Wednesday, December 1, 2010

So, you want to write a novel...

This is hilarious and has a special gift for ghostwriters in the final seconds.

I could be a novelist, too

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Bucks

Check out ghostwriter Kelly James-Enger's book:
Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Bucks: The Writer's Guide to Making Money Ghostwriting and Coauthoring Books.
It's a great overview of the ghostwriting life, covering everything from finding clients to negotiating contracts. Lots of interesting people from the field of ghostwriting are interviewed, including yours truly, and fellow Ghostwriting Revealed blogger, Gwen Moran.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jobs I will not be pursuing....

Sometimes I browse through Craig's List and check out the ads for ghostwriters. Craig's List is generally a lousy place to look for ghostwriting gigs. It's full of people who want tons of work for peanuts, or worse, "half the royalties!" (Thanks for nothing. Literally.)

But every once in a while, I come across one that just makes me laugh.

My personal observations are in italics.

Ghostwriter/editor needed for Sci-fi Novel (Already a problem that she doesn't know which service she wants)

I need someone to rewrite my 92,000 word post-apocalyptic space opera vampire fiction (genre traffic jam alert!) to make it ready for publication in the late fall. (this fall????)

Compensation: $500 (cue laugh track.)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Profile of the Ghostwriter @Work

What I like best about this profile is the discussion of how much non-writing work a ghostwriter really does. This paints a very accurate picture of what the profession is like. Ghostwriters write, for sure, but we also act as sherpa to those who are wandering into the book world for the first time.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Next, we need jackets!

The latest great idea in ghostwriting:

Association of Ghostwriters

Founder Marcia Layton Turner says:

"Publishing experts estimate that as many as 50 percent of all New York Times bestsellers are ghostwritten today, but there’s also great demand for ghostwriters for other types of books and in businesses of all sizes."

Only 50 percent? ;)

Ghosts unite!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Malcolm and Me

I have an old jingle stuck in my head. Back in the 80s, Gatorade snagged
basketball great Michael Jordan for a television ad and the song that went
along with it was catchy: Like Mike. If I could be like Mike.

I have it in my head, with a slightly different spin. This week, it seems
all my client want to Be Like Malc. That’s Malcolm Gladwell. In the past ten
days, I have fielded nothing but pleas to make my clients’ books read like

That’d be fine with me, if my clients really did want a book like Malcolm’s.
I can ape a style like any good ghostwriter. The problem is that what my
clients REALLY want is all across the board.

“I want the prose to be deep and intense. Like Malcolm Gladwell.”

“I’m looking for a strong conversational tone. Like Malcolm Gladwell meets
Thomas Friedman.” (Ellen’s note: Now that’s a mash up!)

“Can you make it timeless? Like Malcolm Gladwell?”

I can do any and all of those things for my clients. I will make one
client’s book read with depth and intensity, another’s show a strong
conversational tone and the third, a lack of anchor in any one era. None of
them will actually read like a Gladwell text, because those really aren’t
the attributes of Gladwell’s work. Gladwell is very timely. Other than
best-seller status, I’m not sure he shares much in common with Friedman. And intense? Actually, Gladwell’s critics call him glib. But that’s okay. What my clients really want is not to READ like Gladwell, but BE like Gladwell – that is, the author of a respected best-seller.

So I take in the marching orders and go back to work on all these projects. I understand, I tell my clients. I want to be like Malcolm, too.