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need advice - writing a book

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
11 of 25

Anthony H wrote:

Good point, Tiffany. But if you hire a truly seasoned ghostwriter, you're still the publisher.

 

Assuming that the "author" plans to act as the publisher, which hasn't been suggested. There are many alternatives, from seeking out a traditional publisher to working with a paid publishing service.

 

Secondly, never have someone edit their own work. That's just ... well, insane. Of course, it's the kind of insanity that doesn't cause anyone to flinch anymore, so maybe I should just say "thank god we got rid of those expensive editors and proofreaders -- who needed them, anyway?"

Not sure where this came from, since my list included having the writer hire an editor? 

I just happen to see empirical evidence every day that there's a difference between publishing a book and publishing a good book. Do you think the folks at Houghton Mifflin ever say, "Hey, we'll just have the writer edit and proofread! Think of the money we'll save!"

 

Seems like this is such a hot button for you that you're going to rant a bit about it whether anyone has suggested it or not.

 

Also worth noting that I've seen some very bad books that have been professionally edited and put out by large publishing houses. I'm virtually certain you have, too. The book that made me realize at 16 that I could write professionally because it was so terribly written came from HarperCollins.


I sincerely doubt you'll ever hear that at any respectable publishing house. 
Or, you know, here. But carry on if you must.
Using a writer-editor-proofreader approach isn't just a cultural norm. It's a PROCESS. It's a process that has come down through centuries of publishing. It's about checks and balances, double checks and double balances.This is the most elegant, streamlined, efficient way to do it or the publishing houses (believe you me) would do it another way. They're in it for the money. But they know publishing crap will put them out of business. Believe me, if there was a simpler, more elegant process, they would do it. 

 

Oh. I see you must. Well, okay, then. I'm a little afraid to say more, for fear of what you'll pretend I said and write a 2,000 word rebuttal of this time.

 

Then along comes who gives a crap publishing ... modern times, the Internet. I mean, what good is an e-book if you can't even use it for toilet paper?


 

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12 of 25
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You are spot on. 

My biz is publishing consultation and author assistance. I have not met one person on here yet that knows anything about what to do, what they need and today I even had to answer the question "what's a manuscript?".  

Self-publishing 101: You wear all the hats. If you got the $$, give the hats to someone else with experience. Posting a job for a book when you don't even know what to ask is the worst way to go about it.  


 

 

ae3afdad
Active Member
John W Member Since: Apr 12, 2019
13 of 25

thanks!

renata101
Community Guru
Renata S Member Since: Jun 10, 2014
14 of 25

John W wrote:

I have a book idea, but I'm having a lot of trouble figuring out how to get started. How could I use upwork freelancers? What do I look for?


Based on the brevity question, it appears you're not into doing that much writing or basic homework (Edited to add: and I've just noticed your freelancer profile has been zapped, so I guess you gathered enough information for that article you're doing). That could be a real problem unless you're a subject matter expert (SME) with something in the neighbourhood 10-80 years of relevant experience, and the great idea you have for a book addresses a defined need in your field. 

A lot depends on whether you're looking at ficition or non-fiction and what you have in terms of time and money to spend on your project. Good manuscripts take time to develop if you're serious about what you have to say, and hiring good people to help you isn't cheap because of the time involved. Even if you're hiring someone to do the writing for you, expect to spend a good chunk of your time working with them. You're not going to find a plug'n'play freelancer to do it all for you because this isn't the Google Play Store and it's not like finding an app. 

No one has mentioned devepmental/substantive editors yet, so I'll do that. If you have a basic draft (although it doesn't sound like you do), a developmental editor can work with you to structure your text in a more effective way and identify gaps that affect the overall readabity. But you're the one who handles the writing in this case (this is the more likely scenario if you're an SME with 10-80 years of experience). 





kfarnell
Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
15 of 25

There's an awful lot of assumptions going on here.

 

What's needed varies drastically depending on not only what type of book it is, but also the purpose of the book. There's a big difference between a book to use as promotional material for a business or to sell as part of a speaking platform,  a book intended to be conventionally published, a book you want to self-publish, a book for your mum or best friend that you might self-publish while you're at it, because why not...  And between a book that you have a full outline for, loads of research prepared for and one that needs work just to sort out what it's really about, whether it's a general audience thing or requires specialised knowledge...

 

 All that stuff affects how much work will be involved, how skilled the ghostwriter needs to be in areas other than writing, how long it will take and how much it's likely to cost.

 

However, as most people seem to be assuming in the self-publishing direction, with my Captain Obvious hat on, you'll also need a cover designer and someone to lay it out. 

 

> I've just noticed your freelancer profile has been zapped,

 

He never said he had one. It could simply be a client profile.

ae3afdad
Active Member
John W Member Since: Apr 12, 2019
16 of 25
Hey Everyone,

Thank you for your replies.

A couple of comments and additional information:


- As a CEO of a non-profit that provides internet safety workshops for
schools and parents, I find it incredibly interesting that no matter what
anybody posts online, *trolls *always show up. What is it about online
interaction that makes a certain vocal part of the population post in
derogatory way? Thank you to all of you that took time to *give helpful
and constructive* feedback, to a very innocent and genuine question from
someone looking for advice.
- *Additional Information*: The book will be nonfiction. It is based on
a presentation I give that I have written word for word, a performed live.
I also have all of the research I used. We have a logo for the book.

Does this information help clarify? For comparison: an Atlanta based
ghostwriter who comes very highly recommended charges $8,000.
gilbert-phyllis
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
17 of 25

John W wrote:
Hey Everyone,

Thank you for your replies.

A couple of comments and additional information:


- As a CEO of a non-profit that provides internet safety workshops for
schools and parents, I find it incredibly interesting that no matter what
anybody posts online, *trolls *always show up. What is it about online
interaction that makes a certain vocal part of the population post in
derogatory way? Thank you to all of you that took time to *give helpful
and constructive* feedback, to a very innocent and genuine question from
someone looking for advice.
- *Additional Information*: The book will be nonfiction. It is based on
a presentation I give that I have written word for word, a performed live.
I also have all of the research I used. We have a logo for the book.

Does this information help clarify? For comparison: an Atlanta based
ghostwriter who comes very highly recommended charges $8,000.

"Trolling is defined as creating discord on the Internet by starting quarrels or upsetting people by posting inflammatory or off-topic messages in an online community." https://unlcms.unl.edu/engineering/james-hanson/trolls-and-their-impact-social-media

 

There haven't been any trolls in this thread. Interesting that someone leading an organization in the business of Internet safety does not distinguish between spirited, plain-spoken professional disagreement and trolling. (Or seem to recognize this is an established community where many regular contributors are familiar to one another through years of participation here.)

renata101
Community Guru
Renata S Member Since: Jun 10, 2014
18 of 25

Phyllis G wrote:

John W wrote:
Hey Everyone,

Thank you for your replies.

A couple of comments and additional information:


- As a CEO of a non-profit that provides internet safety workshops for
schools and parents, I find it incredibly interesting that no matter what
anybody posts online, *trolls *always show up. What is it about online
interaction that makes a certain vocal part of the population post in
derogatory way? Thank you to all of you that took time to *give helpful
and constructive* feedback, to a very innocent and genuine question from
someone looking for advice.
- *Additional Information*: The book will be nonfiction. It is based on
a presentation I give that I have written word for word, a performed live.
I also have all of the research I used. We have a logo for the book.

Does this information help clarify? For comparison: an Atlanta based
ghostwriter who comes very highly recommended charges $8,000.

"Trolling is defined as creating discord on the Internet by starting quarrels or upsetting people by posting inflammatory or off-topic messages in an online community." https://unlcms.unl.edu/engineering/james-hanson/trolls-and-their-impact-social-media

 

There haven't been any trolls in this thread. Interesting that someone leading an organization in the business of Internet safety does not distinguish between spirited, plain-spoken professional disagreement and trolling. (Or seem to recognize this is an established community where many regular contributors are familiar to one another through years of participation here.)


There's another definition for the word trolling, which is to fish by trailing a baited line along behind a boat, meaning you're fishing just trying to see what you can pull up. It's possible that people interpreting your request in the second way may be the source of any bad responses.

 

The opening question, innocent or otherwise, was incredibly vague and people had to work to find a way to respond to it, meaning that you're leaving the onus on other people to figure out what you're looking for (there's two pages here of people attempting to interpret it in order to give you something that might be helpful). This is not a great strategy if you're a potential client because if you post a project that is equally as vague, people may not interpret it as a serious project or you as a serious client.

 

There are two ways to find freelancers on UpWork. One is to do a search yourself and invite freelancers directly. The other is to post your project and allow people to send you proposals (when you do this, you can also invite specific freelancers to send you a proposal at the same time. The people you invite can decline or reject your invitation).

 

I think there's an unasked question with regard to the statement about the ghostwriter in the Atlanta area who comes well recommended and charges $8000. I believe that questions is something along the lines of "Is this a good price?"

 

Based on the information you've provided, even with the few added lines of information, it's impossible for any of us to tell you that. Projects come in all shapes and sizes, and freelancers charge different rates for different services. 

 

One thing to look for in a freelancer? Some who asks you for in-depth information about the scope of your project, your timeline, and the expected deliverable in order to provide you with a well-considered estimate. If you post your project, it's a good idea to include those. It gives freelancers some idea of your project and whether or not they want to invest some time in sending you a proposal.

 

There's a great discussion about posting for writers here:

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Clients/No-applicants-for-writing-projects-why/m-p/403529?collapse_d...

 

Please heed all advice concerning purple cows.

ae3afdad
Active Member
John W Member Since: Apr 12, 2019
19 of 25
thanks for your time
kfarnell
Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
20 of 25

> It is based on a presentation I give that I have written word for word, a performed live.
I also have all of the research I used.

 

You'll need more (and perhaps different) research/material as the nature of a presentation and book are different and in a book you can't get away with the repetition you need in a presentation.  

 

> We have a logo for the book.

 

Nice, but you'll still need a cover.

> For comparison: an Atlanta based ghostwriter who comes very highly recommended charges $8,000.

 

Obviously, it depends on factors such as the length of the planned book, whether you want them to do additional research and which direction the wind is blowing as to whether that's a decent price. But it doesn't sound totally unreasonable.

 

You may need a separate person to do further research if you can't and your ghostwriter can't or won't.

You'll need a ghostwriter.

You'll need an editor.

You'll need someone to lay out text.

You may or may not need someone to do internal illustrations or source images.

You'll need a cover designer.

You'll need a proofreader.

Depending on your aims, you may need a PR person/marketing person.

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