It’s not always easy to realize your vision of an investing, insurance, personal finance or business book. You may have an awesome idea but no desire to sit down and write it. You may not have time to devote to the volume’s creation, or you may simply want to leverage the knowledge and experience of a particular ghostwriter.
But not everyone needs or wants a full-on ghostwriter. Sometimes, you just need a little help with what you’re in the process of creating. Maybe you need some guidance for getting started or ideas when outlining. You may want a resource to help flesh your thoughts out or an editor to tweak and reorganize the draft you wrote. You can outsource for assistance with all of these tasks, but there are a things you should know before you do.
1. You need to have a firm understanding of what you want. You can hire a ghostwriter with editorial experience to edit your manuscript without making any of the changes they are suggesting, or you can hire them to actually make the changes—which will save you a lot of time. But you have to tell the ghostwriter whether you want them to do that.
Speaking of editing—if you aren’t sure what an editor actually does, you may not be happy with what you get from the one you hire. Keep in mind that editing is the process of clarifying structure, tone, voice and pace of a book while also forcing the author to dig deeper into the content (or plot) when appropriate. Proofreading is going after grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors. These are different tasks requiring different skill sets. This means that after you incorporate the edits, you’ll still need a final set of eyes to catch any new or old errors.
You should also decide whether you want a specialist to assist you or a generalist. It’s often extremely valuable to hire a financial writer to edit or ghostwrite your book on investing, retirement, etc., because they can add insight that a generalist may not be able to. They also know how to communicate these complex topics to readers and understand how to edit your content without changing the meaning or making it noncompliant.
2. You should get ready for honesty. If you hire a ghostwriter or editor to help you with your book as you’re writing it, you’d best grow a thick skin or don a suit of armor because you’re going to get criticism. The thing is, if your ghostwriter or editor isn’t willing to be honest about what you’re not doing right, then the person isn’t worth paying. That doesn’t mean they have to be a jerk when delivering the news, but let’s face it—the book is your pet project and any criticism is going to sting.
3. You’ll still need to set time aside to work. Unless you hire an editor to actually fix your manuscript, this individual is just going to point out what must be done—and that means you’re going to have a lot of work to do when the edits come back. If your editor also works as a ghostwriter, he or she can rewrite, rearrange and add content as they see fit but if you aren’t hiring them specifically to do that, they’re just going to respond with prompts for you to take care of those things. They may rearrange and tweak some passages, but the bulk of the fixing is going to be your responsibility. It’s going to be a huge waste of your money and time if you write the book, pay the editor and then neglect to make the changes and simply shelve the project.
There has never been a better time to get an information product on the market—and it’s never been easier to tap into broad sales channels. I believe it’s absolutely vital to take advantage of this publishing revolution, but you need to build a strong support team in order for your product to rise above the crowd.
Do you need editing, outlining, formatting or other assistance with your book project? Send me an email to see how I can help!