As a business book ghostwriter in the UK (although I also work with experts and speakers all over the world), I’m often asked by potential authors what they can expect when they hire a ghostwriter. What’s the process? How does it work? And – just as importantly – what’s the end result?
This post is the answer to those questions.
The business book ghostwriting process
I’d like to take you on a journey.
Needless to say, every book I ghostwrite is unique and not all follow the same system. And because my clients have full confidentiality I won’t be naming anyone specific, but I’ll guide you through the typical experience of creating your business book with me.
Your business book strategy and outline
First we have a two to three hour session in which we create your business book strategy and outline. You may feel a little unsure about this before we start, but my experience of working with countless clients on this is that they always find it fun, interesting, and exciting.
We explore the following:
- What you want to achieve with your book, both for yourself and your readers
- Your book’s target audience
- Your book’s big message (the question it answers)
- How long it should be
- What the best publishing options are for you
- Options for marketing it when it’s finished
This is your business book strategy, and it’s a fascinating process. It’s likely you’ll discover your book has more potential than you may think.
Next we move onto your outline. What elements of your content should come first, second, third, and so on? We’ll work out how to structure your book so it makes sense to your readers. At the end of this, you’ll have a table of contents. It’s starting to look real now!
I entice the words for your book out of your head
Once we know the overall shape of your book, we’ll book in a series of interviews over Skype or phone. Each call will cover a chapter, which means you’ll know in advance what topics we’ll be covering. That way, you can give them some thought ahead of time.
In the calls, I’ll ask you a structured set of questions to make it easier for you. But I won’t stop you digressing or talking freely – that’s often when the magic comes out. It can be a wonderful experience to let your words flow when you’re talking about your area of expertise. Think of me as a therapist and ghostwriter combined!
I’ll be willing to challenge you, though, so be prepared to back up your opinions (in the interests of your readers, of course).
And if you already have a partially written manuscript, or blog posts, videos, and other material you’d like me to use to ghostwrite your business book, we can go through these as well.
The ghostwriting begins
After each call you’re free to carry on coaching, consulting, speaking, and generally earning a living. I, on the other hand, will be busying myself ghostwriting the first draft of the chapter we’ve just discussed. I’ll send you the chapters as we go along, so you can comment on them and help me make them right for you.
They’ll be written in your voice, using your ideas, opinions, and thoughts. I take great care to make your book as perfect as I can first time, but there will inevitably be areas which you’d like to change. That’s fine.
Your business book takes shape
At the end of the first draft, I incorporate all your feedback into a second draft. At the same time I take a long, hard look at your book as a whole now I can see it as one piece.
This is an involved process, and at the end you’ll receive your second draft. Your book is almost ready.
After you’ve given me feedback on your second draft, I’ll create a third and final draft. This is when I tweak and perfect, so your business book sings to its readers. You want a book they won’t want to put down, after all.
Your third draft is when your business book is finished. You have a ghostwritten book – congratulations!
Your manuscript goes off to your publisher, ready for copy editing and proof reading by them. If you’re self-publishing, I can advise you on this process or even handle it for you.
This is when it’s a good idea for you to be planning and setting up your marketing campaign for the launch. With my 20 years’ marketing and social media experience, I can advise you on this. My most successful business authors are the ones who get on with promoting their book as soon as they know when it’s going to be published. The sooner you start making your name as a business author, the sooner your reputation and authority in your field will skyrocket.
If you’d like to learn more about my ghostwriting services, click here.
And if you’re passionate about writing your business book yourself, but could do with a coach to guide you, click here.