You do not have to adore writing as much as I do to write a book. All you need is help from the team, a great idea, and a story to go with it.
The story is the backbone of everything we write. It draws the reader in, it elicits emotion, it convinces us to come along for the ride, and it transforms the reader while the main character is transformed.
But when the time comes to translate the story to the written word, the excuses are many:
“I don’t have a Masters degree.”
“I’m not a Journalist or an English major.”
“I have dyslexia or ADHD.”
“I’m a speaker, not a writer.”
“English isn’t my first language.”
The list goes on and I’m here to tell you that NONE of that matters.
You provide your personal experience, the inspiration, and the motivation. For everything else, there are people in the industry who can help you. People available for hire regardless of if you are choosing to go the self-publishing route or the traditional route.
If you think you can’t write, I would like to introduce you to your six new best friends.
Do you have a great idea but perhaps speak better than you write? Or you have a great way with writing point form overviews and need someone to link it all together? A ghostwriter will translate and organize your ideas into the written word. This may be done by interviewing you and /or through audio recordings and emails that you send to the ghostwriter. For the most part, the Ghostwriter does not get credit for the piece and it will only be your name that appears as the author. In special circumstances, a ghostwriter may be credited with the phrase “written with” or “as told to” their name. For example, this blog is by Tammy Plunkett, written with Paula Cowan (one of our ghostwriters).
The Writing Coach
Maybe you actually can write and just need the confidence boost of having someone to follow you along the path. A writing coach helps with accountability and holds the vision of the book’s purpose and ideal reader for you and keeps you on track with your stories and inspirational or educational points. Most importantly, the writing coach helps combat the inner critic that tries to convince you that you need a journalism degree or Masters of Fine Arts to write a book and helps you develop the experiential confidence to call yourself an expert in your field.
The Structural Editor
This is the most important person in the editing process. They help the writer polish the manuscript from beginning to end ensuring a proper ordering of chapters, and a consistent and beautiful flow to the book. Structural editors clarify the argument, fix the pacing, suggest improvements, and draw missing pieces from the author. They make sure that the writing is directed towards the ideal reader at all times. If you are not sure about your writing abilities, you definitely want the help of a structural editor.
The Copy Editor
We all need copy editors! Even if you have an English degree. I’ve been writing professionally for 12 years, and I can’t tell you how many times I have typed “for” instead of “of” in my manuscripts. Spellcheck will not catch a word that exists and is spelled properly, and your eye will skip over it. (For example, in the first draft of this blog I wrote “keeps you on tract” instead of track and spellcheck didn’t catch it.) Enter the copy editor. A copy editor goes through your work line by line and ensures that there are no errors in grammar, capitalization or punctuation.
Once your book is done, usually called the galley or proof stage after a book has been edited, you will want to pass it along to the proofreader. A proofreader serves as an additional set of eyes ensuring that what you will be sending to the printer is exactly as it should be. They generally catch if there’s anything that you may have missed from applying your copy editor’s suggestions or from the formatting of the pages. Aproofreaderr doesn’t necessarily have to be a professional, this is where you can probably ask your aunt who was an English teacher to look it over.
The Beta Reader
Beta readers are lay persons who read your book to give you their impression. Sometimes this is done before you decide to publish the book, and other times it is done right before the book goes to print when you’re looking for some positive reviews for your marketing campaign. If your beta reader is your ideal audience (and they should be), do take their feedback seriously.
The good news is that you can become a published author with the right help, no matter what your level of education, field of study, struggles with learning disabilities, or stage of mastering the English language. Your ideas and creativity are the ART of writing, the CRAFT of writing can be done with the help of these professionals mentioned above. All of whom, by the way, are available through Big Sky Author Services.
Are you ready to book some time to talk about your big book idea? Reach out to Tammy today and schedule a call.