Although most people will think of ghostwriters as a resource for celebrity authors and politicians, in truth ghostwriting is a vast industry that relates not only to nonfiction books (and sometimes novels), but also to articles, blogs and even correspondence. The best ghostwriters will be superb technicians in the craft of structuring and writing books; they must also be empathetic and discerning listeners who can capture the essence of an author’s philosophy and approach to his or her subject, and perfectly recreate the voice of the author.

Any ghostwriting project with Chris begins with three full days of face-to-face conversation. While today’s technologies offer a variety of long-distance collaboration tools, the launch of a ghostwriting project is best accomplished face-to-face. The purpose is first to enable the author to fully share his or her knowledge, experience and methodologies.

The next step is for the author and Chris to capture the overall theme of the book and the different components of that theme. As more and more information is brought to light, the book begins to take shape, first in sections, then in individual chapters. At the end of the three days, a complete table of contents will be constructed, with bullet points identifying the information in each chapter.

developmental editing process

These three days also allow Chris to understand the personality and style of the author — the human being behind the information. Ghostwriting is an editorial impersonation, and is most effective when the ghostwriter can fully relate to the background, motivation, priorities and personal characteristics of the author. Chris has had the privilege of spending three days of collaboration, conversation, writing and visiting with authors in places as diverse as Denver, Colorado; Salt Lake City, Utah; La Jolla, California; Paris, France; Oxford, England; and Barcelona, Spain. In such settings, location can be as important as professional background in conveying the spirit of the author.

Once the three days are finished, and a table of contents has been constructed, Chris returns to his office and begins to create the first drafts of the chapters based on the PowerPoints, papers, reports and any other information collected during the three days, or sent by the author.

As the book progresses, the original table of contents may evolve with new or different chapters. Additional research may be required. Charts and graphs may be created. The bulk of the work, however, is conveying — in the author’s voice but with the skill of the ghostwriter — the knowledge and ideas at the heart of a compelling, innovative and informative book.

For more information on costs, availability, and time frame, contact Chris today.

Chris Murray Editor