The relationship you have with your ghostwriter or co-author is ultimately a working relationship. You can make it a success by applying these three suggestions.
Whether you are too busy to write your memoir, whether you do not have the skills and are not interested in acquiring them or whether you simply want to have the ease and assurance of working with a seasoned writer, working with a ghostwriter is a great option.
Below are articles that will guide you through various aspects of working with a ghostwriter. The relationship is a dynamic and rewarding one. A good ghostwriter will not only write and polish your memoir but will help you to understand your story better than you may now.
Working with a ghostwriter, at its best, is an active undertaking with you and your ghostwriter in a creative, tandem relationship. It is an investment in your legacy.
Once you’ve read the posts below, why not claim the free e-book, A Consumer’s Guide to Ghostwriting Services / How to Choose and Work With the Best Co-author For You?
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Is hiring a memoir ghostwriter a good idea?
You’ve lived a life that you feel merits a memoir. Perhaps you’ve risen from poverty to riches, perhaps you have done a “first” and you want people to know it was you, or perhaps you want to celebrate a lost world, a world that has since disappeared. Should you write yourself or should you use a memoir ghostwriter?
You try your hand at writing but you realize that it is too difficult and that the learning curve is too steep. Perhaps you have begun to write and are lost in the shaping of an interesting memoir. (What does it mean to “shape” and “pace” a book?) Or, perhaps you could write the memoir but you are so busy with other things that you hardly have the time to devote to it.
These scenarios call for a ghostwriter who can guide you through the process and write the book as per your instructions. But, you don’t feel comfortable with that. You have reservations.
1. Isn’t using a memoir ghostwriter a bit like cheating?
There are Ways to Save on Ghostwriting Fees
Finding ways to save on ghostwriting fees can be pressing when the story needs to be told but you have to cut costs. Hiring a ghostwriter or co-author is, no questions about it, an expensive proposition.
There are ways, however, to cut the costs by doing some of the work yourself. Before doing that work, however, you would do well to ask the writer you have hired about how to turn the work in in a format that s/he can most readily make use of. Here are some suggestions:
1. Write as much of the text as you can.
It does not need to be particularly well written — just as good as you can make it. Perhaps that will be in snippets or even in outline form. Type the text into a computer file to send it to the ghostwriter. (The ghostwriter would have to charge you to enter text into a computer file so this is a step that can save on ghostwriting fees right in the beginning.) Your writer can rewrite or polish what you send. What I love about receiving this sort of text is that it gives me your “voice” and a whole set of your vocabulary to use.
Get the most out of working with a memoir ghostwriter
What a relief to have finally decided to start working with a memoir ghostwriter. The future of your relationship will depend, however, on how well and clearly you agree on the financial and procedural aspects of your collaboration. Be sure you come to an agreement on the following topics.
1. Work ought to be performed by the hour rather than by the project.
While it is tempting to choose a per-project fee, a project-fee arrangement is a troubling one. As the payer, you want more for your money. As the provider, the ghostwriter wants to minimize changes to the manuscript so as to be able to fulfill the project objectives in a way that is profitable for him/her. A project fee leads to conflict. A per-hour fee, while it would seem to lead to the ghostwriter stretching the project out so he can charge you more, usually this is not true. The ghostwriter is a professional with other projects to move on to after yours is done.
The memoir writing process can be simple.
Note: This is the 1starticle in a series of 4 on the writing process of A Sugary Frosting published in 2016.
It’s 2016, and I am in the very last days of the memoir process and polishing A Sugary Frosting / A Memoir of a Girlhood Spent in a Parsonage, the early lifestory of my deceased spouse, Martha Blowen. It’s a time to make sure I have written what I want to write and to check grammar and spelling before it goes out to a copy editor.
I had promised Martha that I would write her stories so that our grandchildren would know something about her. In May 2015, I began gathering the stories she had written of her life. My intent was to create a booklet of these stories. But, to be honest, it has never appealed to me to write booklets. I like to write books. That’s what I do and that’s what I do well.
As I read through Martha’s stories, in a few instances, I understood that some were fragmentary and needed filling out. I knew the story she was trying to convey but then I had lived with her for 31 years. Would someone who did not know her—our grandchildren, for instance—appreciate the tale? So, I tweaked the stories to make them more complete, more meaningful. Good work, I thought. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
How much does hiring a ghostwriter cost?
If you are hiring a ghostwriter, of course, one of the facets you are concerned with is how much it will cost to have your memoir written. Your concern is appropriate.
What if you had a few useful guidelines to help you determine if the costs you are being asked to pay are in line with current rates? Well, you do below…
1. Above all, do not bring a nickel and dime attitude to the process of having your memoir written.
The process is not a mechanical one in which you can expect so many words for so many dollars. Your ghostwriter will be thinking of your memoir in the shower and while doing the dishes and perhaps when out to dinner. Being a creative person, your ghost is not likely to shut off inspiration and insight. S/he might, in the most unexpected moment, realize, “Oh, this character trait seems to have led to that result and perhaps it was not that other reason my client was alluding to that was the cause. I need to talk to my client about this.”
Your ghost’s willingness to dwell with your memoir beyond the writing time will improve your memoir, and it is not likely that your ghost will charge you for the moment of insight in the shower. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Memoir ghostwriting is a viable option if you choose not to write your memoir yourself. There are many reasons you would choose not to write a memoir by yourself and most of them are good.
Understandably, people want to know how much memoir ghostwriting will cost. Depending on the length of your memoir, it may take months and even years to complete your book. Here are a few considerations for you to ponder over as you assess how much a co-author might cost.
1. Asking “How much will it cost to have my memoir ghostwritten?” is like asking “How long will it take to cross the Atlantic Ocean?”
Many factors will affect the time required for a crossing: the wind, the distance between the ports of departure and the arrival you choose, the design of the boat itself, the number of people and the amount of materials and supplies on the boat, whether or not you wish to cross directly or whether you would like to make a few forays along the way—say, visit Iceland before landing in Portugal.
Hiring a memoir ghostwriter will lead to a long-term relationship. This relationship will cost you money. It will also cost you time and energy. It is reasonable that you want it to function smoothly and well. Of course, you ask the writer for references, but are they reliable? Here are five areas of questions you […]
Working with a ghostwriter can be exhilarating—and expensive, but never as expensive as losing your story because you did not write it. Here are some components that will go a long way in saving money with a ghostwriter.
Your Point of View in a Memoir Is Important
What is the importance of point of view in a memoir? In the previous post on point of view, I shared my challenge of trying to write material in a ghostwritten memoir that I knew to be true but which the subject was not forthcoming with. This is not “Truth” material. It is more the sort of reflection that a more intuitive, self-reflecting person might make to cast light on her/his life. The memoir in question is We Were Not Spoiled, a memoir I co-wrote with my mother Lucille Verreault Ledoux. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]