• The scope of your concept coverage
  • If you’ve zeroed in on your target reader, and you’ve X-rayed their hearts and minds to know their needs and wants
  • Your book’s anticipated length and complexity (taking scope into consideration)
  • Your ability to work with me in Microsoft Word “tracking changes”
  • And others

  • The degree to which you’ve already refined and developed your primary concept or theme
  • If you’ve conducted searches for comparable themes and titles to assure that your approach is unique

  • Discover answers to these critical questions through a sixty- to ninety-minute, deep-digging session. Who is your reader? How does it solve a reader’s problem or change their life? How will your book be different than others in the marketplace? Is your intent to self-publish or traditionally publish?
  • Conduct market research of competitive books and titles.
  • Approach your story based on the research.
  • Architect a blueprint for your story. Determine your story’s scope: what goes in and what needs to be left out.
  • Develop a detailed outline and table of contents.
  • Record up to eight hours of interviews. Transcription is optional.
  • Anticipate reader questions.
  • Research to flesh out details and fill in gaps as the outline requires.
  • Recommend project team members with your approval: author site web designer; book cover and interior layout designer; proofreader; publicist/marketing specialist (if requested); literary agent (if your trajectory is traditional publishing).
  • Write a sample chapter to identify and achieve an appropriate author’s voice (style), tone, and pace to powerfully deliver your message with panache.
  • Revise/edit at least two manuscript rounds (as per agreement). I lovingly call these “tweaks.”
  • Submit subsequent chapters at intervals for author’s timely review.
  • Provide a few chapters to designer to trigger ideas for several sample layouts.
  • Coach first-time indie authors about choosing and obtaining an “imprint” name as well as purchasing ISBNs from Bowker. An imprint is the author’s own publishing house or press.
  • Guide the author in obtaining “praise for” reviews, recommendations, and back-cover blurbs. Start this early, well before final edits.
  • Conduct a collaboration “health and wellness” checkup to finely tune communications and working styles. Adjust as desired.
  • Assess how effectively the message is delivered so far. What’s missing? What needs strengthening? Has focus shifted?
  • Recommend author get a professional photo taken.
  • Write back-cover book summary blurb, author bio for inside, and any copy for inside dust-jacket flaps, if applicable. Revise. Author signs off on each.
  • Line edit completed manuscript.
  • Obtain author approval (“sign off”) on all corrected and revised chapters or sections as well as all illustrations and photographs to be included. Designer may have previously requested a completed chapter to create several layout options for author’s selection.
  • Create a categories and keywords list.
  • Prepare manuscript for and submit to book interior layout designer.
  • Work with interior layout designer to achieve all revisions and corrections.
  • Work with independent proofreader for proofing the final PDF layout before going to the printer.
  • Double-check proofreaders corrections and revise as applicable, working with interior layout designer.
  • Review designer’s revised layout to assure all corrections were made in the final PDF.
  • Coordinate with interior layout designer his or her submission of files to printer.
  • Receive print proof, along with author and whomever else author designates as proofers.
  • Coordinate all readers’ proofing of print proof, double-check validity or accuracy of all errors noted, consolidate changes to submit to printer for correction.
  • Coordinate author and designer posting book to Amazon and setting up Amazon Author Central.
  • Provide you with the final digital files for your future use.

Are you planning an audiobook? Ask me about scripting your print book for audio recording.

Copyright © 2022 Charlotte Meares 

In whatever capacity we collaborate, you are always in control. Your contract-based ghostwritten book is a “work for hire.” You own the intellectual property and all rights to the manuscript and are free to exploit all right to the copy as you deem appropriate.

You may be surprised to learn that ideas and book titles are not protected by copyright. Your unique expression of your idea is, and that’s the material between the front and back covers of your book, in whatever format you make it available.

Ghostwriting up close and personal

When time or expertise is at a premium, bring in the professional

Here are a few of the variables that affect my ghostwriting project quotes

For an idea-to-book nonfiction ghostwriting project, I typically perform these tasks:

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