Things Learned While Ghostwriting

two pink ballpoint pens on table
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Ghostwriting: Things I Learned

First Time Gigs

 

Think It Through Completely

Know exactly what your client anticipates before saying yes. Are they looking for a basic transcriber? Do they expect you to take the position of a ghostwriter and a creative director? In other words, don’t assume. You may think you’re agreeing to typist when what they have in mind is full-on production. Make sure you and your client have a solid understanding of your job title.

If the client is unfamiliar with how ghostwriting, publishing, or creative writing works in general, explain the various aspects and challenges of each one. Again, get an overall idea of what the client expects for the outcome of their project.

Are they leaning toward self-publishing? Express both the advantages and downside of indie publishing along with any key points pertaining to traditional publishing. Go over any wait times or deadlines that may occur during the project.

Do you possess the time, energy, and resources necessary to complete the job? Does the client agree to all the terms and conditions, including fees and fee schedules? Will you charge per page, per word, or per hour?

Speaking of dreams…

Set realistic goals for both yourself and the client. Unless your client also designates you as marketer or promoter, you have no control over the final success or failure of sales. All you can do is present your very best work to the client and wish them success.

Translation: PLEASE have contracts in place. Make sure to include the number of revision allowances in your contract, and specify any additional cost after these limits are exceeded. This is where a pre-discussion of expectations and ideas is imperative.

You Better Recognize

The client’s voice and your voice are different

Stay true to your client’s writing voice, no matter how much you’re compelled to gut something due to personal preference. If your writing style is more scholarly than contemporary, save your style for your own work. We all have our own magic, just like we all have our own personalities. If you come in with bourgeois paragraphs when the client is more into everyday wording, it will show. It could even turn off their readers and fan base.

You need technology as your friend, not your enemy

Familiarize yourself with formatting and coding. If you’re “full-on production”, study up on trim space. Know how to format for electronic (eBook) publishing.

You WILL Fall Apart

You’ll have moments of doubt and frustration. You will periodically lose your mind and temper. You may even need a chiropractor, physical therapist, and anti-inflammatory (trust me).

They Bet’ Recognize

Fame or fortune is far and few

Very few people become famous when reaching for the dream of published author. However, there’s nothing wrong with aiming for the sky. Sometimes writers gain megabillions and movie deals, most times they sell a modest amount of copies and call it a day until their next project.

The transcriber, ghostwriter, creative director, full-on producer is not a Fame-N-Fortune Genie. They are humble servants wanting the best for their client while at the same token wanting to get paid what has been agreed upon via contract. So, be a kind client; don’t deny payment if their part of the assignment is complete.

Set a sales goal, but a realistic one

Unless your collaborator is also assigned promotionals and marketing, please don’t take it out on them if sales are lower than anticipated. Again, this is where clear job duties/title is imperative.

Blow the Most Bucks On the Cover, Especially If Self-publishing

This is one of the most crucial aspects of any project. First, potential readers and purchasers are going to examine a book’s cover. Second, they may check out the first page or paragraph. Then, they’ll flip through to see if you’re about your craft. Eventually, they might zone in on grammar, spelling, etc. The latter is where choosing a proficient and detailed transcriber or ghostwriter also comes in handy.

You’re Both in This Together

If you’re a beginner in the field of ghostwriting, or if you’ve always dreamed of seeing your words somewhere other than your notebooks and journals, don’t give up or feel inadequate. Keep going, keep writing, and continue developing various skills along the way.

 

Happy Writing! ūüėČ

*

 

 

S Sanders

aka

Whatevertheyaint

2/6/19

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I Can Only Speak for Myself

Initially, there’s this raw space. We¬†may wonder how it got there,¬†or more importantly, why it’s there.¬†¬†Perhaps we conditioned ourselves early in life to bandage wounds and carry on,¬†so we slap a Band-Aid on it until it festers, not realizing that giving it time to breathe is better than covering it over.

Then, somewhere during the process, a scab forms. There’s this protective layer now, and we go about our daily routines as we did before. That is until we accidentally bump that spot, exposing it again.¬† Maybe we overestimated ourselves, or maybe we were just trying to…forget. In any event, there it is. And yes, it still hurts.

An undetermined amount of time passes, and we notice the scab is now a smooth scar. We run our fingers over it, remembering that unsightly place.  But we can do it now, we can run our hand across that area. It reminds us that grief cut us open.  Yet, we survived.

SSM-S

aka Whatevertheyaint

Oct 2017

 

 

 

  • I can only speak for my own experiences. Like most people, there have been more than a few negative events in my life, but I learned to just acknowledge them and allow myself to go through the process. This poem came from waiting on a sore to heal on my leg and then, at random (which tends to happen when I’m ready for my brain to SHUT DOWN), thinking how wounds are a lot like the process of grieving, or dealing with any life-changing event.¬†

 

 

“Trust the Hours” (Wait)

Love this poem

Galway Kinnell

Wait, for now.
Distrust everything, if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven’t they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become lovely again.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again,
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. And the desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.

Wait.
Don’t go too early.
You’re tired. But everyone’s tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a while and listen.
Music of hair,
Music of pain,
music of looms weaving all our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear,
the…

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From the Prompt: It’s You–But It Isn’t

pexels-photo-597331.jpeg

 

Finally! The kids are asleep and it’s time to wind down and see what’s going on in the¬† ScrapBooking¬†for Dummies forum. I never sign out, because it’s easier that way. Plus, I’m forever losing passwords.

As the page loads and images take shape, I notice something that makes me uneasy. Either my eyes are playing tricks on me or, right there in a pop up, right in the middle of the screen, is my username in bold, red letters and a caption that reads:¬† You people couldn’t cut a perfect circle if your lives depended on it.

I glance at the date, 4/3/2015. The date is correct.¬†And April Fool’s is long gone. So who would do this?¬† Everyone in the house is clonked out, including my husband. His loud, steady snoring permeates throughout the house. I can even hear my son’s light breathing in the adjacent bedroom. Did¬†my son, Timmy,¬†do this? Did he accidentally mash something? The idea is plausible.¬†Although six years old, he’s¬†more than capable of destroying everything he touches. If he weren’t sleeping so soundly, I’d interrogate him.

However, right-clicking¬†and pressing delete seems like a viable option; so that’s what¬†I do.¬† In less than two seconds I wish I hadn’t.¬†¬†GlitterMama, you’re nothing but an over-privileged stay-at-home with nothing better to do than play with glue guns and¬†fancy¬†duct tape.

Oh. My. God.  Now someone is making fun of GlitterMama, aka Miss Nelly from Sunday school! Okay. I have to fix this, quickly.

Would you like to log out? Yes.

I unplug the computer and then reboot. The whole time I’m holding my breath, praying the webpage returns to normal.

There aren’t any pop-ups when the site reloads, and I let out a sigh¬†of relief as I join a thread entitled: All You Need to Know about Digital Design.¬† Things are going fine–for a while. And then it starts again, this time in the comment section.¬†WhateverTheFelt, I find your crafts mediocre and aesthetically challenged. Give it up, girl.

Surely¬†there’s a contact page or moderator. Someone needs to know what is going on. As I search, I notice an¬†About Us section. I hover over the link and¬†nearly break my finger pressing enter. At this point, if I were that type, I’d show whoever was pranking around a different finger.

Sure enough, another pop-up: HAPPY LATE APRIL FOOL’S DAY.¬†

A gazillion smiley faces¬†attack the screen as the monitor blinks off and on uncontrollably.¬† In no way do I find this funny. In fact, if this is the website’s idea of “fun”, I’ll show them who the fool is. This¬†scrapbooker doesn’t need a stupid site to tell her how to digitally design an album, or anything else for that matter.

Would you like to deactivate your account?

Yes!