How Does Ghostwriting Work?


When you hire me as a ghostwriter for your nonfiction book, I start by evaluating your project idea or current manuscript to:

  • Determine its best potential markets using industry-standard (not Amazon!) classifications
  • Uncover its “gold” and other strengths
  • Identify anything that may impede its success
  • Create an industry-standard pitch
  • Determine its most effective template

I then create a concept outline and set up an interview schedule with you to cover everything in the outline.


Structure can make or break any manuscript. When something “just doesn’t work,” it’s often an easily corrected structural issue. Good structure ensures overall flow of the material and example/illustration match. 

I will: Organize all your original and our mutually developed materials into an easy-to-read flow and determine logical chapter breaks.

You will: Promptly review and approve your nonfiction outline, approach, tone, and sequence.


Your first draft will include everything you want to say:

  • Your experience and learning
  • Your theory
  • Your story
  • Your ingenuity

And it will read exactly as you envision it: In your words, with your tone, conveying your intent, with your perspective. It will be your vision.

What will I add to your vision? Bits and pieces that might not be obvious to a cold reader:

  • Missing dots that connect concepts and explanations
  • Bridges between examples and illustrations
  • Supplementary illustrations that support your thesis or examples 

You’ll stay involved in writing the manuscript every step of the way. You’ll receive Chapter One as soon as it’s written so you can let me know:

  1. What you like,
  2. what you don’t like,
  3. what you forgot to add,
  4. what you want taken out,
  5. if you want the manuscript to take a different tack or approach.

I make those changes and send the chapter back for your review again, as many times as necessary, until you’re happy with the result—and we’ll do the same thing for each chapter,  until the entire book is written to your satisfaction.

After we finish this all-important first draft, I’ll do a musical line edit.

Three-Tier Editing

Tier 1: Musical line editing includes the overall structure, grammar, punctuation, word choice, spelling, sentence structure, chapter flow, and other issues most editors look for and resolve. But it also considers:

  • Passive-verb impact, deficiency, or invisibility
  • Static-phrasing connection or detachment
  • Paragraph power or feebleness
  • Energy or lethargy of each chapter opening
  • Momentum or fall off of each chapter ending

Musical line editing infuses an already good manuscript with punch, impact, energy, and forward drive. It transforms heavy material into quick and easy reads. It brings out the rhythm and music of the words. It elevates the work to industry standards and ensures reader satisfaction, thus transforming the manuscript into a Marketable Literary Property.

Just as with the first draft, I’ll send each chapter to you so you can ensure the edit maintains your voice and vision.

Tier 2: Copyediting by a cold-eye third-party expert who has signed a nondisclosure agreement. It includes formal grammar, syntax, punctuation, and other standard editing issues.

Tier 3: Proofreading by a cold-eye third-party expert who has a signed a nondisclosure agreement. It includes minor text and formatting errors and inconsistencies.

I’ll incorporate the copyediting and proofreading changes, make a final pass through the manuscript, and then send you a completed manuscript that’s ready for submission or publication.