THE NINE WINS TWO AXIOM AWARDS

PHIL SIMON

Award-winning author, dynamic keynote speaker, trusted advisor, & workplace tech expert 

Looking for My Next Ghostwriting Project

Want to write a kick-ass book and need an experienced hand?

Last summer, I began ghostwriting a book for one of my existing clients. Our process evolved over time, as did our ideas about the text.

A few months ago, we finally completed the manuscript. My client was and is ecstatic with the end product. As it turns out, my ability to simplify technical concepts and tell stories works in areas outside of my sweet spots: workplace tech, collaboration, project management, citizen development, and the future of work.

Any writer who claims to be able to write anything well is arrogant, delusional, or both.

We haven’t reached the end zone just yet. I immediately donned my project-management hat. I’m spending a good bit of time in Notion these days.

My Next Ghostwriting Project

I plan on ghostwriting more books. Ideally, future clients will understand that producing a quality text takes considerable time, money, and effort. (Chop shops can churn out books quickly and inexpensively, but their results invariably disappoint. Ditto for generative AI tools like ChatGPT.)

Note that I’m not qualified to write many genres, including:

  • Memoirs.
  • Fiction.
  • Screenplays.
  • Political books.

Any writer who claims to be able to write anything well is arrogant, delusional, or both.

https://www.racketpublishing.com/blog/publishing/how-to-review-your-galley/

Ideal Traits

In no particular order, my next client will:

  • Be deeply knowledgeable about a specific area.
  • Understand the financial and time commitments involved. With respect to the latter, timely communication is critical. Yes, emergencies happen. Still, in the ghostwriting work that I’ve done over my career, nothing good has ever come from going dark for months at a time.
  • Be reasonable with his or her sales expectations. Very few books cross the vaunted 10,000-copy Rubicon. More than that, professional, well-written books can yield other benefits in the form of increased visibility, speaking gigs, higher rates, new opportunities, and the like.
  • Understand the importance of a book’s design. Ugly books deter prospective readers. (There. I said it.)
  • Hold true to their word. On a ghostwriting project a few years back, my client kept moving the goalposts. It did not end well. (By the same token, I suspect that builders and architects voice their displeasure after they’ve laid concrete for a Colonial, but the house now needs to be a California ranch.)
  • Use best-of-breed collaboration tools. You’d never manage any type of project via e-mail, and books are no exception to this rule. If you wouldn’t deign to use Calendly or a similar tool to schedule time, then we’re not going to get along well.
  • Consider different publishing methods: traditional, hybrid, and self. (Yes, this is a conversation.)
  • Be able to occasionally laugh. A little levity now and again can go a long way.

Next Steps

If you or someone you know is seriously considering writing a proper business or technology book, I’d love to connect.

Thanks.

Last summer, I began ghostwriting a book for one of my existing clients. Our process evolved over time, as did our ideas about the text.

We recenlty completed the manuscript. My client was and is ecstatic with the end product. As it turns out, my ability to simplify technical concepts and tell stories works in areas outside of my sweet spots: workplace tech, collaboration, project management, citizen development, and the future of work.

Any writer who claims to be able to write anything well is arrogant, delusional, or both.

We haven’t reached the end zone just yet. I immediately donned my project-management hat. I’m spending a good bit of time in Notion these days.

My Next Ghostwriting Project

I plan on ghostwriting more books. Ideally, future clients will understand that producing a quality text takes considerable time, money, and effort. (Chop shops can churn out books quickly and inexpensively, but their results invariably disappoint. Ditto for generative AI tools like ChatGPT.)

Note that I’m not qualified to write many genres, including:

  • Memoirs.
  • Fiction.
  • Screenplays.
  • Political books.

Any writer who claims to be able to write anything well is arrogant, delusional, or both.

How Not to Start a Book

Ideal Traits

My next client will:

  1. Be deeply knowledgeable about a specific area. Anyone who isn’t shouldn’t consider writing a non-fiction book.
  2. Want the final product to read well. In other words, the book sure as hell won’t start like this one does.
  3. Understand the financial and time commitments involved. With respect to the latter, timely communication is critical. Yes, emergencies happen. Still, in the ghostwriting work that I’ve done over my career, nothing good has ever come from going dark for months at a time.
  4. Be reasonable with his or her sales expectations. Very few books cross the vaunted 10,000-copy Rubicon. More than that, professional, well-written books can yield other benefits in the form of increased visibility, speaking gigs, higher rates, new opportunities, and the like.
  5. Understand the importance of a book’s design. Ugly books deter prospective readers. (There. I said it.)
  6. Hold true to their word. It’s reasonable and even expected for authors to change their minds about certain aspects of their books as the writing process unfolds. Few things, however, are more frustrating for ghosts than authors who constantly revise previously agreed-upon decisions. Case in point: On a ghostwriting project a few years back, my client kept moving the goalposts. Because we had agreed to a flat-rate arrangment for the project, it did not end well. (By the same token, I suspect that builders and architects voice their displeasure after they’ve laid concrete for a Colonial, but the client decided that the house now needs to be a California ranch.)
  7. Use best-of-breed collaboration tools. You’d never manage any type of project via e-mail, and books are no exception to this rule. If you wouldn’t deign to use Calendly or a similar tool to schedule time, then you’re going to struggle to complete you book, whether you work with me or not.
  8. Consider different publishing methods: traditional, hybrid, and self. Yes, this is a critical conversation—not a bell you can easily unring.
  9. Be able to occasionally laugh. Writing a book can be enjoyable if done right. It’s also difficult. To this end, a little levity now and again can go a long way.

Next Steps

If you or someone you know is seriously considering writing a proper business or technology book, I’d love to connect.

Thanks.

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