When you think about having a book written for you, you may ask: “How do they do it? How does someone who doesn’t know me write a book that sounds as if I wrote it?”
This important question underlines the importance of choosing a talented, empathetic ghostwriter. In order to succeed, the ghostwriter must deliver the kind of authenticity that makes sure your voice is included. Your ghostwriter will use your phrases and way of speaking or writing, and make sure you sound polished.
How does the expert do this?
She Asks Questions
Before you begin working together, your ghostwriter will probably ask you questions like these:
- Describe the book you would like to write.
- Why does this appeal to you?
- Have you begun?
- When would you like to see the book in print?
- Why are you considering hiring a ghostwriter?
- What are your publishing plans? Traditional? If so, what kind, i.e., a business press, a more general publisher? Would you prefer to self-publish?
- Who do you see as your audience? Why will your book appeal to them?
Getting to Know Your Voice
During the course of your work together, much of which will consist of phone interviews, she will be constantly honing her awareness of how you express yourself. She will note key phrases you use in speech, whether you speak in long or short sentences, and other characteristic features. She will basically immerse herself in your style of expression.
She Will Do Additional Research
The conscientious ghostwriter will pay special attention to your particular passions and interests. She will read any biographical information available about you. She will learn your areas of expertise.
She Will Get to Know the People Who Surround You
If you are working on an autobiography, this doesn’t mean she will have chats with your family members—unless you want that, and you can specify the limitations and boundaries you need there. The ghostwriter is likely, though, to want to talk with your executive assistant and other people who are part of your work milieu. She might want to ask questions to a PR person for your company.
Establishing these connections gives the ghostwriter a much broader picture of who you are.
By the time the ghostwriter has finished the manuscript, she will have worked hard to create a book that has your personality imprinted within it. If you have chosen an editor to do the final version, introduce them to each other. The ghostwriter can explain the details that make this your book. A good relationship between these two people so important to your book can smooth the path to publication.
Consider the Above a Checklist
When you’re choosing among candidates to ghostwrite your book, ask them how they do their work. If their answers don’t cover the bases described in this blog post, you may want to reconsider.
Many factors go into making a good writer, but the career of ghostwriter has some very special demands. Make sure that the person you choose answers your questions—and your needs.
Pat Iyer is a ghostwriter who enables experts to create a book without having to write. Contact her through the form on this website.