All About Ghostwriting

What is Ghostwriting?

Simply put, a ghostwriter takes your story and does the writing part for you, in your name, either in partnership with you or completely anonymously.

As the author, I work with you to help you get your blog or book out into the world by creating a structure, helping decide which parts of your story to emphasize and which to leave alone, listening for themes and subtexts in your narrative, and putting all of that into words that will connect with, inform, and inspire readers everywhere.

The story, the ideas, the experiences: they are not mine to invent. Everything about your story originates with and belongs to you. I’m just the person who puts them into marks on the page and pixels on the screen.

What isn’t Ghostwriting?

Ghostwriting isn’t plagiarism. The ideas and facts presented by the author belong to the author. The ghostwriter simply helps the author present them in a way, taking no credit for them. Notable exceptions include helping the author conduct research for non-fiction works and fact-checking the author’s claims with other experts and resources to ensure credibility and accuracy.

Ghostwriting isn’t fraud or misrepresentation. The story originates with the author, and the ghostwriter helps to deliver it into the world. In this regard, the ghostwriter services a variety of functions: interviewer, story developer, transcriptionist, amanuensis, editor, and proofreader. None of those functions generate the idea: they help to express the idea into the world in a way that connects with others.

Types of Ghostwriting

My ghostwriting services take place in blog and book formats (see “My Services” for more details). In terms of the types of stories I ghostwrite, here are a few:

Biography and Memoir: Had an interesting life? Want to share lessons you’ve learned from your time on the planet, but can’t quite get around to writing all of it down? Hire a ghostwriter to go through the primary documents of your life, sit with you for a recorded interview to help you recap the important events, and express, in your voice, the full accounting of what you have experienced and learned.

Business and Entrepreneurship: Tell the story of your company, from its humble beginnings to its present-day heights. How did you get there? What steps did you take? How can I do the same with my business? A ghostwriter helps you to share your secrets to success with the world (and, not to mention, create a new stream of income for yourself and your enterprise via book sales, speaking engagements, and other public appearances made possible by being an author).

Fiction Ghostwriting:  Recently made very popular by such notables as James Patterson, fiction ghostwriting allows you to take characters in an existing universe and develop a story for them in collaboration with the author. Though not strictly “ghostwriting” in the sense that your name often appears alongside the author’s, there are some projects in which the ghostwriter serves as a story editor, consultant, or even a primary writer with no credit given. Genres tend to be in mysteries, sci-fi/fantasy, erotica, and romance, but they are by no means the only ways to ghostwrite fiction.

Self-Help/Spirituality/Life Advice: If you’re a life coach, inspirational speaker, consultant, or generally cool spirit having a human experience, a book of your lessons and philosophy is an absolute must!  Let a ghostwriter handle the writing part for you, taking your authentic voice and turning them into marks on the page.

Paranormal/Supernatural “Ghost”writing: Ever see a flying saucer? Ever had nighttime dreams that came true by the light of day? Are you a professional who’s had or is having something highly strange happen to them, but they are otherwise afraid to tell others about what they’ve been experiencing, I can help with that. Using a set of inquiry tools developed by authors Whitley Strieber and Dr. Jeffrey Kripal in their outstanding book, “The Super Natural“, I can provide a proper context for any incidents of high strangeness without coming to conclusions too quickly.

How It Works

Each project is as unique as a human face…but they also share a few common qualities, (also like human face).

In a nutshell, here’s how my very basic ghostwriting process works:

  • The Meeting: We meet and chat about the story you want to tell. If we feel we’re a good match, we co-create a written contract.
  • The Idea Brainstorming Session: After you sign the contract and make the initial deposit, we meet again to create an outline for your story, basically like your Table of Contents, but covering all of the ideas, themes, lessons, and incidents that you want me to focus on. We’ll also discuss how you want to publish, with the two main options being self-publishing or submission to an established international publishing house.  This is one of the most fun parts of the process!
  • Interviews and Documents: Once we have the outline, we sit down for recorded interviews. Depending on the scope of the book, this can be a single sitting or multiple meetings as needed. From these conversations, we can also include primary documents, notes, or other items that you’d like me to include in the book. I will transcribe the interviews as the basis for my source material.
  • The Sample Chapter: Following our interviews, I will write the first chapter and send that to you to review. This will help me see if I’ve captured the tone, language, and voice in a way that works with how you envisioned. Based on your feedback, I will then revise the chapter and send it to you for approval. Once approved, I will get to work writing the rest of the manuscript.
  • The First Draft:  During this time, you may hear from me every few days with questions and additional notes, but for the most part, I’ll be off doing my own thing until I come up with the completed draft. Depending on the agreed-upon scope of the project, this can take anywhere between a few weeks to a few months, but in the end, I’ll have a rough, non-edited draft for you to review.
  • Revision and the Second Draft: Following your review and mark-ups, I’ll re-write the manuscript and make the changes.  For non-fiction works, this is also the stage at which fact-checking and verification with third party experts and authorities takes place. This part of the process can actually take longer than the first draft, but is essential to ensuring that the book sounds and feels right. Upon completion, I’ll send it to you for the second and final mark-up.
  • Proofreading and Formatting: Upon your second review, I make the remaining changes and then begin the proofreading process. To ensure fresh eyes, I rely on a professional editor I partner with to do a line-by-line, page-by-page edit to check for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and other errors. Following this, we then format the document to be presentable for either a self-publishing service or ready for submission to a literary agent and/or publisher, depending on your publication preference.
  • Completion and Delivery: Once the final draft is ready, it will be delivered to you upon receipt of final payment, along with all recordings, documents, and other sources used  in the development of the book, which are your property. I will also draft a query letter for you to use if you desire to find a literary agent, or promotional copy to use with your self-publishing efforts. Congratulations! You’re an author!

For more information on my ghostwriting, you can check out the #i2u tagged blogs in my Blogs and Short Essays section, in which I discuss my process in more detail, as well as visiting My Services for pricing and special package details.

For more specific questions, you can also email me anytime at jaberdeen@rogers.com. I’d love to hear from you!

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