Ed Gandia and Derek Lewis – Ghostwriting Secrets
You know what makes freelancing so hard?
It’s NOT the work.
It’s the challenge of having to bring in enough income every single month.
Let’s say you need to gross $50,000 a year. And let’s assume your average project is worth about $2,000.
This means you have to bring in about 25 projects a year just to pay your bills.
That’s a new $2,000 project every other week!
Worse yet, this struggle never ends!
Day and night, you run on full throttle. You shovel these projects out the door. And you constantly worry about where the next one will come from.
Back to the hunt. Back to haggling over price. Back to chasing down prospects who won’t answer calls or return emails. Back to worrying about where next month’s rent will come from.
No wonder so many of us are stressed and exhausted all the time!
But What If You Suddenly Landed a $25,000 Project?
What if you could count on earning half of your target income in just one project?
What would that do for your stress level?
What would that do for your business?
What would that do for your family?
This is NOT a fantasy.
This is the everyday reality for my friend and colleague, Derek Lewis.
Derek ghostwrites books for experts and nonfiction authors.
He’s worked with client-authors on five continents, including a Texas oil tycoon, a Turkish economist, an IT startup millionaire, a Brazilian federal judge and a Cajun colonel.
His authors work with the International Monetary Fund, General Electric, DaimlerChrysler, SAP, Pixar, Disney, the US Marine Corps, and the Red Cross.
But don’t let that intimidate you. Derek didn’t always work on big projects for people with big budgets.
In fact, just 8 years ago he started just like most of us: down in the trenches of copywriting … chasing down prospects in the online job boards … sweating over every nickel … and praying he’d have enough to cover next month’s mortgage.
This Is What I Love
About Derek’s Business
Are you ready for this?
Derek’s average fee to ghostwrite a book…
$50,000 to $75,000 — And he assures me he’s nowhere NEAR the top!
Oh, did I mention he works with only 2 to 3 clients a year?
Yeah. Do the math on that.
And he doesn’t chase clients. They come to HIM!
But here’s where you really want to pay attention: There’s nothing special or mysterious about ghostwriting.
You don’t have to have contacts in publishing. You don’t have to accidentally land a book. There’s no secret fraternity of ghostwriters that keeps writers from entering the biz.
(In fact, anybody can hang a shingle, and many people do. You’ll find $500 “ghostwriters” online all the time.)
To become a serious and successful ghostwriter, you need to have the following:
Good writing skills and a decent set of writing samples (they DON’T need to be book samples! Regular copywriting samples are fine.)
An existing writing or copywriting business (in other words, you already have clients and have been generating freelance income)
Time and patience (this is NOT a get-rich-quick opportunity)
Willingness to work hard (yes, it’s going to take some work to get this off the ground!)
Oh, I almost forgot the most important thing:
A veteran ghostwriter showing you the ropes
Do YOU Have All That?
If you’re reading this, you probably have the first 4.
But I would bet the farm that you don’t have #5.
So here’s the good news…
I’ve convinced Derek to put together an exclusive online workshop and small coaching group for my tribe. We’re calling it…
Insider Secrets of a 6-Figure Ghostwriter:
How to Make a Great Living Writing Books for Experts and Nonfiction AuthorsI’ll tell you more about that in a minute.
First, you need to hear the short version of Derek’s story … because it’s not what you’d expect.
From Copywriter to Ghostwriter
Derek will be the first to tell you that he struggled as a copywriter.
In fact, the main reason he switched to ghostwriting was simple: the money was better and the work was easier.
He didn’t enjoy real success as a freelancer until he made the leap. Derek launched his copywriting business a little over 8 years ago…and he didn’t start ghostwriting until 7 years ago.
The first two years in his writing business were a real struggle. He didn’t know what he was doing and he operated mostly on a wing and a prayer.
He found clients through the local paper…, Elance, his network — anywhere he could think of.
He didn’t know how to price projects, how to manage “scope creep,” how to budget, and all the other things it takes to run a successful freelance business.
Life was hard.
In fact, his family went an entire winter without heat because the central unit went out and they couldn’t afford to fix it. They used space heaters in the bedrooms at night and bundled up during the day. That only worked because they live in south Louisiana. But make no mistake … it still gets cold there!
One day, he came across a freelance job opportunity to ghostwrite a business book for someone. He pitched his services and beat out the other competing 16 writers.
Derek had never ghostwritten a book before. So out of ignorance he charged waaaaaay too little money. (A mistake he’ll make sure you don’t make.)
BUT … he loved the work. Loved the change of pace. And loved that he could add a book to his writing portfolio.
After juggling a few other ghostwriting gigs, he found a ghostwriter who took him under her wing and showed him the ropes.
Fast forward to today…
Derek charges anywhere from $50,000 to $75,000 per book. He works with multiple authors a year. And he has full control over his schedule (something many freelancers still don’t have!).
Can You Leverage Yourself
into $25,000+ Ghostwriting?
If you already have…
A writing business
Decent writing skills
And some decent writing samples
…then you have all you need to get started!
What’s missing is a step-by-step roadmap. And that’s what you’ll get in this intensive workshop and coaching group:
Insider Secrets of a 6-Figure Ghostwriter: How to Make a Great Living Writing Books for Experts and Nonfiction Authors
Here’s the best part…
Derek is serious when he says that you need to start at $25,000 with your first book ghostwriting project.
“Yeah, right,” I hear you saying, “Do the fees really start at $25,000?!”
Seems far-fetched, doesn’t it? While I’ve done some pretty big copywriting projects in my career, I’ve never pitched that high of a fee. Certainly, I’ve earned that much from one client over a series of a projects stretching out over time.
But for just ONE project? Never.
But this is what Derek and hundreds of other professional ghostwriters just like him do all the time.
I even asked him if he’d advise newbies to low-ball the first few projects. You know, just to get their foot in the door.
“Absolutely not,” he said.
“Ed, the target audience for this workshop is freelancers with established writing businesses. If they had absolutely zero experience…well, I’d tell them to go get some freelance writing experience first and then come back and talk. Ghostwriting isn’t for beginners.
“But if they’re already established freelance writers or copywriters with clients and a good set of clips, they have the goods — even if those clips are NOT ghostwritten books. So, no — the people who attend this workshop should absolutely start at $25,000 a book.”
I countered, “But Derek, the people I’m inviting aren’t ghostwriters. How can they prove to prospects that they can ghostwrite a book for them?”
I love his flip-the-world-upside-down answer:
“Ed, most non-writers don’t realize how much of a difference there is between copywriting and ghostwriting. All they know is that you’re a writer and you’re in business. For most potential ghostwriting clients, that’s enough to assume that you know what you’re doing.”
Plus, there are other ways to get to that $25,000 figure quickly.
For instance, depending on where you are in your writing business, you can start this process by taking on a couple of book editing projects that pay very, very well. (That’s something Derek will teach you how to do)._
And then you can then use that experience as a springboard to a $25,000+ book project.
But the key point is that your first book gig should NOT be for anything less than $25,000.
But Are There Really THAT Many
Prospective Clients Out There?
That was my next question. There are a lot of copywriters because there’s a lot of copywriting to be done. But are there really THAT many prospective authors looking to pay this kind of money?
Derek walked me through all the factors in the publishing industry affecting the demand for ghostwriters (just like he’ll do for you in the workshop). Factors such as Kindles and other e-readers … printing technology advances and Amazon … even the changing demographics of America and the world.
I won’t bore you with the details here, but the short answer is YES. There is plenty of demand.
There are plenty of authors who know they need a ghostwriter AND are willing to pay $25,000 or more to finally share their story and ideas.
In the U.S. alone, 81% of adults want to write a book, according to a survey by the Jenkins Group. That’s 198 million people … which sounds absurd!
But even if you narrow it down to the wealthiest 1% of that group, that’s still almost 2 million adults who have the financial resources AND the desire to make this lifelong dream a reality.
This Is NOT for Everyone! (And I Mean That.)
First, let me repeat: this workshop and coaching opportunity is NOT for everyone.
If you’re looking for a big win fast, this is NOT for you. Building a ghostwriting practice is going to take some time. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that it’s going to be easy.
Yes, you truly want to charge $25,000 for your first book project. But you’re NOT going to land that gig next week. Even though Derek will shave off years of trial and error from your learning curve, it’s going to take several months to get there.
In today’s “I want it now!” society, I know that’s not a very sexy proposition. But I’m just giving it to you straight.
Also, if you don’t already have some kind of writing business — or at least some kind of freelance business and some decent writing experience — you’re going to be at a serious disadvantage.
If that’s you, I respectfully ask that you pass on this opportunity.
This workshop is about how to make the leap from being a commercial writer to also being a ghostwriter. You’ve got to be at the right jumping-off point in order to land on-target.
HOWEVER … if you are an established freelance writer, this could be the smartest investment you ever make in your business!
Ghostwriting is a fundamentally different business than copywriting.
In some cases, you may even need to create a separate website just for your ghostwriting services. And you’ll be doing a very different kind of marketing to attract clients (mostly “attractive inbound marketing,” as opposed to “knocking on doors.”)
Derek didn’t know that when started taking on ghostwriting clients. He had to learn a lot of things the hard way.
And if his mentor hadn’t taken him under her wing, he’d STILL be learning by trial and error instead of earning a healthy six figures today!
But guess what? You don’t have to go the hard route at all.
You’ll start your ghostwriting service armed with the strategies, principles, mindsets, tips, and tricks that Derek’s learned from his mentor, his fellow ghostwriters, publishers, literary agents, published authors, and his own impressive experience.
“Thanks to Derek’s ghostwriting course, I successfully negotiated a $30,000 project—with half paid upfront! I found Derek to be concise, practical, and accessible. He generously shared examples from his own experiences to illustrate different aspects of the profession. His course gave me the information and encouragement I needed to launch my own ghostwriting career.”
Name Tracy Hume Greeley, Colorado
“I’m excited about what looks like a golden opportunity. We’ve already signed a simple letter of agreement and he’s sent the first month’s payment: $4,000 for a $48,000, twelve-month project! The entire negotiation was based on what I learned from last year’s ghostwriting course. You were a huge help in me presenting myself as an accomplished professional.”
Name Dr. Elaine Eldridge Seattle, Washington
Although I’ve done a lot of writing in my life, professionally and otherwise, I’ve never attempted ghostwriting. I’m loving it. The course gave me the confidence to put myself out there initially, an understanding of how to structure the process, and how contracts and pricing work. I did successfully negotiate to get my name on the cover and to be paid upfront. Pricing is always the hardest thing to figure out in a new venture like this but, as a result of the course, I just took a deep breath and asked for it.
– Adrienne Bell, Birmingham, Alabama “If you are considering ghostwriting as a profession and are an established writer, this workshop is a must! Derek shared all the things that work best and those things that don’t work at all as well as his processes and resources. The information he shares ensures that you won’t waste any time doing things that don’t work. I really feel like he didn’t hold anything back and was invested in making us successful ghostwriters. I totally loved the course and am so glad I was able to participate!”
Name Jen Kent Enderby, BC, Canada
“As a writer and editor, I know how to produce a book. In this course, I gained outstanding information on the business of ghostwriting. Bonus: Derek interacts in such a way that it is clear that he cares about each person he is teaching!”
Name Donna Mosher Tulsa, Oklahoma
“I’m so glad I pulled the trigger to attend Derek and Ed’s ghostwriting workshop. The information was not only immediately valuable and actionable for me today, but I know I’ll be referring to it over and over as I continue on my journey as a ghostwriter.”
Name Jessie Kwak Portland, Oregon
This course was excellent! Great content with an experienced teacher that “spilled the beans”. I’m now confident in adding editing and ghostwriting services to my freelance writing business, which was my objective in taking this class.
Name Violet Meuter Huntington Beach, California
“This course is filled with EVERYTHING you need to know to CONFIDENTLY pitch your very first ghostwriting book deal. It’s filled with meat and realism, not over-the-top empty promises and get rich quick ideas. Derek delivers and shares all his experience and knowledge so even beginners feel like seasoned pros by the time the course is finished.”
Name Traci Browne Philadelphia, PA
“Derek Lewis’s ghostwriting webinar is chock full of useful information that any decent copywriter can put to work to expand into ghostwriting. From getting clients, to structuring the deal, to doing the actual writing … it’s all there! Worth every penny.”
Name Katherine Andes Hanford, CA
“This was a useful introduction to the field of ghostwriting with dozens of actionable tips on getting started selling yourself as a ghostwriter. The sales and marketing tips alone are worth the price of admission. If you are considering this fascinating area of commercial writing, then this course is a good place to start.”
Name Brian Ventrudo Bethesda, MD
If you are even considering becoming a Ghostwriter, this is a course you must take. Highly Recommended!”
– Roberto C., San Diego, CA
What Will You Learn in This Workshop Series?
Positioning yourself strategically:
How to leverage your past experience to land ghostwriting gigs. And how to demonstrate competence when you’ve never written a book.
How to develop the confidence to go after a high-fee book ghostwriting gig… even when you’ve never written one in your life.
12 overlooked portfolio-bulking techniques you can put into place immediately
How to safely and quickly transition from writing or copywriting to high-dollar book editing… and then into $25,000+ book ghostwriting.
To niche or not to niche? How to make the right decision when adding ghostwriting as a key service. And why you need to look at it differently.
Attracting (and landing) the right kind of clients:
Where to find clients—and where to NOT waste your time.
How to align yourself, your message and your marketing with the authors looking for people like you
The oft-overlooked (yet extremely lucrative!) book-ghostwriting markets that most new writers never even think of.
The “Send Up a Signal” and “Bread Crumb Trail” strategies Derek uses to get the best clients to come to HIM.
The repellant marketing approach that allows you to keep time-wasters and tire-kickers from ever picking up the phone in the first place.
The “3 R’s” of a quality prospect—and how to immediately tell if they’re a fit for you.
Pricing, negotiating and contracts:
How to handle prospect inquiries and conversations with confidence. What to say, what to ask … and how to size up a prospect quickly.
Derek’s 4 “green lights” and 6 “red lights” technique for qualifying ghostwriting prospects like a pro.
What to include in your contract (and why). And how to present high fees confidently.
Where to be flexible on payment terms, where to draw the line, and how to avoid payment problems.
Ghosting the book:
Derek’s 5-step process for delivering the book effectively and on time.
Tips and strategies for staying on track.
How and when to communicate with the client during each phase of the engagement.
And after the party’s over … where to send your client once you’ve delivered their manuscript.
There’s more, but that’s a good summary.
Whom This Is For
Again, this opportunity is NOT for everyone. Here’s what we’re looking for:
You’re already an established freelance writer or copywriter. By “established” I mean that you’ve been freelancing for at least a year or two and have existing clients.
You have good writing skills and some solid writing samples. Of course, this is subjective. But we’re looking for people who can already write well. This is a business-building coaching group, not a writing class.
Your samples do NOT need to be book-length or long-format. And they CAN be copywriting samples.
You have the time and patience to develop and grow a ghostwriting practice. This is not a get-rich-quick thing. It’s not going to happen overnight. Depending on where you are in your business, landing your first $25,000 book project could take a few months. So if you’re looking for a quick way to generate income for your next mortgage payment, this is not it.
You’re enthusiastic and have a coachable spirit. In other words, you’re willing to be coached, to get out of your comfort zone, and to try new ideas and approaches to develop a lucrative ghostwriting practice.
You’re willing to work in a small group. Which means contributing to the conversation, giving occasional feedback to others, etc.
And of course, if you’ve already ghostwritten some books but you’re nowhere near the $25,000-per-book mark, you definitely qualify. 🙂
What You’ll Get?
Six Training Sessions. Each is available in multiple formats (video, audio, transcripts and copies of all PowerPoint slides). All 6 training sessions in the program are pre-recorded and available to you as soon as you enroll. Since they’re not live, scheduled sessions, you can go through them at your convenience and at your own pace.
Weekly Coaching Calls. We’ll have 5 weekly group coaching calls on Thursdays at 3pm Eastern Time starting on June 29th and ending on July 27th. Derek and I will be there to answer your questions and coach you through your specific situation. All calls will be recorded. So if you miss one or want to review them again, you’ll have lifetime access to all the replays. And you can always pre-submit questions if you can’t be there. We’ll answer the questions live during the call.
Private, One-on-One Coaching Sessions. You’ll also get three 60-minute one-on-one coaching calls with Derek. You can use these private sessions anytime over the next 12 months, at your convenience. So when you land your book project and you need Derek’s advice and direction, he’ll be there to hold your hand. (This alone is worth the price of admission!)
Private Online Community. You’ll have access to a private, closed-door Facebook forum where you can connect with Derek, ask him questions and get his feedback and advice during AND after the program. Derek is very active in the forum, and you’ll have LIFETIME access to this private resource for advice and direction. (Here again… this is priceless!)
Personalized Web Copy Review. Finally, once you draft your ghostwriting services copy for your website, Derek will do a detailed copy review and give you his recommendations for improvement.
Plus, you’ll get LIFETIME ACCESS to all the recordings, handouts, and supplementary materials. So you don’t have to worry about missing anything. And you can go back to the material any time and study Derek’s strategies in-depth!
How Much Does It Cost?
To learn what Derek’s teaching in this course would cost you years of learning and tens of thousands of dollars in missed opportunities and costly mistakes.
But Derek will drastically short-cut this process for you. He’ll get right to what works, why it works, and how to get results faster.
So you won’t have to make the mistakes he made.
Your investment is 6 installments of $384, billed monthly for 6 months.
Or you can save $307 by making one payment of $1,997.
We also have a self-study version of the program.
This option includes the training session recordings only. (No weekly calls, forum access, website copy review or private coaching sessions).
Your investment for the self-study option is 3 installments of $184. Or you can save $55 by making just one payment of $497.
Either way you go, keep this in mind. Land just one $25,000 book project and you’ll make your investment back many times over.