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Monday, October 11, 2010

Pros with Platforms: The Most Lucrative Clients for Ghostwriters

For the next few posts, I'll be talking more about ghostwriting--after all, my new book, Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Bucks: The Writer’s Guide to Making Money Ghostwriting and Coauthoring Books, is now in print (with an e-book version coming by week's end).

Of course you can't be a successful ghostwriter without clients. And while ghosting clients range from everyday people to book publishers to packagers, most of my ghostwriting and coauthoring work comes from a type of client I call "Pro with a Platform", or "PP".

Who is a PP? She's a businessperson who doesn’t just want to write a book; she wants to add “book author” to her CV, or curriculum vitae. Maybe she’s establishing herself in a particular profession and knows a book will build her credibility. Maybe she’s a motivational speaker who wants to a book to boost “back-of-the-room” sales. (In addition to speaking fees, speakers make money by selling books, DVDs, and other products to attendees.) Maybe she’s a plastic surgeon or an investment advisor or a personal trainer who knows a book will help her attract more clients.

Whatever the motivation, the PP wants to write a book but lacks the ability, time, or patience (or all three) to do so.

PPs are my favorite kind of clients. They tend to be smart (at least about their particular subject area), and often respect the time, brainpower, creativity, and experience it takes to ghostwrite or collaborate on a book. PPs usually look for ghostwriters who already have some knowledge of their subject area whether they're hiring someone to write a book, an article, a speech, or even blog posts.

So how do you reach PPs? Play up your background and experience, especially if you specialize. When you write magazine articles and get a bio note (the brief line at the end of an article about its writer), identify yourself as a ghostwriter. Let the expert sources you interview for magazine articles know that you ghostwrite and collaborate on books. You never know who may know a PP who's looking for a ghostwriter or coauthor.

Want to know more about branching into the lucrative field of ghostwriting? I'll be offering my six-week ghostwriting e-class again starting November 1, 2010; let me know if you have any questions about it.