Jan 17

Children’s Ghostwriting and Momentum

When writing a children’s story, or any story for that matter, there’s a certain momentum you get into. A work flow or groove.

You become absorbed in your writing.

There are times when the story just flows and you up your pace. Then other times you need to work a little harder and the work pace may slow down.

But you can go at your own pace. You’re in control.

As a ghostwriter, though, you can’t always go at your own pace. I’ve had a few clients who took long pauses in their projects.

Interestingly, all of these projects had nothing to do with payments because in each case the projects were up to date.

It seems that client pauses can happen for various reasons: sickness, life, or work.

No matter what the reasons, when a client takes a long pause, it can create at least two problems for the children’s ghostwriter.

  1. As the writer, you lose your momentum.

Mentioned above, when your momentum is interrupted, you lose it. The rhythm, the flow is gone.

And depending on how long the pause it, that momentum can need serious revival when the project moves forward again.

What this means is when the project is picked up again, you need to become reacquainted with the story. Depending on how complicated the story is, the longer it will take to get up to speed.

I’m currently working on a rewrite of a very complicated young adult story that’s over 100,000 words. The author took a long pause, revising the latter part of the story before sending it to me.

The project should be starting up again very soon and I’ll have to get back into the story to be able to build up the momentum again.

This adds more time and work into the project that wasn’t accounted for.

Another aspect of losing momentum, is the story itself.

If I’m in that flow and it’s stopped, will the remainder of the story be the same. Will I find that ‘groove’ again and tell the best story possible?

So far, I think I’ve been able to. But I can see how the story could be affected. Long pauses aren’t a good thing.

  1. The writer’s workload can be challenged.

As a working children’s ghostwriter, you get new projects that need to be scheduled into your workload.

When a client pauses a project and then picks up in a month of two, you’re already into those other projects. You’ve developed a momentum for each of them.

If you only have one or two other projects going on, it’s not that difficult to include the paused project.

But if you have four or five projects going on, and one is a middle grade or young adult, being able to juggle a paused project back into the mix can be challenging.

You don’t want to take time and attention away from current projects.

So, what’s the ghostwriter to do?

The answer to this question depends on the writer.

I always work the paused project back into my workload. I keep my current projects in the forefront, though.

Fortunately, long pauses on projects don’t happen to me often, especially very long ones. Although, in 2020 I had three projects paused. It could be due to the year, or possibly it was a coincidence.

Whatever the reason, from experience I now have a clause in my freelance agreement that allows for a fee to resume a project after a two-week pause. I do of course take into consideration the circumstances involved.

So, if you’re working with a ghostwriter, be aware that there is a writing momentum. And it’s important to keep that momentum going for the story and for the ghostwriter’s time and workload.

Children's ghostwriter

Whether you need help with ghostwriting or rewriting, or coaching, let me take a look at your children’s story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700

Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable story today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK.

MORE ON WRITING FOR CHILDREN

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Get Your Self-Published Books Into Libraries – 6 Must Know Tips

Tips on Polishing Your Novel

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Apr 02

The Ghostwriter

What is a GhostwriterShe’s Invisible…She’s Powerful…She Helps People…She’s the Ghostwriter!

What’s the essential characteristic of a ghost?

Invisibility.

Well, that’s exactly what a ghostwriter is…invisible.

And, the ghostwriter is a powerful tool and a huge help to people who can’t seem to get their ideas into readable and publishable stories. Or, for people who don’t have the time to write themselves. Or, for people who don’t have the necessary skills to write a book.

The ghostwriter is kind of like a superhero in the writing world. She lifts you up and helps you create what you don’t have the time, energy, or skill to do yourself.

She is a modest gal and takes no recognition for her feat. The individual who hires her gets all the credit for the finished product. The ghostwriter gets paid for her services.

In other words, the ghostwriter can be a ‘dream fulfilling’ superhero.

Okay, maybe not a superhero, but you get the idea.

Moving quietly behind the scenes, the ghostwriter helps turn your dreams into reality.

Wait. Maybe she is a superhero!

What Can She Do?

•    Does your story need a makeover?
•    Do you have a story outline, but don’t know where to go from there?
•    Do you have a story idea, but don’t know what to do with it?
•    Fiction, nonfiction? Short story, long story? Essays? Speeches? White pages?

NO PROBLEM. There are ghostwriters to write in any niche.

How Does It Work?

The client (individual hiring the writer) may provide an idea, an outline, draft, a keyword, or topic. Or, he may need a piece rewritten.

The ghostwriter does her homework and accomplishes what is requested.

She turns whatever you have into an engaging and publishable story.

Does the Ghostwriter Ever Get Recognition?

It should be noted that in some instances ghostwriters do receive some recognition or credit. This is something the client and writer decide upon. The cost of the project may be less if credit is given. But, most often the ghostwriter remains anonymous.

In other instances the ghostwriter may reduce his fee for a percentage of the profits from the finished product.

Is Ghostwriting Popular?

According to the article, “What is a Ghostwriter?” by Gary McLaren, “Statistics are hard to come by since many people don’t want to reveal that their book or other content is ghosted. But, some industry estimates suggest that up to fifty percent of all non-fiction books are ghostwritten.”

A couple of famous ghostwriters are:

– Barbara Feinman ghostwrote, It Takes a Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us by Hillary Clinton.

– H.P. Lovecraft was a ghostwriter for Harry Houdini.

– A.E. Hotchner ghostwrote the autobiographies for Doris Day and Sophie Loren

– And, you have series writers like Tom Clancy and James Patterson who share authorship with their ghostwriters.

– Even the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series have ghostwriters.

Confidentiality and the Ghostwriter

Professional ghostwriters will absolutely keep your idea, outline, draft, or other information offered completely confidential.

If you’d feel more comfortable with that in writing, s/he would certainly supply you with a NDA (non-disclosure agreement).

Hiring One

Obviously, it may be difficult for a ghostwriter to obtain testimonials from all her clients, so when looking for one you should ask for samples of her writing in addition to testimonials.

Another tip to hiring a ghostwriter is to check if her site is active and professional looking. Is there a helpful blog?

If you’re interested in a ghostwriter, ask for a brief phone consult or send an email to start a conversation . . . get a feel for the writer.

Sources:
http://www.arthistoryclub.com/art_history/Ghostwriter
http://www.worldwidefreelance.com/ghostwriting.htm
(Unfortunately, these original post links don’t seem to work any longer)

Writing for children tipsThe Front Matter – Before the Story Text Begins
Building a Writing Career Takes Practice and Focus
What is Your Writing Forte?

Let's talk about your children's writing project

Let me take a look at it. I’m a working children’s ghostwriter, rewriter, and editor. I can turn you story into an engaging and publishable book.

Shoot me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com (please put Children’s Writing Help in the Subject line). Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700

Nov 01

Children’s Ghostwriter Fees – Does Price Equal Quality?

Fees for ghostwriting a children's bookAs a ghostwriter for children’s books, I get a number of queries each month. And, interestingly, I never know if the potential client will think my prices are too high, too low, or just right.

It seems that around $15,000 is the norm to ghostwrite a middle-grade book of 35,000 words. To me though, that seems like a lot of money. There are people out there who long to ‘write’ a book, but don’t know how or don’t have the time – that’s where a ghostwriter comes in.

According to Writer’s Market 2020, the lower-end pricing to ghostwrite with NO credit is $0.50 per word. The higher-end is $3.00 per word.

But, how many people can afford $15,000 or more to fulfill a dream?

Pricing is too low.

Because of this, I try to keep my fees affordable, within the reach of more people.

The same goes for writing picture books.

I’ve actually had potential clients call and question why my fee for ghosting a children’s picture book was low. And, I know I’ve lost a few projects because of this – I could tell they equated price with quality.

The same has happened with middle-grade projects.

So, what’s a writer to do?

While I have upped my fees, they are still extremely reasonable and under what other ghostwriters are charging.

Pricing higher will kill the dreams of those who want a quality book, but just can’t afford it.

Pricing is too high.

Yep, there is a flip side.

I’ve gotten queries from people who want to have a book written, but once they hear the price (the price that is too low for others), they can’t afford it.

But, getting back to the title question: Does price equate to quality?

NO! No, it doesn’t.

Over the years, I’ve ghosted and rewritten 300+ children’s books and gotten excellent testimonials from those who don’t mind sharing that they used my services. And, I have repeat clients. I currently have three clients who have each hired me to write a series of books. Along with this, one of my prior clients had interest from MADD based on a story I rewrote for her.

So, again, price does not equate to quality . . . at least not with some ghostwriters.

Sure, I can up my prices. But, again, those who can’t afford it wouldn’t be able to hire a quality writer.

I’ve written for people all over the world: Norway, Italy, Jordan, United Kingdom, Scotland, Saipan, United Arab Emirates, and many states within the United States. These people now have the satisfaction of being a ‘children’s author’ of a quality, publishable book they are proud to be author of. And, I’ve gotten to help them achieve that particular dream. That makes me smile.

How do you know who you’re hiring?

I know I said price doesn’t necessarily equal quality, but you do need to know who you’ll be working with. Here are a few tips to help you determine the quality of the writer:

1. Check out the ghostwriter’s testimonials, website, and blog.
2. See if the site and everything on it looks and sounds professional.
3. See if the blog posts give you an idea that the writer knows what she’s talking about.
4. You should also check out the About page. Learn who the writer is affiliated with and other tidbits of information.
5. Check the ghostwriter’s work.
6. Ask for samples of her or his writing.

Hot Tip: You should also do a Google search. That’s how most of my clients find me. Google goes for quality. They won’t put a ‘scam or shabby’ website in their results for a search query. This is a great test for quality, especially if the results (the link shown) isn’t a paid ad.

Summing it up.

As a writer for hire, there is no ‘magic’ pricing point. You have to charge what you and the clients who hire you are satisfied with.

Don’t always equate price with quality. While in some cases this does matter, it doesn’t always. Do some research into the children’s ghostwriter you’re thinking of working with. Using the tips I have just above, you should be able to determine if that writer knows her stuff.

MORE ON WRITING

What Makes a Good Story? Plot Driven vs. Character Driven
Editing a Children’s Book – 10 Tips Checklist for Authors
Being a Writer – Learn the Craft of Writing

NEED HELP WITH YOUR CHILDREN’S MANUSCRIPT / STORY?

Let me take a look at it. I’m a working children’s ghostwriter, rewriter, and editor. I can turn your story into a publishable book you’ll be proud of.

Send me an email at: kcioffiventrice @gmail .com (please put Children’s Writing Help in the Subject line) 

This article was updated January 2018.