How does this work then? Simply, there are no rules. If you have a story that needs writing, by definition, you and it are individual. Every book has a different set of circumstances. I draw fresh, specific contracts for each new project.
A few principles are consistent. Namely, it’s hard work! Expect your work to come in around the 100,000-word mark. That’s the first point. Secondly, once I have met and am comfortable “acquiring your voice” please budget for four months, six sessions a week worth of intensity via Skype or phone!
Still reading?! Only very rarely will I start writing anything during the first six weeks or so whilst I learn your nuances, character, thought-process… and then at the end, you can go on holiday and I’m still left with about a minimum of three months’ work rewriting, proofing, running the legal checks etc…
I NEVER reread or add your changes until I have completed the first full draft of the manuscript. Trust me, the more you reread during the process of writing, the less clarity and less objectivity you have at the end when it matters.
That is how it works.
The first thing I normally ask subjects is whether they can write twelve chapter headings for their stories. I do not mean fancy, literary-pleasing bits of wordplay. I want very simple headings. As an example, when I ghosted Bodyguard for Craig Summers, this was all I had to go on…
1 Bombed in Iraq
2 Bringing the dead body home
3 Burning the dead baby at the tsunami
4 Buying children from Eastern Europe for Panorama
5 Arrested, on the piss at Germany 2006
6 On patrol with the Mexican cops on the most dangerous border in the world
7 Inside bin Laden’s cave
8 Gary Lineker’s bodyguard
9 Smuggling sex workers from the Czech Republic
10 Buying guns off the street abroad and evading customs at Dover
11 Snorting coke in the name of character
12 The health and safety decade
That became 127,000 words in 86 days.
Since every project is unique, and with that come varying expectations in terms of sales and requirements of different publishing houses, I will not disclose fees here as I do in other sections of my site. For ghostwriting per se, rather than ghostmentoring, I keep these discussions private.
If you’re still reading, you know you have a book in you, and you’re ready to go.
Email me, while the thought is in your head.