3 Steps to Follow Before Working Closely with a Memoir Ghostwriter
Once you’ve found a ghostwriter to write your memoir, there are a few things you can do to prepare before you start working together. Although your ghostwriter will be doing most of the heavy lifting when it comes to the writing, you’re still the author, and it’s still your story. You need to be ready, mentally and emotionally, to begin this journey. Prepare yourself to be an active participant in the process.
If you’re ready to get started, contact our memoir ghostwriting services to get paired with the ideal ghostwriter for your memoir. So, how can you prepare to get the most out of your ghostwritten memoir?
1. Know what you want your memoir to say about you
You know you want to write a memoir, but do you know what you want it to say about you? What kind of book do you want to write—a tell-all, an inspiring history of your life, the retelling of a major event? You don’t need to share every single detail of your life, nor do you even need to cover your entire life story. Your memoir can even center on a single event, as long as you can generate enough high-quality content about it to weave into a great book that people want to read. Whatever aspect or perspective of your life you want to share, it’s important to have clarity regarding what the book will be about and what message you want it to convey.
Your ghostwriter will discuss elements such as tone, narrative, and style with you, and will probably ask you what your goals and expectations are for your memoir. You can streamline the process by considering these questions before your first interview. If you can’t figure out exactly what you want, your ghostwriter will help you, but giving these questions some serious thought before your first discussion will lead to better results. Preparing a general outline can be helpful at this stage, but don’t get too attached—give your ghostwriter the freedom to come up with different points of view and to recognize new and original angles. You hired them for their expertise, after all, so allow yourself to trust them.
2. Provide the ghostwriter with all available resources
Part of opening yourself and your life up to your ghostwriter includes sharing with them any relevant diaries or journals, photos, music, newspaper articles, or interviews that can shed light on you and your history. Share anything that will bring the writer, and eventually the reader, into your story. It’s ultimately up to you how much and what you share, but readers expect full honesty and transparency in a memoir and want to hear both the good and the bad. Providing your ghostwriter with more material than necessary is a good idea. Even if it doesn’t make it into the memoir, it can help them get into your head and write a more authentic book of your life.
The most important resource you can give your ghostwriter is your time. They’ll have questions, will need to clarify things like dates, names, and places, and will want to ask you for feedback throughout the process, so make yourself as available to them as possible. Most time will be spent on the initial interviews, but keep your schedule open throughout the process in case they need to clarify anything with you.
3. Prepare for the interviews with your ghostwriter
Ghostwriting a memoir will require multiple interviews with your ghostwriter along the way. These interviews are integral to the process, and how many you have or how often you check in with each other can be determined when you negotiate your contract. Your ghost will want to get to know you through the interviews, so try to be candid and share what’s in your mind and heart. The more open you are, the more authentic and compelling your book will be, so don’t be shy.
If you’re open to it, we suggest going over major events you want to include in your memoir with other people who were there or who have their own memories of what happened. Do this before the first interview with your ghost and record the meeting if possible. You might find that talking over a past event with someone else can jog your memory, and you might learn new details you didn’t know or have forgotten. You may also find that you remembered some details incorrectly—human memory is notoriously fallible, after all.
During your first meeting or interview, ask your ghostwriter if there are any other resources they’ll need from you. Maybe they want something you didn’t think was significant. And remember that although you’re paying someone else to write your memoir, you want to be deeply involved and invested in the creation of this book and the retelling of your story. It’s your name on the cover, and the book is about you. If you’re not sufficiently involved in the memoir’s creation, you may end up authoring a book that doesn’t really represent you.
If you’re ready to begin the process of writing your memoir with a ghostwriter and want to talk to a team of experts, contact our memoir ghostwriting services and get a free consultation today.