Business Book Ghostwriter
Writing a book can help you enhance your brand and position yourself as a thought leader. It can help you become the media “go-to” person, and otherwise advance your career and promote your business.
We, Barry Fox and Nadine Taylor, are experienced book ghostwriters. As such, we know that writing a great book can be difficult and time-consuming.
To help you get started, we’ve prepared this page. On it you’ll find answers to eight of the most common questions we’re asked about business book ghostwriters and ghostwriting.
1. Is there a “best approach” to structuring a business book?
One of the ghostwriter’s early tasks is to help you select the best structure for your book. There are many possible approaches, including:
- “We’ve Got Trouble” – an examination of a problem, with a mention of the solution
- “Smashing the Paradigm” – a look at why our current understanding of some aspect of business is completely wrong
- “Presenting a New Idea” – a discussion of a new idea, broken into several parts
- “Telling a Story or Fable” – an entertaining way to introduce a concept
- “Borrowing from Other Fields” – an application of lessons learned in other areas to business
- “The Encyclopedic Approach” – a reference book addressing certain aspects of business
- “Topic 101” – a “basic course,” in book form
For a more detailed look at these structures, see our article, “Approaches to Writing Business Books.”
2. How do you start it off?
There is no hard-and-fast rule for determining whether you should begin with some startling statistics, a quote, a case history, or your own story.
If you look at the New York Times best-selling business books of October, 2015, you’ll see that there are five popular approaches:
- A story illustrating the book’s topic, used in The Tipping Point
- A story about why the author(s) wrote the book, used in Think Like a Freak
- A dictionary definition, used in Outliers: The Story of Success
- An example of the phenomenon/situation the book is describing, used in Thinking, Fast and Slow
- An explanation, used in Money: Master the Game
For a more detailed discussion of each of these openings, see our article, “First Words in Bestselling Business Books.”
3. Can a business book ghostwriter help me develop a huge concept like Freakonomics?
This is the ghostwriter’s goal—to come up with a powerful concept that grabs everyone’s attention! When it happens, it’s wonderful.
But remember that not all ideas are groundbreaking. Indeed, relatively few books are based on paradigm-shattering ideas. Still, many still provide their readers valuable information, insight, and strategies.
For example, an inside look at a company or an introduction to a new concept are extremely interesting topics. So is a new strategy for getting ahead in business. While these may not earn you a spot on the New York Times bestseller list, they can certainly help you accomplish your business-building goals.
4. Should the ghost have a business degree or experience running a business?
Neither is necessary, as the experienced business book ghostwriter specializes in learning on the fly and translating ideas into books that people enjoy reading. You certainly want a ghostwriter who understands business, but there’s usually no need to find one with an MBA or C-suite experience.
5. What is the most important characteristic of a business book ghostwriter?
The most important skill the ghost must possess is the same that every ghostwriter writing for the popular press must master: being a good story teller.
Unless your book is a reference book, it will tell a story. The story-telling may be the book’s main thrust, as in a business biography, or the tale-telling aspect may be more subtle, as with books like Made to Stick, that relate numerous stories.
But today’s popular business books are almost invariably story-based.
6. How can I find a top ghostwriter?
There are many business book ghostwriters with varying degrees of experience and a range of fees. You’ll certainly want to find one with the right résumé and expertise, but these aren’t enough. The chosen ghost should be willing to challenge you, to (politely) tell you when your ideas are wandering off track, and to help you do what’s necessary to make your book work.
You may be accustomed to people who jump when you speak, but you’ll get much better results if you work with your ghostwriter as a collaborator, rather than expecting him to be a “yes-man.”
7. Should I self-publish my book? This seems to be a popular way to go these days.
This is an excellent question, which leads to another question: Why are you writing this book?
What is your goal? To make money from sales of the book? Raise your media profile? Introduce your product/service to potential customers? Share your concept with the world? For more on this, see, “Why Are You Writing Your Book?”
Your answer to this question will help you decide which type of publication is best for you: standard publication—getting your book published by Simon & Schuster or another major publisher—or self-publication.
To learn the pros and cons of each, read, “Which is Better, Standard or Self-Publishing?”
If you can’t decide why you’re writing your book and what publication strategy may be best for you, your ghostwriter can help you sort through the options. For a quick review of publishing, see, “Book Publishing: A How-To.”
8. Bottom line: Will my book be profitable?
As with all aspects of business, there’s no guarantee of financial success.
But keep your ultimate goal in mind. If your true ambition is to introduce a new concept or present your hard-learned lessons to the world, earning a profit on your book should not be a primary concern. If, on the other hand, profit is your driving motivation, remember that the increase in media attention and business generated by your book can greatly enhance your revenue, even if the book itself doesn’t make a lot of money.
We are the business book ghostwriters
Writing a great book can help you accomplish multiple goals. And we can help you create it.
As ghostwriters of business books—and the “pen” behind over fifty published books—we’ve worked with leaders of major corporations, independent business people, B2B salespeople, and others. Here’s what some of our clients have said about working with us:
Barry “proved to have a tremendous ability to convert my words, thoughts and stories into a well-structured, thoughtful and insightful book.” – Bruce Krysiak, former President/Board Member of Toys “R” Us
“I want to thank Nadine Taylor, my wonderful editor and contributor, who spent countless hours making my random thoughts and scribbles eminently more readable. Thanks Nadine, you are truly the best in the biz!” – Denise Dudley, founder and former CEO of SkillPath Seminars
“With Barry’s help, writing my book was not only possible, it was pleasurable.” – Steven Friedman, Vice Chairman and CEO of United Steel Services
Our collaboration begins when we travel to your location to sit down with you and, over the course of several hours, get to know both you and your ideas. Then we return home to ghostwrite the manuscript, sending you drafts of the chapters as they are written for your review and correction. When our work is complete, you will have a highly-polished book that conveys your ideas and bears your name, and your name only. If you’d like, we will then facilitate the self-publication process for you.
If you’d like help with your business book…
Contact ghostwriters Barry Fox and Nadine Taylor. Use the contact form on this page to send us a message, or call us at 818-917-5362.
You can learn more about ghostwriters and ghostwriting in general on our “What Is a Professional Ghostwriter?” page.
P.S. Please note that we do not ghostwrite works of fiction (novels).