Five Nevers of Ghostwriting Success
Looking back over my three decades of ghostwriting, I realize that every bad client experience I had was really my own fault. In each case, I ignored the flashing red warning signs. I’m not claiming that these rules are absolute for every ghostwriter, nor that they will protect you in every case. I only hope that my five “nevers” may be a useful guide to other ghostwriters.
- Never Agree to Work with a Client After You Say You Won’t
It’s Not as Bad as You Think
In America, we engage in frivolous rhetoric because we can afford to. That’s not a boast. That’s a failure of character. It's along these lines: The comedian Chris Rock said, “If a homeless person has a funny sign, he hasn’t been homeless that long. A real homeless person is too hungry to be funny.”
I say a nation that was really hurting for themselves or others wouldn’t spend any time calling the other half names. They’d get serious and do whatever it...
You, me, and RFK
I took a Robert Kennedy biography on spring break, and all I got was six lousy insights on speechwriting.
The Speechwriter’s Pipe Dream: Writing Our Own Job Description
In this space a couple of weeks ago, an outsider might have thought speechwriters were complaining about the unreasonable—or unreasonably numerous—demands that organizations place on them.
As a speechwriter these days, “you write, you relationship, you gap-fill, you verify,” I quoted a speechwriter as saying. “Thinking, reading, expanding, learning is done on your...
PSA: Keep Your Day Job
Merritt Tierce has a great name but it doesn’t begin with J, so I’m a little unclear as to why she assumed she could make a living out of writing.
One Simple Question: An Old Pro’s Ultimate Key to Powerful Communications
Hands down it was the greatest writing lesson in my illustrious almost thirty years in the journalism/publishing business. It was just one simple sentence of sage advice from an old, wily tabloid editor.
It changed my career and my life. And it just might improve the power of every single thing you say, you write and you communicate in any way.
I was a thirty-year-old rewrite editor at the Globe, the infamous tabloid that was making headlines at the time for...
To slip the surly bonds of speechwriting
You're doing your job. But are you doing your job?
As we read every week in The Executive Communication Report, executive commuincation professonals are hired to "prepare speeches and other communication materials for senior executives."
Some exec comms pros see their jobs as bigger than that. They think they should slip the surly bonds of C-suite messaging, and...
“YOU’RE HIRED!”: How the Best Ghostwriters Get the Job
Since I became a freelance ghostwriter and editor in 2002, I've had the privilege of working on more than 250 books across a wide range of genres, both fiction and nonfiction. Each time, I had to convince my potential client that I was the right guy for the job. Sure, credentials and experience play a large role, but winning each author’s confidence—assuring them that their project will be in great hands if they hire you—demands more than just a solid resume. You must also...
Milo Can You Go?: Editing Across the Aisle
Last week news broke that controversial internet commentator and Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos had received a $250,000 advance from Simon & Schuster for his forthcoming book Dangerous. The deal sparked outrage among readers and those within the publishing community who accused S&S of pedaling the views of a hatemonger and attempting to...