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How do you write a book with a ghostwriter?

You’re busy.
And writing a book sounds like a mountain of work.
So you put it on your Someday list.
And it stays there.

If you’re like most people you forget about it.
BUT you’re not like most people.
Or else you wouldn’t have landed on this page to find out what it takes to write your book with a ghostwriter.

Here’s what’s involved in working with a ghostwriter (or working with me I should say):


The first step is a free 30-minute consultation for you to tell us what you want from a book. We can give you some ballpark costs for your project, depending on how long your book is likely to be, how many other people we need to interview for the book, and how many copies you want to publish.

This meeting gives you a chance to suss out if you’re comfortable sharing your deepest, darkest secrets with a stranger. Actually, scratch that — we don’t want to know your deep, dark secrets; we just need to know what makes you tick and what you want to achieve from your book.

If you’re happy to commit to the project, the next step is a planning session.

A face-to-face meeting is ideal but a phone call works too. This meeting typically takes 60-90 minutes and at this meeting, we will plan your book. We’ll come up with a working title, a table of contents and a chapter by chapter outline of your book.

We’ll work out who your target market is and what action you want them to take after reading your book. We’ll ask you what you know and what skills, knowledge, and expertise you want to share with your readers to convince them to do business with you. If you can pull together any media clippings you have and work out a rough timeline of the key events in your life and business, that would be a big help.

After we’ve come up with a plan together, then we need to meet weekly, fortnightly or monthly to access the thoughts, ideas, expertise and experience in your head, and get it onto the page.

One or two hour meetings usually work best. Think of these meetings as a brain dump.
You tell me everything you can possibly think of that is relevant to the chapter we’re working on.

If it’s about a particular period in your life, talk about the sights, sounds, cultural events and memories you associate with that time. Tell us what you’ve believed, learned, seen, experienced and felt at each stage of your journey.

Tell us your war stories, your wins, your losses, your fails and your embarrassing stories that remind your customers that you are human.

A good ghostwriter will also do a lot of independent research — reading interviews, media clippings, company PR and other books related to the subject.

Progress updates

We’ll write up the chapter and email it to you within a couple of weeks.
Why one chapter at a time?
Because that allows you to give us instant feedback. You can tell us what works and what doesn’t, what you want more of and what you want less of.


It depends on the scope and scale of the project.
After the initial consultation where the client tells us their hopes and dreams for their book, the type of book they want to write and their target market, we’ll work out a quote which will factor in the estimated timeframe for the project.

The project price for a short memoir or how-to book of 20,000 to 30,000 words is approximately $25,000.
For a life story or company story, the starting rate is $40,000 +.


The reality is it’s incredibly difficult to make money from book sales in New Zealand. Instead, think about the potential to increase your earnings as a result of establishing yourself as an authority in your chosen field. A well written book could lead to highly qualified sales leads, speaking engagements and open up new markets for you.

Think of your book as a business card on steroids.
Your book demonstrates your thought leadership in your chosen field. As an author, you’re instantly seen as an authority. Authors can charge more for their services because people see you in a different light when you’re a published author.

Don’t write your book to make money.
Write your book to build your brand and your business.


If they’re experienced at interviewing people and translating their thoughts, ideas, experience and expertise into readable copy, then yes, absolutely.

When you read your book it should sound like you.
More importantly, when people you know read your book they should be able to hear your voice as they’re reading. It should sound like you’re talking to them.

Your book should include words and phrases you use in everyday conversation.
If you swear a lot in person, then your book should include some swear words.
The goal is to capture your personality on the page.
The only way to do that is by doing enough interviews to create authentic content that sounds like you.
To capture your unique take on things and your unique way of communicating your perspective and opinions.


I encourage the clients I work with to send me anything they’ve ever written.
If it’s good enough, then a light edit might be all it needs to be usable.

I’m not a subject matter expert on anything except writing. So if you have lots of subject specific materials that explain what you do, then that is really valuable. It will also help cut down some of the interview and research time required to write your book or bio.


There’s no doubt that people’s attention spans are getting shorter and the traditional book publishing industry is dying.

But books, or to be more accurate, stories are very versatile. And self-publishing or independent publishing has made it easier than ever for anyone to write and publish their story. Now anyone with a story to tell can share it with the world.

In the past, you had to be a celebrity or have a high profile to be shoulder tapped by one of the big publishing houses. You needed to be nationally recognised in your field, be a regular on the keynote speaking circuit, or have a large social media following. The rules have changed.

Anyone with something to say can have their book written and published quickly and easily. Your reader doesn’t care if the book is published by Penguin Random House or an independent publisher in Hong Kong. All they care about is whether your book will help them solve their problem or get their head around a concept they’ve always struggled with.

Self publishing gives you greater control over your book and your story.
Maybe you want to send your book to your email list?
Or post it to your website in bite-sized chunks?
Or publish it as an ebook.

Maybe you want to print a few hundred copies for your family, friends, staff, and customers.
A book is like a business card on steroids.

If you want to take your book to the mainstream market I work with an independent publisher who can help you get your book in retail outlets.

The choice is yours.

You can learn more about working with me to write your book, bio, speech or presentation here.


I’ve got 20 years of writing experience and my first book went to number one on the New Zealand non-fiction bestsellers’ list.

You can find out more about my ghostwriting work and process here.

Unlock the Potential of Your Story