Monday, October 29, 2007

No Time To Write? Try a Ghostwriter

Many people feel they have a story to tell or an experience to share. But time is precious and not everyone can make the words sing on the page. But there are people who can make the whole experience hassle-free. A ghostwriter will do all the work while you get all the credit. Some common questions about the ghostwriting process are answered below.

What does a ghostwriter do?
A ghostwriter edits, writes, collaborates, and researches on behalf of someone else who becomes their client. Many biographies of celebrities and television personalities have been ghostwritten.

Why do I need one?
Not everyone knows how to or has the time to turn an idea into a book. A ghostwriter is a professional who has the time to turn your thoughts into a polished manuscript.

How does ghostwriting work?
You give the ghostwriter your ideas; s/he tells your story. Most people provide notes, digital recordings or audio tapes. Some may even have drafts of chapters or the whole book and ideas about characters and dialogue. The more information and material you provide, the closer the final product will be to your original idea. The ghostwriter turns your idea into something that people will enjoy reading.

Will the ghostwriter steal my idea?
No, that wouldn't be professional. Any ghostwriter who did that would soon be out of a job. A reputable ghostwriter will usually be happy to sign a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement.

Who gets the credit for my finished book?
It's your idea, so you take the credit. Many ghostwriters work behind the scenes. Of course, in some instances, you may want to share the credit - that's why many biographies are credited like this: Major Celebrity with Ghostwriter or Major Celebrity as told to Ghostwriter. But you call the shots and can opt to take all the credit.

How much does ghostwriting cost?
Each job is unique and that makes it hard to give more than general guidelines. The length of time the project is likely to take and the amount of research the ghostwriter will be required to do will affect the final cost. Many ghostwriters will charge a small up front fee, followed by payments at each stage of completed work. Unless you're a major celebrity with an iron-clad publishing contract already signed and sealed, a ghostwriter is unlikely to work for nothing.

What does a ghostwriter's fee cover?
It covers writing, research and any communication, but not usually travel or accommodation.

How long will it take to ghostwrite my material?
That depends on the material. Anywhere from 2 to 6 months is average depending on the type of book and how much work you've already put in. A short article may only take hours while a longer research report may take a year. You'll be able to discuss this once you've hired a ghostwriter.

What about publication?
Some ghostwriters help with publication as well, by sending query letters and so on. This will probably cost you extra. Other ghostwriters see the writing as their job and leave you to find your own publisher. Consider which option you prefer before signing the contract.

How do I know the ghostwriter is experienced?
Ghostwriters generally have to keep clients' names confidential, but you can look at other examples of their writing. If you enjoy reading these, then chances are that others will enjoy reading your material too.

See you in print!

About the author:
Sharon Hurley Hall is a freelance writer, ghostwriter and editor. Sharon has been writing all her life and loves the written word. Sharon has lectured on journalism and media issues. Visit http://www.doublehdesign.comto see how Sharon can help with your writing, editing or design projects.

5 Reasons Why Headlines Are The Single Most Important Part Of All

Are you maximizing your marketing results by using headlines at every opportunity?

Without a powerful headline, your message stands little chance in an increasingly competitive marketplace. If your headline doesn’t capture attention and pull prospects inside, the rest of your marketing effort is meaningless.

Nothing is more important to getting your message noticed than your headlines. If you’re not allocating a sizable percentage of your time and creative effort to your headlines, you could be losing out on a large chunk of business.

Top copywriters understand this concept well. They know how essential it is for the headline to capture attention by literally stopping prospects in their tracks. Here are five good reasons why headlines deserve greater emphasis and attention.

1) “Headlines Are Natural Attention-Getters"

We all have a tendency to read headlines first, before delving into any body copy. They stand out visually, thus compelling people to pay attention to them first. Headlines act as leads that are set above and separate from the rest of the text. This naturally attracts the eye of the reader and pulls him towards the headline.

According to advertising legend David Ogilvy, 5 times as many people, on average, read headlines as read the body copy of an ad. With 5 times the readership, headlines have a unique opportunity to make any message many times more successful.

2) “Headlines Serve As Valuable Guides"

Headlines tip off readers. They provide a clear signal to help readers decide whether they should stick around for the full message, or dash off to something else that’s better suited to their own special interests.

As a quick summary of the entire piece, headlines either attract continued interest and readership, or they repel it. Without a headline, the reader is forced to wade through a portion of the text to understand the meaning. When you force readers to do this, you risk losing them altogether. In effect, having no headline will cost you at least 80% of your potential audience!

3) “Headlines Prepare The Reader For What’s Coming"

Headlines fuel interest. They start the reader’s motor running. A good headline sets up a feeling of expectation as the reader anticipates discovering more and can’t wait to get it!

Successful headlines address a specific audience. They open the reader’s mind to new possibilities and expand his level of enthusiasm and interest. The best headlines involve the reader in some way which virtually guarantees sustained attention-- at least until the reader finds the information he seeks, loses interest, or places an order.

4) “Headlines Simplify The Learning Curve"

Every headline serves to introduce whatever follows. As an opening or a lead-in, the role of the headline is to succinctly communicate the essence of the message it precedes.

Effective headlines and sub-headings reveal key bits of information often with the added power of emotion. A review of the various headings alone can often provide one with the gist of a given message. This makes it faster and easier to understand and remember.

When you make it easier for your prospects to read and comprehend
your messages, you increase the chances of your own success.

5) “Headlines Allow You To Deliver Your Biggest Bang Up-Front"

You have the opportunity to capture attention and interest at the outset, by using your most appealing selling point in the headline. If your strongest, most desirable product attribute fails to pull prospects in, surely nothing else you could ever say would do the trick, either.

The stronger your headline, the more readers that are exposed to your message will read on. Create every headline to command attention and inspire interest. The more alluring and irresistible you can make it, the more genuine prospects you’ll attract and ultimately, the better results you’ll achieve.

Headlines are powerful marketing tools when used correctly.

Take a good look at the headlines you’re using in your own ads, brochures, sales letters, and web pages. Keep an eye out for additional headline and sub-heading opportunities. Make your headlines impossible to miss and difficult to ignore and watch your results soar!

About the author:
Robert Boduch is the author of "Winning Website Sale Letters Program” - a web copywriting course that reveals the inside secrets top copywriters use to magnetically attract prospects and convert them into lifetime paying customers. You’ll discover how you can do it too!