Book Coaching and Ghostwriting
Do you have a great book idea and are nervous about how to get started? Would you like ongoing guidance as you write? Unlike a traditional developmental edit, which deals with a full manuscript, development work or writing coaching deals with works-in-progress (WIP). A typical arrangement includes contact by email, a monthly coaching call, and direct edits to your WIP.
I offer several types of coaching, below. All of them except for the Temperature Check include outline development. Be aware that your coach is just that: a coach. They will not do the writing for you. Hiring someone to write your book is called ghostwriting.
Development work/writing coaching answers questions the developmental edit and manuscript evaluation/critique are interested in. In fact, if you work with a good coach, your MS may be able to skip a full developmental review altogether. Questions we want to answer are:
- What is your concept?
- Who is your audience?
- What is the overall structure of the book?
- How can you develop your ideas/storyline?
- What are your writing strengths and weaknesses?
- What strategies can you put in place to help you meet your writing goals?
Development work is a flexible arrangement suited for writers who want to keep an editor “in their back pocket” to address questions as they arise. It’s also a great way to build accountability into your writing process and ensure you meet your deadlines, whether self-imposed or external. If you have a book idea and you want collaborative editorial support, this is a great option for you.
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I hired Alexandra to help with copyediting and proofreading a manuscript. I was on a very tight deadline with this project and Alexandra was traveling. Even so, she got the project done on time and with great attention to detail.
Alexandra has an amazing facility with words, is a consummate professional, and will improve the quality of your work. She cares about the success of your project and I would certainly recommend her and hire her again in the future. Thanks, Alexandra!
David Dye, Leadership Keynote Speaker,
Author, The Seven Things Your Team Needs to Hear You Say, and
Co-Author, Winning Well: a Manager’s Guide to Getting Results—Without Losing Your Soul
Alexandra is awesome. My husband recently authored his first book and I was his “chief of staff” on the project. She communicated clearly with us throughout the process and also listened to understand the author’s perspective, allowing him appropriate ownership of the ultimate book content. I highly recommend Alexandra.
Stephen Hinman, Author
Adventures with Durango Pete
You may have the idea, but for whatever reason—lack of time, perceived lack of writing expertise—you prefer someone else to write your manuscript. In a traditional ghostwriting arrangement, the ghostwriter (ghost for short) is un-credited: only the author’s name appears on the byline. If you are looking for a ghost, consider the following:
- How much writing do you want your ghost to provide vis-à-vis your own writing?
- How long is the MS (word count)?
- How much research is involved in your project and who will conduct the research?
- Will your ghost need to work with outside parties, such as an illustrator or publisher?
The term “ghostwriting,” much like “editing,” describes a continuum. For instance, the amount of writing the ghost does varies. The three basic options are:
- The ghost writes the entire MS from scratch. In this scenario, you provide information and direction to the ghost, but the ghost does all the writing. The ghost will probably need to interview you or review other materials, whether written or recorded.
- The ghost writes the MS based on your notes or partially written chapters. You’ve already sketched out your ideas and how they hang together. Or, you’ve started the draft, and want the ghost to finish it.
- The ghost provides a professional rewrite of your draft. You’ve finished a draft, and want a professional revision of your work.
When you contract for ghostwriting, the contract will outline the answers to these details and more, including deadlines and information pertaining to revisions. Be aware that ghostwriting is the most expensive way to write a book. The payoffs can be great, but the arrangement is not for everyone.
Working with a ghost is a personal affair; the parties need to feel they work well together and understand each other. For this reason, make sure you are comfortable working with your ghost.