 PM -- what works best for you?”

Respect your interviewees’ time. Dial in or show up for the interview at the scheduled time. Share your list of questions at least a day before the interview so your interviewee has time to gather his or her thoughts. Tell your interviewee how long you think the interview will take (this will depend on the questions but you might want to block out 45 minutes to an hour). Don’t go over your allotted time. If you have follow-up questions you can always email or call. And be sure to thank them for speaking with you.

Ask open-ended questions. The goal is to get your interviewees talking. Avoid asking questions that your interviewee can answer with a single word or a simple “yes” or “no.” So, for example, instead of asking “Have you worked here long?” try something like, “Can you tell me about your history with the company?” Or instead of “When was the company founded?” you could ask, “How did the company get its start?”

Prepare your questions ahead of time. Write down at 5 to 10 good questions that will get your interviewee talking. More than likely, the conversation will spin out naturally from there, and you’ll add questions as you go (in fact, this should be the goal of your interview) -- but written questions will help you stay focused if you’re nervous or and it’ll give you a way to keep the conversation going if your interviewee is a bit reserved.

Record the interview and take detailed notes. Record phone calls and face-to-face interviews (ask permission, of course!). Take written notes, too -- it never hurts to have a backup.

The internet

You might be surprised by how much information you can get with a quick Google search. Be sure to check your company’s website (especially their “About” page), and check out the digital archives of local newspapers, too (many newspaper archives have paywalls, but there are a few decent resources out there, like this one and this one). If your company is very large or very well-known, it wouldn’t hurt to check national publications like the New York Times. A larger company may also have a Wikipedia page.

The local library

It’s kind of old-school, but the library in your company’s city can be an excellent source of background information. Most public libraries have extensive digital (and even microfilm!) newspaper archives, and some even have books on local history, which can provide a snapshot of what was going on in the community when your company got there. Since many libraries have massive newspaper archives, it might be helpful to start your search with a few key dates (like the date the company was started or any significant anniversaries or milestones) or names (the founders’ names).


Company HistoryTip: Don’t forget the visuals! When you start doing your research, you should also start keeping a file of photographs and other visuals (tables, infographics, etc.) that you might want to use in your book. One great potential source of photos: Interviewees. Ask everyone you interview if they have any relevant photos that they’d like to share. And remember, the publisher/printer will need high-quality, digital copies of all images. If you’re working with hard copies of old photos, make sure you have access to a scanner.
 

Create a Timeline

Once you’ve knocked out the bulk of your research, it’s time to put it all together and see what you have.

Gather your interview recordings, news stories, and handwritten notes, and start putting everything together in chronological order.

This will help you get a big-picture sense of important dates, major events, and key turning points in your company’s history.

Creating a chronological timeline will also help you identify any major gaps that may require more research — for example, you might realize that you don’t have any information about, say, the early 1980s or that you have no idea when the company’s last big merger happened.

And don’t worry, it’s totally normal to find small holes in your timeline, even if you’ve been incredibly thorough in your research.

The good news is that any additional research you do will be very specific, so you’ll know exactly what you’re looking for.

Once you’ve got a solid timeline, run it by all of the decision makers and stakeholders on your “final approval” team to make sure you’re all on the same page and to give them the opportunity to weigh in and suggest events to add, remove, or change.

It’s never too early to think about printing and publishing

Our clients are often surprised to learn that it can take several months to get a book printed. That’s why you should start considering your options as early in the process as possible. If you’re planning to work with a specific publisher or designer, it’s a good idea to start communicating with them early about timelines, pricing, and options for things like design and layout.

If you’re planning to self-publish, start narrowing down your options: There are a ton of self-publishing companies out there, and they vary in price, quality, turnaround time, and the level of service they provide (some are pretty bare-bones -- they print what you send them, with no bells and whistles; others provide design services, editing, and proofreading). Whatever publishing option you’re considering, it’s not a decision you want to make at the last minute.

And if you have a specific budget in mind, it’s important to remember that pricing can vary widely, depending on several factors: In general, hardcover books are pricier than their softcover counterparts. Color photos are more expensive than black-and-white. You’ll pay more for thicker, glossier paper and unusual sizes.

Decision time: How will you tell your company's story?

There’s nothing wrong with telling your story chronologically, starting from the company’s founding and moving forward from there until you get to the present day.

But that’s not the only option.

Here are a few other options to consider:

An oral history

This type of book is typically less chronological and feels more like an anthology of collected personal narratives – but if you ended up with a ton of amazing interviews after your information-gathering phase, consider using large, verbatim portions of the interviews and letting your interviewees tell the company’s story in their own words.

A series of vignettes

Again, this is more like a set of standalone stories than a traditional chronological approach, but a collection of vignettes — focused on key people, important milestones, and fascinating bits of company history — is a great way to keep things interesting.

A coffee table book

Larger and more image-heavy than a traditional book, a coffee table book is ideal if you want to showcase iconic products or designs. Coffee table books are typically less reliant on text, too, which makes them a good option if your research didn’t turn up as much information as you’d hoped.

Write a Sample

Now comes the fun part. You’re ready to start writing.

We suggest starting small, with a single story.

Pick something that feels self-contained; something that you can write about in three to five pages — and make sure it’s something that you’ve got a ton of information about.

Write three to five pages, and then share it with your stakeholders/decision makers. Ask them to weigh in and provide feedback. Here are a few things to ask them:

Do you like the writing style?

Do you feel like the writing “flows” — meaning, did you enjoy reading it? Did it sound natural?

Is it easy to understand?

Is it clear?

Is there anything you’d change? 

And don’t get discouraged if your team has a lot of feedback and suggestions for you at this point!

We’ve been doing this for years and we’ve learned that the “sample” phase can often involve two or three rounds of back-and-forth edits and rewrites before everyone is happy with the draft.

But the good news is that once you’re all on the same page, style-wise, the process tends to pick up considerably.

Keep going -- and bring reinforcements

Company HistoryOnce you’ve worked through any feedback and edits from your team, you can dive into the actual writing. In general, we suggest aiming for at least a chapter a week until you have a complete draft — but you should check with your team and your publisher/printer first. And if you find that the chapter-a-week schedule is a bit overwhelming, don’t be afraid to bring in help!

Writing can be a full-time job (trust us, we know).

If you’re having trouble adding a company history book project to your already heavy workload, consider hiring a professional ghostwriter or editor to help you keep things on track and ensure that you end up with a complete draft by your target date. (Not sure what to look for in a ghostwriter? Here’s a guide to help you get started.)

Whether you decide to fly solo or bring in a ghostwriter, here are a few tips to help you soldier on to the end:

Get feedback every step of the way

Make sure that your team has the opportunity to review each chapter – that way, everyone has a chance to weigh in, and everyone will know what to expect from the completed draft.

Stay focused on the big picture

Now is not the time to channel your inner high school English teacher. Don’t worry about correcting typos or hunting for grammar or punctuation errors. At this stage in the process, it’s more important to get the story down on paper and ensure that all of the pieces are in the right place. You can go back and proofread once you’ve got the big stuff worked out.

Don't be afraid to leave placeholders

As you write, you’ll likely come across a few missing details. What was the original CEO’s first name? What year, exactly, did your company expand into the Midwest? How many widgets did your company sell during its first decade in business? You’ll have plenty of time to hunt down stray facts once you have a complete draft. For now, use a placeholder — like “XX” or “INSERT INFO” — and move on.

Read your draft front-to-back

Once you’ve got a complete draft, make sure that you and your team members and decision makers have a chance to review it as a single, front-to-back book. You might find that it makes sense to flip chapters around, delete repetitive sections, or even expand sections that feel a little skimpy.

Printing and Publishing

Once you have a complete, approved draft of your company history book, it’s time to need to hand it over to the publisher/self-publisher/printer.

By this point, you’ll probably have worked out most of the details — such as hardcover vs. softcover, color vs. black-and-white, and so on.

But here are a few tips for ensuring that this stage goes smoothly:

Talk about proofreading

Don’t assume that your publisher or printer proofreads the manuscript. Some publishers and printers — especially the higher-end options — offer proofreading services, either as part of their publishing service or as a separate, standalone service. But if you go with a more bare-bones self-publishing or printing service, proofreading might not be a service offering at all. Either way, we suggest two rounds of proofreading: First, proofread your final Word document before you send it to the publisher/printer. Then, proofread the formatted, pre-print PDF after you get it back from them (but before you give the approval to go to print).

Provide all materials on time

This sounds really obvious, but it’s worth mentioning: If you want to ensure that your book is finished on time, you’ll need to make sure that the publisher has all of the files they need — including final Word documents, photos, and graphics — when they need them.

Keep the lines of communication open

Make sure to respond quickly to any communications from the printer/publisher. Typically publishers are on really tight deadlines; responding to their inquiries quickly will help ensure that things stay on track. And, if you have questions or concerns during any part of the process, voice them right away.

Top 10 Microsoft Word Tips for Writers

When you use something every day for years, you start to think you’re getting pretty good at it.But if you’re like most writers, you’ve probably been using Microsoft Word to write a few pages, save them, and maybe print them out.

If you’re working with an editor, clients, or other writers, then you likely use Track Changes or Comments all the time, too.

You could do those things for years without even scratching the surface of Word’s features.

But who cares, right? You use Word for exactly what you need to do.

Until one day, a weird dotted line appears across your page. Try as you might, you cannot remove it.Or you insert a photo and your text formatting goes haywire.Or you know you misspelled someone’s name in your document, but you don’t realize it until you’re 25 pages in.
Or, *gasp*, your client forgets to use Track Changes. (See #7 and thank me later.)

Luckily, there are ways to fix all these problems – and we wrote blog posts with instructions.

We even threw in a couple neat tricks to save you time. Check out our Top 10 here, in random order:

  1. #1.Format Painter

    If you’ve ever copied content from one document and pasted it into another, you’ve probably had to go back to fix the formatting so that it matches. Format Painter makes that tedious task a little faster. Read more

  2. #2. Using Tables to Format Images

    Have you ever tried inserting a bunch of images into a document by just clicking on Pictures in the Insert tab? The answer to the chaos that inevitably ensued is none other than Tables. Read more

  3. #3. Removing Mysterious Formatting

    Recently, we had a long document that had several dotted lines running across the page. We had no idea how they got there. Several writers tried to remove them, but it wasn’t until months later that one of them succeeded. Here’s how she did it: Read more

  4. #4. Spell Check in Other Languages

    Word’s spell check feature is multilingual! And you can unleash its genius with just a few clicks. Read more

  5. #5. Readability Statistics

    Writing something for the general public? Then you’ll want to aim for about a 5th grade reading level. Turning on the Readability Statistics feature in Word will let you know if you’re in the right ballpark for your audience. Read more

  6. #6. Read Aloud

    For the best proofreading job, you’ll need to read the document aloud. So, you can read until you’re hoarse – or you can get Word to do it for you. Read more

  7. #7. Compare Documents

    Need to compare two versions of a document for all those secret, un-tracked revisions?
    Thank goodness it’s easier than you think! Read more

  8. #8. Customize the Ribbon

    Save time and clicks by organizing all your favorite features in one area of the toolbar. Read more

  9. #9. The Control Button

    You’re on deadline and don’t have time to take those fingers off the keyboard, so commit a few ctrl functions to memory. Read more

  10. #10. Alphabetize

    Here’s a bonus tip so quick that it doesn’t need its own blog post. Use the AZ button in the Home tab to quickly alphabetize any list. Just highlight the list and click this button:

Do you have other Word tricks up your sleeve? Let us know in the comments.

Word Tip of the Week: Use Your CTRL Button

This week’s tip isn’t specific to Microsoft Word – but it sure makes typing in Word a lot faster.

Learning a few control button commands will keep your fingers on the keyboard instead of drifting over your computer’s touchpad.

Here are a few of our most-used CTRL button functions:

 
• CTRL A to highlight all
• CTRL C to copy to the clipboard anything you’ve highlighted
• CTRL V to paste whatever you copied to the clipboard
• CTRL Z to undo
• CTRL Y to redo
• CTRL ENTER adds a page break
• CTRL H to search and replace

 
Stay tuned for more tips to make you faster in Word!

 

 

Interview: The Difference Between Editing and Proofreading

With traditional publishing on the decrease — self-published books represented 31 percent of  e-book sales on Amazon’s Kindle Store in 2014 — more authors than ever shoulder the responsibility of making sure their books contain clean, polished, and accurate copy.

That means, ideally, that they’re hiring professionals to fine-tune their manuscripts once the writing is complete.

The catch is, when people ask professionals to proofread or edit their books (or any other kind of copy) the client’s expectations may not match the professional’s.

For some people, editing means checking spelling and grammar. Others think of it as shaping the overall structure of the manuscript.

During her latest interview on The Price of Business, Wintress Odom of The Writers For Hire talks about requesting proofreading and editing services and offers tips that clients can use to make sure everyone is one the same page.

Click play to hear the interview.

Interview: Communicating With Writing Professionals

While communication is a vital part of any successful work project, communicating clearly becomes especially critical when you ask others to write on your behalf.

Wintress Odom, Senior Editor of The Writers For Hire, has first-hand knowledge of what it takes to ensure successful client-writer communications.

During her latest interview on Price of Business, Wintress offers suggestions for effectively selecting the optimum writer for your needs, making editing requests, and responding to writing that doesn’t meet your expectations.

Click play below to hear the interview.

The professional editors at The Writers For Hire will eliminate grammatical errors and other obstacles for your readers, as well as suggest ways to improve the clarity, flow, and organization of your writing. But more importantly, we make sure that your message comes across loud and clear.

When you’re recounting an event of personal significance or sharing professional advice that you’ve learned from experience, it’s only natural that you’re attached to the topic. Plus, you’re definitely the expert – you lived the lesson. But this often clouds your judgment: It’s rare for individuals to be able to read their own work objectively.

That’s where we come in. We provide an outsider’s perspective to make sure that your manuscript retells the account in clear and compelling language.

Your Patient Guide Through the Writing Process

Whether you bring decades of writing experience to your book or you are writing your very first piece, we offer patient guidance to make sure that your manuscript – and indeed your entire writer’s journey – is the best it can be. Our team has a combined 100 years of expertise providing editing and proofreading services across a whole range of writing projects, including:

What Services Can I Expect for My Book?

Most clients who come to us for editing and proofreading service tend to be businesspeople who need help polishing their nonfiction works like how-to instructional texts, advice they’ve learned through their vast experience, books for speakers, and that sort of thing. Our editing services for books of this nature typically include the following progression of review elements:

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
 
Developmental editing

This review of your manuscript from an overall perspective provides a general critique of its style, structure, and flow.

  • Evaluating plotline and characterization (typically for fiction).
  • Offering feedback about the organization.
  • Noting stylistic and informational strengths.
  • Identifying and suggesting changes to weaknesses.
Line editing

This more detailed assessment typically comes after a revision per the suggestions of the developmental edit.

  • Recommending changes to address issues with flow or pacing.
  • Deleting sections that don’t really fit.
  • Focusing on content, style, and voice rather than fixing typos and grammar or punctuation errors.
Copy editing

This “technical” phase occurs throughout the writing process, once the big-picture issues have been addressed, and it can happen multiple times.

  • Reviewing your copy to improve the flow and overall quality of your writing.
  • Correcting errors or inconsistencies.
  • Revising sentences and paragraphs for flow.
  • Making the copy cleaner and clearer.
  • Guaranteeing your copy follows your designated style guide, if necessary.
Proofreading

This is usually one of the last stages, once you've gotten your piece as “final” as possible.

  • Reading your final draft (after it has been edited and approved) to remove any last errors.
  • Examining the layout and/or formatting.
  • Double-checking any dates, URLs, page numbers, or other pertinent details.

References Available

Sure, we think our writing team is pretty great – but we’re just a bit biased. If you’d like to learn more about what it’s like to work with us, from our real ghostwriting customers, we can provide references upon request.

FAQs

  • Q: Who has the rights to my book?

    A: You do. It’s your book, and you retain 100% of the rights to it.

  • Q: Who gets credit for writing my book?

    A: You do. In addition to retaining 100% of the rights to your book, you can claim sole authorship. Some of our clients choose to credit us as editors or co-writers. Although it’s nice to get a shout-out now and then, the majority of our clients don’t disclose the fact that they used a ghostwriter – and that’s fine with us.

  • Q: Is ghostwriting ethical?

    A: Of course. Your ghostwriter is simply helping you say what you want to say in a clear, engaging way. The ideas are 100% yours – all a ghostwriter does is help you get it on the page.

  • Q: I don’t want anyone to know I used a ghostwriter. How do I ensure privacy?

    A: We take your privacy seriously. Most of our ghostwriting contracts include a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

  • Q: I’m short on funding. Can I pay you a portion of proceeds, after publication?

    A: Our ghostwriters are professional, full-time writers and editors – and in order to keep them on our team, we have to pay them for their time. Our business model simply isn’t set up to take projects on spec.

  • Q: My business/subject matter is very technical. Are you sure you can write/edit my book?

    A: Yes. Our diverse writing and editing team includes experienced writers with backgrounds in science and technology, oil & gas, journalism, education, and software engineering. They’re smart, naturally curious, and genuinely interested in learning more about your area of expertise. And, because ghostwriting is a collaborative effort, you’ll have the opportunity to review and fact-check every page we write.

  • Q: Can you publish my book?

    A: We can publish your book through KDP, an Amazon subsidiary. If you are interested in other publishing options, we can recommend and provide introductions to several traditional and self-publishing companies.

  • Q: I live in Seattle. Your company is based in Houston. How can you write my book?

    A: Technology makes it easy for us to work with anyone, anywhere. Plus, we love to fly and will to travel to you if you prefer. After the initial kickoff meeting, most of our ghostwriting clients communicate with us via email, phone, or Skype. We’ve worked with hundreds of happy clients from all over the globe – from Singapore to San Jose to Scottsdale.

  • Q: What if I don’t like your edits or writing?

    A: Ghostwriting is a back-and-forth process, and we seek specific, constructive feedback from you every step of the way. Once we get a feel for your style preferences, we write a few pages and send them to you for review. You tell us what’s working – and what’s not working – and we send you a revised copy. You see every chapter as we go, which means there won’t be any surprises at the end.

  • Q: Can you design my book’s cover or create custom illustrations or infographics?

    A: We don’t offer illustrations and infographics in-house, but we can provide introductions and recommendations for design work, and we can project manage the design portion of your book.

  • Q: My 92-year-old grandmother isn’t thrilled about talking to a writer. How are you going to get her to open up?

    A: A lot of people get nervous about the idea of talking to writers; that’s why all of our family and personal writing projects begin with a face-to-face meeting. A book – especially a biography or family history book – is a big project that requires a lot of collaboration. It’s important that we take the time to get to know you, and it’s also important that you like us and feel comfortable talking to us. (So far, we’ve got a great track record. By the end of most book projects, most of our clients feel like we’re members of their extended family.)

  • Q: Can you guarantee that my book will get published?

    A: If you are referring to self-publishing, which is now almost 20% of the current market, then yes. If you are referring to traditional publishing, no one can guarantee publication. We can, however, provide you with introductions to a few local/niche publishers; we can help guide you through the self-publishing process; and we can pitch your book to traditional publishers.

  • Q: How long will it take to write my book?

    A: A full-length book typically takes between 6 and 12 months. However, a compressed scheduled can almost always be accommodated. Just tell us what your deadline is. Chances are, we can make it.

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