If you have been thinking about hiring a ghostwriter, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. These tips should be able to help you narrow down choices and find the right ghostwriter for your project.
Look for Ghostwriters Who Stay Busy
You definitely want to choose a ghostwriter who stays busy. If you come across a ghostwriter the doesn’t have any other work on the horizon or hasn’t finished work for anyone else in a while then it could be a good indication that they have been unable to keep clients. Most people know the value of an excellent ghostwriter and will continue using a good one when they find them
Look for Ghostwriters Who Specialize
Ghostwriters who say that they can “write anything” will usually write a much lower quality level than those who specialize. Some ghostwriters do really well with fiction but not so well with nonfiction. Others only do well with certain types of nonfiction or fiction. They should be able to give you a list of the things that they write best.
Look for Ghostwriters Who Charge a Fair Price
You don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for ghostwriting, but you also don’t want to go with the cheapest ghostwriter that you come across. A professional ghostwriter will charge anywhere from two cents per word to five cents per word with the highest year being reserved by those who are well-known in the business. A writer who is willing to write for less than that will usually not give you the quality that you want.
Look for Ghostwriters Who Will Maintain Your Privacy
You definitely want to find a ghostwriter that will maintain your privacy and not show your books to future clients. Often, ghostwriters ask their clients for reviews, but the name of the author and the books that they have ghostwritten for them are kept private and never disclosed. While some clients may not care that people know that their book was ghostwritten, others will; and privacy is a very good policy to maintain.
Look for Ghostwriters Who Have Samples
While you shouldn’t expect a ghostwriter to share the names of books that he or she has ghostwritten in the past, they should have some available samples for you to look at. This is usually fiction that they have written under their own name or for themselves. If they do not have any samples, you may want to ask them to write a short passage in the genre or topic area that you are considering hiring them for.
Look for Ghostwriters Who Take Their Time
You also want to find a ghostwriter that takes their time. A ghostwriter who rushes through the book is going to create a much lower quality product than the one that takes their time and ensures that every paragraph is correct. Sometimes, entire chapters have to be rewritten halfway through the book and any ghostwriter who is been in the business for a while knows this and will take it into account.
One of the things that you might be looking for if you are thinking about entering some writing contests and 2019 is contest that have actual cash prizes attached to them. There are a lot of writing contests out there that offer prizes that are not cash. Some of them include being published in a publication that is sponsoring the contest and others might include gift cards or discounts. But if you want cold hard cash as a prize, check out these writing contests.
The Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition
This contest is sponsored by the granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway. This contest is been going on for more than 35 years and it offers three eight $1500 cash prizes for first place and then $50 for second place in third place winners. To be eligible, you have to write an original and unpublished work of fiction that is no more than 3500 words long. There is a five dollars admission fee and you can submit for the next year’s contest at any time.
Colorado State University’s Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction
This one is organized by the Colorado State University Center for literary publishing. You do not have to be in the US to be eligible for this contest. The winner of the contest gets $2000 as well as publication in the Colorado review. In order to be eligible, your story must be at least 2500 words and be no more than 12,500 words. It also must be fiction. The contest opens sometime in the late fall or winter of the year.
The Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition
Each year, this contest happens again disliking it has been doing for more than 85 years. Writers digest is one of the most well-known and well-respected magazines for writers out there. This is a contest that has a ton of entrants, but also has a lot of winners. There will be 500 total winners chosen with the top prize of the contest at $5000 plus a paid trip to the writers digest annual conference. First place in a category will be $1000, second place will be $500, their place will be for $250, $100 will be for fourth place and $50 will be awarded to fifth-place. Sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th will also get $25 each. The word counts vary depending on which category you intercede want to go check their website for details.
The Roswell Award
The Roswell Award is a contest for science-fiction stories with the top prize of $500. Stories have to be 1500 words or less. You also get $250 for second place showing and $100 for third place.
Nelson Algren Short Story Award
Another great contest that you may want to consider is this one that is presented by the Chicago Tribune. The grand prize winner for this contest gets $3500 and the remaining four finalists get $1000 each. Runners-up get $500. Stories must be fiction, unpublished and no more than 8000 words.
Children’s books are often divided up into different age groups of the child. This is a necessary step because different age groups can read at different levels and prefer different types of books. If you are an author or aspiring author of children’s books, then you definitely want to understand what these different areas are and which one you should be writing in. If you’re just getting started, check out Squibler’s post on book writing software. Let’s take a look at each of them one by one.
Board books are named because they are made out of thick cardboard. This is no accident. Board books are made so that children can chew on them without doing too much damage. They are geared towards the age where children chew on everything. They are likely not even be able to read these books yet, but their parents can read it to them and just having a book in their hands can be beneficial.
Picture books do not have to be quite is reinforced as board books. Often, picture books are paperback and have pages they can easily be torn out if someone were so inclined. However, picture books are intended for older children that are either just barely learning to read or are still having books read to them at bed time.
Easy readers are books that are really intended for young children that are just entering the school system. Kindergartners will often have access to easy readers and teachers will encourage parents to start them on these books or on picture books if they have not been exposed to them before. Easy readers can range all the way up to around age 7 or 8.
Chapter books are generally defined by the fact that they have chapters throughout them. Some of them still have pictures, but many do not, and children are able to read them all the way through. However, chapter books are a lot shorter than books for slightly older children. They may only be 10 or 11 chapters and less than 5000 words.
Middle-grade is a tricky genre that you will often notice is followed by an age group or a grade level in parentheses. This is because middle grade basically runs the gamut from age 7 to age 14 where children start getting into young adult books. Obviously, a 13 or 14-year-old will have very different reading tastes that a seven-year-old, so middle grade books will be written to target children of that age.
Teen or Young Adult Books
As for teens and young adults, you will notice that these books have the same themes and problems that adult books do. The only difference is that the covers are usually geared towards teens, the protagonist are either teens themselves or just barely out of their teenage years and the books are a little bit shorter than the adult books that you would find of the same genre. Of course, there are always exceptions. The Harry Potter books can be considered teen or young adult books and they are longer than many other adult works.
If you want to publish your book using a print-on-demand publisher, then there is definitely nothing wrong with that. This is a really good business model when it comes to self-publishing. It allows for authors to publish their books in print format without having to spend a ton of money up front on investment that may not come to light. It is only been available for the past decade or so, and if you haven’t looked into print-on-demand lately, you might be surprised just how easy and affordable it is to do. But the one thing that you do want to stay away from when it comes to print-on-demand is the vanity publisher.
Once you know what to look for, vanity publishers are pretty easy to recognize. They start out by listing all of the things that they are going to take care of for you and making it sound like they are offering an incredible deal. For example, they may include the cover, editing, marketing and printing 100 or so copies of your book. They have various packages that start out the very basic for a few hundred dollars all the way up to premium packages for thousands of dollars.
But when you start looking into these vanity publishers and what they actually offer, their covers all come from templates that people have used over and over again and do not fit your book or look professional and the editing that they offer is simply an enhanced automated spell check through something like Grammerly.
In addition, they are going to be charging you way more for each printed book that you receive that you will be expected to sell yourself then you could if you went through a regular print-on-demand company. A 300 page book at a print-on-demand company like CreateSpace would likely cost around four dollars to print. A vanity publisher will charge you much more than that they will lump it all into the package price and hide the fact.
They may claim to do marketing as well, but this is rarely more than just simply listing the book on their website so that it is for sale along with all of the other print-on-demand vanity books that they provide.
What you have to remember is that you do not need a vanity publisher to self-publish using print-on-demand. In fact, you could technically self-publish a book using a print on-demand model that cost absolutely nothing at all to you personally. You would then make money every time somebody bought the book. Of course, there are some things that you might want to consider spending money on that actually do make sense such as getting a graphic design professional to create an amazing cover or doing marketing on websites that readers go to so you can sell more books. But the last place that you should ever go for print-on-demand is a vanity publisher.
You might have noticed that on certain books that you read, Bible verses have been reprinted as well as song lyrics and quotes from movies or other works of fiction. You may have wondered how that author was able to get those things and use them in their work. The fact is, almost all the time; these things are used with permission. There are other elements of stories that authors often want to know including whether they can use the names of official sports teams, towns and city names, names of brands and various other elements that make up our daily lives and can add credibility and connection to a story. Let’s take a look at each of these things so you can see where you might stand in terms of copyright violation.
The first thing you should know is when it comes to movie quotes, song lyrics or anything like that; you definitely want to get permission before you use them. Even if you are self-publishing, writing and getting permission is vital. Sometimes this will be provided with no fee to you. This is especially true if you tell them that you are an independent publisher and do not expect to sell very many copies. They might come back later and demand a higher fee if you become a best-selling author with this work however.
One thing that you can use without having to worry too much is Bible verses. You are able to use a certain number of Bible verses per book without ever having to give credit or give permission – even if that is from a particular translation that a certain company has published. The Bible is kind of public domain in this way, but there are protections in place to keep you from republishing an entire Bible that someone else has themselves already published.
As for using certain elements in your story that belong to other people, the fact is that it can be tricky. The main thing that you want to look at is whether or not you are making that particular brand or town look bad. One of the things that authors often do is to add a disclaimer in the front of the book on the copyright page that says that places the locales that were mentioned in the book are either made up or reuse fictitiously. This lets you off the hook if you write a horror story about how everyone in the Knoxville, Tennessee, is a serial killer including those within government.
As for using brand names like stores and names of products in your work, the rule of thumb is that if you are just mentioning them in passing, then will probably be all right and you don’t have to worry about getting permission or getting sued. For example, if your main character drinks a Coca-Cola from the fridge and then goes up in brushes their teeth with their Oral-B toothbrush, then you don’t have to worry about these companies coming after you because you basically given them free advertising. However, if you write something derogatory about either of these products, then you may have to worry a little more that they’re going to get offended.