Becoming a diverse ghostwriter expands your outreach
Every year, June’s LGBTQ Pride month brings diversity issues to the forefront, recognizing broader and more inclusive sexual diversity. Ghostwriters, like corporations, do better with a diverse client base.
At Wambtac we know that diversity—not only relating to sexuality, but also America’s amazing scope of religions, cultures, and races—is important all year long. But it’s only recently been explored, much less openly accepted.
Reaching out to groups outside your comfort zone or normal connections creates more opportunities for work, for building community, for understanding your world.
Ghostwriters often deal with a variety of clients, which leads to questions like:
- How do ghostwriters handle authors who are different than they are?
- How do you craft characters with different regional and cultural voices?
- What can make nonfiction more representative?
Diversity is expanding across publishing
Sangeeta Mehta, Diversity Chair for the Editorial Freelancers Association, notes how important diversity acknowledgment is in the editorial world. “Our goal is to support a more diverse membership and promote equitable access for all. We do this by offering a
communications platform, resources, events, and a ‘Welcome Program’ specifically with a diversity focus.”
In her thirty years of experience in the book publishing industry, Wambtac’s founder and The Ghostwriting Expert, Claudia Suzanne, has worked with a huge breadth of authors on diverse manuscripts. She always encourages ghostwriters to be broadminded enough to accept projects outside their norm or comfort zone.
Let’s take a brief look at some of the benefits—and challenges—exploring diversity truly brings.
Broaden your market focus
One of Suzanne’s key rules is that even solid authors and ghostwriters should take time every year to read at least one fiction and one nonfiction book in a genre they don’t like…maybe even hate.
“It leads to better critical thinking,” she emphasizes, “and that enhances a ghostwriter’s problem-solving abilities and strengthens analysis,” of character impact, memoir insights, or nonfiction messages.
Kids learn more
Since 2012, the founders of Multicultural Children’s Books Day (MCBD) have shown an amazing number of diversified reading lists for kids.
But they’re not just for kids—these ideas will help expand your own thoughts and perspectives:
- Diverse Biography Picture Books
- Diverse Graphic Novels
- Diverse Fantasy & Science Fiction for Kids
- LGBT Book Lists for Kids of All Ages
- American Indian Books for Kids of All Ages. 1
Lee & Low Books, a specialist in children’s literature, is also trying to ensure that diversity is understood by leaders in the publishing industry. It admits it didn’t always recognize that “people behind the books serve as gatekeepers.” So in 2015, they started their first Diversity Baseline Survey 2(DBS 1.0). It revealed that their participants largely fit into mainstream categories: 79 percent of respondents checked themselves as White, 88 percent were straight, and 92 percent were non-disabled.
The one possible plus? Close to 80 percent of respondents were women. That, though, could reveal a reverse prejudice—that it takes women to judge and edit children’s literature.
In the last six years, the DBS showed some progress in that the number of white executives dropped from 86 percent to 78 percent, and leaders with disabilities rose from 4 to 10 percent. Such leadership changes bode well for bringing more diversity into the book industry.
Diversity leads to profit
This is not just wishful thinking. One McKinsey study found that companies with more gender diversity are “21% more likely to experience above-average profitability.”
Among companies that diversify their leadership, McKinsey found “33% [were] more likely to see better-than-average profits.”3
Diversity and inclusion are here to stay
All that said, every ghostwriter is entitled to set their own boundaries. Some refuse to write books that promote violence; some refuse book projects that offend their morals.
Whether you’re simply interested in profits (Suzanne’s students earn a minimum of $35K per book) or expanding literature by having a broad outreach, your expert ghostwriting skills apply to more than just book writing, they help you attain your objectives and increase your affinity with the world around you.
While the next in-person Intro to Ghostwriting class begins in January 2022, you can always take the new asynchronous version to be ready for the full 13-month Ghostwriting Professional Designation Program (GPDP) with The Ghostwriting Expert, Claudia Suzanne, in August 2022.
1 “Diversity Book Lists & Activities for Teachers and Parents,” www.multiculturalchildrensbookday.com
2 “Where is diversity in publishing,” Leeandlow.com, 2019 Diversity Baseline Survey, 1/2/20
3 “More Evidence That Company Diversity Leads to Better Profits,” K. Strauss, Forbes 1/25/18