How It Works

Literary journalism Disciplines ConceptAs anyone who has ever tried will know, writing a book doesn’t just happen. It takes patience, attention to detail, a strong narrative thread, words that grab you by the throat and many, many late nights, writer’s block, false starts and head-in-hands moments before you reach the last page. Which is why many people don’t ever get there, giving up long before their story is underway.


Ghostwriting removes much of the pain of writing. As most people are better talkers than they are writers, it is often far easier to tell someone a good story than to write it down. So ghostwriting works in the same way. I listen to you and prompt your memory with questions. As I record our conversation I think about a narrative thread and how the story you’re telling me is weaving through that. I steer you in the direction I think the reader will want you to take, but like all readers I want to be surprised and challenged to0.

How will we work together?

Manuscript from Author with Red Twine CloseupWhen I’ve read your short outline I will contact you to discuss the next steps. More than likely this will be the creation of a ‘submission’ or a selling document of around 10,000 words, which includes an introduction to the book, a chapter-by-chapter breakdown and a sample chapter. This is necessary if you want to present your idea to a publisher and get noticed. However, it may be the case that you would like have the whole book written with a view to self-publishing, now a very popular way forward for the aspiring writer.

Who Pays Who?

There are two distinct strands here:

    • Having your book accepted by a mainstream UK publisher
    • Having it self-published

The first route is the easiest to explain. If I think your book idea could be picked up, we will work on a submission, as outlined above. This can take several weeks and there is a charge for this work. I have to emphasise this, as some people expect that I will work for nothing. I can’t and I won’t – end of story. In my view, not charging shows a lack of professionalism and very little self-respect for the skills of the writer. If it is bought by a publisher and you would like me to write the rest of the book, we both get a share of the advance paid by the publisher.

What if my idea isn’t strong enough to be published nationally?

This is how the second strand works. If the book is unlikely to be bought by a major publisher, but you still want it written and published, I will charge an agreed fee for the writing, which can be paid in instalments over the writing period. I will also help you to find a suitable self-publisher (and there are many good ones around) so that your work will end up in print. If you want to publish your work as an ebook I can advise on that, and will still charge an agreed fee for the writing.

Is Self-publishing Any Good?

Libreria_Ebook_1The days when unread manuscripts lay forgotten in bottom drawers have gone. The internet has revolutionised publishing, so that if you want to publish a book electronically, a few clicks will make this happen. This revolution has also enabled self-publishing to thrive. For a fee, they will publish your book and quite often it will look and feel as good as its mainstream rivals. Many people aren’t interested in selling millions; they just want their story in print for family and friends. I have worked with authors in this category, and their subsequent books are excellent.

What Happens When We’ve Agreed To Work Together?

We spend an agreed amount of time working on your book. You talk, I ask questions. When I feel I have enough material to start writing, that’s exactly what I do. Within three or four months I have a first draft. At this stage we can add, take away, alter or revise according to your wishes. When we’re both happy, the book is submitted to the publisher for their comments. Within the year, the book is printed and out on the shelves.

Will We Get On Well?

Establishing a good working relationship is at the heart of a well-written autobiography. I am friendly, approachable and down to earth, but also thorough and often challenging. There will be times when we disagree. However, I’ve never yet encountered a person I couldn’t co-author a book with because of a personality clash. We will work it out! My aim is to help you create a great book. It doesn’t matter if you’re a rock star or you work in the corner shop. What counts is the quality of the story and how I can help you get the book deal you deserve.