When I hear from first-time authors wanting to write their nonfiction books, many of them say they have at least two or three books in them, and they need help pin-pointing their best material.
As a ghostwriter, I almost always recommend they write the "airplane read." When it comes to personal growth, business, memoir, and activism books, readers don't want another tedious 250-300 page book. They want 150 pages--something that takes them a few hours to complete.
The "airplane read" lets you release only your highest quality material and allows you to learn which chapters and themes resonate most with your readers. With that information, you can go on to (confidently) write book two, three, and four.
From a reader's perspective, a shorter book gives them something that's accessible, affordable, shareable, and digestible. When they whip through your book, believe me---they'll go on line and brag about it. They're also more likely to offer an Amazon review and testimonial, which you will need for marketing.
Writing a book takes the average author YEARS to complete, but I'm telling you--break it down and give your readers the gift of brevity. Give them the gift of getting to know the very best of what you have to offer.
It's Going to Take 12 Months
Do you realize . . .
At this time next year, you could be holding the book you've always wanted to write. Yep, it takes a full year if you're really committed, and more importantly, if you have a realistic plan. As a nonfiction book ghostwriter and editor, I've been through this process and know what’s required--start to finish.
This idea of becoming an author is unrealistically presented. We’re told that if we can book a cabin in the woods for a weekend, we will emerge with a brilliant manuscript. Nope.
You need a good twelve months to get this done (thoughtfully).
Schedule a free 30-minute chat with me on Book Talk Tuesdays. I’ll share the month-to-month process I use with aspiring authors to move ideas into completion.
Just think--you could be gifting your book to everyone you know and love during the 2021 holiday. How would that make you feel? <3
With you all the way,
How Books Have Changed in 2020
When you consider all the difficulties we’ve had in 2020, also consider the quality of books that have been written in this period of time. As a ghostwriter, editor, and book coach, I've been hearing from aspiring authors who are tackling some intimate and important topics.
When even a year ago, they might have wanted to write a basic leadership, business, or personal growth book, now their topics are more precise. They’re talking about their experiences with addiction, abortion, betrayal, family trauma, mental illness, spectrum disorder, narcissism, racism, misogyny--subjects that have largely gone under the radar until now.
Anti-racism and social justice books sold like hot cakes this year. It's heartening to see that when people are confused, don't want to feel alone, or they want to educate themselves, they still turn to books.
This is a “shout out” to my fellow authors and aspiring authors. Keep writing. Keep digging. It’s time to get bold with your topics. Not only will you be in good company, it’s now somewhat expected of you.
Want to talk about your book idea? My schedule is open on Book Talk Tuesdays. Schedule your free 30-minute chat.
There's actually a good reason people never start or finish the books they’ve been wanting to write about their lives and careers. Authors don't want to tell painful stories about their past in a shaming, blaming, or helpless manner.
They want their books to display a level of forgiveness, and if not forgiveness, then at least acceptance and understanding of the bigger picture at play. To soften the edges of the story, we often examine the backstory and current environment of the tormentor, oppressor, or perpetrator.
Say you want to talk about an abusive parent. We could point back to their upbringing or generation. We might mention addiction, mental illness, domestic violence, or trauma. This gives the reader context and allows them to place themselves into the story for deeper connection.
On the flip side, when a story is presented like a “retaliation piece” with intent to do harm, the reader will likely fixate on the argument and bypass a chance for self-reflection. And down the line, the author will often regret how they presented the story. Having found some forgiveness, they wish the story could have been told from a place of healing.
We’re too close to our lives to see our stories objectively. That’s why ghostwriters, book coaches, and editors are invited to help authors deliver a message with insight, empathy, and closure. Give your book a chance to put its best face forward. Give your readers a chance to appreciate what you have to say.
Remember I’m here for you every week for Book Talk Tuesday. No matter where you are in the book creation process, our free 30-minute chat will help you breathe life into this precious book project of yours.
Don't we all know someone who tells the same stories over and over?
These people are perfect candidates for writing their own book. When you become an author, you get to have physical evidence of your life, education, passion, and expertise. You have something tangible to pass onto the next generation.
There's an intangible benefit, as well. Now that you're an author, you get to tell new stories. You can move on from certain topics, if you'd like, and open space in your brain for fresh interests. Stories matter, and there's a reason we repeat them over and over. We don't want to lose what's precious to us.
My schedule is open on Tuesdays to chat about your book ideas. Here's a link to snag a 30 minute call.
I'm here with a book recommendation--not one that you read, but rather one you write in. It's called "One Line a Day: A Five Year Memory Book." This little gem has become a meaningful part of my day. With that world turned upside down, imagine being able to track all the news stories, personal crisis, and huge celebrations. Looking back on this time is sure to be fascinating.
As a nonfiction book ghostwriter, I help people write memoir, personal growth, activism, and business books. We often rely on the author's stories and memories to make their book shine. If you want to write a book someday, or if you know someone who really needs to write a book, pick up a copy now!
One of my favorite ghostwriting projects was a memoir for a 92 year old woman. We had written an entire chapter about marriages--she had four of them! A month after we completed the chapter, she said, "Erin, you're never gonna believe this, but I forgot one of my marriages. I actually had five of them!" Ha ha! Throughout the book project, she just kept saying, "I wish I would have kept journals. I wish I had documentation of dates, people, names, and places.
So please, get this book into your life. I promise you won't regret it. Sure, we can post on social media, but the act of writing down one or two sentences a day of what mattered is sure to be satisfying.
ave you ever noticed how women are groomed to compete, backstab, gossip, and to not fully trust each other? I'm determined to shift this dynamic into a healthier way of existing for women simply because WE NEED EACH OTHER! Marilena Fallaris wrote a provocative book called Womenemies. I interviewed her recently about infidelity, mother-judging, and workplace dysfunctions between women. I think you're going to love this one.
COVID has caused us to slow down and engage in tough conversations. I'm hearing from aspiring authors who want their books to reflect controversial opinions and hidden truths about their lives. Amen to that!
If there's a book inside of you, schedule a free 30-minute call with me on Book Talk Tuesdays. And if you know anyone who needs help on their book, please forward this to them.
I'll help you get clear on your topic, get started (or finished) on your manuscript, and develop a plan to get your book published. Don't wait until the pace of life speeds up again. Commit now and treat the world to the message that's uniquely yours!
Today, I interviewed Omkari Williams on my Reveal What's Real series. Together, we discussed the urgency for personal and professional growth leaders to recognize privilege and become more inclusive in our messages. Please carve out 12 minutes to absorb this information and share with your industry, as we learn what it means to become antiracist.
Do you vividly remember your mother or grandmother's hands? In my first Reveal What's Real show (after a seven year break), I spoke to barre3 Co-Founder, Sadie Lincoln. She tells a heart-wrenching story about securing a book deal with a major book publisher, and how she lost control of the content and found a "wax figure" version of herself on the cover. Worse yet, they photoshopped her HANDS. Sadie explains why that was crushing.
When people hear I'm a ghostwriter, they always ask, "Aren’t you mad that you don’t get credit for writing someone’s book?”
I have to explain how collaborative the book creation process is and that months are spent working closely with my authors. Plus, there are editors, researchers, and proofreaders involved, so the final manuscript often includes a whole slew of us. It’s truly not my book, nor did I make up the content.
But over time, I started to notice what did upset me about being a ghostwriter.
It's when people don't know we exist.
Writing a book is a wildly popular goal. Every year of procrastination becomes more painful for the aspiring author. For some it’s embarrassing because they've been talking about their book forever.
Most nonfiction books include ghostwriters--roughly 60-80%. People freak out when they hear that, and it shows how ridiculously optimistic we are when it comes to completing this sacred task. I've worked with both everyday people and celebrity/industry experts who understand the magnitude of these projects.
A few have taken it upon themselves, like Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run, and Sally Field's memoir In Pieces, although it took her six years to complete--post-retirement.
Those who find me don't want to wait any longer. Some want coaching to get started, while others want feedback, accountability, and resources in order to finish. And some want their book done within a year, so my ghostwriting help is urgently needed.
Will you do me a favor?
Start spreading the good word--books don't get written alone, and when they are, it's usually a disaster. (I’ll save those stories for another time.) Give yourself the gift of expert help, just as countless others have done.
Schedule a free 30-minute call with me on Book Talk Tuesdays.
Your book awaits,