As a business book ghostwriter and book coach, I talk to a lot of experts and entrepreneurs who’ve got a book in them, but aren’t sure how to make it a reality. What they all have in common is a knowledge they need help to create a great book, but they don’t know what that help should consist of.
Are you one of them? Maybe you’ve pulled a rough draft together, or possibly your book is still a bunch of thoughts in your head. Either way, you’re stuck with what to do next.
Frustrating, isn’t it?
Do you need an editor to brush up or restructure your words? How about a writing coach to help you along the way? Or maybe you should outsource all the writing to a ghostwriter?
Heck, do you even need anyone at all?
As time goes by your dilemma seems to grow rather than diminish, leading to endless procrastination on your book, characterised by surfing the internet for advice, telling yourself you’ll sort it out ‘tomorrow’, and even making various false starts on your manuscript before you give up and make another coffee.
It’s made worse by the fact that many professionals in the book writing field are out to promote only what they do, not what’s best for you.
What if it was easier than this?
If this is you, fear not.
The reason you’re stalling is you’ve been thinking about it from the perspective of your book, not from that of your skills and natural inclinations. You’re also not even sure what editors, coaches, and ghostwriters even do. If you don’t know all this stuff, you’re powerless to move forward.
I’m going to shed some light on your problem.
Know your helpers
What do editors, coaches and ghostwriters actually do, and what’s the difference between them?
An editor takes what you’ve written and makes suggested changes to it. Depending on what level of editing you want, they’ll either look at your book as a whole and make comments about how you could improve the structure and top-level flow of information (that’s a structural editor), or they’ll suggest detailed changes to your wording so it reads well and contains correct grammar and spelling (that’s a copy editor).
A coach takes you by the hand and plans your book with you, to make sure it’s the right one for you and your business. Then they’ll guide you through the writing process, keeping you motivated and helping you solve any problems you encounter along the way. They’ll also suggest ways you can improve your writing. In addition, they’ll give you advice on publishing and marketing your book when it’s finished.
A ghostwriter does the heavy lifting for you by writing your book in your voice, as well as planning your book strategically with you. Unlike an editor or a coach, who make suggestions and recommendations, a ghostwriter actually does the writing. This is the case whether or not you’ve written your manuscript already. If you haven’t, they’ll interview you to get the information out of your head and may do extra research if needed. If you have, they’ll re-write what you’ve created and turn it into a professional manuscript. They may also give you advice on publishing and marketing your book, or even help you get a traditional publishing contract using their connections (never guaranteed).
Still not sure what kind of support you need? Try asking yourself the following questions:
- Am I 100% confident I know what kind of book to write, how it will help my business, what content to include, and how that content should be outlined? If the answer’s ‘yes’, you might not need a coach or ghostwriter, but could still need an editor. Although that also depends on your answers to the following questions.
- Do I feel motivated enough to write this book on my own? If the answer’s ‘yes’, you might just need an editor to help you perfect your manuscript when it’s done. If not, a coach or ghostwriter would be ideal.
- How good am I at writing, really? This is a tough one, because it’s hard to be objective about your own writing ability. After all, we can all write, it’s just a question of whether we have the skill to keep it engaging and focused on our readers. If you feel sure you’re up to crafting a 50,000 word book, then an editor may be all you need. If not, a good ghostwriter will pretty much guarantee a well-written book, and a coach will help you develop your writing style.
- Do I have time? This is the number one reason business owners work with a ghostwriter; it saves them countless hours at the keyboard. But a coach can also help you manage your writing time.
- What do I really want to do? If you feel strongly about writing your book yourself, and you’re keen to learn about improving your writing, then a coach is ideal. But if the thought of writing it gives you a knot in your stomach or sends you off to the nearest distraction technique, then a ghostwriter would be the best option for you.
How does it feel for you now, this business of writing your book? Have you been able to be honest with yourself? This can be hard, I know. But until we know what help is available and what we need, we find it hard to move forward with anything.
The good news is, you’re now in a better position than the vast majority of business authors to create the book that puts you in the spotlight, because you understand how to take advantage of the support that’s out there.
After all, the author who’s most likely to succeed is the author who gets the most useful and appropriate help. And now, that’s you.