Do You Want To Ghostwrite?

I can technically classify myself as a ghostwriter. I’ve come to this conclusion because I have written several manuals and was never able to put my name on them or truly discuss what was inside of them. They belonged to the companies who paid me to write them or edit them.  Unfortunately, I never got any kind of notation from these employers, except for one, that stated I had actually done any kind of writing for them at all. Shame on me. I’ve since learned to get a letter of recommendation as proof.

I read a blog recently titled Dollars and Deadlines by Kelly James-Enger and she offers tips for becoming a well paid ghostwriter. I hope you enjoy the links and information.

Ghostwriter (TV series)

Ghostwriter (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Time to Disappear? 8 Great Ghostwriting Posts

by Kelly James-Enger

Do you ghostwrite? You should. Sure, you write without a byline or recognition. But I’ve found that I can make more money ghostwriting books for clients (including Pros with Platforms) than I can writing my own books.
The reason is simple. When I ghostwrite, that’s all I do. I don’t have to market and promote the book (the most time-consuming part of authorship). That’s my client’s job. I get paid to write the book and then I move on to the next project. And remember, too, I don’t run the risk of wasting my time writing a book proposal that may not sell the way I would with my own books. My client pays me upfront to write the proposal.
But writers don’t just ghostwrite books. They ghostwrite articles,blog posts, and content marketing pieces. Rates for this kind of work vary, but in general, you’re looking at rates of $0.50/word to $1-2/word.
Want to know more about ghostwriting? Check out these posts:

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No Pain Self Editing

edit on the go

edit on the go (Photo credit: fensterbme)

Self editing should be and needs to be a very important part of your writing process. The only problem is we have a tendency to feel overwhelmed and think we should scrap the project because its too much work. At The Other Side Of The Story, a blog by Janice Hardy, has a guest post by author Emily Wenstrom, who offers sound advice on how authors can get through the self-editing process.

Guest Author Emily Wenstrom: How One Editor Learned to Edit Herself

Join me in welcoming Emily Wenstrom to the blog today. Emily wears a lot of different writing hats, and she’s here to share a few tips on how to edit yourself.

Lit addict, movie junkie, writer. Emily is a creative writer fascinated with science fiction, fantasy and monsters of all kinds. When she’s not writing about these, she’s a professional writer working in marketing and public relations. She blogs about creativity in art and career at Creative Juicer. She also recently launched wordhaus, a short story zine built for the digital age, now seeking submissions.

Take it away Emily…

I write fiction on the side, but by day I’m a professional writer and editor. I’ve also been managing editor of a city magazine, proofed for a political newsletter, worked a brief stint at a daily newspaper copy desk, and served as the last line of defense against typos and grammatical gaffes at a marketing agency. I’ve even created my share of in-house style guides for publications, agencies and even client companies. Read more here.

No Fear Public Speaking Tips for Writers

English: Rajagopal speaking on October 2, 2007...

Image via Wikipedia

Writing isn’t just about putting your story to paper, finding an agent, publisher or even self-publishing. It’s about sharing your work with others. And with that comes public speaking. Yes indeed, it’s the old “I gotta get out in front of people and talk about my book” ploy. It’s not easy for a lot of writers to do. Surprisingly enough, many writers don’t even think about it until they get in front of a group of people for the soul purpose of talking to their target audience about their beloved project that has taken them a long time or even a short time to produce.

Cat Woods offers up some great tips on how you can feel comfortable and confident sharing your writing in front of others.

Connect the Dots for a Successful Public Presentation

by Cat WoodsFast Fact: Public speaking is not high school speech class.Evidence: Me

During my demonstration speech (you know, the one where you can’t even hang on to your note cards because you have to SHOW how something is done?), I crushed the eggshell I was supposed to decorate.

After another I shook so badly, I couldn’t walk back to my seat in a straight line.  If a cop had been present, I’d have landed a DWI for sure.

As far as I was concerned, the word speech should have been reserved for tenth grade English and diagramming sentences.  Since that time, however, I’ve presented at social organizations, professional organizations and Young Writers’ Conferences.  I’ve found myself at the front of the room in libraries, schools and churches.

The moral of this story: If I can speak in public, so can you.  It’s as simple as connecting the dots.

  1. Connect with your topic.  You’re a writer.  You’re passionate about the process, the business, literacy, your book, your genre, your audience, etc….  Whatever you are speaking about, make sure you are engaged in the topic.  You must first believe before you can ask others to do the same.
  2. Connect with yourself. Before entering a room, take a deep breath. Give yourself a pep talk. You are smart, funny, warm and compassionate. You know this topic like the road map of veins on the top of your hand.  Stand confidently, no matter how uncertain you feel.  And for heaven’s sake, wear clothes you like.  If your new suit is stiff, you’ll be stiff.
  3. Connect with your audience.  Right off the bat, you must personalize your presence with the guests in the room.  Smile—the kind that reaches your eyes and not just turns the corners of your mouth.  Maintain solid eye contact.  Make each individual in your audience feel as if you notice them and are personally thrilled that s/he is here.  Your audience’s comfort level has a direct impact on your comfort level.  Breaking the ice is your job.
  4. Connect your audience to your topic.  This could be the single most important connection you make in a presentation.  To keep audience members from memorizing the vein patterns on the backs of their hands, you must engage them immediately and make them feel as if they have a stake in the presentation.  Give them a reason to be there and a reason to listen.  Make it personal.
  5. Connect with the energy and use it to guide your presentation.  Watch your audience for cues on when to elaborate or when to gloss over something.  Presentations are not about you.  They are personal experiences between your audience and your topic.  You are the messenger.
So, how do we connect the dots in a way that draws a cohesive picture and would garner A’s from our English teachers of high school past?We must do a little research.  We must know our audience and the reason behind our presentations.  We must have clear goals.  We must care so deeply about our topics that we can allow our presentations to meander within the confines of our expectations.Last week I spoke to a fourth grade class.  January was the teacher’s month to help her students make a real world connection between what they learn in school and how this knowledge is necessary and applicable into adulthood. Read more here.

The Writer’s Life with Author Lisa (L.D.) Harkrader

Lisa Harkrader

Follow all 7 authors on their 6-day Virtual Book Tours and leave comments and you could win the Giftbox Giveaway from the National Writing for Children Center. Click here to keep following the tours.

A writer’s life isn’t glamorous (although you do stumble upon a glamorous moment here and there), and it’s not as carefree and endlessly creative as it may seem. But I wouldn’t trade it for any other life.

I start my day at about 5:30 each morning. This first bit is completely unglamorous: I take my dogs outside to potty, then wrangle my kids out of bed and get them off to school. Then I make a pot of coffee (my son, who is an incredibly insightful gift giver, gave me a coffee maker for my office for Christmas last year, so now I don’t even have to trek back and forth to the kitchen for my caffeine fix) and settle down to work.

Here’s where I need to make a case for a pleasant work space. I used to have an office in our tiniest bedroom, a space hardly bigger than a closet. It was filled with shelves and books and piles of cra—er, research and my big bulky desk. There was exactly enough room left over for me to sit in my desk chair, as long as I didn’t go crazy and try to swivel. The room was in the back of the house, cut off from civilization, with only one very narrow window. When I ventured back there to write, I felt like I’d sentenced myself to the dungeon.

A year ago, I decided I couldn’t take it any more. I threw out the desk, the shelves, the piles of, um, research, culled the books, and moved my office downstairs to an alcove off our family room. I love it. It’s open and light and clean. I have a sink, a small refrigerator, the aforementioned coffee pot, and a large framed Beatles Abbey Road poster on the wall behind my computer for inspiration. I also have a new desk: sleek, metal and glass, with no shelves or drawers to accumulate clutter. Now, instead of trudging to the dungeon, I trip downstairs each morning, ready to work.

Well, ready to check my email, then work.

Mornings are my most productive time, and I usually work nonstop until lunch, which can happen at pretty much any time. On days when I’m frustrated, can’t figure out what I’m doing, am slogging along, I hear the refrigerator call my name by about 9:30 a.m. On days when the writing is going well, I’m focused and can’t be bothered to stop, I hear my son rattle through the door after school and realize it’s 3:00 p.m. and I’ve forgotten to eat.

In a writer’s life—or at least, in my writer’s life—no two days are the same. When I’m under a looming deadline, I write late into the night, then get up early the next day to write some more before the kids get up. When I do a school visit or attend a writerly event, such as a conference or awards banquet (those are the glamorous moments I was talking about), I get little writing done, if any. Some days the loneliness of writing overwhelms me. On those days, I whisper a little thank you to the geniuses who invented laptops and take my iBook to a coffee shop or bookstore so that I can write without feeling cut off from other people. About once a week a friend and I get together for a write-in. We meet at a wi-fi café, order something delicious for lunch, and sit side-by-side with our laptops, writing the afternoon away.

It’s not glamorous. Some would even call it dull. But it’s exactly the life I’ve always want to lead.

Nocturne

To learn more about Lisa Harkrader please visit http://www.ldharkrader.com/Home.html

The Writer’s Life with Author Karen Cioffi

How does a writer write – what’s a typical day?

I’m sure no two writers have the same writing schedule. Life usually has a way of putting aside our best laid plans. Having said that, I know it’s important to have a plan, preferably a weekly plan so you know where you’re heading that week, and what you need to accomplish.

I start my week attempting to make a plan, but my mistake is always the same: I log onto my yahoo email account – my day is no longer my own. You would think I would have learned by now to get some work done before I check my mail. But, in my defense, I run an author tour group, and have a number of writing clients that I have to be sure aren’t looking for me. Okay, I know that’s an excuse, I guess habits are just hard to break. 

And, it’s not just the mail that draws my attention and time away, it’s also all the emails from marketers. Which ones should I open? Which ones may I need for my clients’ article writing? Which will teach me new marketing strategies? Which will have great writing advice? Depending on the number of marketing emails, my morning disappears. If I’m really behind on my work, I just delete all non-essential marketing emails – out of sight, out of mind! 

Anyway, in the morning, before I go to the computer, I try to get household chores done. Then, I wander over to the computer. After I check my mail and respond to what I have to (each day the amount of time varies), I tackle my work. And, I forgot to mention, I babysit my two little grandsons on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so those days I may not get on the computer at all. 

Interestingly, I seemed to have strayed from writing for children exclusively. I ventured into ghostwriting, first for children’s books, and then for article writing for businesses, as well as editing/ghostwriting other works. I think because of my accounting background I have a knack for this type of writing and keep getting more clients. This definitely takes away from my own children’s writing. I have three works-in-progress that are sitting on the back burner for the time being. And, my children’s fantasy in contract with 4RV isn’t due to come out until the end of 2011, or the very beginning of 2012. 

What’s a little difficult about the ghostwriting is that you never know when a client will want additional work that week, so it’s hard to have a steady schedule. Or, if you get a new client on board. . . What some writers may not realize is that having a freelance business isn’t just about writing – it’s bookkeeping, managing, organizing, corresponding, and writing. And, if you need to hire subcontractors there is even more work involved. Okay, sorry, I’ve strayed off topic. Often I find myself playing catch up. So, that’s my typical writing day.

 

Day's End Lullaby

Learn more about Karen and her book at http://www.karencioffi.com/