that stands out from the crowd
‘If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, just wait till you hire an amateur’
This time your book gets done
YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE it would make to your business and your life if you actually got round to writing your book.
You know it would enhance your credibility, generate new leads and shorten sales cycles.
It might give you a new authority that would lead to speaking engagements.
But you know, too, that you haven’t the time – or maybe the skills – to plan it, structure it, write it and get it published.
If you could take five or six months out of your busy life, you could probably do it.
But you can’t stop everything to get your book written.
I can handle that.
You’re a doer.
I’m a writer.
If you’ve got the book in you, I can bring it out.
I will make you an author
You’ll only get one shot at writing your book.
If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing brilliantly.
But that takes longer and costs more – and there are only a very few people who can make it happen for you.
I’m one of them.
I’m Ian Shircore and you can find a dozen books of mine on Amazon, in three languages, with subjects ranging from Clive James and JFK to marketing, management and NLP.
Your voice, my words
As a serious, professional ghost, my aim is to be invisible.
It’s your book, your ideas, your voice. I will listen, think, question, make suggestions, create a structure and draft what I think you would say.
You will read what I’ve drafted and approve it.
Or not. If there’s anything you don’t like, we’ll change it or take it out.
There’ll be no argument.
You are the author, with your name on the cover, and you must be happy with every aspect of your book.
No-one can guarantee you a publishing deal these days.
We can try, and you might get an offer, but many excellent manuscripts don’t.
And it’s a slow process anyway, usually taking 15 months before your book is available.
Self-publishing can be up to a year faster – and you won’t have someone else telling you what the title should be or what the cover should look like.
For those authors who choose self-publishing, I can manage every aspect of editing, design, pre-press and printing.
I produce stunning hardbacks that look right at home in Waterstones and on Amazon and look, feel and even smell like the premium quality books they are.
non-fiction books in my own name
years as an author and ghostwriter
perspiration, and just 18% inspiration
satisfaction from past clients
Frequently Asked Questions
Why use a ghost?
YOU HAVE A BOOK in your head. You may have tried to write it yourself – perhaps once, perhaps many times. But until it’s written, published and out there for people to read, no-one will know how good it could be.
Taking the decision to use a professional ghostwriter changes your book from a half-formed dream into a manageable, costed project that can be planned, implemented and completed in a matter of months.
The decision is your promise to yourself that you will get it done this time.
The ghostwriter’s job is to help you shape and express your raw material to bring it up to the highest publishable standards. It’s a specialised trade, and you should expect a great deal more than a sympathetic ear and competent, professional writing skills.
DISCRETION: Everything you say and all the material you supply should be treated in complete confidence.
CONTROL: Your name will be on the cover and the copyright will be yours, so you can control how and where your material is used. You are the author and it’s your book. All royalties and other revenues from the book (and any spin-offs) will be yours and yours alone.
IDEAS: Anyone can take dictation. But a top ghostwriter’s ability to make suggestions, tease out anecdotes and recreate scenes and dialogue can add tremendous value, making your book lively, readable and convincing.
SUPPORT: Giving birth to a book is not always easy. Working with an experienced writer, you should expect to be stimulated, challenged and helped to bring out the best in you and your material.
A trusting, enthusiastic relationship between author and writer is the key success factor. If you can pick the right collaborator, you will enjoy the process and end up with a book that does exactly what you want it to do.
But how do you know if you’ve found the right person?
Why use this ghost?
BECAUSE you will get the result you want. Better than you’ve ever dreamed of. With a minimum of fuss and effort.
BECAUSE you’ve spent half a lifetime building a business, developing your expertise, honing your ideas. And it’s time you got the recognition you deserve.
BECAUSE you can’t afford any more false starts. You may have half a manuscript in the bottom drawer of your desk. You may even have started working with a ghostwriter and found it doesn’t work out. The wrong ghost is worse than no ghost at all.
We’ll get it right
NOW IS THE TIME to do it properly.
I have a track record of taking failed book projects and breathing new life into them. I can make it happen for you the way you want it – on time, on budget, with skill, empathy and a real feeling for your views and your voice.
My favourite testimonial comes from a successful businessman/politician I worked with for nearly a year, as his book grew and became more intriguing and more personal.
‘When I read this,’ he said, ‘it sounds more like me than me.’
I believe good writing matters – not for sentimental reasons, but because it does the vital job of grabbing and holding the reader’s attention.
I’ve been a paid poet, a pundit, a pedant and a punster. I’ve written a dozen books in my own right and my own style, and ghosted a clutch of others you’d never know were mine. I’ve worked on national newspapers in three countries and I have writing and editing skills they don’t teach any more.
Above all, I know how to work with authors to get the best out of them. It’s your book and it’s my job to make it great.
So how does this all work in practice?
Why would you want to write a book?
MAYBE you have a publisher lined up who’s begging you to write about your business or professional life.
MAYBE you need to promote your company or consolidate your position as an authority in your field of expertise.
MAYBE you want to write the definitive history of your industry or pass on your advice and experience to others.
MAYBE your book is your own life story, or that of an ancestor.
MAYBE you have historic letters, papers, diaries or photographs that would form the basis of a fascinating volume.
WHATEVER it is that you’re trying to achieve, we can work together to produce exactly what’s needed.
How does the process work?
You will have to spend some time – probably eight to 20 hours in all – talking to me and doing a series of structured interviews, ideally face to face, so that we can build our working relationship and hammer out the content and style of your book.
I am based in London, but for international projects I can come to you, or we may be able to save time and money by doing the interviews on Skype.
You will also let me have any partial drafts, background documents or other relevant information that can enrich the text. I will take all the available material and turn it into the book you have dreamed of.
You will then have to read the completed text and approve the manuscript or discuss any changes and additions we need to make.
Once the manuscript is ready, you may want to submit it to an agent or a publisher and try to secure a mainstream publishing deal.
If you decide to self-publish (which does have some advantages, including the ability to get the book out in weeks rather than the leisurely year or so most traditional publishers take), I can handle that.
I can help you find and manage the top quality designers, indexers, proof readers and printing and distribution suppliers you’ll need. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than getting a new book from the printers and savouring the look, the weight, the feel and even the smell of it.
To find out more about the writing and production processes, get in touch now.
How much will it cost?
You can get a ghostwriter for peanuts.
I wouldn’t recommend it.
The last thing you want is to start on your project and find you are working with the wrong person.
Like other experienced and fully professional ghostwriters, I normally charge between £25,000 and £60,000 to produce a typical manuscript of 50,000 to 80,000 words, but this will always depend on the scale and complexity of the project and factors such as the amount of research involved.
We will agree a flat fee, payable in instalments, which will only change if we decide, between us, to alter the scope of the project.
In those very rare instances where an existing publishing contract or your own fame seems likely to guarantee a commercial success, we may agree a hybrid deal – a reduced fee offset by a shared royalty arrangement (with a 50/50 or 60/40 split).
If you decide to take the self-publishing route, I can help you make sure your book is produced to the very highest professional standards and made available (in ebook form, too, if you want it) via Amazon and through Waterstones and other bookshops.
Total production costs for a first printing of 600 copies of a top-quality hardback (including design and layout, cover, proofreading and indexing) will probably add another £6,000 to £8,000. Unit costs for subsequent reprints will, of course, be very much cheaper.
How long will it take?
Realistically, producing the complete manuscript of your book is likely to take at least four to five months. Sometimes, on large, complex projects, it can be up to nine months.
We will be able to gauge this fairly accurately when we have our first discussions, so there should be no unwelcome surprises.
Is this book going to make me money?
Royalties will not make you rich. Sorry.
An interesting and well-written non-fiction book, produced by a mainstream publisher and enthusiastically reviewed in the press and on the radio, is unlikely to sell more than a few thousand copies. You will probably get 8 to 10 per cent of the wholesale price (roughly half the cover price), so your share will be a matter of pence per copy.
You can do the sums. In my experience, TV exposure is the only factor that can lift book sales to a level that will bring in substantial royalties.
To be fair, some authors with the contacts, time and energy to market their own self-published books (which may net them several pounds per copy sold) have shown that they can cover all the costs and break through into profit. They are, however, few and far between.
On the other hand, a business book that opens significant doors and generates a handful of serious leads for your company or establishes you as a sought-after speaker can quickly show a very impressive return on investment.
I worked with one author who originally printed 600 copies, but came back less than four months later for another thousand hardbacks.
Does it work? Yes, it does
'It was a no-brainer. As soon as we started sending copies out to people in our target industries, the phone started ringing. The book raised our profile like nothing we'd ever done before'
'Working with Ian Shircore was quite an experience. He asked the right questions and pushed me all the way'
'Writing the book has changed me -- and it's changed the way people see me. I'm recognised as the expert in my field now'
'I hold my book in my hand and I can't believe I've done it, after all these years. Thank you for your skill and professionalism'