We’ll work chapter by chapter, based on our interviews.
Whether you have a completed or partially-completed manuscript, or are starting with just your dream, our process together is largely the same.
There are two ways in which we can do the interviews that are the foundation of your book.
1. I conduct weekly 90-minute meetings with you via an online platform — Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, etc. I will record and transcribe each interview.
Our first meeting is to create a chapter outline from which we’ll work during the subsequent interviews. We’ll list all the ideas/topics your book will address (or plot points if you are writing fiction), decide the potential markets for your book, gather your notes/research/character studies, and decide on the chapter outline.
Each subsequent interview will deal with a specific chapter from this outline.
2. I come to you and we spend a few days together doing the interviews. You assume expenses for transportation, hotel, and meals, and I give you my undivided attention for two or three days.
OR, if you have a completed or partially-completed manuscript I will work chapter by chapter to correct and enhance flow, organization, and any missing information.
I write one chapter at a time and send it to you to approve or edit for changes, additions, or deletions. You send the corrected chapter back to me and I rewrite it. I send it back to you for approval. Only after you approve this chapter do we move on to the next. The completion of all chapters gives us your manuscript’s first draft. It’s often very rough but that’s OK. I’ll refine it with editing.
When all chapters are complete, I go through the entire manuscript to resolve any remaining structure or content problems, and tighten up the writing by eliminating passive or static voice. This substantive edit process adds professionalism and flow to your book.
I send this 2nd draft to you for approval or changes, additions, and deletions. You send that draft back to me and I incorporate your final changes.
This methodology provides us with the cleanest manuscript before it goes to a third-party line editor/proofreader.
Many authors want to skip this very important step, but please don’t you do that.
Line editing/Proofreading should be done by a cold third-party eye — someone who has no inkling of your book. Your 3rd draft is the product of a final pass to assure sentence structure and syntax, punctuation, and other copy-edits.
At this stage both you and I are too close to the material to catch these small mistakes. But to the cold editor/proofreader, they are glaring mistakes that jump off the page.
You can hire an editor or proofreader yourself, or I can refer one to you. The cost is determined by your negotiations with that professional.
You have a completed manuscript that you can proudly present to literary agents, friends, and family.
You can have it formatted into an online/ebook, publish it through a pay-to-print publisher (sometimes called a “vanity press”), or submit it to a publisher directly or via a literary agent.
If you plan to submit to publishers and agents, you will need a Book Proposal.
Book Proposal or Plan
If your book is non-fiction or memoir and you want to publish it, you must submit a book proposal to agents and publishers. Good proposals are their own art form. Every publisher has different criteria for this proposal, but the general components are:
About the Author
If your book is a novel and you want to have it published by one of the 6 big publishing houses (or any of their imprints), it must be completed before soliciting an agent who will represent you to publishers. The fiction book proposal for literary agents includes:
Query letter with pitch
Up to three BISAC Subject Headings
If you want to successfully self-publish any kind of book, you will need a Book Plan, which is essentially a Book Proposal + marketing plan for independent distribution, promotion, and sales.
Book Proposals and Plans can be added to the price of ghostwriting and create a seamless finish for your manuscript.