Are You a Changemaker?
You have an idea, a story to tell, and a voice shouting out for the world to hear. You know what you have to offer can make an impact.
But how are you going to manage writing the next great novel while continuing to make waves? The question isn’t even how, it’s when?
Rather than clearing the next year of appointments, staying up far too late at night, or giving up on this dream, maybe what you need is a ghostwriter.
Don’t get offended. You would be amazed how many changemakers have hired ghostwriters. The book will still have your ideas; you just don’t have to put pen to paper.
What is Ghostwriting?
Maybe you’ve heard the term before, maybe you haven’t. Contrary to what the name might imply, ghostwriters aren’t paranormal writers or writers from beyond the grave. They’re regular people (well, as “regular” as writers tend to be), but, they do often go unseen and unrecognized by most of the world.
Quite simply, ghostwriting is writing and editing a book in the voice of an author. In the case of having a great idea but little-to-no time, an author would pay a writer to write and edit their book for them.
More authors than we know have written their books this way. “Editors” are often “ghostwriters”. And if you see a book with a “co-author”, it’s more often than not written by one of those people. From an industry standpoint, a ghostwriter needs to stand behind the scenes, or, as Blooming Twig’s CEO Dr. Kent Gustavson likes to say, “play the bass player to the author’s Hendrix.”
Have you ever heard of a “content editor”? Well, there isn’t much difference between a ghostwriter and a great content editor. In fact, they might be exactly the same thing. Gustavson often tells the story he heard about Frank McCourt, author of several books, including ‘Tis: A Memoir (1999), and Teacher Man (2005). McCourt often talked about his “live-in” editor, who worked with him on his book Teacher Man for three years.
At that level of editing, the “edit” is basically indistinguishable from good ghostwriting. And indeed, a good ghostwriter isn’t crafting words in a fictional voice; they are taking the actual words and phrases from the client and turning them into prose that matches the client’s voice impeccably.
All books can be ghostwritten. Most often, though, it’s business books and memoirs. Part of the reason for this is they are the easiest to dictate and converse about.
Traditionally, ghostwriters operate solo. Therefore, from ghostwriter to ghostwriter, there will also be a gradient of how much the author is in control of the process: from the writer who sits and writes exactly what the author wants, to the one who tells the author what should be written based on the kind of content that will sell.
A Different Approach to Ghostwriting
When we work with authors, they always have complete creative control over the ghostwriting process. We endeavor to listen more closely than other ghostwriting agencies, because we aren’t using a “book in a box” approach. Instead, we are looking for emergent themes and templates from within the client’s subject matter and expertise (not applying their material to a standard template of what should be in a business book).
“In terms of ghostwriting,” says CEO Gustavson, “the thing I’m obsessed with, is finding the beating heart of someone’s brand.”
At the heart of Blooming Twig’s ghostwriting process is the relationship between the writing team and the client. Over a series of conversations between our skilled interviewer, rather than building a manuscript, we are helping you to uncover your story—your passion, impact, voice, and brand.
We want to know:
- How can you impact the world?
- And how can we highlight that for you?
We don’t just write for you.
We write with you.
Do You Need a Ghostwriter?
So the important decision looms: write on your own, or work with a ghostwriter?
There are two factors to consider—time and money. If you have no money and no time, you probably shouldn’t write a book. If you have money but no time, that would be when to hire a good ghostwriter. If you have no money and lots of time, get some coaching (something Blooming Twig can also provide), and write the book all on your own!
One weakness of many ghostwriters is that they will look for the story, but not necessarily try to find the target demographic–and that is key for identifying the buyer for a book.
There are great advantages to working with a good ghostwriter:
- They could be likened to a good branding agency, and will help uncover a part of your personal or corporate brand you had never before realized.
- They will be able to cull through massive amounts of your intellectual property, whether spoken, written, or still unwritten or unspoken, and pull out a coherent brand and storyline.
How Do You Find a Quality Ghostwriter?
It’s impossible to share an approach for finding a quality ghostwriter. Each book is unique, like a twist of DNA, made out of letters, but in combinations unmatched anywhere else in the world.
A good ghostwriter is someone who can get inside your brain and your voice, and walk around with your skin on.
They will listen for the way you speak, read for the way you write, and they will hopefully expertly weave the two together into a voice that is a more concentrated and engaging version of your own natural voice.
Your book is your story. It’s a part of you. Whether you want to put it to paper yourself, or need some help to uncover your voice, it deserves to be told and shared with the world.
What do you need to take the next step forward? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like our best advice.