...Too busy to write a book?

You are not alone! It seems the world is going at warp speed these days and finding time to write is at the bottom of the pile of priorities. But your book doesn't need to wait until you are in your rocking chair with time on your hands.


...Need help telling your story?

Hiring a ghostwriter is more common than you think! You should consider asking a ghostwriter to help if you fall into one of these categories:

1. You have a great idea but no time to write.

2. You are sure you have a good story to tell, but are not so sure about your writing skills.

3. You have information that can best be disseminated in a book but writing a book is beyond your scope.

4. You have written a draft of your book and know it needs more than just an editor's red pen to make it shine.

5. You have spoken to a publisher who said he or she was interested in the concept of your book, but suggested you find a ghostwriter.

6.You want to quickly produce your book.


Barbara Munson has authored, ghostwritten or collaborated on numerous titles. She is happy to consider yours, especially if it is a nonfiction topic such as history, biography, autobiography, spirituality, personal finance, business and sales, how-to, self-help, inspirational, travel, and personal narratives. Please send her an email munsonbarb@aol.com or call her at (303) 526-9095.


Helpful articles

What is the difference between a collaborator and a ghostwriter?

What You Should Know About Ghostwriters


Book proposals and query letters

Unless you are independently publishing your own book, book proposals are part of the process of finding a publisher. Barbara also can provide you a polished proposal that is designed to get a publisher's quick attention. Many publishers require full book proposals (up to 40 pages) before they look at your manuscript.

Query letters to literary agents or publishers: sometimes a succinctly written, one-page letter about your book is harder to write than a full proposal. Ask a professional wordsmith to help.


What You Should Know About Ghostwriters

Becoming an author is one of the most satisfying experiences you can have. Your book is your legacy to the world, a permanent expression of you, your ideas and your story. Yet many books aren't getting written because of the misconception that becoming an author is an insurmountable task. Would-be authors say, “Write a book? Who me? I don't have the time or the talent!” But becoming a published author doesn't have to be that difficult, with the right help. Consider calling a ghostwriter.

A ghostwriter is an experienced writer who has the ability to assemble your thoughts, ideas and stories into a book or article for which you receive full credit as author.

WHEN TO CALL A GHOSTWRITER You should consider a ghostwriter if you have a good idea for a book, but

a. you do not like to write

b. you are too busy

c. you want a book completed within a specific timeframe

d. you have a draft of your book written but it needs substantial rewriting

e. you have a lot of material for your book but need help compiling it all into book form.

With few exceptions, any category of book is fair game for a ghostwriter. Some ghostwriters specialize in a particular genre of book, such as mystery, spirituality, technical or memoir. Some focus on specific topics, e.g., personal finance or divorce. If you have an idea for a book, chances are there's a ghostwriter out there for you. Incidentally, many “best-selling” books have been ghostwritten. (A note: Most ghostwriters do not publicly discuss the books they have ghostwritten, unless the author says it's OK to do so.)

Although there is no hard-and-fast rule on this, generally a collaborator assists an author with writing, research or related areas on the book, and usually receives an attribution or byline. An example of a collaborator's byline is: The Cookie Book, by Suzy Smith with Barbara Munson. A ghostwriter, however, is responsible for writing the book. He or she is always “out of the picture” and does not receive attribution.

Since you'll want your book to reflect your own thoughts and goals for the book and who you are and how you sound, ghostwriting involves a lot of communication between the author and writer. Much of that can be accomplished through emailing questions and answers, but telephone discussions and interviews, in-person meetings and sending letters may be part of the process too.

After discussing your goals for the book, the ghostwriter asks for copies of any and all materials you have that are relevant to the book. That might include notes, research you've done, audiocassette tapes of talks you've given, handouts from your talks, diaries and journals, published articles about you, biographical write-ups, etc. Copies of any photos, charts and graphs, and an outline to follow are helpful, too. The rule is: provide your ghostwriter with everything! The most seemingly inconsequential piece of information could spark a brainstorm and a new focus to the book. The actual ghostwriting process includes a minimum of four drafts of the manuscript. The first draft is simply a typed compiled version of the material you provide the ghostwriter. A discussion between you and your ghostwriter on the tone and direction of your book, arrangement of chapters and major points to bring out in the text follows. The actual writing starts in the second draft. The third or fourth version can be used to get reviews or feedback from colleagues, professionals in your topic area and reviewers. A final draft, including the suggestions from reviewers, polishes the manuscript for acceptance by a publisher.

This process can take from four months to a year or more, depending on the length and complexity of the book, how much research is involved by the ghostwriter, and how much time you can spend on interviews and reviews of the work in progress. During this entire time, the ghostwriter will be in touch with you on a regular basis, providing updates, asking for feedback, and fine-tuning the project.

The two most important considerations in hiring a ghostwriter are compatibility and confidence. You and your ghostwriter will be sharing details about your life, ideas and confidences. He or she also will need to know you well enough to write like you talk. Both of you must be able to share honest feelings about the work. So, having a good rapport and trusting each other is essential. Most importantly, you need to feel confident that, when all is said and done, your book will be great!

Hire someone who knows the book industry and understands the market for your book. This knowledge will be very helpful in the writing process, from deciding what material to include or leave out to using the right tone to coming up with a good title for your book!

Discuss the timeframe for completing the project and fees after you are confident you can work well with the ghostwriter. If you are considering other ghostwriters for the project, make sure you are comparing apples and apples, not apples and oranges. Compare book experience, knowledge of the topic, and abilities along with fees. Remember that faster or cheaper is not always better in the case of your book. A ghostwriter worth his or her salt will want your book to succeed as much as you do! Finally, treat your ghostwriter as you would any professional. He or she is now your business partnerŅand your ultimate product is your book.

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“Barb did an outstanding job on View from the Mountain: A Twentieth-Century Memoir. Working closely with me over the past year, she has demonstrated her skill. And her quiet dependability and support have made working with her a pleasure.”

—Sydney Bryden, author, View from the Mountain


“I love your book ideas. You are a genius!”

—David Waldo, JD, CFP,


“When I first asked Barbara to collaborate on the story of my father, I knew instantly we had a winner. Although I live in California, she managed to take all my notes and conversations and put them together into a powerful award-winning book. Now the world is getting to hear about my dad, and I have Barb to thank.”

—Howard Roberts, coauthor, Gilly: A Humble Crusader




Munson Communications
Phone: (303) 526-9095
Email: Munsonbarb@aol.com

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