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Question
Hello,

I recently have had ideas for a book.  I have been writing notes on what i want it to include, and many details as to what the book is actually on.  Its my advice in life after having gone through depression as a college student at UW-Madison.  Basically a book that tells how to recognize, deal with, and get through tough life times in a non psychologist point of view.  The problem I have is, I do not write.  My question to you is, how do I go about starting.  I would like it to be a "tuesdays with morrie" type of book where the author tells my story for me, as if he were writing my words.  What do I need to present to someone for them to even consider me? Any starting information would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you

Eric

Answer
Hello, Eric!

Well, I just happen to know the answer for this one!  What you want is a ghost writer or collaborator.  And you can find a ton of them on the web.  Try searching for 'writing collaborators,' 'co-authors' and 'writing services.'

There'll be a ton of them and they'll each have a different way of working with you, charging you, sharing royalties and sharing writing and research responsibilities.

As for what you need to interest a collaborator you need to turn all those notes into a one page synopsis of the book (where it starts, what it's about, what tone you see it in, etc) and a table of contents.  The table of contents, using chapter titles, will give a one-page, one-glance look of what's in the book.  Follow the guidelines for any of the collaborators you've researched and pitch your idea to them following those guidelines.

You have picked a rough road.  Most authors don't want to work on someone else's idea.  They have more than enough of their own to work on.  And, frankly, most of the people you'll find on the web will want to charge you up front for doing the writing rather than waiting for the book to sell to share in royalties.  Just a head's up that this isn't going to be easy.  But, then, nothing worthwhile ever is.

In the meantime, are you sure you can't write it yourself?  There are several good how to books out there on how to write a memoir.  Why not invest in one and see if it's something you could do yourself?  Just a thought.

Good luck Eric.  If you have any other questions, feel free to ask away!

Liz Aleshire
Bugs:  Stinger, Suckers, Sweeties, Swingers.  Franklin Watts
www.lizaleshire.com

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Liz Aleshire

Expertise

What is a book proposal and why do I need one? Do I need a book proposal for both nonfiction and fiction books? How do I write a book proposal? What are the required components of a book proposal? What is an overview? What is a synopsis? How do I find out what other books are available on my topic so I can make my book different? How do I pitch to an agent/publisher? What's a query letter? What's a 30-second commercial?

Experience

I am the author of four nonfiction books: Private Lives of Ministers' Wives (with Rev. Sherry Taylor,New Horizon Press, New Jersey, 1991)and currently working on a second edition; Bugs: Stingers, Suckers, Sweeties, Swingers (a FRanklin Watts Frist Book, Chicago, 1993); The Confident Collector Identification and Price Guid to Quilts (with Kathleen Barach, Avon Books, NY, 1992); and, Official Price Guide to Quilts 2nd edition(with Kathleen Barach, Random House, NY, 2003.) I've taught How to Write the Book Proposal for the past ten years at the week long International Women's Writing Guild annual summer conference, and, at the Manchester Community College Continuing Education program. I've taught in many local continuing education programs in central Connecticut. Five authors have sold books using my methods for writing the book proposal. I have spoken at the Big Apple Conference, an IWWG event held in NYC; both Connecticut chapters of the Romance Writer's of America other writing conferences

Organizations
Internation Women's Writing Guild, past associate member American Society of Journalists and Authors

Publications
Books for New Horizon Press. NJ; Franklin Watts (Now Scolastic)Danbury, CT; Avon Books, NYC; and, Random House, NYC

Education/Credentials
B.A in Economics from the University of Connecticut

Past/Present clients
Carren Strock, author Married Women Who Love Women; Doris Larson, travel writer, Ohio; MaryLou Streznewsi author Gifted Grownups.

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