How Ghostwriting Works

Ghostwriting is an intimate, cooperative experience between you and your “invisible” certified ghostwriter. The Wambtac Ghostwriting Method is a six-step creative for writing memoirs,  nonfiction titles, novels, and “creative nonfiction” in fiction style.

(Layout and publishing services also available upon request.)


1. Concept Development

Books begin with ideas and grow with focus and organization. And while many writers prefer to work organically, your ghostwriter will simplify the creation process with a series of tools and techniques that keeps you both on track, and on deadline. This is the time when you and your Certified Ghostwriter will work out the parameters of your relationship.

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  • Determine the best potential markets for your nonfiction concept or novel
  • Generate a list of topics and questions that covers your full nonfiction manuscript
  • Develop the specific premise and storyline for your novel
  • Conduct and record all necessary interviews
  • Transcribe all audio files

You will:

  • Provide the ideas, theories, proofs, and examples for your nonfiction book
  • Share the plot points, scene ideas, and characters for your novel
  • Participate in the necessary recorded interviews


2. Substantive Edit

Structure is unquestionably the #1 reason manuscripts do not generate the serious consideration all your time, energy, and efforts warrant. In nonfiction, structure is about relaying the information in a logical, Slinky Flow template without redundancy, repetition, information gaps, or mis-matched examples. In a novel, structure is about how the plot and characters intertwine to create your story. This is the step where you and your Certified Ghostwriter will determine the essence of your book.

We will:

  • Organize all your nonfiction drafts, notes, and interview transcriptions into a logical Slinky Flow
  • Develop your novel’s 15-point story line (no draft) or your action map (from draft)
  • Create or deconstruct your characters’ background, motivation, agenda, personality, mannerisms, and attitudes

You will:

  • Review and approve the outline, approach, tone, and sequence of your nonfiction material
  • Work with your ghostwriter on character studies and action map


3. Ghostwriting

First drafts are unique constructions. Your nonfiction first draft will include everything you want to say, however you want to say it, regardless of market viability, copyright-infringement concerns, or personal liability issues. Your novel’s first draft will tell the story you’ve been carrying around in your head. No one will see this first draft but you, so you can say whatever you want. By following this pattern, you and your Certified Ghostwriter will write AND rewrite your entire manuscript.

ghostwriter-crystalstranaghan.comWe will:

  • Ghostwrite the first chapter based on your outline or plot map and character studies
  • Edit the chapter to ensure your tone, voice, intent, and perspective shine through
  • Forward the finished chapter to you
  • Make all corrections, additions, and deletions you request and return the chapter to you for further review
  • Repeat the above steps until you are happy with the chapter
  • Follow the same back-and-forth process with each chapter until all chapters are written

You will:

  • Review each chapter when you receive it
  • Make notes, comments, and changes and return the document to your Certified Ghostwriter
  • Repeat the above steps until you are happy with each chapter
  • Follow the same procedure for all forwarded chapters


4. Line Edit

This vital, often overlooked editorial pass increases reader pleasure and overall saleability. Line editing adds polish and professionalism to your manuscript.

We will:

  • Arrange the individual chapters into a Master Document
  • Review your entire nonfiction manuscript to correct any lingering nonfiction redundancies and repetitions and highlight any remaining information gaps and example disconnects
  • Review your entire novel to increase dramatic tension, smooth out the pacing, and add punch to fictional prose
  • Send the full manuscript to you
  • Make any additional corrections or minor changes you request

What you’ll do

  • Review the full manuscript when you receive it
  • Make appropriate corrections and minor changes and return the document to your Certified Ghostwriter


5. Final Edit

The final edit is probably what you think of when you hear the word “edit.” This is the pass that corrects any lingering sentence structure, grammar, word-choice, punctuation, typographical, page-format, and Style-coding issues. The Final Edit puts a sprig of parsley on your beautifully arranged literary “dish.”

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  • Send the final draft to a disinterested team member or third party (someone who doesn’t know you and hasn’t worked on any aspect of your project) for a cold-eye copy edit/proofread
  • Make all appropriate corrections that do not change your tone, style, intent, or perspective
  • Return the Final Master Document to you

You will:

  • Launch your submission campaign, or prepare to self-publish your new intellectual property


Price Range: Nonfiction: $35,000 to $65,000  ||  Fiction: $40,000 to $75,000

All fees charged on $5,000 monthly payment plans


6. Book Proposals, Synopses, and Plans

You need a Book Proposal if you want to submit your nonfiction or memoir to literary agents and publishers, and a concise yet compelling Synopsis if you want to submit your novel. You need a Book Plan if you want to successfully self-publish any kind of title.

We will:

  • Create a Book Proposal package that includes an overview of the work, an industry market analysis, a competitive-title review, your bio, what you will do to promote the title, the cost-specific details of the property, a chapter-by-chapter summary of the book’s contents, and approximately 30 sample pages (2-3 chapters)
  • Create a Synopsis that relates your entire story, including the ending, in submission-standard format and style
  • Create a Book Plan that includes the same elements of the the Book Proposal but refocused for independent distribution and marketing and broad-based promotion/sales potential

You will:

  • Submit your new Intellectual Property to literary agents and no-agent publishers OR
  • Begin the “back office” work of self-publishing
    • Buy a set of ISBNs and attach appropriate metadata
    • Obtain an LCCN from the Library of Congress
    • Obtain a PCiP from Quality Books or another provider
    • Arrange for interior and cover designs
    • Prepare a marketing flyer and other materials
    • Arrange for production and distribution


Price: Stand-alone Book Proposal or Plan: $15,000  ||  Stand-alone Synopsis: $1,500