Frequently asked questions
What’s your typical business book ghostwriting process?
My typical process is outlined below in the twelve-week plan. It can be adapted. This video talks about some options for working asynchronously.
My 12-week book ghostwriting process
- You complete a short application form.
The “Get a quote” buttons above will bring you to a form that asks a few questions about you, your business, and your book (or book idea). I’ll reach out to you within a day or two after receiving and reviewing your answers.
- We have a conversation over a Zoom call so I can find out more about what you’re looking for.
These are usually about 45 minutes. They’re free. By the end of the call I’ll know if we’re a fit for working together, and I’ll have enough information to draft a proposal for our work together.
- I send you a proposal for how we’ll work together.
We might meet again to discuss specifics, or if you need changes to the proposal, that’s AOK.
- Once the proposal is finalized, you sign it and submit 50% payment up front.
I’ll create an Asana project so we can track all the to-do items for the entire project.
- Background research begins.
Week 1. I begin studying any existing content or background material you have (your newsletters, blog, podcast, etc) and we schedule our first 75-minute recorded interview. Before that meeting, you’ll fill out a form about your background, your target audience, ideal client, and what the major pillars of your book might be.
- We do our first recorded, 75-minute interview.
Week 2. By the end of this call, I’d like us to have at least a basic, high-level outline of your book. It’s just a draft, but it gives us something to start improving on. This interview will also be me asking you many questions about your work so I can get answers in your language, with your expertise.
We may have also communicated extensively by email or even by audio files at this point. I view this as a work session as much as part of the interview process. We might also talk about what bonus material you’ll have in the book, who you might want me (or you) to get quotes from, and possibly any clients or customers you might want to use as case studies in the book.
- I start putting down the basics of a first draft.
Week 3. Expect a lot of questions from me. You’ll be able to see my progress in a shared Google doc that you can also comment on. By the end of Week 4, I aim to have at least 10,000 words of “The Very Ugly First Draft” written. (Yes, that’s its official name.)
- We do our second recorded, 75-minute interview.
Week 4. Ideally, I’d like you to have read The Very Ugly First Draft, so this will be as much work session or a check-in session as it is an interview. We’ll be in the thick of things at this point, so what we cover in this meeting will depend on what’s required to move the draft forward.
All through Week 5 I’ll be working on the book draft to improve it, expand it – whatever it needs.
- I complete The First Draft.
Week 5. By the end of this week, you’ll have what actually looks like a book manuscript. It won’t have been reviewed by a copy editor yet, so expect that the sentences may get reworked. In fact, entire sections may be reworked. I’ll give you a full week to think about this first draft, and what you want added, or removed, or completely rewritten. I expect that at least 20-30% of the book will need to be rewritten from scratch. That’s just part of the process.
If I’m also doing your book promotion, I’ll also block out a simple launch plan for your book, including a few social media posts, emails for your list, making sure anyone mentioned in your book has what they need to promote it, and work with you to get your biggest fans all set to write reviews of your book when it launches. We’ll also talk about possibly getting your book reviewed in a few publications/websites related to your niche. And we’ll discuss a few placements on podcasts.
- I rewrite/reorganize/add to/remove from the draft to make it into The Second Draft.
Week 6. This is where I incorporate all the feedback you’ve given me, but also go back and start making the draft better and better. You’ll be able to see my progress, as always, in the Google doc, and I’ll probably also be asking you questions and “assigning” you tasks via the Asana project.
If I’m doing a lead magnet and a follow-up sequence for your book, we’ll discuss what the lead magnet should be and what the follow up sequence will include. If there are any videos with the lead magnet, we’ll talk about getting those made.
- I finish The Second Draft and submit it for your review.
Week 7. You’ll have a full week to review the draft. At this point, we should have come far enough that we’ve got a punch list of things to finish. You may also want to share The Second Draft with colleagues, clients, your coach, your spouse – whomever you want. It’s all still a draft, but by week 8 it’s a late-stage draft. Hopefully there won’t be any major changes (like a new chapter), though I’ll make space for them if need be.
At this point, we’re five weeks from book launch. So if I’m helping you with book publication, I’ll be finalizing who will do your book’s copyediting, book production file, and the cover. If you’re going to be on the cover of the book, we’ll need to talk about getting that photo taken.
If I’m helping you with book promotion, we should start reaching out to people who might review your book, any guest posts, podcasts, PR, or advertising, that can be done for your book’s launch. We should also start notifying your audience (via your site, your socials, and your emails) that there’s a book coming. We’ll also strive to get your book’s trailer video recorded this week.
- Feedback for The Second Draft is incorporated.
Week 8. By the end of this week we will have The Third Draft.
I’ll hire a book cover designer. I’ll start writing the back matter for the cover and the elements for the book’s product page on Amazon and elsewhere.
I’ll continue to work on the book launch actions so we’re ready for launch.
- You review The Third Draft within 72 hours. I incorporate any feedback.
Week 9. We do some back and forth to get the cover and the product page copy finalized.
We’ll also continue with pre-launch work, like a few social media posts, emails to your list, an updated announcement on your website, on your Facebook page, etc. If possible, I’ll finalize a list of reviewers and give them pre-launch copies of your book so you can launch your book with at least 10 reviews.
- I send the manuscript to a copy editor.
Week 10. If I’m helping you produce your book, the copy editor will do a rush job to get The Third Draft polished up.
Meanwhile, I get the cover and the Amazon product page, your author profile, and any other essential launch copy and other assets finalized. The trailer video for your book should be finished by the end of this week. The lead magnet and its follow-up emails should also be done.
- The book is laid out for publication as a print book and a Kindle book (and any other platforms you’d like).
Week 11. Again, I’ll get this done as a rush job so we can move forward. By the end of Week 12, your book will be ready to launch on Amazon. We’ll order the first print copies.
This is our last week before launch, so expect a bit of “hurry up and wait” while we get the last bits of promotion dialed in. I try to have most promotion tasks done before this week, just so there’s room to manage anything that comes up last minute.
- Your book goes live.
Week 12. All your launch emails go out, lots of reviews get published, hopefully we’ve got you booked on a couple of podcasts, or maybe you’ll do a few social media lives or publish a guest post or two. You’ll also need to update your website, and we’ll be monitoring how the book’s lead magnet is working now that people are signing up for it.
Why should I hire you to ghostwrite my book?
Where’s the book you published?
The authority business book I published is 50 Ways to Build Your Email Marketing List.