3 Key Steps to Prepare for Ghostwriting Your Business Book: A Guide for CEOs

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Talk With a Ghostwriter

As a business owner or CEO, you probably hired a ghostwriter because you don’t have the time or creative skills to write your own book. But even though you won’t be the one writing your book, you’re still excited to take part in the process and collaborate with your ghost. What can you do to prepare and make the journey easier and smoother for both of you? 

If you’re eager to start working on your own business books, check out our ghostwriting services for CEOs and contact our team today. Before your first interview with your ghostwriter, you can start gathering and organizing research material that will be relevant to your book and make the process easier and quicker. Anything that’s relevant to your subject matter or your company will be helpful to your ghostwriter, who needs to get to know you and your business thoroughly.  These three steps will help you prepare so that you get the most out of your ghostwritten business book. 

1. Know what you want your book to say

Before you can get started with any part of this process, as the author, you need to know what you want your book to say and what you want it to say about you. First of all, what kind of book is it? Do you want to write about management, leadership, finances, or entrepreneurship? What’s your area of expertise, and why are you the right person to talk about this? What kind of book do you envision lining bookshelves across the country? What messages do you want readers to take away, and what kind of impression of you do you want to leave them with? You don’t need to define everything beforehand, but it is helpful if you have a clear idea of what kind of book you want to write and why. If you already have a solid idea of what you want, you won’t have to waste time trying to figure it out with your ghostwriter.

If you’re still not sure which direction you want to take or if you haven’t narrowed it down, make a list of topics you’d like to cover. Start with what you know—the topics you could easily talk about, that you know thoroughly, and that you have real-world experience with—and go from there. Showing these notes to your ghostwriter will help them understand your vision and find an original angle. They’re professionals in weaving coherent narratives out of even chaotic jumbles of seemingly unrelated ideas, but you do have to provide them with the initial ideas.

2. Gather all available resources

Your ghostwriter needs to understand and get to know you, your voice, your vision, your ideas, and your business, so any materials and resources you can give them are going to be immensely helpful. This can include copy manuals, maps, websites, articles, interviews, profiles, and even a “dictionary” of industry or company-specific terms or jargon. Give your ghostwriter copies of all business-related sources that can help them delve into your world and industry. Of course, it’s best to hire a ghostwriter who is already familiar with your field, especially if you’re diving into more technical subjects in your book. This way, you can rest assured your ghost will understand what you’re talking about and use technical terms accurately.

You also probably want to include a few personal anecdotes to make the book more engaging and relatable to your readers, so dig up any old photos, journals, or even music that are connected to those memories. Contemplate in advance what anecdotes and stories to include, as this will help save time for your ghostwriter.

3. Prepare for the interviews with your ghostwriter

Even if you’re not doing the writing, you’re still the author and the main source for the written material. You will need to give your ghostwriter multiple interviews along the way, as well as feedback, notes, and suggestions to make sure your ideas and voice are being authentically and faithfully represented. While you should trust your ghostwriter’s expertise, be sure to provide the necessary feedback to ensure you’re happy with the book you’ll eventually publish. How many interviews you have or how often you check in with your ghostwriter can be determined beforehand when you’re drafting your contract, but make yourself available for quick, unscheduled fact-checks throughout. 

Also write down any questions you have for your ghostwriter about the process and what they’ll need from you, and any ideas you want to discuss about literary elements such as themes, style, and structure. Writing these down in advance helps ensure that you don’t forget important topics you wanted to discuss and that you don’t leave with questions still swirling in your mind.

Remember that these are merely suggestions. The materials you’ll need for your particular book will depend on a number of variables that can be more clearly defined once you meet with your ghostwriter for the first interview. During the initial interview, you’ll discuss the project as a whole, including your goals, expectations, and deadlines. However, preparing in advance will certainly streamline the process and get you that much closer to having a published book lining bookstores.

To learn more about working with our team of experts, check out our ghostwriting services for CEOs and get a free, no-obligation consultation today. 

Talk With a Ghostwriter