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Although my job as the ghostwriter does not include publishing or marketing services, I’ve been in the game long enough to have some excellent contacts in the Book Biz, which I always share with my clients. I do not like to see them fall into the clutches of an unscrupulous “vanity publisher” company, spending thousands of dollars for little or no return. I also don’t like to see my writing skills wasted on books that no one will read because of the author’s inexperience in the Book Biz. It’s not easy for a newbie to tell the difference between good help and bad. Recently a prospective client told me his horror story of spending $25,000 with a self-publishing company to get his first book (which I did not ghostwrite) “out there” – and in return has received royalties of less than one hundred dollars in three years. This time he is going to do a better job – but it was an expensive lesson.
So when I first talk to a prospective client, I explore their knowledge about the Book Biz, and always recommend that before they spend a bunch of time and money on a ghostwriter, they contact someone who does have extensive knowledge of that Biz. The person I recommend is Jan King, a book coach and publishing strategist who has helped many of my clients successfully negotiate the wilds of the Book Biz without losing their proverbial shirts.
Jan has been in the Book Biz for over 30 years, working for (as the CEO) a traditional mid-size publisher, and is now dedicating her expertise to helping authors not only explore the traditional route, but successfully self-publish by using the skills of various freelance professionals. She calls this assisted self-publishing.
If you or any of your editing clients are thinking of going the self-publishing/ indie route, I highly recommend you check out this website. Here hopeful authors can get detailed information about the best ways to publish their books, find out what help they need and is available, how long it should take, how much it should cost, what is reasonable to sign in a contract and what they should never agree to. And more.
In addition, the blog hosted on www.assistedselfpublishing.com takes you on a “real life” journey from book idea to book release, covering all the steps and including posts written by the author and the freelancers – book coach, content editor, copyeditor, proofreader, indexer, virtual author assistant, marketing guru, book designer. (Full disclosure: I was the content editor on this project.)
The Book Biz can be a scary place for newcomers. It really helps to have a guide.