Four paths to published author from do it yourself, to book development help, book coaching, and book ghostwriting.

You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.

Stephen King

Author Question: You’ve mentioned on your podcast about how you’re a book coach and I was wondering how that’s different from a ghostwriter and how I would know if I need either type of person? I have a book idea and I’ve done a little outlining so far but that’s it. Thank you!

Great questions and this is the perfect timing to be asking them, as close to the beginning of your book writing journey as possible. These questions are similar to the ones I get every week from new authors investigating their options.

(A recent point of interest – apparently I’m showing up frequently on Google for people searching for “women book coaches” – and alongside some fairly big names in the space!)

You have 4 basic options available to you to become a published author, and each one is closely tied to the quality of the book you’re aiming to write – from “kicking out a book for the sake of” (ps, best of luck but you’re not my client) to “shooting for the stars” (what does that mean for you?).

Option 1: DIY

This is where you essentially go it alone and figure out the book writing process with the help of books on the subject, the internet, podcasts, and author friends and peers like in my Ink Authors group on Facebook.

Option 2: Book Blueprint

Now we move into the realm of outside professional help, like how I help authors. I’m sure every coach has their own version of book development services. Mine is called a Book Blueprint and it’s by far the one-on-one, totally individualized service that I’ve provided to the most authors over the decades. It gives you a solid foundation to work from including a thorough vision and architecture, table of contents, a chapter by chapter writing plan, and a project plan of dates, deadlines, and word counts to hold you accountable.

Option 3: Book Blueprint/Coaching

All the Blueprint magic plus I’m your coach, working with you side-by-side (so to speak) as you write your book, solving your writing, productivity, and mindset obstacles and acting as your developmental editor as you write. Consider it quality assurance for the final product to avoid surprises. One coaching client called it a “master class in creative writing.”

Option 4: Ghostwriting

And for those who are really time crunched, but still would like to publish a book of their innermost thoughts, stories, and ideas, in their own voice – there’s the ghostwriter option. (And no, AI hasn’t come close to being able to replicate this function yet.)

If you choose this route, investigate the credentials of the person you hire. Make sure they’re an experienced ghostwriter and not just an experienced writer – those are two different things. Ghostwriting requires not only top notch writing skills but also the ability to capture the client’s voice and write and even think like (and for) them. It’s a collaborative process where the time and “heavy lifting” investment falls on the ghostwriter, but the client’s input and feedback is essential. There’s also an empathic/intuitive element to the job, that has nothing to do with writing or cerebral abilities. This is also why I don’t see AIs taking over this function any time soon.  

P.S. Are you thinking of writing a book this year, embarking on the path to published author? Which of these options are you most leaning toward? Let’s chat!

Related Articles:

Do You Need a Book Coach or a Ghostwriter?

Can I Write a Book Without Outlining?

Demystifying Book Writing Obstacles?

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