Peter Bartram - Ghostwriting

Peter Bartram is an author and journalist who has written 26 books and nearly 4,000 articles for newspapers and magazines.

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From a dream to reality

Peter Bartram describes how to use a ghostwriter to turn your book idea from a dream into reality It has been said that everybody has a book inside them. Trouble is, for most people, it stays inside. They don't have the time or, sometimes, the skills to write it down on paper in a form that publishers will want to publish.

That's where ghostwriters come in. Many of the memoirs of famous - and not so famous - people that you read have been drafted by ghostwriters. Ghosts also crafted the words for not a few business books published under famous and not-so-famous names. In short, engaging a ghostwriter is the proven way to turn that desire to have a book - with your own name as author on the front cover - from a dream into reality.

But when you decide to work with a ghostwriter, it's important that the person you choose understands what you want to achieve. He has to be able to take your idea and concept, then structure it in a way that will make it acceptable to publishers. The ghost must also be able to capture your own "voice" and tell the story in language that you'd feel comfortable using yourself.

When I'm asked to ghostwrite a book, I always start by sitting down with the author for an in-depth discussion about what they want to achieve. In a number of cases, I'm able to use my knowledge of the publishing world to help them shape their idea in a way that will make it more acceptable to publishers. If we then decide to go ahead - and it's always a joint decision because ghostwriting is a partnership between ghost and author - then I'll produce a detailed synopsis. That's always backed up with a timetable and plan which shows how and when the book is going to be produced.

Despite the fact that we're now distracted by the novelty of digital media, there's an enduring permanence about books. A book will sit comfortably on a bookshelf long after electronic signals have disintegrated somewhere in cyberspace. In the commercial world, books can also be a powerful business tool. They can be used to showcase a company's or individual's expertise. They can become a means of establishing a reputation as an authority on a subject. They can form the cornerstone of a media relations campaign. And they can be used as a respected marketing tool in their own right. Most of all, a book can give an author the intense personal satisfaction of seeing his or her ideas in print - a permanent reminder of worthwhile achievement.

If you would like to discuss in confidence a potential ghostwriting project, telephone Peter Bartram on 01273 455117 or use the e-mail message facility on the Contact page of this website.