My Ghostwriting Process and the Creation of Your Non-Fiction Book



Many of my ghostwriting clients have asked me what they should expect from our first meeting.  I hope the following will explain …

Your book is your individual calling card and will possess a credibility that very few other marketing materials have. It will differentiate you in a crowded market place and be a great way to connect with people that have a particular problem which only you can solve. The idea is that your book will make an impact on people’s lives … and you will get recognition for that.

Many non-fiction authors can make substantial amounts of money from their books indirectly. For example a book can be used to get you:

·      Paid speaking gigs

·      Consulting jobs

·      Coaching clients

·      Leads for your business

A well-constructed non-fiction book:

·      takes information

·      adds contextualization, explanation and application

·      … and turns it into usable wisdom for other people

In order to know if you have a book in you, I will ask you the following positioning questions:

Why are you writing this book?

Who will care about this book?

Why will they care?

Ultimately, I will ask you to consider the following three questions:

1.     What results must the book produce to make it a success for you?

2.     What audience must you reach for the book to achieve these results?

3.     What do you have to say that is interesting and valuable to that audience?

Knowing the specific result you want to achieve enables you to focus only on those efforts which will give you those results, saving you both time and money… and possibly a little angst.

Here are some of the most common results my authors have got from their books:

·      They have generated solid authority and visibility in their field.

·      They have generated more leads for their business or service.

·      They have got more speaking engagements.

·      They have shared important ideas or pieces of wisdom that have helped others.

·      They have launched or advanced a career.

Once we have defined the results you want from your book, we will move onto exploring your audience.

I will ask you, ‘Who has to know about your book for it to get the results you want?’

You must be specific. The answer to this question is wholly dependent on the results you want. The best outcome is when the author’s goals and the reader’s goals align. Without an idea of what result you want and who your target audience is, the content of the book has no anchor.

What you know that your audience will find interesting and take value from determines the content of the book.

I will ask you to consider the following:

1.     Why does your book matter to them?

2.     What is the essential point(s) you are making for your audience to take away from your   book?

3.     What, specifically, will your audience get by reading your book? How does your book help your audience achieve their goals?

4.     What does this mean your book should be about?

5.     What background information does your reader need to have and how do you plan to explain it?

Once you have answered these questions we should have an idea of what will be valuable and interesting to your audience. Then we can begin the fun stuff … the structuring and writing of your book!

Buzz Your Biz with a Book

Many business owners, entrepreneurs, ideas people, creatives, health practitioners and opinion formers publish their own books. Why? Because it’s the first step to demonstrating their business expertise, enhancing their reputations, creating buzz and getting their ideas ‘out there’ and turning these into profit. Many of these same business owners, entrepreneurs, ideas people, creatives, health practitioners and opinion formers turn to a ghostwriter to help them craft their manuscript into a finely tuned book aimed at their niche market.

A book can help to generate substantial revenue in all sorts of ways. Being an author can establish you as an ‘expert’ in your field and can introduce you to all sorts of business opportunities including:

·       New clients

·       Additional work from existing clients

·       Consulting work

·       Coaching or mentoring programmes

·       Public speaking opportunities

·       Invitations to lead paying workshops or seminars

·       Webinar guest opportunities

·       College or university teaching engagements

·       Corporate spokesperson gigs

·       Website sponsors or advertisers

·       Paid blogging invitations

·       Expert witness requests

These same authors use ghosts because:

-        They may not believe they have the skills to write their book themselves.

-        They don’t have the time to write it themselves.

-        They are too close to the subject matter and need to step away, simplify and gain a wider   perspective of their field.

-        If they are independently publishing they need and want a guide to help them understand the publishing process.

-        Their publisher (if they have one) needs to know the project is being managed by a professional writer, making it less risk averse.

-        Their agent (if they have one) needs to see that an author’s project can become a reality.

As the author, you need to leverage your book … talk about it, sell it, give it away … anything to get your message heard and establish yourself as a credible expert. The sales of your book alone will not generate huge amounts of revenue, it’s the opportunities that arise from publishing the book that will. 

Wordshaker would be pleased to ghostwrite your book. We might not have the same knowledge about your business as you, the ‘expert in your field’, but we have the same level of knowledge as the average reader and will know what questions to ask and predict when arguments and explanations have become too complex and need to be simplified and illustrated. Ultimately, we can help turn you, the expert, into a great teacher by being the one who translates the knowledge in the expert’s head into a language that others with none of that knowledge will be able to understand.

If you would like to discuss your writing project with us and turn your ideas into a great book that sings to your market niche, then please click the link below.

Ghostwriting ... An Old Profession

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare



Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas

With the current proliferation in non-fiction it’s easy to imagine that ghostwriting is a  modern practice, but in fact, it’s one of the oldest professions in the world. Shakespeare, Dumas and Homer have all been accused of using ghosts in the past, or at best help from invisible hands. Many scholars have accused Shakespeare of collaborating with Sir Francis Bacon, Sir Walter Raleigh and Edmund Spencer. Most scholars agree that Homer was not a single individual but a tradition or ‘culture’ whose stories emerged from traditional orality and that Auguste Maquet was the true genius behind Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers and the Count of Monte Christo.

Today, it’s standard knowledge that authors such as Tom Clancy, Katie Price and James Patterson rely on ghostwriters, co-authors or ‘collaborators’ for their prodigious literary outputs. The current boom in ghosting can be traced back to the early 1900s when the American demand for children’s books were apparently written by one person – Edward Stratemeyer of Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew fame. Stratemeyer wrote many of his books under a pseudonym and used many different publishers in order not to dilute his brand but appetite for his books was enormous.  To meet demand his only option was to turn to ghostwriters for help. He gave them a strict formula to stick to and over time together they churned out more and more best-selling children’s books. Stratemeyer’s ‘ghostwriting to formula’ business model had cracked the market wide open. R.L. Stine, author of the ‘Goosebumps’ series for children later carried on with this assembly line model, turning to ghosts later in his writing life to produce sequels

Today, the demand for ghostwriters is being led by the desire for celebrity memoirs whose names will guarantee to sell. Most of the books ‘authored’ by celebrities, actors, politicians, captains of industry, musicians and ordinary people with extraordinary lives are ghostwritten. Some of them may be perfectly adequate writers but most of them simply do not have the time in their hectic schedules to put pen to paper. Many publishers claim that at least 7 out of 10 of their books are in fact ghosted.

Recent technological changes in the publishing industry have encouraged ‘ordinary’ people to consider using professional ghostwriters.  Real-life and personal inspiring stories filled with passion, conflict, drama and jeopardy are being easily published with digital and print on demand services. The barriers to publishing are being smashed as you read.

Today, ghosts are used to write anything from simple tweets, speeches and marketing materials to lengthy, well-researched and dense biographies. If you would like to use the services of Wordshaker in your own ghostwriting adventures, then please click on the link below.

How to Improve the Readability of your Text with the Flesch Reading Ease Test

Many of my Wordshaker ghostwriting clients have asked me to take quite complicated documents and boil them down to something more readable and easy to understand. 

There is a test called the Flesch Reading Ease which can be used to determine the readability of any document from marketing materials to academic papers, depending on who your prime audience is. Nobody wants to plough through a memoir that’s written like a PhD thesis, likewise nobody wants to read a medical research paper that’s written like a picture book for a five-year old! So, getting readability just right is a must for all writers – whatever their discipline or genre.

Readability is the ease with which a reader can understand a written text.  In natural language, readability depends on:

·      The content – complexity of vocabulary and syntax.

·      The presentation – typographic issues such as font size, line height and line length.

However, readability is more than simply legibility. Higher readability makes the reading process easier and quicker and is especially important for those who do not have a high reading comprehension. By raising the readability level of a text from mediocre to good you can make the difference between the success and failure of your communication goals.

In the Flesch Reading Ease Test, a higher score indicates material that is easier to read and a lower score indicates material that is more difficult to read. The best text should contain shorter sentences and words. A score between 60 and 70 is acceptable for 'every-day' text and average comprehension.

Reader's Digest magazine has a readability index of about 65, Time magazine about 52, while the Harvard Law Review has a general readability score in the 30s. A simple one-syllable word sentence such as 'the cat sat on the mat' would have a score of about 116. Many government agencies and insurance companies in the UK and the USA use the reading ease test as a standard test of readability and like to have a score of 45 or greater.

The table below shows readability against scorings.

90-100             very easy

80-89               easy

70-79               fairly easy

60-69               standard

50-59               fairly difficult

30-49               difficult

0-29                 very confusing

You can check the readability score of your text or manuscript against the Flesch readability formula by accessing