Writing

1 Reason Quality Ghostwriters Shun “on Spec” Work

By Lee Barnathan / April 15, 2024
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Recently, I turned down a potential ghostwriting client because he clearly didn’t have the money to pay me. He then asked me if he could pay me after the book sells. I responded, “No, I don’t work on spec.” That pretty much ended my conversation with him, but it made me realize that maybe not…

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2 Times a Good Ghostwriter Was a Therapist

By Lee Barnathan / April 8, 2024
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“I’m not a licensed therapist, but sometimes we must all act that way.” —Jodi Lipper, six-time New York Times bestselling ghostwriter I find these words, spoken during January 2024’s Gathering of the Ghosts conference in New York City, to be so true. Writing a book—with or without a ghostwriter—is a monumental undertaking. People who hire…

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1 Missed Chance to Ghostwrite a Story Better

By Lee Barnathan / April 1, 2024
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To ghostwrite is to have tact. Early in my ghostwriting career, I was not as tactful as I should have been with people I needed to interview to flesh out the story. This stemmed from my newspaper journalism days when I often strong-armed and aggressively got people to talk to me. This earned me several…

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2 Ghostwriting Stories of Why Defending Yourself is Worthwhile

By Lee Barnathan / March 25, 2024
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Ninth in an occasional series about stories and ideas that are worth a ghostwriter’s time. Ghostwriting about clearing one’s name and placing the blame on the correct person are two types of stories that interest large numbers of people, including ghostwriters. In movies, there’s Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Wrong Man” from 1956, in which Henry Fonda…

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1 Interesting Ghostwriting Secret: Expertise Not Needed

By Lee Barnathan / March 18, 2024
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Recently, I took on a new ghostwriting client. A Pennsylvania-based personal injury lawyer hired me to ghostwrite some chapters into an already existing book about depositions. In our early conversations, I asked him if the writing will be technical and legal, since the target audience is attorneys. “No,” he said, “it needs to be written…

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Why 1 Excellent Marketing Book Mattered

By Lee Barnathan / March 11, 2024
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Eighth in an occasional series about stories and ideas worth telling. “It takes a complete recipe to make the best cakes,” Guy Powell wrote in the preface to his book The Post-COVID Marketing Machine: Prepare Your Team to Win. “If one ingredient fails, the cake will be a dud. Running a business is exactly like…

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Even AI Agrees 8 Billion Humans are Better

By Lee Barnathan / March 7, 2024
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I’m always trying to stay informed about the ghostwriting industry, and one subject I know I need to study more is AI ghostwriting. Recently, I came across a website called hypotenuse.ai, which sells a variety of ghostwriting services using the Bespoke tool.  Naturally, the site describes all the great things AI, or artificial intelligence, can…

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Ghostwriters See All Kinds, Even This Pale Bad 1

By Lee Barnathan / March 5, 2024
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As a ghostwriter, I recently received this email: I arrived in Los Angeles on October 31st from Mississippi to attend the LA Film School. I didn’t have the means to get an apt, so I lived in my car id travel at night to various places all over Los Angeles way up in the mountains…

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Secrets of Ghostwriting: It’s 2 Jobs, Writing and Coaching

By Lee Barnathan / February 19, 2024
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I once had a pair of ghostwriting clients who in our first meeting confessed, “We really don’t know what we’re doing. We need you to tell us what to do.” In other words, while they hired me to ghostwrite their book, the reality was they needed a coach as much as a ghostwriter. That’s not…

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1 Frustrating Ghostwriting Secret: Hurry Up and Wait

By Lee Barnathan / February 12, 2024
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Before ghostwriting, I was a sportswriter, and one lesson I quickly learned was hurry up and wait. When I covered any college or professional game, there was a mandatory cooling-off period afterwards when the press had to wait before gaining access to the teams. This often extended to before the game, too. I remember covering…

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