Article Directories and Ghostwriting – Strategies to Save You Time

With everyone so busy these days, we are all looking for strategies to help us get more done in less time. There are a few ways to do this; two of the most popular are article directories and ghostwriters.

Using Article Directories

This is a great way to add great content to your site. You can visit the vast number of directories out there in cyberspace and pick and choose for the articles that work best for your niche. I’ve found articles I’ve written for directories that have been picked up and posted on a number of sites, so I know it’s a good strategy to keep in mind. The author is happy to see writers utilizing their work, and the blogger has fresh content for his/her site. That’s what you call a win-win situation.

There are hundreds, if not more, of article directories. A few of the popular ones are: EzineArticles.com; AssociatedContent.com; Suite101.com; Helium.com; Examiner.com; iSnare.com; and ArticleCity.com. They all have a search feature that will make it easy to find the type of articles you are looking for.

Please keep in mind though, you must keep the article intact – this means keeping any and all bylines and links. Otherwise folks, it’s called plagiarism.

Ghostwriting

Ghostwriting isn’t about scary stories and ghosts, it’s about providing you with great content, articles and more… with you getting all the credit. This is the perfect strategy when you want that personal touch and when you want an article or story to reflect you. It is collaboration between the ghostwriter and the author. Providing the ghostwriter with facts, impressions, or ideas will help him/her create an article that will seem as if it’s coming from you.

While it’s fine to add articles from article directories, it’s important to create your own platform also. The only way to become known as an expert in your niche is to let others know that you know what you’re talking about. This means providing information with your own personal style. Since the internet is full of information, and it’s difficult to come up with anything new, it’s important to create your own slant or style on old topics.

You can also work with a ghostwriter to create e-books to sell, or offer as freebies on your site. This is a great way to entice readers to subscribe to your site and increase your mailing list.

And, don’t forget about your email campaigns and newsletter; ghostwriters can help you keep your mailings updated with fresh and informative information.

How To Write And Publish A Book, 7 Sure Fire Winning Strategies

Wanting to write and publish a book and actually doing it are two very different things. Most people want to write and publish a book. Few actually do. Here are 7 sure fire strategies to help you get into the elite group of published authors.

1. Make time to write. I know this sounds like an obvious statement. Of course you need to make time to write – how else are you going to get a book written? Actually, this is likely the number one hurdle to getting a book written. Not that there is not time in the day to write but most people do not make the time. If you want to write and publish a book, make time to write it. It does not have to be three hours a day. Ten minutes will suffice. Surely you have an extra ten minutes a day. Here are three keys to making time to write: Write about something that you are interested in. Write during your most productive time of day, i.e. if you are a morning person then make time to write in the morning. Lastly, plan your book so sitting down to write is as easy as opening your notebook or computer, glancing at your outline for direction and writing.

2. Find someone else to write it for you. Of course there are other ways to get a book written. You can hire a ghostwriter. You can ask ten colleagues to each write a chapter. You can compile all of the articles, reports, etc…you have already written on the subject. You can buy a book the rights to a book that is already written. You can also find yourself a public domain book and spruce it up to sell.

3. Find a niche, make it worth the work. Finding a niche serves two purposes. It ensures that your book is specialized and easier to market. Which means you will sell more books. However, finding a niche also makes it easier to write a focused book. Imagine if you had to write a book on bicycles. Where would you start? There are so many things to cover, how they are made, their history, cycling sports, how to ride a bike. Your book would be 1000 pages long – and it would take a long time to write! However, if you find a niche then your book can have focus. Now your book on cycling can take shape and engage your reader. What about a book on How to Become an XGames FreeStyle BMX Champion or 101 Cycling Trips You Must Take Before You Die?

4. Beginning to write. In the very first tip, I talked about making time to write. Now, as you sit down to write your book, take a look at your surroundings. Have you created a writing space? Creating a writing space that works for you is important to both feeling like a writer and actually being productive. A writing space does not have to be a roll top desk with a fountain pen and clean white paper. I know an author that wrote his book in his car at night parked outside of a cemetery. Not because he was writing a horror story but because it was the quietest place he could find to write and that was what he needed to write his book – absolute quite. What do you need? Music? A warm cup of coffee or tea? Your dog at your feet? Create your writing space and then get down to the business of writing.

5.Name your book. Naming your book makes it real. It does not have to be the name you finally use to sell it. Make it a name that gets you excited. If you are using a computer to write your book, save your document as your book’s name. Place the name in the header at the top of each page along with your name as the author. Make it real.

6. Get feedback. Once your book is written the next biggest hurdle seems to be taking the plunge and putting it out in front of readers. I know many people who have written a book, taken the time and effort to get all of their ideas and thoughts on paper, only to pack it away in the back of a closet never to be seen again. Why? I think it was because they were afraid it was not any good. You know what? You cannot tell if a book is any good if you do not let others read it. Besides, who says it has to be perfect?

7. Get your book into the hands of half a dozen friends, family, and associates. Ask them for honest feedback. Trust me, you have to tell them you want their feedback or all you will get back is praise. You do not want praise; you want to know where the book needs improving. A good strategy is to ask specific questions. “Does chapter three explain the process clearly?” “Is the book fun to read or did you find parts boring? What parts were boring?” This type of information will help you polish your book and get ready for publication.

Self Publish.

Why do we recommend self publishing as a winning strategy? Many reasons actually. Self publishing will give you immediate satisfaction to see your book in print. Self publishing will give you control over your entire book. Self publishing will make sure you do not stick your book in a back closet because you do not want to deal with rejection from publishers who do not really know what they are talking about. Self publishing will make you more money.

Still not sure about self publishing? Consider this: Chicken Soup for the Soul was self published. The Secret was self published. What Color is Your Parachute, Feed Me I am Yours, Eragon, Richard Nixon self published, Dianetics was self published. The list goes on and on as does the list of famous authors who self published. You worked too hard on your book to pack it away. Take this last step and publish it. You will be glad you did.

All About Ghostwriters and Ghostwriting

What is a ghostwriter?

It happens almost every week. I’ll be at a social function, at church, or at a business networking meeting, and when I tell someone what I do, I usually get a confused look. So I have to explain, which doesn’t take long, but I do so because in my town ghostwriters don’t exactly grow on trees.

So what is a ghostwriter? Simply put, a ghostwriter writes a book, article, song, play, screenplay, or whatever, for someone else and doesn’t get any named credit. And they do this for pay. Let me repeat that last point: they do this for pay. More on that later.

Who uses a ghostwriter?

Anyone, from Joe average citizen to the President of the US can hire a ghostwriter. And in fact, some US Presidents have. Celebrities, people in the news, busy professionals, politicians, all of them have used ghostwriters. A statistic I like to throw out there is that at least half of all non-fiction books on the New York Times Bestseller list are ghostwritten. And anytime you read a cookbook written by someone slightly famous, you can bet that they didn’t write that cookbook by themselves. In many cases, they didn’t have anything to do with the cookbook other than lend their name to the title.

And plenty of fiction is ghostwritten as well. Novelist James Patterson regularly employs teams of writers to write his books, as does Clive Cussler, among others. Tom Clancy kept churning out novels after he died, as did V.C Andrews. The named authors may outline the plot (as I believe is the case with Patterson) and supervise the writing, but the grunt work is done by ghostwriters.

Again, you don’t have to be a celeb or the President to hire a ghostwriter; you just need to have two things: something to write about, and a budget.

Let’s talk about the ‘something to write about’ first.

If you’re an average person (like most of us are), you have two main things you can write about: your life and your work. Your life is obviously something you’re expert in because you lived it. And the longer you’ve lived and the more interesting a life you’ve lived, the more you have to write about and the more interesting your book will be. You don’t need to be nearing the end of your life to write about it, but that is often when people start writing their life story. And your life story doesn’t have to be written for the world to read. Instead, you can write it for your kids, grandkids, relatives, friends, etc.

Your work is also a great topic. This can include your profession, a business you own, or the trade or craft you pursue. Any of these can be worthy subjects of a book. Let’s say you’re in sales and you feel that you’ve had some great success in selling and it’s time to give back to the world, tell them how you did it. Great. There is always room for one more book on sales, because everybody sells a little differently. Or maybe you’ve built up a successful small company-or large company-and you want to tell people what you did and how you did it. Also a great topic. Or maybe you’re a surgeon or psychologist and you want to tell tales from your profession, which could also be very interesting. Or maybe you run a business and you want to both tell your story and promote what you do. Again, a book about you and your business is a great idea. There are a million stories out there and they all are waiting to be told.

And remember how I said a lot of popular fiction is ghostwritten? Even if you’re an aspiring fiction writer, you can hire a ghostwriter for help. You’ve got some great ideas (well, at least you and your family think they’re great) but writing them all out is tricky. Your friendly neighborhood ghostwriter can help you with that too.

Now let’s talk budget.

So, for celebrities and stars and politicians, the cost to hire a ghostwriter is usually greater because they’re hiring the very best and the writer and publisher know that the celeb can afford it. The fees to write a book for a celebrity usually start in the six figures and can go up. I don’t think they go as high as seven figures ($1 million for those of you who are a little slow), but they are pricey nonetheless. For average citizens, there are a lot of good ghostwriters out there who cater to you and, if you can save up some money, are affordable. Prices can range anywhere from $10,000 up to $100,000 book, with something between $15,000 and $30,000 being the average cost. This is still not cheap but is affordable for many people.

And now a quick word about working for royalties only.

I have had more than one potential client ask if I will help them write a book and sit back and share in the royalties with them. I’d love to, I tell them. But first, pay me to help you write the book, I say. Oh no, they say, I can’t afford to do that. At least not yet. Then you can’t afford a ghostwriter, I tell them, and the conversation ends there. And every so often I check back with one of these people to see if they’ve written their book or hired some ghostwriter on spec (the term for working for royalties only), and the answer is always the same: No, not yet. I can safely bet that none of them will ever get help to write their book, at least not until they agree to pay a ghostwriter up front to do it. No self-respecting ghostwriter I’ve ever known of will work for free on the promise that maybe there will be royalties, so don’t ask us to do it.

That’s all I have for now. There are certainly more details concerning hiring a ghostwriter (contracts, sharing royalties, timeline, how best to work together, etc.), but I’ll save those for a later article.

Keep writing…