A somewhat cynical guide to getting ghostwriting gigs

Wanna branch out and ghostwrite books? Some practical advice comes from U.S. News & World Report writer Marty Nemko. Assuming you’re a good writer and already know how to accept “seemingly foolish edits” from clients, here’s what you do: “Contact a famous person you respect and ask if he or she would like you to ghostwrite an autobiography. If so, you develop an outline together and submit the proposal to publishers, usually through an agent.”

Doesn’t have to be a huge celebrity, he adds, citing for example:

“An architect would like to write a book to help boost her business. You interview her and look at her previously completed projects. Impressed, you agree to ghostwrite it with her. She offers you half the royalties, but you insist on a flat fee—most books earn little in royalties. You negotiate a flat fee of $40,000.”

Here’s how the story ends: “Finally, you try to help her get the book published, but she’s unable to even get an agent, let alone a publisher. So, you refer her to a service that helps people self-publish print-on-demand and e-books, and you’re off to find your next project.”

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