Ghostwriting: What Publishing Options Do Aspiring Authors Have?If you’re feeling compelled to finally get your ideas out to the world—wonderful, the world needs more great books!—there are a wealth of options available to you, each with its own pros and cons.
OPTION 1: GHOSTWRITING AND TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING
As an aspiring author, have you considered taking the traditional publishing route?
This involves finding a reputable literary agent and an acquisitions editor at an upstanding publishing house, and then working with them to pair you with a ghostwriter. These days though, more than ever, agents and publishers are increasingly looking for powerful platforms to sell books, rather than looking for great ideas.
This means that you must have an enormous following of raving fans to get past the gatekeepers of traditional publishing (agent, editor, pub board). And the Catch 22 of it is, IF you have an incredible following, you don’t necessarily require a traditional publisher (why give up nearly 80 percent of your royalties when you’re just a few team members away from keeping 100 percent?).
I believe that the author’s ideas are much more essential than the number of email subscribers, YouTube views, or Instagram followers.
Suffice it to say, getting a traditional publishing deal and then working with a ghostwriter on your book is the most difficult way of getting your book out into the world (aside from writing it yourself, which is even more difficult). That doesn’t mean you can’t do it. It’s just that the numbers are severely stacked against you (I personally spent seven years breaking into traditional non-fiction, and 10 years breaking into traditional fiction).
OPTION 2: A TEAM OF CONTRACTORS
As an aspiring author, have you considered outsourcing the work to a team of independent contractors that you find and hire individually?
You can go on freelancing platforms, connect with independent professionals, and hire them one-at-a-time to do the following tasks:
- Write your book
- Edit, fact-check, and proofread
- Design your cover and write the sales copy
- Get your book onto online bookstores (and perhaps get your paperbacks into good ol’ fashion brick and mortar bookstores too)
- Market and publicize
- Build your author website and platform
- Run online advertising for your book
To be clear though, you won’t find one contractor to do all of the above jobs (if you find a person who claims to be a one-stop-shop writer/fact-checker/editor/proofreader/designer/distributor/marketeer/website-builder, you might want to think twice before signing a contract!).
This means that you’ll have to spend a lot of time and money vetting your independent professionals, developing relationships with good ones, and being your own best project manager.
OPTION 3: A GHOSTWRITING AGENCY
As an aspiring author, have you considered working with a ghostwriting agency?
Ghostwriting agencies tend to have all of the writing professionals, publishing experts, and marketing gurus that you’ll need under one roof. Essentially, they’ve done the time-intensive work that you’d have to do if you went the route described above.
So, yes, without a doubt, you can hire a ghostwriting agency to develop your ideas into a book. I can say this with conviction because I’ve done it—along with my team—hundreds of times. Here are some examples that I’m extremely proud of having my ghostwriting agency associated with.
Expect Greatness: Living a Life of Excellence
Pastor, family man, veteran, and business consultant John Hawkins always thought to himself: Why would anybody ever want to read my stuff? This is a man who has been to sixty-five countries. He’s coached professional athletes. Held leadership positions in churches. Worked with wind machines in the desert. Was a firefighter. Served in the navy and witnessed combat. And even he questioned the worth of writing a book.
But one day he got over his self-doubt and fear of publishing and came to us with ideas for a book that he’d always wanted to write. He knew he wanted it to be about making a lasting impact on others, about helping people expect greatness, about leaving a legacy that truly matters—he just needed help getting his words onto the page.
He had dozens of inspiring anecdotes and insights that he wanted to tell—everything from his ideas concerning the marathon mindset to why perfection isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be—but, again, he wasn’t quite sure about how to sprinkle them throughout the book he was envisioning.
Furthermore, John was unenthusiastic about having to learn all of the intricacies of marketing and self-promotion. Instead, he wanted to be able to count on a marketing team that knew exactly how to place his book in front of not only potential readers but also potential coaching clients.
So we worked with John on, well, all of the above. And his book is now out there, inspiring people to live a life of excellence. Moreover, his book earned him around $75,000 in the book’s first 30 days and has led to so many new clients that he’s easily recouped his marketing spend.
In 2017, Mike Todd launched his eight-part “Relationship Goals” video series, which consist of over 7 hours of sermons. To date, they’ve been viewed over 11 million times. This year, Pastor Mike approached us to help turn his teachings into a book. It was certainly a challenge to ensure that his dynamic communication style and high energy were felt on every page of his book. But, working together, we did it, and his book will come out in 2019.
Relationship Goals will cover everything in his sermon series—such as approaching relationships from a Christian perspective and about not being afraid of addressing uncomfortable subjects—and more.
StoryMythos: A Movie Guide to Better Business Stories
For years, Procter & Gamble Corporate Storyteller Shane Meeker gave keynote speeches and conducted workshops related to why story is the most effective communication tool and how your own personal stories can become your “superpower.” All that time, he unquestionably had a book in him. But publishing it himself wasn’t as high a priority for him as working at Procter & Gamble and continuing to deliver his storytelling workshops and presentations. So he partnered with us. The result? His book is now just as much a part of his career as his love and understanding of the world of story.
More than a Mentor
Pastor Randy Borders wanted to write a book about an often-overlooked concept—spiritual parenting. He also wanted a book that would augment his status as a subject matter expert on spiritual fatherhood. I’ll be honest, it was tricky at times for my team to make sure that his message was communicated practically, so that it didn’t just remain a theory. Thankfully though, since his book has come out, his message has definitely been well received. In 2018 alone, Pastor Borders has made over $50,000 in book sales and speaking opportunities connected with this book.
SCHEDULE A CALL WITH US
Already imagining your name as one of our success stories? Schedule a strategy session with our Head of Publishing below and take the first step in making your book a reality. We’re a full service hybrid ghostwriting and publishing company that handles your book from start to finish. Our goal is to make sure you don’t have to worry about your busy life getting in the way of making it everything you want it to be.