Collaboration: Mental and Emotional Preparation for the Ghostwriting Process

What is a Ghostwriter?

According to The Free Dictionary by Farlex, a ghostwriter is:

n.
a person who writes a speech, book, article, etc., for another person who is named as or presumed to be the author.
[1895–1900, Amer.]

Ghostwriters are often hired by business professionals who wish to produce books and various other marketing materials to promote their leaders, products, or professional services. A published book can lend credibility to one’s offering if it is done properly. If you want to produce a book that presents you as an industry expert in your field, it should be completed by an industry expert in the book publishing and content writing fields. 

Mental and Emotional Preparation for the Ghostwriting Process

Some authors go into the ghostwriting process with the misconception that, once they’ve handed their notes to the professional, their job is done and the book will be written. Yes, a ghostwriter can save a lot of time in terms of the writing portion itself. But it is important to understand that ghostwriting is an ongoing, collaborative process in which the author will be required to answer questions and proof chapters all along the way.




Authors can also expect to go through a series of emotions during the ghostwriting process. It is natural to feel an initial resistance to each new draft—to feel a bit frustrated if things aren’t worded exactly the way the author first envisioned. This is a natural reaction during the ghostwriting process, particularly when it comes to personal books like biographies. Recognizing this, authors should read a draft over once, and then put it away for a couple of days to give their emotions time to settle. If they do this, it will be easier to read it over again, the next time around, with a more objective mindset. In that objective state, they can then feel free to change the words they don’t like or correct the dates, times, and names however they see fit. All authors make better decisions in the objective state than they do in that initial emotional state.

Analogy for Ghostwriting

A big part of a police officer’s job is to write reports—to try to interpret the recollections of various witnesses and to create the most accurate appraisal of a situation as possible. The biggest challenge in writing this report is that although each witness saw the same thing, they’ll all tend to give the police officer a different account mainly because each of them was viewing it from a different vantage point. An officer can only take what he or she is given and translate it as factually as possible.

Ghostwriters have a similar challenge when it comes to interpreting the notes they receive from authors and trying to turn those words into a veritable yet readable, marketable story. Sometimes, the ghostwriter might interpret some things a bit differently than the author initially intended. That’s okay. It can all be fixed along the way, which is why we say that this is an ongoing, collaborative process—just as the entire hybrid publishing process is. It is a partnership from start to finish. If authors can keep this analogy and these tips in mind throughout the ghostwriting process, they will be more patient with it, which will make it run much more smoothly for them and their writing partner. In the end, they’ll come out of it with an amazing book of which they can both be very proud.

Also read: Working With a Ghostwriter to Write a Book

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How to Hit a Writing Deadline

Oh, deadlines. The bane of most people’s existences. But, in my opinion, absolutely necessary for a writer if your goal is to publish your book in this lifetime.

Deadlines can be difficult for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, they feel too short and you find yourself putting all of your energy into one project which leads to you neglecting other things. Other times, you may put it off until the last minute and then rush like crazy to get everything done on time.

Either way, when you’re given a deadline (whether it’s self-imposed or imposed by another person), you have to do everything in your power to hit it. So, how do you do this?

Plan Out Your Time

I know. I keep saying this. Because it’s important!

Don’t just wing it and hope for the best. Before you start, plan things out and figure out roughly how much time it’s going to take to knock out this particular book project. Then, spread it out over time and leave yourself some wiggle room in case things change or go wrong. Be diligent, but also be flexible.

I know how many words I can write per hour. So I plan things accordingly, breaking it down by hours per day of writing, then by week, then by month, et cetera. I know in advance how many pages or chapters I plan to accomplish within each time slot.




I acknowledge that not everyone likes the idea of a writing plan (a.k.a. an book outline), as indicated in this earlier guest post by Jennifer D. Foster titled The Ins and Outs of Outlines: Plotters Versus Pantsers. I personally never used an outline for any of my fictional novellas, but I started using one for my non-fiction books and have continued with this ever since. I find myself way more productive when I’m working with a set of plans and deadlines. I keep promises to myself.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

When you plan out your time, stick to the plan.  Make sure you keep your promises to yourself, too. Create a rewards system, if possible, that allows for you to get what you want if you get your job done. Give yourself a cookie. Literally. Whatever helps you to stay on task.

Ask Questions and Get Answers Quickly

If you have a question during your book research, consult Google for an immediate answer instead of spending all day ruminating. The Internet is a great start in terms of helping you find the resources you may need to complete your project. It can also provide you with the citations you’ll need for your bibliography at the back of a non-fiction book. (Just make sure you fact-check the things you’re finding.)

Deadlines can be stressful, but they aren’t the end of the world. Keep these things in mind and you’ll meet your deadlines. Before you know it, you’ll have completed your book! What an accomplishment!

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How to Stick to a Schedule When You Write From Home

When you tell someone you’re a writer who works from home, one of the first comments you might hear is, “Wow, so you can write whenever you want?” Well, yes and no. Despite your best intentions, you may find that it’s difficult to stay on track with your writing. If that’s the case, you may end up working seven days per week or pounding away on your laptop from morning to night, dreaming about the day when you can finally take it easy. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be like that. Here are four tips to try if you feel like you’re writing (or trying to write) 24/7 and getting nothing done.

Set Specific Working Hours

One of the perks of self-employment is that you can work whenever you want. That’s also one of the drawbacks. When you have the freedom to meet a deadline at your convenience, it’s easy to spend the entire day writing. Regain control of your work life by setting specific hours for yourself.

Be practical when you set your hours. If you’re a night owl, don’t schedule yourself a day shift. If you have small children at home, consider working late at night or before the sun rises. You may also find it easier to schedule a split shift, such as four hours for work, four hours for errands and a lunch break, and four more hours of writing. Do what works best for you and your lifestyle, because it will be easier to stick with a schedule that meets your needs.




Take Breaks

When you punch in a time clock outside of your home, you probably never miss a lunch break or 15-minute rest break. That’s not the case for many who write from home. It’s easy to skip breaks because you think you don’t need them or feel like you’re being lazy if you stop writing for a few minutes, but this can take a huge toll on you.

Failing to take a break can cause you to feel burned out. You may start to hate what you’re doing if you never take a moment to do something else. Set an alarm to remind yourself to take regular breaks, and make sure that you actually escape your home office for a bit. Walk around the block, drive down the street to grab a bite to eat, or meet up with friends. Your brain and body will thank you.

Eliminate Distractions

Distractions come in different forms from fun Facebook games to uninvited neighbors who never seem to go home. If the Internet is a major distraction for you, try an app like Focus Booster. You can use the app to block social networking sites, YouTube, or even your personal email account when you’re busy with a writing project.

It’s slightly harder to eliminate other distractions, such as chatty family members or neighbours; but it can be done. In fact, if you follow the two steps listed above this one, you may find that it’s easier to prevent these types of distractions. Uninvited guests may be less likely to stop by if they know you have set writing hours and regular break times, and people may stop asking you for rides to the post office or grocery store if they know you’re busy writing your next book.




Reward Productivity

No matter how much you love your career, there will be days when you just don’t feel like being productive. You’ve probably outgrown star stickers and pencil toppers, but you can improve motivation by rewarding yourself in other ways.

Start by setting small, easy-to-achieve goals, such as, “I will write for 30 minutes and then spend five minutes watching motivational YouTube videos.” (Or whatever works for you, of course!) As your focus increases, you can change your hourly goals to daily goals, like, “I can order pizza tonight if I finish writing these two pages by 4 PM.” You can even set weekly goals, like, “I will buy a new pair of jogging shoes if I meet all of my deadlines on time this week.”

Working from home can be rewarding for writers, but it can also be difficult. Eliminate distractions and stick to a regular schedule by trying the four tips above. Good luck with your book!

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

More Writing Hours Versus More Productivity

We all know those people who spend every waking moment at the office. We admire them and their efforts, and we imagine they must be getting so much more done than everyone else. Sure, sometimes this is true; but other times it’s just a matter of poor time management. More writing hours don’t necessarily equal more productivity or progress. Compact, focused work is just as (if not more) effective in the long run.

I try to get my writing done in small, but controlled bursts. Instead of spending my entire day sitting at a desk or sitting at a coffee shop, I schedule my work time and break time, then stick to it. I set and meet my own deadlines.




When I’m writing, I’m focused on writing. When I’m on a break, I don’t think about writing; I just relax and enjoy the break. Not only does this help me to get more done, but it helps prevent the feeling of overwhelm that comes from trying to do too much at once, and it also helps to prevent exhaustion.

Exhausting yourself can give you an immediate gain; but, over the long-term, it’s also bound to lead to unhealthy fatigue and resentment. That’s not what you want. What you’re after is an achievable routine that is customized to your life and your schedule so you can easily stick to it. Do this, and you’ll have that book written—and published!—before you know it!

More tips on how to stick to a schedule when you work from home and how to meet a writing deadline will follow this week. Stay tuned.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

The Difference Between Advertising, Marketing, and Sales

Here’s an excerpt from Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors to help you sell more books…

Perhaps the most important lesson I learned over the years was the difference between advertising, marketing, and sales, and how they all work in conjunction with each other. Here are their definitions as per The Free Dictionary (2015a):

• ad·ver·tis·ing (ăd′v r-tī′zĭng)
n.
1. The activity of attracting public attention to a product or business,
as by paid announcements in the print, broadcast, or electronic media.
2. The business of designing and writing advertisements.

• mar·ket·ing (mär′kĭ-tĭng)
n.
1. The act or process of buying and selling in a market.
2. The strategic functions involved in identifying and appealing to
particular groups of consumers, often including activities such as
advertising, branding, pricing, and sales.

• sell (sĕl)
v. sold (sōld), sell·ing, sells
v.tr.
1. To exchange or deliver for money or its equivalent: We sold our old
car for a modest sum.
2. To offer or have available for sale: The store sells health foods.
4. To be purchased in (a certain quantity); achieve sales of: a book
that sold a million copies.




To clarify, advertising is the vehicle you use to reach your target market of customers. Marketing is the language in which you choose to speak to them to pique their interest in your offering. And selling is the act of convincing them to buy from you—of coming right out and asking for the sale. The most successful salespeople harmonize all three of these components together in a well thought-out sales campaign, which I intend to teach you how to do in this book.

Since leaving that literary press and learning these new skills, I have achieved my goal and become a bestselling author. To date, my books have been publicly listed as bestsellers on Amazon’s Canadian, American, and United Kingdom ecommerce sites as well as in a traditional market—a prominent daily newspaper in one of Canada’s major cities.

I’ve published six books in total (you are reading the sixth one right now), including my two most recent titles that compile all my knowledge of the book publishing industry, as a whole, into two compact and easy-to-read volumes: How to Publish a Book in Canada … and Sell Enough Copies to Make a Profit! (Staflund, 2013) and How to Publish a Bestselling Book … and Sell It WORLDWIDE Based on Value, Not Price! (Staflund, 2014). I highly recommend picking up a copy of either of these books to complement the lessons you will learn in this one because they contain answers to basically every question you’ve ever had about how to write, publish, copyright, market, sell (online and traditional methods), price, print, and distribute a book anywhere in the world, no matter what book format you’re working with: ebooks, paperbacks, hardcovers, even audiobooks.

In this book, we’re going to focus on online advertising, sales, and marketing, alone. And, my introverted friends, I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you in this regard:

  • Let’s start with the bad news
    If you want your book to sell well, you have to be an active participant in the selling process. There is no way around this, no matter which book publishing business model you’ve published your book through: the traditional trade publishers, the vanity publishers, or the hybrid publishers. Authors are entrepreneurs. Your book is your business.
  • And now for the good news
    It is possible to sell your book all around the world using nothing more than a comfortable chair in your quiet writing room, a laptop, an Internet connection, and your own God-given talent for writing.

Need more convincing when I say that you have to be an active participant in the selling of your book for it to be truly successful? Okay.




Let’s talk about a well-known, bestselling book series you’ve no doubt heard of: Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield. In The Secret (Byrne, 2006), Jack discussed what it took for him to make his trade-published Chicken Soup book a success. Around the time he was first published, he said he was earning only eight thousand dollars per year. Then he went on to share with Byrne,

. . . so I said, “I want to make a hundred thousand dollars in a
year.” Now, I had no idea how I could do that. I saw no strategy, no
possibility, but I just said, “I’m going to declare that, I’m going to
believe it, I’m going to act as if it’s true, and release it.” So I did that.

About four weeks into it, I had a hundred-thousand-dollar idea. It
just came right into my head. I had a book I had written, and I said,
“If I can sell four hundred thousand copies of my book at a quarter
each, that’d be a hundred thousand dollars.” Now, the book was there,
but I never had this thought. (One of the secrets is that when you
have an inspired thought, you have to trust it and act on it.) I didn’t
know how I was going to sell four hundred thousand copies.

Then I saw the National Enquirer at the supermarket. I had seen that
millions of times and it was just background. And all of a sudden it
jumped out at me as foreground. I thought, “If readers knew about my
book, certainly four hundred thousand people would go out and buy
it.” About six weeks later I gave a talk at Hunter College in New York
to six hundred teachers, and afterward a woman approached me and
said, “That was a great talk. I want to interview you. Let me give you my
card.” As it turns out, she was a freelance writer who sold her stories to
the National Enquirer. The theme from “The Twilight Zone” went off
in my head, like, whoah, this stuff’s really working. That article came
out and our book sales started to take off. (pp. 96–97)

There are a couple of reasons for sharing this story with you that have nothing to do with spirituality or the lessons taught in The Secret. First and foremost, it clearly illustrates the realities of the traditional book publishing industry and just how small a royalty unknown trade-published authors can expect to earn from their books. (Only 25¢ per copy? Ouch! He would have to sell four hundred thousand copies of his book in order to earn his goal of $100,000? Yikes!) Second, this story also proves what I’ve been telling authors all along—that it’s up to you to sell your own book, no matter which type of publisher you’re working with: traditional trade publishers, vanity publishers, or supportive self-publishing houses.

Jack Canfield is the main reason why Jack Canfield became a bestselling author—not Jack Canfield’s publisher. Repeat that to yourself again. And again. And again. Until it sticks.




Once he got the ball rolling, Jack’s book sold millions of copies. And now? Years later, just his name can sell his books without that much effort on his part, no matter whom he publishes through. But he was the one who got that ball rolling in the beginning—much more so than his publisher. His publisher simply produced a professional, saleable version of his book for him and then supplied the distribution networks where Jack could direct people to buy it. Period. The same can be said for Fifty Shades of Grey, a vanity-published book by E. L. James that went viral via social media marketing and was later picked up by a subdivision of Random House, a trade publisher that wanted a cut of those sales (Wikipedia, 2015d). And the same can be said for what will need to happen to get the ball rolling for your book.

Even if you decide to hire a publicist as yet another vehicle to increase the exposure of your book through the mainstream media (which we will discuss as an option later on), you still have to be able to explain the many virtues of your book’s topic matter to the publicist’s company so they can explain those virtues to the media on your behalf. You have to first sell it to your publicity firm before it can convince the media to pick up the story.

Once you can reconcile yourself to this fact and commit yourself to actively selling your own book, you’ve already won half the battle right there. You’ve put yourself in the driver’s seat and are well on your way to success as an author as a direct result. Now let’s dig in a little deeper to learn exactly how you’re going to do this in an introvert-friendly way.

Copywriters and Ghostwriters: What They Have in Common

© hobvias sudoneighm

This content first appeared on Digital Point Forum and has been republished here with permission from the author.

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Some people have asked me, “What is the difference between a copywriter and a ghostwriter What are their similarities?”

Well, I’ll start with the primary difference. It’s a simple difference. A copywriter is mainly concerned with producing sales and marketing copy for a client whereas a ghostwriter is someone who writes a book for someone else (whether it be non-fiction or fiction). The term “ghostwriter” simply means that, although they’ve written the book, they remain anonymous (a “ghost”) to that book’s readers because they aren’t listed as the author. The person/organization the book was written for is listed as the author … which is very similar to copywriting, isn’t it? The freelance copywriter rarely, if ever, receives public credit for the content they’ve written for someone else.




Which brings me to even more similarities between these two terms. The list of similarities–what they have in common–comprises much more. Here’s a short list:

1. Both ghostwriters and copywriters produce content for their clients. 
2. As stated above, neither ghostwriters nor copywriters receive public credit for the content they produce for their clients.
3. Both ghostwriting and copywriting are collaborative processes in that these writers need to gain a clear understanding of what their clients want ahead of time before they begin a project, and they may need to edit/correct it along with way once it has been proofread by the client.

There are three points to get that list started. How about if someone else jumps in here and picks up where I left off? What else do these two roles have in common?

Great Way to Market a Non-Fiction E-book … Find a Sponsor

This content first appeared on Warrior Forum and has been republished here with permission from the author.

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If an athlete can land funding from a sponsor, why can’t an e-book author? The key is, there has to be a mutual benefit to doing the project together. You have to pitch it as so much more than just gaining funding to help cover your writing costs for “the next best book on whatever” that you’re sure “will sell thousands, possibly millions of copies” to readers who will see the sponsor’s logo on your copyright page. Big deal … that’s all your prospective sponsor is going to be thinking as he or she yawns.




It has to be much more appealing than that, and with data to back up the big promises. That’s where email marketers can really benefit from this concept, particularly those with 20,000+ strong subscriber lists. Offering a sponsor exposure to a whole new audience through three or four of your upcoming email blasts plus their logo listed in your book’s front matter, in exchange for them paying you upfront to write your next e-book, is a much more enticing offer. And it will work even better if the content of your new e-book matches one of their products or services really well.

Here’s a perfect example: Google “Al Pitampalli” and “Citrix Systems” for more details. In a nutshell, Al got Citrix to sponsor his book titled Read This Before Our Next Meeting which is a perfect fit considering Citrix invented GoToMeeting videoconferencing. They were able to cross market to each other’s followers and both benefited greatly from the partnership.

I can see this working well for non-fiction books. Not sure about fictional books, though. Your thoughts?

Choose One FREE Book for a Chance to WIN $100,000 in Calgary!

Another little teaser. Full contest details will appear here soon: polishedpublishinggroup.eventbrite.ca

 

An Excerpt from How to Build a Loyal Readership So Your Self-Published Books Get Picked Up by Literary Agents and Trade Publishers

Now available through AMAZON, KOBO, and E-SENTRAL!

In the first section of this ebook, I highlighted a few different authors who are seeing significant success in terms of the volumes of books they’re selling online every single year. These three, in particular, have earned six- or seven-figure annual incomes from their ebook sales and have openly shared their stories in prominent online publications:

  • Amanda Hocking was one of the first reported Amazon millionaires who utilized “rapid release” publishing (releasing a new book online at least every six weeks, if not oftener) to self-publish her fictional books after multiple rejections by the traditional trade publishers. Of her success, Ed Pilkington wrote in The Guardian:
    “When historians come to write about the digital transformation currently engulfing the book-publishing world, they will almost certainly refer to Amanda Hocking, writer of paranormal fiction who in the past 18 months has emerged from obscurity to bestselling status entirely under her own self-published steam. (Pilkington, 2012)”
  • Mark Dawson, by contrast, was first trade published. But when he saw how few copies his publisher sold of his fictional novel, he switched to self-publishing and learned how to become an entrepreneurial author instead. Of his six-figure success, Jay McGregor wrote in Forbes:
    “Dawson’s recent success isn’t representative of his time in publishing, however. He actually had a book published by Pan Books called ‘The Art of Falling Apart’ in 2000, which completely bombed. Not because it was bad – ironically it’s now available on Kindle and has 32 five-star reviews out of 39 – but because few people read it or are aware of it. Mark puts the book’s failure down to the publishers inability to promote his work and generate any sort of interest.” (McGregor, 2015)”
  • Steve Scott is a notable non-fiction success story, proving this “rapid release” technique can work for all kinds of books—not only fictional novels. Of his success, Joanna Penn wrote on The Creative Penn blog:
    “If you want a six figure income from your books, it’s a good idea to model people who are already making this kind of money. Steve Scott seemed to burst onto the indie non-fiction scene in early 2014, but in fact, he has 42 books and has had an internet business since 2006. (Penn, 2014)”





These three success stories confirm what I’ve been writing about and teaching to aspiring and established authors alike for several years now: the most successful authors are the ones who treat book writing, publishing, sales, and marketing as their own businesses. They don’t only write; they sell their books. This is true of all self-publishers and most trade-published authors, and it’s always been that way—contrary to popular belief—which is why people like Mark Dawson are switching over to self-publishing (or supported self-publishing) to produce their books. Why hand the majority of your book’s copyright ownership and creative control over to a trade publisher if you’re the one who’s going to have to sell it, anyway? (If my question has raised your eyebrow and you’re feeling any sort of resistance to it, then I invite you to click on this blog post and read a few quotes from the trade publishers themselves regarding how much time they actually spend selling their authors’ books. It’s an enlightening read.)

To read more, you can pick up a copy of this book at AMAZON, KOBO, or E-SENTRAL!

[You Could Win!] Contests for Writers and Authors

For several years, Polished Publishing Group (PPG) has run annual contests to offer free book publishing deals, conversion services, marketing packages, and publicity campaigns for aspiring and established authors around the world. Our goal has been to help you enjoy more success with your ebook, audiobook, paperback, and hardcover book projects.

In 2018, Polished Publishing Group (PPG) will focus on rewarding our local authors!

Calgary and area authors, you are invited to visit our Eventbrite page to check out a new contest for 2018 very soon. Just for entering this contest, you’ll be given one of these two books for free along with a chance to win $100,000!

More details will follow on our EventBrite page very soon! Be sure to visit us there!

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.