re: From Tech to ghostwriting

Subject: re: From Tech to ghostwriting
From: "LeVie, Donald S" <donald -dot- s -dot- levie -at- intel -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2001 06:55:35 -0800

Gilda:

First off, you really need to scope the project. You'll need to know who's
going to do the research, and who's going to be writing the drafts. You'll
also want to consider how you're going to split royalties and advances. If
your name goes on the cover ("as told to.." or "as written by..."), you'll
probably have to settle for less $$. A true ghostwriter, though, usually
receives no mention anywhere in the book or on the cover.

Another thing to consider is this: Is there a mass market for this story?
You have to ask "Why would anyone else want to read this book/story?" Is
this person famous? Did they accomplish some incredible feat? Do they have
the scoop on someone famous (living or dead)? If not, then the story really
must be extremely compelling to attract the interest of an agent (yes, you
need an agent...most large nonfiction publishers today won't even look at a
manuscript or book proposal from unagented writers).

Get a copy of the the 2001 Writers Market. It is the encyclopedia of
freelance writers and contains listings of publishers, agents, and every
conceivable market including contacts, payment schedules, and requirements.

Do your research before jumping in with the project. I've been in a similar
situation as you describe, but after doing the preliminary research
(including pitching the story to several literary agents), I decided not to
pursue the project because the story, while incredibly fascinating, just
didn't have the mass market appeal to be successful.

Good luck,

Donn Le Vie
Information Engineering
Network Communications Group
Wireless Communications and Computing Group
Intel Corporation


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