You’ve opened the dreaded Word document for the fifth time, but still haven’t managed to type more than a few lines of your new business book.
You wonder why it feels so hard. Maybe you’re not cut out to write it. Possibly you’ve not got the will power. Come to think of it, what made you think you could be an author in the first place?
OK, deep breath. You know you’ve got ideas worth spreading, you just don’t know how to write about them so people will love them too. Perhaps you should hire one of those ghostwriters you keep hearing about – that would make your life easier.
It seems a bit of a leap of faith, though. How do you know if that’s the right option for you?
Here’s where I come in. In my experience as a business book ghostwriter, for many prospective authors this decision is simple. Saving time and effort, plus being able to feel confident in the quality of the end product, make working with one a no-brainer.
But for you, it might be a different. What can you expect when you hire a quality ghostwriter? And what are the pros and cons?
To help you, I’ve taken the four key elements which make up the difference between writing your own book and having one ghosted for you, and framed them as questions. Answering them will help you to decide what’s best for you.
How long has your business book got?
The obvious one. Writing a book takes time, and is the number one reason why hundreds of books each year lie partially completed on hard drives across the globe, or in their authors’ heads. Even if the space-time continuum were to be interrupted and an extra week a month added to the calendar, this would probably get filled with other stuff. Somehow, the book never gets finished.
It goes without saying that working with a ghostwriter frees up many hours of an author’s time; a few hours of interviews and some scheduled slots for reading and commenting on the manuscript are all that’s needed from you. Whether saving this time is ‘worth it’ is up to you, but it’s undeniably a major difference in the experience of writing a book and having one ghosted for you.
How busy is your brain?
Writing a book also takes up a considerable amount of brain power. You have to work out what your book’s about, who it’s for, and what you want to say in it. You also need to structure it so it makes sense for your readers. When you work with a ghostwriter much of this is their job, but if you’re writing your book yourself these problems are yours to solve alone.
Of course, even a ghostwritten book needs serious input from its author – it’s your name on the cover, after all. And giving some thought to your book’s content can also benefit you in other ways. You might gain clarity over the way you structure your business, or see an insight into your personality that you’d never have had if you hadn’t spent time considering your memoir.
But there’s a difference between talking your ideas through with a ghostwriter, and crafting them in writing yourself. The former will usually get you better results.
What do you want to feel about your business book?
Some would-be authors say they couldn’t feel the same sense of satisfaction were they not to write their book themselves. However, others state that self-penning a book isn’t an essential part of what they’d get out of it.
From my experience, once an author has their book in their hands the excitement and joy come from the recognition and respect they receive and the things they can achieve with it, rather than from the experience of doing the writing. Which would it be for you?
What’s your ROI?
Money: the thorny one.
There’s no doubt that hiring a ghostwriter costs more than writing your book yourself. On the other hand, if you were to hire one, how much money could you make in the hours you didn’t spend sweating over it? What could you achieve? Launch a new programme, carry out several paid speaking engagements, or work with some extra clients? To say nothing of the fact that your book will probably be finished more quickly – and therefore be working for you sooner – if you’re not chained to your keyboard.
Even if your book isn’t for your business or reputation, but for personal reasons, it might be that you’re happy to spend the money. Every book is an investment, and some of that investment is financial.
On the other hand, splashing the cash is always a matter of personal choice. We each have our notion of what makes something worth buying. It depends on how we value our time, and how much we want to ensure a quality, and timely, end result.
So now you’ve got a practical next step to take if you want to see your business book give you the recognition you need. All you need to decide is where you stand on the four areas of time, mindspace, satisfaction, and money.
If you’d like to explore this further, why not apply for a free strategy session with me and find out?