(Hint: It’s not scary!)
Ghostwriting. Sounds so mysterious, doesn’t it? Perhaps you envision clandestine meetings and oaths of secrecy. A cloaked figure, punching keys by hazy candlelight. Papers shuffled between Mafioso characters in dark alleys.
OK, OK, so it’s not that romantic. But ghostwriting is pretty magical.
You see, as a ghostwriter, I help subject matter experts transform themselves into authors. Often these are the types who don’t have time to write—they’re too busy doing great work. When they need to showcase their expertise via a blog post, a newsletter article, or even a white paper, it’s my job to help make it happen.
Thinking of writing with a ghost? Here’s how it works:
We start with an interview.
While I can research the topic and do a decent job of pretending, I’m not the expert—you are. That’s why an interview is so critical. My ghostwriting interviews are brief—typically no more than 20 or 30 minutes, depending on the complexity and length of the piece. I conduct most interviews over the phone, but sometimes an in-person meeting is best. Whenever possible (and with your permission), I record the interview so I have a transcript to reference.
Draft, edit, repeat.
With interview notes in hand, I’m ready to get to work. The first draft is what I consider “our place to start.” I email you the draft and you can use commenting tools (e.g., Track Changes in Word) or handwritten notes to edit, or you can call me to discuss your changes. You don’t have to touch a keyboard if you don’t want to.
The collaborative editing process is where the real magic happens: You edit the piece for accuracy and word choice, and then I go back in and make it all fit together. You’re the expert and the author; the piece should absolutely reflect this.
The vast majority of the pieces I ghostwrite require one round of edits; however, longer pieces may require more. We go back and forth until you’re 100% happy with it.
You have the final word.
You own the piece, which means you have the final say before anything goes online or to print. And because you are the officially credited author, your name—and your name alone—appears on the byline. No one has to know you worked with a ghostwriter. When I step back into the shadows, you’re left with a completely original, professionally written piece that portrays you as the expert you are. What to do next? Share it far and wide.
Interested in learning more about how a ghostwriter could help you? Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.