The Hills are Alive…With a Book’s Music

How Musical Line Editing could make your work sing

Most people have never heard the term “Musical Line Editing” (MLE), but it’s an amazing tool for successful book sales. It’s the proprietary, lift-every-author’s-voice-and-make-it-sing editing technique of Claudia Suzanne’s Ghostwriting Professional Designation Program (GPDP), the class our Certified Ghostwriters had to complete.

“Musical line editing uses an array of techniques to tighten, strengthen, and dynamize our clients’ second drafts,” says Claudia. “It’s kind of a real ghostwriter’s superpower.”

Finding true musicality

All line editors check punctuation, eliminate ineffective non-sentences, and ensure the copy flows. Simply cleaning up a book’s copy is okay—but it doesn’t make it sing.

Every manuscript should go through three drafts: the author’s first draft, the edited second draft for readers, and the third draft that conforms to industry formatting standards. Musical line editing uplifts a manuscript’s second draft by getting rid of stuff that makes the author’s voice pedantic, repetitive, or passive by increasing the weight, rhythm, speed, and energy of each and every line.

Check out this example of MLE’s transformative powers:

Pedantic voice: “Serious consequences have happened by not paying attention to the climate change indicators.”

MLE singing voice:  “Not addressing climate change indicators creates serious consequences.”

By deleting “to be” verb forms, the edit changes passive voice to active voice—a key skill for MLE professionals.

Though you may have to reword any piece a bit, you cannot—and must not— change your author’s message or voice. That is a skilled ghostwriter’s mission and focus.

Editing makes things active, but…

Claudia’s example below illustrates how editing for action can inadvertently shift an author’s intended focus:

Passive 1: “Molly was singing as she was hanging up the laundry.”

Passive 2: “I heard Molly singing as she was hanging up the laundry.”

MLE Active: “Molly sang as she hung up the laundry.”

Yes, #2 is more active, but suddenly we have a POV (point-of-view) shift where Molly is no longer the key character. Instead, “I” has become the narrator of the scene, thereby becoming the main character, and changing author intent.

Learning when to embrace passive voice

Even though it’s stated in passive voice, this famous line from Star Trek’s creator—the late, great Gene Roddenberry—exemplifies that to every rule there is an exception: “To boldly go where no one has gone before.”

Imagine if the show’s intro was: “The Federation must explore!”  Though it’s definitely active, it’s not nearly as evocative. Sometimes—but rarely— passive voice is the perfect one.

This post is a mere introduction to the Musical Line Editing ghostwriters learn toward the end of Wambtac’s Ghostwriting Professional Designation Program (GPDP).

When working on client manuscripts, our Certified Ghostwriters first use the many formatting, organizing, book industry, and ghostwriting skills for their first-draft manuscript before implementing musical line editing. It’s the secret tool that raises the quality of a second draft, and the tool most ghostwriters never use. MLE edits guarantee that readers never have cause to stop reading, never need to pull back and reread, and never put the book down because too many lines made their eyes cross. ###

Wambtac’s Certified Ghostwriters can aid your understanding of a more diverse market. They help you outline your ideas, mentor you through writing your book, and/or edit your manuscript to make it sing. Check out our blog posts on for more insights and support. We’re always here to help—feel free to call us when you need consults to get your passion project on the right track.

8 Easy Memory-Gathering Steps for Family Memoirs

How to start creating your relatives’ memoirs

How many times have you thought a birthday, special family event, or holiday would be a great time to start your book by gathering family memories to create family memoirs—like Grandma’s history as a Rosie the Riveter patriot working in factories during WWII or Grandad’s motorcycle trip across the country?

And how many times have you pushed it aside saying, “But I don’t know how to get started”?

Or maybe you just figured, “It’ll work better when we gather for the next event ‘cause we’ll have more people.”

If there’s one rule we’ve all learned from this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic disaster it’s that—unlike for Scarlet O’Hara—tomorrow is not another day. At least it’s no guarantee.

So instead of waiting to gather family memories, start now to implement a few simple steps. When you do, who knows how many of your family will jump in and add even more ideas?

Start communications

  1. Connect with emails or phone calls—It’s that simple. Start by reaching out to just a few key loved ones—e.g., your sister, oldest child, one of the grandkids—and tell them what you want to do. Then ask: “What’s the first step you can help me with?” Consider setting up a specific email address just for family messages.
  2. Be honest—Speaking of emails, don’t be afraid to admit if you’re not a techno guru. Ask for help from the generations that grew up with computers and the ‘net, ever-more sophisticated cell phones, email and text messages, and more.
  3. Explore other technology—Getting memories is not just about recording audio. Have you been part of selfies, but really can’t do them yourself?  Are you going to need help making videos? What about uploading photos? Do you need a more sophisticated four-color device for printouts? Your techno-guru family members can help you not only record the memories, but keep them safe.
  4. Do your homework—No, it’s not about helping your grandkids with their sentence syntax or algebra—it’s doing your homework before getting started. An up-to-the-task memoirist researches and organizes questions ahead of time so when the person they’re talking to not only answers the first question but wants to keep chatting, the interviewer is ready to ask even more. Remember, good memoirs don’t just recite chronological facts—they have emotions and reflections for each event.

“Wow, Grandma, how did you feel when you first walked into the factory?” or “Hey Gramps, what did you discover in that defunct mining town in the desert?”

Get more personal

  1. Seek depth—Don’t just accept, “Our greatest family event was being in the Civil Rights movement of the 60s” or “Well, we were on the winning side of the Civil War.” That’s just the first sentence; you need more details. Your extra questions from #4 will help the family reminisce. Sometimes, putting yourself in their shoes helps family members respond more deeply. Try statements like, “Wow, I would have been scared” or “That would have exhausted me” and see if it leads to reactiona like, “Scared? No, I was…” or “I wasn’t tired. You got to remember I was only 23 years old…”
  2. Look for special family photos or a journal or other objects—Pictures speak a thousand words. Use them to help evoke even more memories—not only in others, but yourself.

Glean insights at events

  1. Decide on individuals or groups—Now that travel has opened again, are you seeing one or more loved ones at a special event? If more than one, can you handle it if, after each question, folks chime in together, talking over each other and interrupting so you only get snippets of real information?

Or are one-on-one interviews more likely to gain truly personal insights? Try breaking the group up by finding a quiet spot for individual interviews.

  1. Gather memories after that day—It’s unlikely you’ll gather enough memories from any one event. It could be even harder in 2021 when everyone’s delighted to finally be together again. That kind of excitement—even frenzy—at reunions that can make calm memory-gathering challenging.

To learn more, keep gleaning remembrances at other holidays and events, like Thanksgiving and noteworthy birthdays—but don’t wait for such gatherings.

Use the email connections you already established and ask them to keep sending you memories; encourage them to exchange insights with other. Set up regular phone calls and/or Zoom meetings to keep the project going. Hearing and seeing each other helps family members feel connected and builds trust—a crucial bond for talking about sensitive subjects.

For more ideas on how to interview, check out websites like and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. When you realize you need extra insights on your book’s development come to Claudia Suzanne’s

Find out more from the Wambtac team through our website It’s where you can also find the Certified Ghostwriter who specializes in making memoirs not only a wondrous family remembrance, but a marketable literary property.

Best Practices for Remote Work

Enhance productivity at home, outside, and far away

Both staff employees and writers think that working from home is a pandemic-generated innovation—but it’s not true. One Gallup poll found that, even before COVID, the rise of home-based employees rose from 39 to 43 percent between 2012 and 2016.1

There are no real stats on authors per se, but according to the last Freelancers Union’s report, 57 million Americans were freelancing.2 The odds are that a fair number of those are writers working remotely.

Just like the rest of employment (and life!), working remotely offers a variety of positives and negatives. Claudia Suzanne, renowned leader of Wambtac’s Ghostwriting Professional Designation Program (GPDP), always reminds her ghostwriters that success is only achieved by hard-working professionalism, something she reminds authors in consult calls, too. Achievements only happen by overcoming challenges—including those imposed by a remote location.

“What’s stopping me?”

If you hear those words in your mind once in a while, it’s probably not too negative. Your brain recognizes an issue and is seeking options to overcome it. But finding yourself dead in the water every day is a whole different kettle of fish.

The good news? You’re not alone. Even before COVID’s lockdown, the social isolation that can come with being home-based or working remotely (in a shared office space, for instance) was challenging.

Here are a few recommended practices for fighting remote isolation:

  • Set normal work hours—This is one of writing’s great advantages. A night-owl ghostwriter can start work at 11 a.m. and not go to bed ‘til 3 a.m. An early bird who needs flextime to help children or older loved ones can be a “work in very early morn” lark.

    But set specific “business hours” and (barring unavoidable outside life demands) stick to them. Make sure family/friends know your official work hours and know not to knock on your office door (or table) or call during that period.
  • Schedule exercise—It’s so easy to keep sitting…and sitting…and … The average American gained over 20 lbs. thanks to COVID isolation. And when the temperature skyrockets or rain gushes or snow piles up, it represses folks’ outdoor movements like walking and jogging, even around their own homes.

    Surprisingly, indoor exercise has actually been easier since mid-2020. Folks have saved travel money and have purchased indoor equipment like an exercise bike or treadmill.

    But if you’ve tightened your budget to steer dollars towards book success, go online. You’ll find TONS of free exercise blogs and vids (both sitting and standing versions) using little or only modest equipment. Some suggest lifting canned goods instead of buying dumbbells to release your shoulders, pump up your biceps, or increase your stamina. With all the options available, there’s no reason not to exercise.
  • Team up—Arrange with a colleague to give each other the boot twice during whatever workday you’ve each scheduled. Schedule reminders on your phone for a quick chat or even a text message. Just get each other moving!
  • Get dressed, really—Clothes change our sense of self, so present your best self in online meeting. Get out of pjs, sweats, and other leisure apparel. You needn’t be too dressy; just something that makes you look good on Zoom and feel like a real biz owner. Someday, there will be a library of funny pandemic pictures of people dressed professionally for the camera but wearing their slippers or bathing suit outside the camera’s frame.

Consider moving out

No, we’re not suggesting running away from home. But you might want to consider working at some other locale, even if just a few hours every weekday hooked up to Wi-Fi at a Barnes & Noble, Starbucks, or your favorite local cafe.

If you want a true office, check the ‘net to find ads for offices as well as in-depth checkpoints on what to consider, like location, costs per square footage, available utilities and their costs, and even parking availability.3

Being truly remote

Even before instant communications made sending a message a 2-second task, writers worked remotely—beyond the USA (think Hemingway).

Current technology allows an author to work from anywhere—and who knows where your ghostwriter might be? Just a few of the European locales recommended to freelancers are Barcelona, Spain; Prague, Czech Republic; Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Berlin, Germany.

The benefits cited among these locales:

  • Better help for start-ups
  • Easy transportation
  • Fast internet
  • Cheap cost of living (in some!)
  • Learning new languages and cultures

And these don’t even cover finding other places to locate your new career. Is it Australia? South Africa? Greece? Where else in the world do you dream of writing?

Wherever your remote goal may be establish your daily discipline for success, no matter where you may be sipping your latte.

Wambtac’s Certified Ghostwriters can aid your understanding of checkpoints for your book’s success. They help you outline your ideas, mentor you through writing, and/or edit your manuscript to make it sing. Check out our blog posts on for more insights and support. We’re always here to help—feel free to call us when you need consults to get your passion project on the right track.

1You want to work from home, but your boss wants you back in the office. Here’s how to meet in the middle,” L. Curry, Anchorage Daily News, 6/721

 2“Freelancing in America,” Freelancers Union, 2019

3“Find and Lease Office Space for Rent in 6 Steps,” K. Treece,, 8/31/18

Appreciating All Sexes and Cultures

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,”
2 “Where is diversity in publishing,”, 2019 Diversity Baseline Survey, 1/2/20
3 “More Evidence That Company Diversity Leads to Better Profits,” K. Strauss, Forbes 1/25/18

Gathering Your Guy’s Memories

Keys to creating a loving memoir

How many times have you thought a birthday, special family event, or a day like Father’s Day would be a great time to capture your dad’s memories? Or maybe that’s the time to gather not only Dad’s memories but also those of other male family members?

 Or maybe youre the dad…would you like this for a present?! (Beats a tie, right?)

Whoever you are, or whoever is on your list of special men whose memories you want to gather together, don’t wait!

Instead, put a few key actions into play:

  1. Prepare questions— In the hopes of gleaning as much feedback as possible, a good memoir developer researches then organizes their questions ahead of time. Use old photos or a journal or objects that are special to the men in the family, letting those items help you lead the conversation. This way, if you get extra interview time, you’ll have ways to evoke more memories.
  2. Choose a gathering tool—Always record your interview sessions instead of relying on your notes. Small and unobtrusive technology is less intimidating during interviews where emotions may be high and people could feel vulnerable, so decide if you want the recording on your phone or a small digital recorder.
  3. Gather memories outside of specific events—Besides asking about questions that relate to a special event like Father’s Day, Christmas, or graduation, ask loved ones about Dad or Uncle Jack, or Grandpa. If he likes to cook, what are/were his best recipes? Anyone learn any driving tips from him? Any great stories he wrote, dancing you saw, or brilliant home remodeling—especially on a budget?

As you get responses, ask follow-up questions like: Was this [recipe] something he brought from the old country? How’d he learn remodeling?

  1. Start small—Family and friends could get intimidated when you suddenly announce, “I want to capture our family history!” Thinking about—let alone remembering—the whole history seems daunting to most people (especially with no warning!). Collect many insights and you’ll find you have a revealing compendium. 

Instead start by suggesting smaller and more specific ideas in an email or phone call before the event. Explain what you’d like to do, ask if they want to be included, and if they have photos, etc. to share. For example:

“I’ve been wanting to capture loving/funny/important memories about Dad (or Grandpa, or Uncle Jack) for a long time, and I think this event gives us a great time to start. Would you be willing to share your favorite story when we meet?” Or “I’d love to hear your favorite memory about [a special day or event]. When would you like to talk about it?” 

  1. Decide on individuals or groups—Now that travel has opened again (to some degree), are you seeing a loved one or several at a special event? If more than one, can you handle it if after each question folks chime in together, talking over each other and interrupting so you only get snippets of real information?

Or would one-on-one interviews give you more? Try breaking the group up by finding a quiet spot for individual interviews.

When those are finished, go back to the full gathering and let everyone listen to each other’s comments. Get ready for a lively conversation! That’s when others are likely to yell things like, “No, that’s not the whole story!” or “Yeah, I remember that. I saw it happen, too!” and you can add their insights. 

  1. Be friendly—This isn’t investigative journalism, so don’t push. Watch for signs of fatigue, especially with older family members. When stories arouse buried emotions, ask interviewees if they need water, a bathroom break, or anything else—including a hug.
  2. Will you limit memory gathering to just one day?—It’s unlikely you’ll gather enough memories from one event. It could be even harder in 2021 when everyone’s delighted to finally be together again. It’s been a year since loved ones have seen each other and there could be the kind of excitement—even frenzy—that could make calm memory-gathering challenging. 

To learn more, wait for other holidays and events, like Fourth of July and noteworthy birthdays. Set up phone calls and/or Zoom meetings to keep the project going. Or just ask family members to email their memories—you can even create a specific email address to collect them.

For more ideas on how to interview, check out websites like and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. For even more help, learn how to ghostwrite memoirs and other materials by taking Claudia Suzanne’s Ghostwriting Professional Designation Program (GPDP) and becoming a Certified Ghostwriter.

Find out more from the Wambtac team through our website, where you can also find a Certified Ghostwriter who specializes in making memoirs not only a wondrous family remembrance but a marketable literary property.

Gathering Mom’s Memories on Mother’s Day…

…and throughout the year

You keep thinking you’d love to gather your mom’s memories, so why not use Mother’s Day as a great time to start? How about gathering insights or tender memories not just from Mom, but from other loving family members? 

Or maybe you’re the mom (or Grandma or Auntie who plays the mom role) and you’ve decided it’s time you started gathering remembrances!

Whoever you are, Mother’s Day is a great time to begin collecting stories, either about or from Mom. Just keep in mind a few key actions The Ghostwriting Expert, Claudia Suzanne, has taught for nearly 30 years in her Wambtac Ghostwriting Professional Designation Program (GPDP):

  1. Start small—Family and friends could get intimidated when you suddenly announce on Mother’s Day, “I want to capture our family history!” Thinking about—let alone remembering—the whole history seems daunting to most people (especially with no warning!), so start with something smaller and more specific. 

Tell your loved one(s) something like, “I’ve been wanting to capture loving memories about Mom (Grandma or Auntie) for a long time, and I think Mother’s Day is a great day to start. Would you be willing to share your favorite story today?” Or “I’d love to hear your favorite Mother’s Day (or family) memory.” 

Collect more than just Mom’s (or Grandma’s) insights and you’ll find you have a really nice compendium.

2. Determine your gathering tool—Choose recording on your phone or a small digital recorder. Small and unobtrusive technology is less intimidating during interviews where emotions may be high, and people could feel vulnerable.

3. Prepare questions—A good memoir developer—like all ghostwriters—researches and organizes questions ahead of time, in the hopes of gleaning as much feedback as possible. Look to old photos or a journal or objects mom collected to help you devise and organize your questions. This way, if you get extra interview time, you’ll have ways to evoke more memories.

4. Decide on individuals or groups—Now that travel has opened again (at least to some degree), are you seeing a loved one or several at a special event? If more than one, can you handle it when folks chime in together after each question, or do you believe that one-on-one interviews might glean more?

If you have a group, try this: First, find a quiet spot for individual interviews. When they’re completed, go back to the full gathering and let everyone listen to each other’s comments. That’s when others are likely to yell things like, “No, that’s not the whole story!” or “Yeah, I remember that. I saw it happen, too!” and you can add their insights.

5. Be friendly—This isn’t investigative journalism so don’t push. Watch for signs of fatigue, especially with older family members. When stories arouse buried emotions, ask interviewees if they need water, a bathroom break, or anything else—including a hug.

6. Gather memories outside of specific events—Besides asking about Mother’s Day (or Christmas, graduation day, etc.) pass around index cards and ask loved ones to write down other types of knowledge about the person you’re focusing on. What were her best recipes? Anyone learn any great cleaning tips from her? Any great stories she told you, songs sung, or brilliant home decorating—especially on a budget? 

While they’re writing, ask questions like: Was this [recipe] something she brought from the old country? Where did she get it from back there? Was it created in America? Why?

7. Will you limit memory gathering to this day?—It’s unlikely you’ll gather enough memories from just one event, like Mother’s Day. It could be even harder in 2021 when everyone’s delighted to finally be together again. Since it’s been a year since loved ones have seen each other, there could be the kind of excitement, even frenzy, that could make calm memory-gathering very challenging. 

So what can you do to learn more? Wait for other holidays and events, like Fourth of July and noteworthy birthdays? Set up phone calls and/or Zoom meetings to keep the project going? Or just ask family members to email their memories—you can even create a specific email address to collect them.

For more ideas on how to interview, check out websites like and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. For even more help, connect with experts who specifically chose to ghostwrite memoirs after taking Claudia Suzanne’s Ghostwriting Professional Designation Program (GPDP) and becoming a Certified Ghostwriter.

Find out more from the Wambtac team through our website, where you can also find a Certified Ghostwriter who specializes in making memoirs not only a wondrous family remembrance but a marketable literary property.

The Early Ghostwriter Catches Success

Kate Early admits that a set of accidental circumstances brought her successfully into the world of ghostwriting. Like many, it wasn’t her start-up career.

“I happened to meet [an executive coach] by accident, when her son and my son were in an activity together. At one point she just reached out to me and said, ‘Would you be interested in proofreading my book?’”

Early had been an English teacher, so she figured, “How hard could that be?” She came on board, the collaboration worked, and she segued into writing other materials—like helping with the client’s newsletters. “Then I worked on a book project with her. And that’s how I sort of evolved more into the ghostwriting,”

It’s time to go back to school

When Early quickly discovered she needed more training about ghostwriting books, vs. just writing some marketing materials, the teacher decided to become a student.

“I happened to see the [Wambtac] course advertised……and I attended [the webinar].  At that point I just sort of figured, ‘You know, if I’m going to….do more of this for the woman I work for, I should know more about it.”

“I took the Intro course and learned how much I didn’t know!” laughs Early. “[When I] finished that, I signed up for the… year-long one.” That’s the Wambtac Ghostwriter Professional Designation Program (GPDP).

“I tell you, as hard as it was, I’m grateful for it. And particularly grateful that [Wambtac teachers] were ready to be there with you, to help you…every step of the way. You could reach out to them…and they were wonderful about providing… support. Throughout, I appreciated …moments where Claudia would just say, ‘Relax, you can do this. You’re going to get this.’” 

“Thankfully, I hung in there. And I’m very grateful that I did,” says Early. 

Choosing categories you enjoy

Early helps authors write books in the self-help or business genres, and memoirs. “Self-help, I worked with a man who ran a drug and alcohol facility and wanted to put a book together to help people recovering from addiction. 

“[Then] I worked with an executive coach. [That book is] more the business-y end of self-help, whereas the others were different kinds of niches in the self-help world. 

“And now I’m working on something that is kind of like a memoir, but it’s a bit of a unicorn. It doesn’t fit neatly into any real category. It’s interesting and kind of an original thing, but I can’t really talk about it,” she says, laughing again.

The word gets around

“I already described how I had the one client…,” Early says, “[and] that’s an ongoing relationship. The other book project…came from a friend of mine [who] just decided he was going to do this. Then he found out…what I do, and that’s how we connected.” 

Referrals are the major source of her projects. “I have a good relationship with another woman who writes blogs for business schools – for MIT and Wharton. Occasionally she gets those entrepreneurs who want to write a book and she doesn’t do that,” says Early. Her original source, the executive coach, “… is very connected to other consultants. [She] has a pretty wide network and so she gives my name out. 

“So I’ve really been lucky. I’ve sort of been in a stream where [I’m] connected with a network of people who know consultants,” says Early, noting that this network is a major author pool. “Consultants are the audience, really, for ghostwriters. They really want, usually, to establish their credibility with a book in some kind of way.” 

“If you’re really going to ghostwrite the right way, you should take the [GPDP] class. If you’re really going to hang out your shingle and tell people you’re going to help them with their books, you should know what you’re doing,” Early concludes.


Kate Early is just one of Wambtac’s Certified Ghostwriters who can help you outline your ideas, mentor you through writing your book, and/or edit your manuscript to make it sing and offer insights on making it as enticing as possible.  Check out the blog posts on for more insights and support. We’re always here—feel free to call us when you need consults to get your beloved project on the right track. 

4 Questions to Broaden Your Book-Writing Mind

Answers Help Authors Write Better

Claudia Suzanne, Wambtac founder and The Ghostwriting Expert, says that to be a good author you need to read the writing of others—even ones you’re uncomfortable with. “Think of your current habits,” she says, “as steppingstones that brought you to where you are now.” Your current reading habits are comfortable but might not give you what you need to finish your book. So what do you need to read—and why will these insights help you?

1.  How much reading do you do? Not all authors are book lovers. Some may only come to books when other media makes one book (or a series) exciting…or at least trendy. Maybe you’d never have read any of the Game of Thrones if folks you loved or respected weren’t raving about learning sooo much more about the world and characters from it. Ask yourself: Should I be reading even more than I write?

2.  How often do you peruse possible competitive work? Maybe you think yours is the greatest book ever written on the Bitcoin trend. But have you explored to see what else is out there, competing with your message or perspective? A quick online search for “bitcoin” instantly brings up Bitcoin Billionaire: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal and Redemption and Truth Decay—How Bitcoin Fixes This: Unveiling the Path to Financial Freedom

Just from their titles and a quick check of their Amazon listings, we gleaned these two have very different foci: one is a real-life drama and the other is more about money-making. Read these books or others on this topic and you’ll gain insights on what readers are already receiving and the voice(s) in which they’re delivered. Then you have a much better chance determining how yours can stand out.

3. How often do you accept challenges? This means reading through a topic or format you really don’t like. “To truly broaden your horizons and get an overview of publishing, you need to explore areas you’d never normally read,” says Claudia. Maybe you can’t begin to imagine reading (or writing about) science fiction or romance. Maybe you aren’t interested in cooking or psychology. “At least once a year you should read something that’s really not to your liking,” she adds.

4. How adjustable are you? If you’re someone who’s willing to use the first three pointers, that shows you have a somewhat flexible nature. Wambtac Certified Ghostwriters know authors who are emphatic that their book is the “latest, greatest,__ (western, self-help, mystery, love memoir….),” and insist that—except for some simple polishing—their tome is completed. As someone more flexible, that gives our ghostwriters hope that you’re willing to admit when you truly need help.

To understand the breadth of today’s publishing industry beyond your area or genre, take an online or actual stroll through a bookstore. This kind of big-picture perspective helps you recognize challenges that could thwart your book’s success (it can also be inspiring).

Wambtac ghostwriters are the only Certified Ghostwriters in the world. They’re not only excellent editors for your finished manuscript, they can mentor you through writer’s block or plot obstacles. Or they will write the book for you, assuring your satisfaction by working closely with you, chapter by chapter, to bring your book to its most saleable form, i.e., create a marketable literary property.


To truly keep learning more as an author before, during, and after your book’s development, check out the blogs on Feel free to call us when you need consults to get your beloved project back on the right track! 

Five Templates to Enhance a Book’s Slinky™ Flow

Crafting nonfiction is more than just splattering the words onto the page. A critical key to success is figuring out what format—aka which template—will best fit your book’s message.

It’s so important, the five manuscript templates that determine a book’s structure is one of the fundamental lessons your Certified Ghostwriter learned in Wambtac’s Ghostwriter Professional Designation Program (GPDP). Choosing the correct template gives the book what Claudia Suzanne, The Ghostwriting Expert, calls “Slinky™ flow,” the wording and structure that draws your reader easily from page to page and concept to concept.

Choose the best template for your book:

1. Linear template—This template has the simplest, most straightforward, flow. Decide on your key points then organize them in a structure that flows easily from point to point.

Claudia points out, “This template is perfect for linear material like biographies, histories, true-crime exposés, or technology and engineering titles that naturally unfold in a sequence, be it chronological or otherwise.” By the way, fiction usually goes in a straight line, too.

2. Modified straight-line template—This is a little more complex than the linear template. Your material still needs to flow from A to B to C, but the material includes key digressions, like flashbacks, that take the main focus a bit off the straight-and-narrow.

 “This structure is great for memoirs, humor, and creative nonfiction,” says Claudia. But she warns it works best “ONLY if…transitions or subheads let the reader move smoothly off and [then] back onto the main track.” 

3. Cloverleaf template—Books developed with this template take a more circuitous route. Your thesis is the center and different theories flow from it, eventually wrapping back to validate the primary thesis.

Claudia says this kind of premise-then-prove construction is “useful for possibly the widest number of titles.” First among them, as she puts it, are “Business books, business books, business books. Did I mention business books?” 

Health, fitness, and self-help genres also use a cloverleaf template, as do “written debates, legal briefs, scholarly/academic papers, advertorials, and any sort of entrepreneurial book trying to hammer home a specific principle.”  

4. Radial template—This is also somewhat circular, but there’s a major difference between this structure and the cloverleaf. In the Radial template, the main concept is still central, the rest of the book demonstrates how the concept actually helps. 

 “A lot of books,” Claudia says, “could use EITHER a clover leaf OR a radial template.”

 More than simply saying, “I think everyone should learn how to fast twice a week,” or “Smart business leaders know they should interface with their staffers on a regular basis, and blogs are a great tool for this,” a book fitting a radial template offers steps or examples that prove how fasting twice a week could help or why blogs are a good biz tool.

5. Pyramid template—This is the least commonly used template and works best when a single theory becomes more and more complex. It’s ideal for books about any aspect of STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering, and math. 

“Think of every math book you ever read,” says Claudia. “If you don’t get the ideas in the first chapter, the equations in chapter 6 will likely make your eyes spin in the back of your head.” 

This quick summary of nonfiction book templates is just a tiny insight into what makes a book as enticing as possible. 


Remember to check the blogs on for more insights and support. Feel free to call us when you need consults to get your beloved project on the right track as you benefit from insights from our teachers and graduates of Wambtac’s Ghostwriting Professional Designation Program (GPDP). 

Interview with a Ghostwriter: Meet Beth Brand

“I have a friend who’s a prison guard [who] has a Master’s Degree in English. And he’s always like, “You can do anything with an English major.” 

Beth Brand, another of Wambtac’s certified ghostwriters, has certainly proven him correct for almost thirty years. Based in the area she loves—the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina—Brand specializes in nonfiction, specifically business books.

Before she called North Carolina her home, Brand was in Tennessee where her English degree led to writing work. “I worked for a couple tourist magazines, and…for several ad agencies and design firms in Knoxville. I went freelance in ’89, because they weren’t paying DC or New York salaries, obviously.” 

Back to the mountains

Life changes finally brought her to NC. “I moved…and I kept a lot of clients with me. I was doing mostly promotional writing and advertising and PR,” says Brand.

“Then that turned into more long form, just because PR turned into long form. We were doing videos, and then we were doing CDs, and then websites, and then content really came in heavy. I was doing a lot of that and really enjoying it. I [also] got a couple of magazines over here.”

Tiptoeing into ghostwriting

“One of my clients who I’d had forever and ever, wrote a book. And she was working with some publisher, I don’t know who. And she gave it to me,” Brand says, noting, “This is like four weeks before Christmas!” 

“And [my client] said, ‘Could you just read this? Because it’s going to print now. The publisher has seen it, the editors…’.  I got it and I’m like, ‘This is horrible! You cannot put your name on this!’” 

 “What she had done ,” Brand explains, “is taken a bunch of her blogs and just stuck them together.” That’s a fairly common practice nowadays, but it’s very unlikely to sell.

“Each [blog post], on its own, was very good. She was a good writer. But all together they weren’t a book. I mean, there was repetition in it,” she says. 

“So I fixed that for her in [about] three weeks, for some ridiculously low price, like $3000, because I had no idea what I was doing. But I really enjoyed it.”

“Then another person asked me to research and ghostwrite a section of their research book. So I guess I was writing [something like] a 100-page section of the book,” says Brand. 

Yes, I do need training

Brand said she had so much fun doing that second project, she decided it was time to start looking around for info on how to be a true ghostwriter.

“Ghostwriting was a very silly term to me. I’d only heard of it in passing [and] I was almost embarrassed to say it,” says Brand. “But…I started looking around and I found Claudia [Suzanne’s] class. And I thought, ‘Well, I know how to write a book, but what I didn’t know was the business side of it.’” 

“So, I took Claudia’s class, and I thought it was going to be like a night class for adults and not hard,” she says. Laughing, she admits, “It was so hard! But…it was great.”

What Brand didn’t know is that the extensive Ghostwriting Professional Designation Program (GPDP) is not only about sales, royalties, and other business issues. “What [Claudia’s class] really [gets] you used to…[is] when you’re doing a book, it’s a lot of pages. It’s not like you just write a press release and it’s done, or you just write an article and it’s done.” A book project takes a lot of time “because there’s so much volume. So that was a lesson in itself,” says Brand. “And…her editing… I could listen to her edit all day long,” Brand adds.

Getting Down to Business

Most authors don’t know any of the complex business side , she says. “That’s the reason people come to me. They don’t know [these things], nor should they. It’s very complicated.” 

Thanks to the extensive GPDP class, Brand could offer more than just ghosting a full book. “I start off with a book fundamentals package, and that’s like several thousand dollars, and they get [walked through] everything they need to start writing. Then I sell deadlines as part of my coaching package. The client submits so many pages and I edit them [within] a deadline. They have to start off with a package of 10, and then they can buy five deadlines at a time after that.”

Who did you say you are?

Brand admits she gets one standard reaction when she tells people she’s a ghostwriter. “People are always like, ‘I can’t believe [that]. Don’t you feel cheated? Don’t you want to put your name on it?’ And [I’m] like, “No.” 

It’s that simple, she says. “Even when I’m really proud of the work – and there are some books that I’m very, very proud of – it wasn’t my idea. It wasn’t [even] my voice. It was my client’s voice. All I did was craft it.”

To explore how to be a master crafter in ghostwriting and get the only available certification, sign up for the “Intro to Ghostwriting” course on This six-week session offered in March and May is a prerequisite for the full 13-month Ghostwriting Professional Designation Program (GPDP) begins in August 2021.