I wasn’t her first ghostwriter…
My client, Dorothy, had already begun the process of writing her autobiography with a different ghostwriter, also based in Nottingham. Unfortunately, it hadn’t gone well.
Would-be autobiographer seeking a Nottinghamshire ghostwriter
Dorothy explains, “Working on my book has been like a roller-coaster, but with more spills than thrills! The spills were my tears. Tears of frustration, disappointment, and disillusionment.
“I started in June 2000, having registered with a specialist biography / autobiography company in London. It came with a hefty price tag, but I thought it was worth the money to have a professional company to lean on. They searched for a ghostwriter in Nottinghamshire, and I was introduced to a very pleasant woman.
“We met for two-hourly visits at my house with a microphone between us. I started to dictate my story, with helpful prompts from the writer. The first session seemed a bit uncomfortable, but I soon forgot that the microphone was there, and became more relaxed. After quite a lot of sessions (I don’t remember exactly how many) I received the first printed chapters. I was totally, utterly devastated.
“Not only were there numerous errors and inaccuracies, (for example, reference to my two sisters) the whole style was not my style. There were many words and phrases which I would not use. I had been naïve enough to have supposed that it would be my words, phrases and expressions that would be used in the book.
“There was absolutely no point in carrying on after that, so I didn’t. Despite the very large amount of money paid, I just had to put it down to a sad disappointment and try to forget about it.”
The key difference between large-scale agency ghostwriters and freelance ghostwriters
Dorothy’s experience highlights one of the key differences between agency and freelance ghostwriters…
I continue to work as a freelance ghostwriter in Nottinghamshire, and as a ghostwriter for clients on behalf of a ghostwriting agency. But the freedom I have as a freelance ghostwriter allows me to give additional time to clients, whether that’s helping them decide on cover options, reviewing different versions of their manuscript, or, as in this case, reading through my client’s manuscript with them.
When you hire a ghostwriter through an agency – as Dorothy did initially – the chances are, the ghostwriter will be on a fairly restrictive contract. The agency Dorothy’s original ghostwriter worked for would have taken around 65% of the fee that Dorothy paid. As a result, the ghostwriter probably couldn’t afford to spend quite as much time working with her on her book. I suspect that is why certain aspects of Dorothy’s story were misunderstood, and why the tone of voice was all wrong.
This isn’t to say you should expect anything less than perfect service if you work with an agency ghostwriter. But if you’re going to need a bit of additional support with your life story, you might be better off working with a local freelance ghostwriter who can give you a more tailored, more patient service.
Ghostwriting support in Nottinghamshire
Dorothy continues: “After a few months ‘recovery’ period, I decided to start afresh, and try to produce something to take to a local publishing company. However, I am a two-finger typist, and the work was gruelling. After half a dozen or so chapters, I gave up.
“Often in the ensuing months, I had stabs of self-reproachment for the wasted money, time and effort.
“By chance, I discovered that a friend of mine was also attempting to write a biography and through her, I discovered a Nottingham ghostwriter, Christopher Lomas, who was only a few miles away in Southwell, Nottinghamshire. With Chris’s help, I took up the reins again, and attempted to put something together.
“Sadly, before we arrived at the end, the macular degeneration which was diagnosed a few years ago had become extremely aggressive, and I was losing my sight rapidly. I could not read or correct any of the printed material, but Chris patiently went through it all with me.”
Having that opportunity to work with your ghostwriter in ways that go slightly outside their normal working remit is one of the big benefits of working with a local ghostwriter. In this case, as Dorothy says, she was unable to read the manuscript by the time I had finished writing it for her. It took a bit longer to get to sign-off, but by reading the manuscript through with her, I was able to make sure she was happy with every word of her life story.
Find your local ghostwriter
If you’re looking for a Nottinghamshire ghostwriter to help you write your life story, let me know. You can book a free ghostwriting consultation so we can talk over your ideas for your book. Then, we can arrange a series of in-person interviews so that I can get to grips with your unique life story.