The Proofreader: Behind the Scenes of 1 Project

Last March, I got an email from a Palm Springs tour guide looking for a proofreader. John Stark had written what he believed would become the definitive tour book about Palm Springs. He would touch on the history of the area, write about the remarkable architecture, highlight the famous people who lived there, spotlight their…

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When 1 Beautiful Ghostwriter-Client Relationship Ends

Ghostwriters don’t automatically deal with a lot of death, but I’ve been lately. Three friends lost their mothers in a matter of weeks. My wife and I have been attending memorials and making condolence calls. Also, a friend died at just 67, sending shockwaves through our social circle. And now, a ghostwriting relationship is at…

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Why 1 New Palm Springs Guidebook was Worth my Time

Seventh in an occasional series about stories and ideas worth telling. When I visit bookstores, in Palm Springs and elsewhere, I often seek the history sections and look for guidebooks and tour books that show old photos of the area compared to what it looks like today. Then I start reading the text, looking for…

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Ghostwriting: 3 Good Outlines, 3 New Lengths

As I’ve previously written, the outline is the most important part of the ghostwriting process. It provides a plan, a blueprint, a direction, a pathway—call it what you want—to help you write the book.  There is no way to ghostwrite a tightly focused book without first having an outline to determine what’s going in, where…

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Why a Heart Defect was a Ghostwriter’s 1st Compelling Story

Sixth and final (for now) of an occasional series about stories and ideas worth telling. A heart defect is not inherently compelling. As a ghostwriter, if someone pitched me to ghostwrite a story about a guy who overcame a heart defect, I’d first ask, “What else is there to the story?” and if there was…

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Ghostwriters Should be so Lucky to Tell This 1 Kind of Story

stories matter typed on paper from a typewriter

Fifth in an occasional series about stories and ideas worth telling. One criterion ghostwriters should look for when deciding what story to help tell is how mouth-droppingly amazing the story is. If when hearing the whole story, I find my mouth agape and my vocalizing the sentences, “Oh my God. I can’t believe that!” or…

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Why “The Impostors” is 1 Story Worth Ghostwriting

Fourth in an occasional series about stories and ideas that are worth telling. Would you be interested in reading about that time a guy crashed an awards show and then was politely asked to guard the bathroom door so Elizabeth Taylor could have privacy? How about the time that same guy walked onto the Universal…

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Why “A Culture of Fear” was 1 Story Worth Telling

Back in 2002, The New York Times came out with a survey that said 81% of people feel they have a book in them. The article’s author, Joseph Epstein, tried hard to discourage people from writing those books, and one reason he gave was that “so many third-rate books are published nowadays.” Epstein was right…

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