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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Getting Started as a Ghostwriter

So, you've got at least one book under your belt and you think you'd like to start ghostwriting. That’s great, but now you need what every writer who works for money needs—clients.

Clients for ghosting and collaborating range from book publishers, literary agents, book packagers, corporations, associations, subject matter experts, and people who just want to write books. In this post, I'll focus on the most “basic” of ghostwriting client, the people I call "Everyday Joes" (or Janes), or EJs.

EJs run the gamut from dream clients to time-sucking remoras. The typical EJ believes his book will be a bestseller. That’s great! What isn’t is when he expects you to be paid when it becomes a bestseller. Be very afraid when you hear phrases like “Everyone says I should write a book,” “No one would believe the story of my life,” and “I’ve got the makings of a bestseller right here” (pointing at his head).

If you're going to work as a ghostwriter, you should care less about your client's story and more about his budget. EJs must have cash to be viable clients. And most don’t. But some do, and will pay (even pay well) to get their words in print.

So how do you find EJs? Take a broad approach to marketing yourself and let everyone know you're a ghostwriter as well as a freelancer. (You do need to have published at least one book on your own to get into the biz.) Your website or blog, your email signature, your bionote on the articles you write, word of mouth, and social media can all help you find clients. Checking and responding to advertisements on craigslist.org and other sites may also turn into work, and teaching classes or leading workshops on book publishing can also raise your profile and help you find ghostwriting clients.

Want to know more about ghostwriting? On July 28, I will be appearing at the Write Now! Mastermind Class to talk about Ghostwriting. If you’re interested in hearing about how ghostwriting works, what’s in it for you, and how you can earn money as a ghostwriter, please visit http://www.writenowmastermind.com/ and sign up for the call. It will be well worth your time!