I had a great time swapping thoughts with the insightful Ron Gaver, from SAAS Business Podcast. After talking through my journey from lawyer to ghostwriter with Ron, our conversation flowered into a more general discussion of the ghostwriting business and how to succeed as a writer.
Always one with the tough questions, Ron asked what made me qualified to be a ghostwriter. My background is a little unique in the writing field; I have a degree in law, but I have found that the skills I learned in law school dovetail neatly into ghostwriting. I was trained to bring light to relevant details and focus on a single storyline that connected the salient information to the result I advocated–just like I do with books.
Ron also asked dove into the difference between book coaching and ghost writing. As a book coach, I help authors set goals for their books, outline the chapters, power through the writing deadlines, and review the finished product. As a ghostwriter, I spend some time talking with my authors, soaking up their experiences, ideas, and voice and then pen to paper and actually write the book.
Of course the discussion turned to publishing, the $10 million dollar question. Here’s a little primer on self-publishing, traditional publishing, and the ambiguous “hybrid” publishing.
—Self-publishing is great for writers who want to use their book to network or create an image of expertise. The stigma against self-publishing is fading. It’s not the redheaded stepchild in the corner anymore. If done well, a self-published book is indistinguishable from a book that rolled right off the Penguin press.
—Traditional publishing is ideal for writers who want to be on the NY Times bestseller list. Traditional publishers still dominate access to the big, brick-and-mortar distributors. They also have more marketing power.
—Hybrid publishing is good for writers who want (and can subsidize) the best of both worlds. For the right price, a writer can get “traditional” treatment through a hybrid publisher, hit the best seller list, and keep much of the margin while selling the book.