Q&A: What Do You Do As A Ghostwriter?

Something I am often asked is what exactly I do as a ghostwriter. The answer isn’t as clean cut as most would like it to be. However, essentially what I do is learn your voice and pick up where you leave off so your story can get out to the world in the best format for your audience.


What the heck does that even mean, Shell?! 


As a ghostwriter, I am basically a midwife to would-be writers who want to become published authors but don’t know where to start. I help them think of what they know and how they would say it to the world through a series of thought-provoking questions and scheduled interviews. I gather materials they’ve researched, videos they’ve recorded, and audio files they’ve set aside and pull all the information into one book that they then review and make changes to. We go back and forth like this until we feel it’s ready for an editor. Our focus is 100% in the book and writing it. From there we will hire an editor, publisher, and graphic designer based upon your needs. I do NOT publish books and I don’t edit my own writing for books (this is an awful practice for anyone to maintain because you miss your own errors since you know what you wanted to say).


For some people, I am more like a Delivery Nurse who takes the baby after it’s born, washed it up, and presents it on Mama’s chest to nurse and raise. I take their 2/3 to 3/4 written books and help them develop it into a full story. For some, they need help due to poor grammar knowledge and vocabulary usage. For others, they type as it comes into their mind and are trying to meet a deadline and just need to push it off to someone else to continue. And yet for others, they just hit a block and need someone else to provide input and clean it up. This is NOT editing, as I am doing much more than looking at how things are flowing and whether the thoughts are fully constructed. I am writing pieces of the book for them and expanding upon their thoughts and knowledge. I’m looking for the pieces they didn’t see while typing. This would be like them standing in the forest while I am flying above it to give a new vantage point.


I am essentially a virtual assistant or executive assistant to the small business owner who is overwhelmed with marketing and advertising and wants to begin attracting more clients to their business or needs internal process documents created. I talk with them and we figure out which avenues would be best for their needs, and I share with them what I need to move forward. This may mean coming into the business personally or visiting through technology with some of your employees depending upon the required assets.


I am essentially a clone of you when it comes to blogging for your organization. Whether you are a small business or a mom who started a blog and realized you can’t maintain it, I work with you through a series a thought-provoking questions and interviews to learn your voice and then suggest content strategy for the next few posts. Depending upon your needs and budget, we create a plan for which I will do all the research and writing or for which you will provide notes in bulleted format based upon your knowledge of subjects we agree upon each quarter. We set deadlines and maintain contact between those deadlines to ensure we are both accountable for moving fluidly from one post to the next so your audience is consistently seeing new content.


And last but not least, I am a marketer to those who need someone to create content for “free gifts” on websites based upon work they already have created but need to reduce to teaser format to help attract clients and build email lists. I am able to write emails based upon most any asset offered to me that creates a desired “click”.


What I am Not


While some ghostwriters will write books, movies, or songs and then sell them off to others for income, I am not that type of ghostwriter. I do this work because I believe we all have stories to tell and just need help at times. All work I do is actually the author’s work and they just needed help getting it from their mind onto the paper. They would have written the very things I say for them if they had time, energy, and writing aptitude (and some do but don’t realize it, so I also point that out to folks).


I am not an editor who will take your already written work and just review it for flow and character depth, nor am I a proofreader who will just review your book for errors. If you need these services, I am happy to guide you towards others to discuss their process.


I am not a magician who can make you a writer when you aren’t one and I can’t create stories where there aren’t stories yet to be told. I am honest in our consultations about whether I am the best fit. If I don’t feel I am, I will share some others who may be better suited for your material.


If you would like more information on how I may be able to help you specifically, let’s connect! Fill out the “Let’s Connect” form in the menu and I’ll reach out to you within one business day.





One Comment on “Q&A: What Do You Do As A Ghostwriter?

  1. Pingback: Ghostwriting Services* – Shell Vera

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