Thomas Jefferson could as well have described how to break into ghostwriting when he wrote: “I firmly believe in luck, and the harder I work, the more I gain from it.”
In summer 2014 I quit my job to become self-employed as a writer and editor. Knowing that much of my income would be likely Not I’m from my booksI focused on looking for editing work.
In less than a year, I focused on ghostwriting, a professional street that I thought would be closed to me forever because I just had no connections. I didn’t know any celebrities, political figures or rich business types, but I had three key elements: Experience, patience and luck.
This is not just my story. An informal survey of online connections that also wrote ghostwrite books shared threads of experience, patience, and luck through each story as it was first paid to help other people tell their stories.
Why should you consider ghostwriting jobs?
Before I go into the practical aspects of ghostwriters, let’s consider why you should add “ghostwriters” to your writing services:
- You will be paid in advance. No more waiting for license fees like you would for writing your own books!
- It is lucrative. You can earn a lot more with the right customers than with other typing services that you offer.
- No need for marketing. Since your name isn’t in the book, you don’t have to do any marketing to sell the book. So you can continue with the next project as soon as possible. Authors who don’t like marketing often see this as even more advantageous than how much they earn from ghostwriting projects. (Unfortunately, you still have to market yourself to attract customers, but that’s content for another post.)
- You can keep emotional distance. Since the book is not your own child, you can clearly see its strengths and weaknesses and offer the customer a helpful perspective.
- The topic is fascinating. When you choose the right customers, you learn from writing: about the lives of other people, their professions and industries that you might not otherwise encounter.
- It will help you write better. Ghostwriting consistently challenges your writing skills. If you’ve ever struggled to meet your daily word count goals, try writing a book for a customer who has already paid you!
Given these considerations, it’s no wonder writers want to know how to get started with ghostwriting, but the process is not easy or quick. Becoming a ghostwriter means patience, determination, experience, trust, marketing and luck in equal parts.
It’s the last part that most aspiring ghostwriters don’t want to hear, but it’s true – and we’ll soon see why happiness is a necessary ingredient.
How to become a ghostwriter
How do you start in this lucrative profession?
Here are some tips on how to become a ghostwriter.
1. Gain experience
Diary. Blog. Guest entry. Write for publications like The Write Life. Send letters to the publisher. Make insightful comments on websites. Publish a book yourself (edited correctly, of course). Create a family email newsletter. However you can write, write and write more.
And don’t forget to read. “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or tools) to write,” Stephen King wrote. “As simple as that.”
Read top-class, low-class classics and today’s popular books. Switch between fiction and non-fiction – non-fiction authors Got to know how to tell a compelling story. Read the best books on writing and storytelling like King’s While writing and McKees history.
Put yours 10,000 hours Read and write. Earn the right to write for others.
2. Be patient
Ten thousand hours is 1.14 years, but that means you have to do one thing every hour of the day. Let’s say you read one hour a day five days a week and write two hours a day. This is a generous assumption for most writers with full-time non-writing responsibilities. At this rate, it will take you 12.8 years to become an experienced writer.
My story testifies to this Gladwellian opinion. At the age of 18 I started to take my writing seriously as a freshman. Every post-college job involved reading or writing, but I also had serious doubts about my skills and made the blinking cursor blink long distances at a time. Sixteen years later I was offered my first ghostwriting appearance.
I do not consider myself an expert. Hemingway, who could be said to be an expert, said it well: “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever masters.”
Patience does not mean that you take your time until the right person contacts you. Patience means practicing until you are ready to be contacted by the right person.
3. Prove yourself … and then you’re in luck
Of the six online ghostwriters who answered my question about getting started with ghostwriting, everyone stated that they had worked on smaller writing projects before they were “lucky” and broke into ghostwriting:
- Mike Loomis began developing multimedia curricula, book and product marketing before realizing that he could help writers by offering ghostwriting services.
- Pat Springle wrote for two organizations that loved what he produced and helped others complete their manuscripts before starting a successful 20-year career as a ghostwriter.
- Alice Sullivan wrote a web and magazine copy for Country Music Television (CMT) during an internship before being asked by a major publisher to write two books as a ghostwriter.
In my case, I proofread bills and laws for the Texas Senate, managed communications for a large church, wrote a copy for a law firm, edited a content marketing website, and became a freelance editor before making a random transfer broke into ghostwriting. At the time, I thought I was lucky to have had the opportunity to write for someone else and be paid for it.
This job has led to two more direct recommendations, which makes me even happier to have taken this first step into the world of ghostwriting.
But before I got lucky, I gained experience and exercised patience. Happiness would never have been achieved without them.
This is an updated version of a story that was previously published. We update our posts as often as possible to ensure that they are useful to our readers.
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