Kate Early admits that a set of accidental circumstances brought her successfully into the world of ghostwriting. Like many, it wasn’t her start-up career.
“I happened to meet [an executive coach] by accident, when her son and my son were in an activity together. At one point she just reached out to me and said, ‘Would you be interested in proofreading my book?’”
Early had been an English teacher, so she figured, “How hard could that be?” She came on board, the collaboration worked, and she segued into writing other materials—like helping with the client’s newsletters. “Then I worked on a book project with her. And that’s how I sort of evolved more into the ghostwriting,”
It’s time to go back to school
When Early quickly discovered she needed more training about ghostwriting books, vs. just writing some marketing materials, the teacher decided to become a student.
“I happened to see the [Wambtac] course advertised……and I attended [the webinar]. At that point I just sort of figured, ‘You know, if I’m going to….do more of this for the woman I work for, I should know more about it.”
“I took the Intro course and learned how much I didn’t know!” laughs Early. “[When I] finished that, I signed up for the… year-long one.” That’s the Wambtac Ghostwriter Professional Designation Program (GPDP).
“I tell you, as hard as it was, I’m grateful for it. And particularly grateful that [Wambtac teachers] were ready to be there with you, to help you…every step of the way. You could reach out to them…and they were wonderful about providing… support. Throughout, I appreciated …moments where Claudia would just say, ‘Relax, you can do this. You’re going to get this.’”
“Thankfully I hung in there. And I’m very grateful that I did,” says Early.
Choosing categories you enjoy
Early helps authors write books in the self-help or business genres, and memoirs. “Self-help, I worked with a man who ran a drug and alcohol facility and wanted to put a book together to help people recovering from addiction.
“[Then] I worked with an executive coach. [That book is] more the business-y end of self-help, whereas the others were different kinds of niches in the self-help world.
“And now I’m working on something that is kind of like a memoir, but it’s a bit of a unicorn. It doesn’t fit neatly into any real category. It’s interesting and kind of an original thing, but I can’t really talk about it,” she says, laughing again.
The word gets around
“I already described how I had the one client…,” Early says, “[and] that’s an ongoing relationship. The other book project…came from a friend of mine [who] just decided he was going to do this. Then he found out…what I do and that’s how we connected.”
Referrals are the major source of her projects. “I have a good relationship with another woman who writes blogs for business schools – for MIT and Wharton. Occasionally she gets those entrepreneurs who want to write a book and she doesn’t do that,” so that’s one resource, says Early. Her original source, the executive coach, “… is very connected to other consultants. [She] has a pretty wide network and so she gives my name out.
“So I’ve really been lucky. I’ve sort of been in a stream where [I’m] connected with a network of people who know consultants,” says Early, noting that this network is a major author pool. “Consultants are the audience, really, for ghostwriters. They really want, usually, to establish their credibility with a book in some kind of way.”
“If you’re really going to ghostwrite the right way, you should take the [GPDP] class. If you’re really going to hang out your shingle and tell people you’re going to help them with their books, you should know what you’re doing,” Early concludes.
To train for Early’s kind of success, sign up for the final “Intro to Ghostwriting” course for 2021, starting May 17th. This six-week class is a prerequisite to the full Ghostwriting Professional Designation Program (GPDP) beginning in August 2021.