Not Your Father’s Ghostwriting

A lot of people still think “Ghostwriting is when someone writes a book for the author.” That’s a rather misleading and old-school definition. When the print world imploded in 2009, ghostwriting was compelled to expand its parameters to help fill in the gap left in traditional publishing houses. Ergo, while there are many writers who still write books under other people’s names and consider that ghostwriting, today’s professional ghosts work intimately with their authors to:

  • Focus and position the book before writing
  • Apply creative analysis to discern the nonfiction thesis, the objections to counter, the missing dots, and the market-expansion potential
  • Apply creative analysis to discern the fiction premise, plot-character integration, implausibilities, and character-study PMA to remedy those issues 
  • Develop and structure the content 
  • Write the content
  • Restructure the first draft for Slinky flow
  • Revise, expand, and refocus a second draft for reader satisfaction 
  • Musically line edit the third draft for impact and energy
  • Incorporate all third-party copy edit/proofreader corrections
  • Code the manuscript to industry specifications, whether traditional or self-publishing
  • Prepare book proposals and bestseller strategy plans

It’s a big job, it takes in-depth industry knowledge, and it costs between $35,000 and $120,000 per project, depending on the content, the focus, and the author’s intentions.

It’s also what I teach in Ghostwriting Professional Designation Program every year. GPDP’s six-week prerequisite class, Introduction to Ghostwriting, gives people the chance to see if they really want to invest in making this career move, because, frankly, it’s a huge life change.

Bottom line, GPDP amounts to a masters-level course in creating Marketable Literary Properties out of great ideas.