Be a Storyteller

Laughter in the Red Woods, a humorous novel by May Kramer, was published by Graham Publishing Group.

Not everyone is a storyteller.

Not everyone wants to be a storyteller. Make no mistake, however; we all love a good story.  We love to be swept up in what is the heart and soul of any good story: conflict and resolution, drama and comedy, peril and heroism, love and laughter. These elements exist in everything that we do because they are second nature to the human condition.  And what is storytelling if not the portrayal of the human condition. We are emotional creatures, and most good storytelling plays upon the emotions of our audience, whether they are holding a book in their hands or seating in a seat in a theater.

The best storytellers have a gift for tapping into our emotions and letting us inside the jeopardy that is inherent in most situations and every relationship.  In other words, it’s about being real. If you want to be a storyteller, being real is the first and most important prerequisite.

Books are my favorite vehicle for storytelling, though not every book represents good storytelling.  The movies attempt to convey a story in two hours.  Some are successful, some are not. The theater is much the same.  Art?  Well, there are lot of artists who proclaim themselves storytellers, but not every painting, sculpture, or piece of pottery rises to that level. For my money, it doesn’t matter. If you make the attempt to write a book or a poem, create a script or produce a movie, act in or direct a play, pick up a paint brush or mold a piece of pottery, you’ve taken a risk in the creative world and ventured into the realm of storytelling. That in its own right is a success.

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You’ve Written a Book – Now What?

Surreal Estate, a Florida real estate thriller, was written by Sugar M. and published by Graham Publishing Group.

There are two ways to go now that your book is done, and there are pros and cons to each. Traditional publishing. Independent publishing.

Let’s define them. Traditional publishing is when you create a relationship with a mainstream publishing house, either big or small, who buys the rights to your book in exchange for an advance and the hope of royalties. This mainstream publishing house will, you hope, effectively market your book to the reading public via bookstores and, of course, the Internet.

When you independently publish your book, or self-publish, you are, in effect, the publisher. You control everything from the book cover design and the interior layout to the marketing and distribution of your book. You will sell most of your printed books and ebooks via the Internet, but you will also work with a printer who will fulfill your books to anyone who buys them.

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Ghostwriting a Successful Self-Help Book and Successfully Marketing It

The End of 1 book cover

This book, about the extraordinary benefits of a lactose-free diet, was written by Chris Reese and published by Graham Publishing Group.

Writing a self-help book or collaborating with a ghostwriting partner on a how-to book is a great way to scratch all kinds of creative itches. Perhaps you’re really good at a particular craft, sport, profession, or art and would like to share your knowledge. Maybe you’re an outstanding cook with recipes you’ve collected over the years, or you would like to share business and leadership skills you’ve perfected.  Even if a topic is not readily apparent to you, there are tips and techniques for writing a self-help book that can help you get started. There are also important steps that need to be taken in marketing the book you’ve just created.

Let’s start with the basics:

Self-Help and How-To represent is the most popular genre in the book industry. Before you share your idea with an established ghost writer, it’s a good idea to understand the market to avoid pitfalls later on. Don’t follow the pack. Think outside the box. Look into the future.

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A Book, Well Designed, is a Work of Art

God in My Closet - Sonya Black

God in My closet, an inspiring story about one woman’s journey from darkness to light, was written by Sonya Black and published by Graham Publishing Group.

Picture a book. Hold a book in your hands. Feel the texture.  Examine the cover. Look at the publication page, the dedication, the acknowledgments.  Even before you’ve opened to the first page, you’ve come face-to-face with a work of art.

Look at the binding, the spine, the crispness of the book jacket. The book designer is, like the writer, an artist. Most of us love the feel of a book in our hands. The weight, the shape, the construction. There is a bit of magic there, no denying.

Art is a pleasure-filled thing. Place yourself before a beautiful painting or run your hands over a well-crafted sculpture, and there is a sense of calm and appreciation that seems a part of our DNA. A book is no different. The writer pours heart and soul in the crafting of a story or the creation of a captivating character, and this is no different from the painter spending hours turning a blank canvas into an expression of emotion.  Then that manuscript is entrusted to a man or woman who may or may not have any writing skill: the book designer. What they do have is a passion for seeing to the evolution of that manuscript into a finished book that does justice to the blood, sweat, and tears that the writer invested into the words.

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Indie Publishing vs. Self-Publishing

Surreal Estate, a story about Palm Beach real estate corruption, was written by Sugar M. and published by Graham Publishing Group.

You’re heard the stories about the incredible success that The Martian and 50 Shades of Grey had after their authors chose to launch the books via self-publication. You’ve very likely heard of Hugh Howey and A.G.Riddle. They earned their wings via self-publishing as well. But if you asked these four very successful authors if they preferred the term “self-published author” or “indie author,” they would probably tell you that it all depends on your approach to the industry.

In some people’s eyes, self-publishing implies a less professional approach to the publishing world, where the authors do pretty much everything themselves. Some would say it infers a hobby, not a business.  Whether this is true or not is debatable.

Indie publishing implies that you have chosen to independently publish your book as well, but that you have also chosen to work with professionals in the areas of book design, book layout, marketing and sales, as well as distribution and fulfillment.  You’ve chosen to make the publishing and sale of your books a business from top to bottom.

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Pick the Right Book Designer for Your Ghostwriting Project

Blackhawk cover

Blackhawk, a story about a reclusive guitar legend, was written by Hayden Scott and published by Graham Publishing Group.

You have a book to write. A novel, biography, business book, or book of inspiration.  This is a lifetime dream for many of us, and you don’t need to be a writer.  You need the idea, and you need the passion.  A skilled ghostwriter, like those at Graham Publishing Group or Mark Graham Communications, can bring your book to life and do it in such a way that you are proud to have your name on the cover.

The next thing you need to know is that you will be published. There is no question. In this day and age, the power of publishing is no longer just with the big five publishers in New York. You have the same power. You first step once you’ve hired the right ghostwriter is to engage the services of the best book designer and publishing assistance group you can find.  Having the power means exploring your options and making an informed decision.

A powerfully written book at the hands of the right ghostwriter deserves the best possible book design group, the very best book cover designer, and someone who understands the importance of quality interior layout.  You’ve chosen your ghostwriter with care.  Now choose a book designer who shares your passion and takes pride in creating a print book and e-book worthy of your commitment.

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Ghostwriting a Business Book

Rings of Value was written Timothy M. Beglin, with book design and marketing Graham Publishing

You’re a business leader with a business to run.  You may also have a great idea for a business book that will, in fact, expand your business. The problem is moving from idea to words on a page. That is where a skillful ghostwriter can help. You have an expertise.  So do a select few ghostwriters; the expertise to bring your message to life and do so in a way that represents you and all the hard work you’ve put into getting where you are in your professional life. Be assured, there are many people excited to know what you know. Time to take the next step.

Lots of business people fancy themselves effective writers, and many are. But writing a memo or whitepaper or newsletter is not the same as writing a book with 40,000 words or more. A professional ghostwriter gathers the information you wish to put in your book via material you may have on your website, via blogs you may have penned, or via interviews that he or she will conduct with you.  Phase two is taking that information, giving it a form (usually in a chapter outline) and then find a voice, tone, and style that fits you.  This is so important.

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Hiring the Right Ghostwriter

Successful girl exulting while writing

Hiring the right ghostwriter is a worthwhile idea for anyone who has an interesting story to tell, a valuable message to deliver, or powerful tools to share.

If you’ve thought about writing a novel, biography, business book, self-help book, or screenplay and don’t quite know where to start, here are several important reasons why hiring the right ghostwriter might be the ideal solution for you

  1. The Right Ghostwriter has publishing experience

You might be a fine writer, but if you’re trying to get a piece published and have no publishing experience, a ghostwriter can help you tailor your work to make it more attractive to a publisher.

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Content Editing vs. Copy Editing

This tale of two travelers was written by both Joseph De La Cruz and Simon Vandekerckhove and was published by Graham Publishing Group.

Here is the question:  Is there a difference between copy editing and proofreading?  From a writer’s point of view, there is, but there isn’t.  Some will say that the copy editor is tasked with the job of checking written material for grammar, spelling, and word usage, which is exactly what the writer hopes his or her proofreader is doing.  Do I want my copy editor doing revisions or rewrites, or working on transitions? Do I want him or her adding color or tweaking dialogue? Do I want them toying with jargon or tinkering with the actually writing?  The answer is an emphatic no.  That is the job of a content editor or developmental editor, someone who is themselves a writer.

Writers cannot and should not try to copy edit or proofread their own work.  That is a skill that is unique to copy editors and proofreaders.  Copy editors and proofreaders are generally not writers, but they have an extraordinary eye of errors that most writers miss, even as they rewrite and rewrite.

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The Business of Self-Publishing

This true story of loss and courage was written by Bonnie Henriksen and published by Graham Publishing Group.

Every person who writes a book is an entrepreneur.  Yes, there is an aspect of art in writing a book, but there is an equal part which is all business. You embraced the art, now you have to embrace the business. And why not. The business end is how you let readers know that you have a book.  Once they know, they can then appreciate the art.

It may sound cool to be published by a mainstream publisher such as Harper Collins or Penguin.  But it’s only cool if they are committed to selling your book.  It is important to know that their commitment varies from book to book. Not because they don’t want your book to sell.  They make money when it does, so why not.  The problem is not their lack of desire to make a success of your book; it is having the wherewithal to make it a success that is the age-old problem.

The problem is even more pronounced in this day and age. There are a few very successful writers, and then there is everyone else. And among the category of “everyone else” are many very talented writers.

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