How it works

1. First contact
2. Meeting in person
3. Transcribed interviews

Our project begins, of course, when you contact me, and then we have a pleasant long chat on the phone or via email. This is where we both determine if this is a good fit, if the chemistry is right, if we could work well together and I’m the right person to help you shape the life story you’ve been longing to tell. (Though I live in Virginia, with email, Skype, phones and airlines, it doesn’t really matter where you live.)

If we agree to move on, I will travel to wherever you are and spend the day with you discussing the project in more detail. (Our deal is that I will give you a day of my life, and you will pick up the travel expenses for this first meeting.) If we get along and we're both in general agreement and excited about the project, that's great. Fabulous, in fact. Let's get started!

Once we get down to doing extended interviews ( with you and anyone else who might contribute to the story) I’ll tape everything. Then I’ll have these taped interviews transcribed by a professional transcription service, so you have a permanent record of our “raw” conversations. 

4. Trial run
5. Structuring
6. Editing

Based on our interviews, I’ll write 15 or 20 pages of manuscript and send it to you. If you like the way things are going, great! Let’s continue. If you don’t like what’s on the page, and choose not to continue with me, I will return half the money you’ve put up, and we’ll call it quits. (I’d hate for this to happen, and I will try my absolute best to prevent it from happening, but I just want you to know that you can get out early if you choose to do so.)

I take all this material and shape it into a cohesive narrative. Often I find a key event to open the story, then begin creating scenes, dialogue, conflict and an eventual resolution. This is the part that takes skill, art, technique and experience. These things are the “special sauce” that will make your book sing, that will keep readers hooked, and make your memoir one that can reach out and touch other people – even those you’ve never met.

At Completion

I will deliver your full-blown 75,000-word memoir in six to eight months, on a regular schedule. (If you need or want a specific deadline, that’s fine; we can agree on a date and I’ll deliver.) By the end of that time, you’ll have in your hands something that you, your family and friends, and even strangers, will cherish.

 

You’ll also get 100 hardbound copies of your book (and the ability to easily order more if you wish). In summary, here’s the total package I’ll deliver to you:

 

 

  •  Complete ghostwriting services to help you create the book.

  •  Professional copyediting

  •  Professional proofreading

  •  Transcripts of all taped interviews

  •  Securing ISBN and bar code

  •  Registering your copyright with the Library of Congress

  •  Listing your book on Amazon.com

  •  Printing and delivering the completed book to your door

  • "If you wish to make contact with a literary agent, I can use my contacts to help you with that."

The fact is, everybody needs an editor, even a seasoned pro like me. That’s why part of the package I offer is having the manuscript read and corrected by a professional line editor. This weeds out misspellings, inconsistencies, unclear passages, and all the other mistakes small and large which can creep into a manuscript. Later in the process, I have the book read by two professional proofreaders, to weed out any remaining errors. You might feel this is overkill but, believe me, having been in publishing for decades, it’s amazing how many errors slip through even after multiple readings by sharp editors. But you want your memoir to withstand the test of time, and you’re paying a lot for it, so I want to ensure that the final product is terrific.