Joshua Lisec is a Ghostwriter and published this twitter thread about successful writing and publishing strategies. He is worth a follow. Enjoy!
No one cares about the book you want to write until you write the book they want to read.
A book description is direct response sales copy, not a diary entry
Most ghostwriters should be in another line of work. And they are. For example, I know two who started around the same time I did. He mows lawns in the summer to pay the mortgage.
Your book needs a course. Your course needs a book. Will not explain.
No one cares about your life story if they're not the hero in it.
Self help is the new memoir.
And memoir is the new self help.
Nobody took "#1 Amazon Best-seller" seriously until Big 5 published authors starting to brag about being one.
If you want to be an author
but you're not using Publisher Rocket,
do you really want to be an author?
Getting traditionally published is 100% worth the hype -- for an eensy weensy number of authors.
Most famous novelists have 5-7 Ghostwriters working on their next book at any given moment.
Writing is hard because we're not trained to think
If you want to understand your ancestors' aspirations, read the fiction they did.
If you are not 100% certain you need a book, you 100% don't.
Yes, you need a plan to make $100,000 from selling 100 copies of fewer.
If you don't have that plan, let's talk.
The world needs more complete frameworks and fewer generic tips.
Publication is 1 day. Launch is 18 months. Longevity is 20 years.
One look at your table of contents tells me if you've got a chance.
99% of the inspirational quotes y'all are tweeting, a Ghostwriter penned.
Most literary professionals are deathly afraid of the limelight.
That's why I have over 160 videos on my YouTube channel.
People will buy your book before hiring you just to confirm you're not full of crap.
Amazon banned reviews on books from reviewers who the author has a relationship with.
People assign the most credibility to books with a 4.2-4.5 average star rating.
Good writing is like a color palette. IYKYK
I often intuit the book my clients should right. Sometimes they agree. That's why I am a Ghostwriter, not a Co-Author for hire
The second biggest reason books flop is the title.
One of the few authors who stuff I read no matter what is Jay Abraham. His books are sales copy for his consulting. Yours should be too.
If you try to repurpose your blog and social media content into a book without a professional's guidance, odds are high that you will regret it.
"There's nothing new under the sun" is a total lie.
Some books are a map. Others are a GPS. Know yours.
Feedback from family and friends only makes your book worse.
You're probably not going to make big money selling copies of your book. The massive revenue comes other ways. But it only happens because you wrote the book.
The #1 most important question I ask authors is also the one they find hardest to answer.
"What can you promise readers will happen because they read and applied it?"
The Big Five publishers push Identity Politics because it's profitable.
Imagine still being broke with so many Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) and so many people willing to pay to get them done.
Your book and course should not overlap.
And yet it should.
Cheaply and quickly self-publishing your book demonstrates a lack of self-awareness. If it looks thrown together, I assume your other products and services are as well. Hard pass.
If you want your book to sell, tell people WHY they should buy it, not THAT they should.
Better to write 5 20,000 word books than one 100,000 word one. Exceptions apply
The easiest part of Ghostwriting is telling clients the best way to say it. The hardest part is when they choose any alternative.
If you're an alphabet person (BIPOC LGBTQIA), you currently have an advantage over every other author who wants to get traditionally published.
"Author voice" is overrated. Just tell me what to do.
People don't judge a book by its cover. They judge it by the thumbnail of its cover.
Half of Ghostwriting is Project Management. The other half is Alchemy.
Tell me the title of your book. That tells me whether or not you're a prig.
A "Scribe" is not a thing in publishing. Because transcribing an author interview, fixing the typos, and slapping a cover on it does not lead to anything you can respectably call a "Book."
Most people who should author a book don't. Those shouldn't do. And it shows.
The opening chapter of your book is long form sales copy because people can read that chapter fo free.
My favorite dialect to ghostwrite is African-American Vernacular.
The worst is Siliconvalleyspeak.
There's a reason people look at my course The Best Way To Say It and assume it's a book.
Most pop self help books do the opposite.
Beware the following publishing perils, dear author:
- "Guaranteed Bestseller"
- "Write Your Book in a Weekend"
- "NYT Bestselling Ghostwriters 85% Off"
If your Ghostwriter can get away with copying and pasting content from your industry's Wikipedia pages,
You're not an expert till you can say you wrote the book on it.
There are 100,000s of freelance ghostwriters.
But fewer than 100 are Certified Professional Ghostwriters.
The gold is in the genre mashup.
Better World Books >>>>>>>> Barnes and Noble
If your book's topic is irrelevant in 12 months, you probably shouldn't write it.
Aim for a 20 year shelf life.
If you've heard of them, they probably had a Ghostwriter.
95% of what could go in your book shouldn't.
For every book I ghost, I could have done five more for that client.
Literary agents don't care how passionate you are about your story. They care how passionate the existing audience for books like yours are.
Publishers read your book proposal first for a reason. The chapters are tucked at the end of the proposal for that same reason.
"Submit your book proposal and 3 sample chapters" = "Show us how you're going to make us money. Oh, and it helps if your book doesn't suck."
Ghostwriter's Block does not exist.
If you don't intend to author 20 novels but want to be a novelist, keep your day job
If the Inciting Incident does not occur on the first page, fix it.
Less is more.
With worldbuilding. Dialogue. Beats and tags. Internal monologue. Descriptions, etc.
If describing X doesn't move the reader forward into the story through the character's eyes, cut X.
99% of Christian fiction is Gospel tract novelizations.
Short: Pop Self Help
Long: Men's Fiction
Use as few words as possible for everything.
Dialogue. Descriptions. Narration.
Fiction: Your metaphors aren't as clever as you think.
Nonfiction: Your analogies aren't as helpful as you think.
Improving your tweet game impacts your storytelling ability.
"Would you buy my book about X?"
is a question that gets down on its knees
to be lied to.
I will consider retirement from ghostwriting
if and only if
I ghostwrite a tell-all US Presidential Memoir.
If that doesn't happen,
I'll just have to live forever.
Write a book about everything associated with one thing.
Shock value is underrated in nonfiction but overrated in fiction.
"Niche down" does not apply to books.
A TED or TEDx Talk is audience testing for the speaker's upcoming book.
Y'all gonna make me keep this thread going. Sheesh.
Thinking of your book through th filter of Customer Journey Mapping will change how you promote it.
And thinking of your book through th filter of Jobs To Be Done Theory will change how you write it.
If you're not giving people good reason to buy your book NOW, you're not giving them good reason to buy it at all.
Assume that everything you would say in your book, readers have already heard.
What are you going to write instead?
Assume that the most skeptical prospect every is the first person to read your book.
How will you counter their objections and deconstruct the broken beliefs they have about your work?
Typos are weapons of mass persuason. Use them wisely.
The world's greatest Ghostwriters have the following 3 talents in their literary talent stack:
- Acting / Performance
- Project Management
If you're not going to leverage your book for something else beyond the book
you probably shouldn't write it, fam.
You think your first book underperformed because of how you promoted it.
The most emotionally compelling fiction is driven by the motivation of the antagonist. (Credit: @TheBrometheus)
90% of Self Help Spirituality authors who ask for my help are trying to rewrite Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Louise Hay, and Ken Wilber.
But without the good stories.
90% of Personal Development authors who ask for my help are trying to rewrite James Clear, Brendon Burchard, and John Maxwell.
But without any actionable strategies or universally applicable examples.
90% of Business and Entrepreneurship authors who ask for my help are trying to rewrite Jen Sincero, Dan Kennedy, Gary Vee, or Ash Ambirge.
But without laugh-out-loud insights or advice you can't find on Bing.
The impact of the previous 3 hand grenades 👇🏻
Most aspiring authors with an "original" book idea just don't read widely.
You assume you have First Mover Advantage because you aren't aware of who was already First.
Yet hope is not lost! (cont...)
The first thing I do with an aspiring author is identify the ONE promise their book idea can make (and deliver) that their audience has most assuredly NOT seen before -- or seen done as well as they hoped. (cont...)
In short, everything that you're missing going into authorship the right ghostwriter brings to your project.
Sometimes, that means I tell an aspiring author I can make their book live up to its full potential.
Other times, integrity makes me admit:
Half of all bestsellers are the audiobook edition of the book that hit the bestseller list all by itself.
You need a book for authority, credibility, and expertise establishment. But a 40,000 - 75,000 worder makes little sense.
You need a Hook Book then.
Only one person in the world knows how to write them.
You got this far. You're impressed. And a little self-conscious about your own writing.
Let's fix that for you.
Many courses should have been a 1-page book.
Many books should have been a 12-hour course.
East to spot why.
Author a "Parent" book followed by 5+ "Child" books.
This tweet is not about parents and children.
Some authors would be better off hiring a professional ghostwriter, giving the writing pro an idea, letting them write 100% of a book, then slapping their name on it.
Many aspiring authors hope ghostwriting is NOT what I just wrote.
But for many, it should be.
Your book might need a Ghostwriter.
Or a Developmental Editor.
Or a Line Editor.
Or a Copyeditor.
Or just a Proofreader.
If you're not sure, you probably need all of them.
Your book builds credibility for all your other products.
The opposite can also be true.
Most authors without a ghostwriter can't write their own book promotional copy because they don't know what their own book is about.
This week, a client dropped this truth bomb:
"Several of my competitors have written books. They're these skinny little things. They're dry crap. What does that tell clients? If they're all flash and no substance with their own book, they must be that way with everything."
Craig Ball - The Spinwit Blog
Local HS Football Coach
Business and Technology Teacher
Executive Director of Colorado's 8-Man All-State Game
Early Colorado Gaming Industry Organizer and License holder.
Black Hawk, Colorado is an old gambling town just west of Golden on North Clear Creek at 8,000 feet of elevation. Legalized Casino Gambling was reinstated on October 1st, 1991.
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Craig Ball is an MBA student at the University of Illinois, a football coach, teacher, and former casino owner in the Gaming District. This site is used for sharing information about what I'm reading /writing on topics like education, coaching, and casino gambling.