It begins with a spark…
You have an idea that deserves a book. It could a memoir, a fictional story that would make a good read, maybe even a movie, a real-life injustice that cries for exposure, or simply a way to establish yourself as an authority in your chosen field of endeavor.
You’re not a professional writer or you’re so busy you need help to write this book.
You can hire me to ghostwrite, story edit, consult or assist you on any aspect of your book, novel, story, memoir, celebrity, injustice, film or entertainment property, Blog, White Paper, or brand.
However, my services are primarily geared toward the following:
- Ghostwriting (under your name only, with me writing the book invisibly, as a ghost)
- Memoir Ghostwriting – Share a slice of your life with the world!
- Co-writing (you & Steve Eggleston, or you | with Steve Eggleston, with me or a nom de plume, i.e., alias, depending on the subject matter)
- Story Editor (me helping you sort out your story, write certain chapters, move the plot forward, or whatever needs to be done to get you to the next level)
- Book Consultant (me advising you on how to organize, structure, and present your book or novel to secure an agent)
- Book Publisher or Movie Pitch (me helping you do either or both, similar to the process we followed for “The Food Mafia”)
- White Papers (me writing your White Papers for you as a ghost, co-writer with a member of your team, or credited writer)
- Freelance Content of Any Kind (me writing whatever you need written, from web content to marketing personas or copy to publishable articles)
- General Consultation (me advising you on any subject of my wide expertise where you think I would provide added value)
What is a “Ghostwriter for Hire”?
“Ghostwriter for hire” is the opening phrase from Andrew Crofts’ book, “Confessions of a Ghostwriter.” Andrew explains that he placed these words into an ad in The Bookseller, a publishing trade magazine, decades ago to start his ghostwriting career. He has since become the most prolific ghostwriter in history. Hugely, quotes from Crofts anecdotal book begin each chapter of thriller writer Robert Harris’ “The Ghost,” which also became a facinating motion picture.
Because of Andrew, I did not have to write a business plan for SteveEgglestonWrites.com. “Confessions of a Ghostwriter” is the plan, all spelled out with witty examples and hard-driving, no-nonsense advise. So what is a ghostwriter? A ghostwriter is an unaccredited writer, the guy or gal who writes the book on which another person – from the famous to the obscure – puts his or her name. President Donald Trump’s book, “The Art of the Deal, by Donald Trump,” comes to mind as an example. He – Trump – didn’t write any of it, though it became a bestseller because of his celebrity and the quality of the written word contained therein
Sooo…that’s one of the things I do: ghostwrite books, novels, fiction stories, true stories, inspired-by true stories, memoirs, non-fiction, biographies, articles, you name it, for other people, where their name not mine gets credited. But let me add a thought to this notion of ghostwriting. It’s no longer as vogue as it once was. Today, readers understand that busy people, famous people, celebs, and people in general aren’t writers, and even if they might take a go at it, don’t have the time to give their story the justice it deserves. These people all call upon me, sometimes with an NDA to accompany it. An NDA is an acronym for Non-disclosure Agreement.
That said, many people who find me because they are looking for a ghost, change their minds and make me proudly a co-writer. And that’s because I work well with my collaborative clients, it’s vogue to have one, and readers appreciate the transparency. I’m even hired to be the ghost to other ghostwriters who have so many projects they need help behind the scenes. A ghost of a ghost, imagine that. Boo! Then they take my words and conform them to theirs or their client’s. It’s a racket, I tell ya, but a good one.
Understanding the Ghostwriting Process
by Steve Eggleston
Working Title and Outline
The first task is to create a good, working outline. Depending on the book, the outline can be general or details. Some are best organized by larger parts, while others need a detailed, chapter-by-chapter dissertation. Give your ghostwriter what you have and wait for him to produce and outline. Rework it a bit but don’t get bogged down.
Introduction and First Chapter
The ghost will then write a draft of the First Chapter and sometimes a Preface or Introduction. Emphasis is on the word “draft.” The purpose of this early draft is to get started, find a narrative style that works (tense, pov, etc.), and start to create momentum. It is possible it will be deleted entirely or radically rewritten by the end.
A Note on Drafts
Drafts might start out reading like a regular book but that won’t last for long. Drafts are part of the creative process, the dynamic portion that’s often radically changed and revised (now and later). So don’t get hung up on them. They will look much different when the process is complete.
Grammar and Typos
Drafts will have both. Don’t worry about that other than to correct the easy ones as you go, but without overdoing it. Many of the paragraphs, sentences, and words will de discarded or edited out along the way. Badly conceived, redundant, too early to reveal, unnecessary or unwanted for a myriad of reasons. At the end, the job of the copyeditor (not the ghost) is to catch and fix these.
Names, Spelling, Factual Errors or Omissions
These are the ones to catch. Don’t expect your ghost to remember or dwell on these. His job is to find the narrative of the story, the rhythm and the beat of the prose, the flow of the book – per your wishes, of course. Often he doesn’t know names, spellings, times, and places, because he was not there. And because he’s not a computer, don’t expect him to remember them all or burn time chasing them down. It’s much more efficient for you to just correct it as you go.
The Author’s Voice
Another important part of early Chapters is finding the voice of the author. Unless the author wants the ghost to use his own voice, which is rarely the case, this is a good time for the author to start working in his own personality, quirks, and idioms. We all have a certain way of saying things, so this aspect is imbuing the book with enough of you that readers who know you will instantly say: “That is so (Mike)!”
Here it’s rinse and repeat, except now your ghost will also work on segueing from chapter to chapter smoothly, asking questions that seem to be unanswered, and molding the overall glow of the book. Quite quickly the arc of the book should also start to show, though this abstract feat often is adjusted throughout. Also, as you go, continue to add your unique voice and the voice of the times, especially as expressed in dialogue.
Full Draft of Book
Again, remember you are working with a draft, not a final, polished product. This is the time to deconstruct the book, add and delete, note places that need improvement. While this is also done along the way, many times omissions in the early part of a book are filled later. But if the omission survives to the end, now is the time to address it. Redundancies must be reconciled and flare must added where parts fall flat or become tedious.
The polish is the ghost’s final submission manuscript. It is no longer a draft. From here, you go to your Beta readers for input and adjustment, and after those insights are received and incorporated, it’s time to go to your copyeditor. When the copyedited book comes back, it usually is time to submit to an agent or get ready for self-publishing.