Later this month, freelance writer and ghostwriter Marcia Layton Turner will launch the Association of Ghostwriters, a new membership-based organization for ghosts and collaborators. I caught up with her and got the scoop on this exciting new group.
GM: Tell me about the organization and what you hope to do with it?
MLT: For the last three years I’ve produced an e-mail newsletter entitled Become a Six-Figure Writer, which was established to help people figure out how to earn more money as freelancers. Every once in awhile, I’ll do a survey of my 1,500 subscribers and I’ll ask them “What are you interested in?” Lately, I’ve seen an increasing interest in ghostwriting. People want to everything from what kinds of projects are out there to how to find them to how to create successful collaborations. So, I decided to create an organization with member benefits to help people answer those questions and be successful ghostwriters.
GM: What are some of the benefits members will receive?
MLT: We have a series of monthly tele-seminars designed to help ghostwriters find projects, improve their writing skills, qualify themselves for projects that are out there and get an overview of the range of projects. I plan to have a ghostwriter service to help people find ghostwriters, and plan to track news and information about ghostwriting in mainstream media, blogs, social media, and other sources. We’ll have a monthly newsletter and an online networking forum for ghostwriters. We’ll also have some discounts on services. Charter memberships will start at $69.00 per year, and will rise to $99 after the first six months.
GM: Do you find that there’s a great demand for ghostwriters?
MLT: There is a rising demand for ghostwriters across the board. If you look at the job postings that are out there on the many different services, there’s definitely demand or at least interest in ghostwriting services. The sector is changing. Five years ago, when you talked about ghostwriting, the assumption is you're talking about ghostwriting a book. As Twitter, Facebook, and blogs have become more important communication vehicles, companies and experts are finding that they need to hire professional writers because they simply don’t have the time to manage all of that content. And I think the challenge for us, as professional ghostwriters, is to weed out the people who are serious and understand what a ghostwriter can do for them from the people who are looking for someone to help write a memoir and have a budget of $10.00.
GM: For writers who are interested in ghostwriting but maybe don’t know how to get started, what is your recommendation for establishing a ghostwriting business?
MLT: I think one of the first things they need to do is to demonstrate their writing skills. Pursue articles in major publications in their area of specialization, such as business or health. They also need to make contact with the companies who are looking for ghostwriters. Set up a website that shows ghostwriting availability and talk about any ghostwriting experience that they’ve had.
Of course the biggest challenge for someone who wants to get into the business is getting that first job. Until you ghost your first book, article or blog, it can be difficult to convince someone to take a chance on you. But it’s the goal of the Association of Ghostwriters to make the world of ghostwriting easier to navigate and help writers profit from this lucrative sector.
For more information about the Association of Ghostwriters, visit http://www.associationofghostwriters.org.