Writing Books/ghostwriting

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Question
Hi Wayne, Ben here. I'm curious about getting into the ghostwriting biz. I've heard about less experienced authors making pretty good $$ ghostwriting for "book packagers". Can you tell me anything about this? How to get started, what packagers are looking for, how to get my foot in the door, etc?

I have a BA in English. I've never published anything professionally. I seem to have an uncanny knack for imitating other people's writing styles (though I try to avoid it when writing my own fiction!). I've looked at the American Book Producers site, but I can't seem to find "job listings" for prospective authors. Please lend a hand!

Thanks!
Ben

Answer
Thanks for your question, Ben.

Search your browser for ghostwriting and lots of resources will come up. You will find tips on the business end of ghostwriting, how to get started, what professionals are charging, and many other helps.

You will want to decide whether to take on any assignment including pornography or whether to specialize in one aspect of nonfiction or genre fiction. Also, will you ghostwrite and book package, that is, include proofreading, editing, manuscript preparation, contacts and submissions to agents and publishers on behalf of clients? Although top-level, traditional book publishers sometimes contract out ghostwriting to vendors, they call on only well-experienced and proven writers within the publishers' niche networks. Smaller publishers are less likely to use vendors.

Essential is a website to showcase your work. If you have a site for your fiction, you should add an emphasis on your ghostwriting services. A good way to get started ghostwriting is to take your first job for free in return for a cover credit. Credits are similar to Name of Book by Author as told to Ben, or with Ben, or and Ben. These are common even among seasoned ghostwriters, although most receive no recognition, only payment.

Join a writers' group near you and become active; consider becoming elected to the board or an office of your local or statewide group. You can develop leads by networking in the group and learn more about the writing craft.

Best wishes for every success.  

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Wayne Groner

Expertise

I can answer questions on all aspects of writing memoirs, biographies, family histories, and corporate histories including handling sensitive issues, interviewing, editing, self-publishing, and setting up a business as a memoir writer.

Experience

I have more than twenty-five years of experience as a radio and television news reporter, author, freelance writer, and workshop presenter. I present classes to nonprofits and professional groups, "How to Write Your Memoir or Life Story." I'm author of four nonfiction books. My latest book is A Guide to Writing Your Memoir or Life Story: Tools, Tips, Methods and Examples, available in paperback and eBook at Amazon. I'm past president of Springfield Writers' Guild (Missouri). My articles and book reviews on a variety of topics have been published in national magazines and on the Web. I was a senior-level college administrator for twenty-seven years, including nine years as a vice president, during which I wrote newsletters, brochures, magazine articles, and published and edited an alumni magazine.

Organizations
Missouri Center for the Book, Springfield Writers' Guild, Greene County Historical Society, Christian County Historical Society.

Publications
Books: Witnesses of Hope, Faith, Love and Healing; Dumb Luck or Divine Guidance; The Pastor's Guide to Fund-raising Success; Levell-Drew Family History. National magazines including CASE Currents, Congregations, Ozarks Mountaineer, Your Community Hospice, Power and Light series of Sunday-school curriculum for adult learners.

Education/Credentials
Graceland College

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