“My first experience ghostwriting for someone else was some years ago” says Nichols. “I had to write quotes to be included in press releases, content for newsletters and a number of other communications as if they were written by members of senior level management for the company where I worked.”
Ghostwriting takes a special set of writing skills! For more info, click on Ghostwriting: The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Bestseller by Joel Hochman and Larry Leichman. And, read on for Lisa’s ghostwriting and copyrighting tips…
Basic Ghostwriting and Copyrighting Tips — Lisa Nichols
I didn’t do a great job my first time out of the gate. Why? Because I tried to write copy as if I were the person in question. This resulted in a very stilted, stuffy prose that didn’t do anything for my writing. I reevaluated my methods for ghostwriting and did something else the next time I was on deck. I wrote the copy in the same way that I always like to write and then attributed it to the person in question.
And it was so, so much better than before.
When Clients Want Changes to Ghostwritten Copy and Content
When you’re ghostwriting for a client, they’re going to ask for changes. It’s their project and they want to feel like they are a part of the process. I don’t get upset by this. That’s the nature of being a copywriter. And the client is well within their rights to offer suggestions and to provide input into a finished project.
If I feel strongly about something that I have written or if I am concerned that content written by the client could hurt the way that they’re perceived by customers or clients, I’ll explain this to them. Part of why they hire me is so that I can give them that all-important outsider’s perspective. If you can rationally explain why changes are needed, and back up your input with fact, it’s usually welcomed. In fact, I don’t remember ever having an issue with a client over content changes and suggestions. Usually, they welcome new ideas and a fresh perspective.
If you’re looking to bust into ghostwriting, or if you write press releases or content that’s attributed to others, just remember: don’t try to be something that you’re not. Even if you’re a ghostwriter or copywriter, you can still find and express your writer’s voice.
Copywriting Tips: Copywriters. Do It. With Creativity
I’m a copywriter at heart, so I often think about how words on paper will “sound” to the reader. And I like to think about how to make the most of their appearance, too. I’d argue that some of the most interesting- and eye-catching- copy written took some liberties using the English language.
I’m pretty Freewheelin’ with My Capitalization. And I really like. Using periods. For emphasis. I even have the upfrontery to make up words, because I like the way they look- and sound.
If you’re a writer and you’re trying to make a point, consider manipulating the English language in a way that suits you. You’ll stand out. The Word Police of the world may not like it, but they’re not the ones getting paid to write for a living — you are. This is part of being an edgy and quirky writer!
You don’t have to throw away your AP Style Guide. Just put it on a shelf. As a reminder that someone, somewhere, made up all of those rules, too.
If you have any ghostwriting or copyrighting tips or questions, fire away below!