Thursday, December 8, 2016

Confessions Of A Ghoswriter

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I knew from the moment my hands hit the keyboard I was born to be a writer. Okay, maybe not born. But, it’s in my genes somewhere in my ancestry I’m sure of it. From the moment, I wrote my first novel in my two-bedroom apartment. I knew I was on to something. Of course, like most writers I assumed I would become an overnight success. I jumped head first into pursuing an agent, publishing my unedited manuscript, and anticipated movie deals hitting my inbox. Nothing ever came besides rejection letters, vanity presses, and disappointment. Trust me , nothing knocks you back into reality like a cold hearted no on your first book. Lucklily, that rejection sent me on a path of pursuing my passion.
Fast-forward a few years I dipped my toes in the blogosphere. Blogging provided me and an opportunity to meet authors, review books, and express my thoughts online. I always loved to read. When the opportunity came for me to receive free books in exchange for reviews I jumped on that train with a smile. In my down time, I still managed to write stories and poems. For years, I studied the craft of writing and became accumulated with the industry. As much as I enjoyed blogging and building relationships online. The lent in my pocket was beginning to become all too familiar. Someone mentioned ghostwriting as an opportunity to not only exercise my writing muscle. But, also supplement my income.  I’ve been ghostwriting successfully for about two years. Here’s what I’ve learned in my first year:
·        Negotiate your rates: My very client asked for a 10K e-book that was based on a female character falling in love at first sight. Piece of cake. The client only offered to pay me $50. I wasn’t well informed on how to negotiate my services. I didn’t want to challenge the clients budget or make myself seem ungrateful for the opportunity. I wanted the business and money. Within one week I delivered on the project. It took me two weeks to receive payment. Ouch! I learned the value in not underestimating my skills. Speaking up for myself.  I needed to stand behind my work and negotiate my pricing. Time is always money. Never settle.
·        Versatility: My preferred genre is contemporary women’s fiction, romance, and erotica.  While browsing online for clients to build my portfolio. I would often come across request for Billionaire Romances, Erotic Fantasies, and Christian Fiction novels. As an avid reader of diverse authors and genres I could provide versatile samples of my work to meet potential client’s needs. My comfort zone is in what I prefer to read and write, which is fine. But, versatility is key to optimizing client potential online.
·         Payment first: An opportunity presented itself for me to write work with a client long term. Super excited since long term meant a steady paycheck. The client and I agreed on the terms of the project and a non-disclosure agreement was signed. I was about 10K into the project. The client did not like the direction of the project and wanted to cancel. Disappointed to say the least. Hours and hours of work down the drain. Again, time is money. I should have requested payment upfront and a percentage back if the project was not complete.

Ghostwriting has allowed me to sharpen my writing skills by pushing me outside of my comfort zone. In most cases, clients have left extremely satisfied with my work and have followed up for more work. If you’re considering ghostwriting I recommend approaching it as a business person first and an artist second. Your gift is your livelihood and people must respect your time. Don’t be afraid to ask what you’re worth. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. Most importantly, always be ready to meet the clients’ needs and exceed expectation. Ghostwriting has its great rewards and benefits. Jump in, get your feet wet, and write beyond your imagination. 
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