Why is this good for a ghost? Because what hasn’t changed is that writing itself is still time-consuming, difficult, sometimes infuriating, and requires practice, practice, practice to do it well. Just because it is now easier and cheaper to get your ideas and stories published, doesn’t mean they will be well-received if they’re not compelling to readers. In fact, because there are more books out there means the competition for readers’ attention is even stiffer.
During the past few years my opportunities for ghostwriting have grown primarily in two areas. The first is memoir/personal histories. Everyone has ancestors and descendants, and many are interested in what we can learn or experience from the past, or leave a legacy for those who come after us. Some of us have stories of triumph or hope that can inspire or encourage others – something that memoirs are uniquely good at; and some of us have stories of pain and despair that can serve as warnings of what can happen when we make bad choices. Not only is it wise to leave a Will that covers our material possessions, it is becoming increasingly popular to leave a written record of our experiences as well. My clients whose memoirs I ghostwrite hope that these will be passed down through generations; the reason they hire me is because they want those memoirs to be beautiful.
The second growth area in my ghostwriting business is books (and blogs, articles, and tweets) for entrepreneurs, freelancers, consultants, and sole-proprietors of service businesses. This area has grown not only because publishing is easier, but also because of the difficult economy. Unemployment went up, and many of those who were laid off and could not find jobs leveraged their knowledge and abilities in their industries to start their own businesses or became freelancers or consultants. Entrepreneurship is hot.
What’s one of the best ways to tout your authority in your field? Become an author, of course. A book is a great marketing tool – much more effective than a brochure or website. However, what’s one of the things entrepreneurs (who are often doing everything from sales to marketing to production to janitorial) lack? Time! How are they going to write a book about their particular skill, product or service when they have no time? Duh – hire a ghostwriter. It’s not only the time they save; they also don’t want a hurriedly written book full of confusing or dull prose that might hurt more than help. They want compelling narratives that highlight their knowledge and passion.
Writing is a skill. It takes talent, time, and practice to do it well. It also helps if you love to write. Not everyone has this skill, talent, time, and not everyone loves to write. But all our stories, histories, triumphs and tragedies, ideas, and methods deserve to be written about. This is why I do what I do, and also why I love it. I get to be a part of so much more than myself.
If any writers or editors reading this think that ghostwriting might be fun for you too, my online program, Living as a Ghost, covers everything I’ve learned in the twelve years I’ve been making my living this way – for only $349. Find out more here.