Saturday, March 22, 2014

A New Turn of Events

My writing career has taken an unusual turn these days. First, a couple months ago, a friend asked me to help update his book. Terminology and technology in the book was very outdated; it was like watching a movie filmed back in the 50s or so, a very nice story but just old. At first the project was supposed to be an editing project, but it turned out that updating wasn't the only problem with this story. Saving the universe might have been a cool goal back in the 50s but readers are way too savvy for that these days.

As we wrestled with this, I discovered that he had health issues that made concentration difficult. We all know how we need to concentrate in order to keep track of all the different threads we weave through our stories. Anyway, we agreed that I would take on rewriting his book. Any details he didn't like, I'd be happy to change, but he said he liked every bit of it, even though, in taking out the big 'save the universe' idea and replacing it with chasing down a rogue planet, I pretty much changed the whole story.

Anyway, that project prompted me to look up the going rate for ghostwriting and since I still consider myself a student of this writing craft, I can't charge people full price. However, I do think it is only fair that I do charge, after all, I will be working for someone, and if you work for someone, they should pay you for your effort.

I drafted up a proposal on my website, just like I drafted up one for my editing services. Really cheap, but I'm no expert, I'm just told by those I respect that I'm pretty darn good. Maybe someday, when I'm more comfortable with the tasks, my prices will increase.

Now with this one book finished and turned over to it's owner, I figured I wouldn't see another such project for a long time, if ever, but low and behold, this lady asked me to help her with her story. I have no idea where she found me. We connected on Facebook. I'll have to ask her someday. Anyway, now I'm working on another ghostwriting project.

One good thing about this kind of work. I get to explore some really great ideas. In the mean time, my own book is simmering along just fine. At the moment, I've divided it into a bunch of short books, and I'm constructing covers for them. So that means I get to do a lot of coloring every evening. My only picture program is Paint for Mac. It's pretty simple, but it does allow me to add text to a picture. So, I buy a cover image or hire a cover artist and I can put together a simple cover. Don't come to me for your cover though. What I can turn out is really super simple. There are MUCH better cover artists out there.



William Kendall said...

I've done the odd freelance edit for people, reading in genres that otherwise I'd avoid. Sounds like this worked out for you.

Anna L. Walls said...

My very first effort was a complete bomb. He expected me to do all the research as well as compile the work, outline and everything. Hardly any guidance at all. It was an interesting project but I just didn't have the necessary skills to take on the project the way he expected.

Jacqui said...

That is fascinating. I read a fiction book (forgot the name) on ghostwriting and I can see its appeal. I'll be interested in how this progresses.

Anna L. Walls said...

I specified in my write-up that I needed something to work with. Course, at the time, I was re-writing a book already in existence, so I specified needing at least an outline, and a pretty darn detailed one. This project, the lady probably couldn't write up an outline, but she's telling me stories and that works just fine.

Willow Drake said...

I think that it is awesome you are doing this and still able to work on your own writing. Right now I'm having a hard time just focusing on reading, which I miss. I have several started and yet to be finished projects, including Ember. Plus your two latest books to read. Hopefully I'll get my grove back soon. Every time I read your posts I feel inspired, so keep these posts coming.

Anna L. Walls said...

That's so sweet of you to say, Willow. Sounds like you got too many spoons in the pot though. Might be time to weed a few of those out. hahaha