Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of projects do you work on?
I work on fiction, memoir, and autobiography, as well as conversational nonfiction books for laymen on a a variety of subjects. These include (but aren’t limited to) education, child development, health, self-help/self-improvement, spirituality, psychology, nature, and animals.
If you’re a professional looking to write a book to attract clients and increase your credibility, there’s a good chance I can help. You bring the industry knowledge, and I can help you make it accessible to people who aren’t experts but might need your services. A book can be a wonderful networking tool for real estate agents, beauty technicians, dog trainers, interior decorators, landscapers, Reiki masters, and more. Much more effective than a business card!
What kind of projects aren’t a good fit for you?
Dry academic tomes, highly technical financial and business books, technical writing, and highly technical science or medical books.
What’s the ghostwriting process like?
It starts with a conversation. We discuss your project. What is your vision for your book? Who is your audience and what do you want to accomplish with it? Are you writing it as a legacy for your family, as a way to attract clients for another business, or as a commercial endeavor? Do you want to pursue traditional publishing or self-publishing? What are the pros and cons of each? What is your budget for the book? If you hope to publish it commercially, how do you plan to market it?
By the time we’ve discussed all this, we probably both have a sense of whether we’re a good fit for each other, and whether I’m a good fit for your project. If the answer is no, and if I know another ghostwriter who might be a better fit, I’ll send you their way and wish you well. But if the answer is yes, we begin to work on the book.
That means more talking. This time, we’ll go deeper. Over a number of sessions (the exact number depends on your specific project), I’ll help you find the shape of the book. We’ll record the conversation and talk about the specific ideas you want to cover. I’ll ask you lots of questions so that you can cover each aspect of your book in depth. We’ll revisit many of these ideas multiple times, until you’ve said what you need to say. Then I’ll take that information and write a very messy first draft–what fellow ghostwriter Derek Lewis calls a “Frankendraft.”
At this point, you’ll probably realize that writing a book is like panning for gold. The first draft is like that pan of silt and sand a prospector pulls from a stream. But there is gold in it. Parts of the book will be amazing. Parts will need to be fleshed out. Parts will need to be distilled. Parts of it, we’ll both realize, no longer belong.
As we continue to shape, tighten, and polish the book over a series of drafts, you’ll see it become closer and closer to your vision. We are like that prospector, sifting everything from the pan but those pure shining nuggets, then refining the gold, which is then used to create something beautiful and unique.
How long will it take to write my book?
It depends on the scope and complexity of your book. Most can be completed in six to nine months from when we start.
Am I still the author, even though you’re doing the writing?
Yes, absolutely. This is your book. My goal is to help you tell it in the most effective way possible, but you always make the final decisions. A writer I worked with once said, “I wouldn’t have thought to use these words, but it’s exactly how it felt to be there. And it actually sounds like me!”
Is ghostwriting ethical?
Yes, in most cases. If you’re writing a dissertation for your doctorate, it would be dishonest to use a ghostwriter, but I wouldn’t take a project like that anyway–and I’m sure you wouldn’t ask me to. Ghostwriting is different. Not everyone who has a story to tell or knowledge to share wants to spend years studying and honing the craft of writing. They prefer to pursue other dreams, other careers. The ghostwriting process helps them share their knowledge and experience by pairing their ideas with the craft and artistry of someone who loves to write and has devoted years to learning how to do it well.
Can you guarantee my book will be traditionally published and become a bestseller?
No. No one can guarantee that.
Can you help me find an agent?
Yes and no. I can direct you to resources that will help you find agents who might be a good fit for your work. I can help you with your query and advise you on the submission process. But I can’t find the agent for you or guarantee representation.
How much money will my book make?
No one knows. Some books lose money. Some make a lot of money. Most sell fewer than 100 copies. You can beat those odds by crafting a good book (with or without the help of a good ghostwriter) and implementing a solid and consistent marketing plan, but there’s no way to tell by how much.
How much do you charge?
Each project is individually priced, depending on the scope and complexity of the project. Considerations include the anticipated length of the book and how much research is involved.
Where can I find samples of your work?
You can find excerpts from my published novels here or at http://jadenterrell.com/books. Naturally, your book will reflect your voice rather than mine, but you can get a good sense of how I handle written language.
Got more questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , and I’ll do my best to answer it for you.