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The Chronicles of Ara has been signed by Ovation TV

Stephen Hillard and Joel Eisenberg Series On TV

the chronicles of ara

~~Incorgnito Publishing Press wants to thank you. As a colleague or personal friend of co-author Joel Eisenberg or Stephen Hillard, we are grateful to announce to you that "The Chronicles of Ara," Joel and Steve's 8-book fantasy saga, has been signed to a television deal by Ovation TV, America's premiere arts network.

We are proud that "The Chronicles of Ara" has shattered many glass ceilings in the publishing business, most especially that the series is the first time in publishing history that an independent, print-on-demand book has made such a straight-to-network deal.

To commemorate this news, Incorgnito Publishing Press has printed a limited-edition (1000 copies only) collector's item hardcover of "The Chronicles of Ara Volume One: Creation." Once these are gone, they will not be reprinted again.

First-edition copies of "The Chronicles of Ara" have sold online for as high as $2000. Our new, official collector's copies are now being sold for $40 for a limited time, and are signed by authors Stephen Hillard and Joel Eisenberg. If you are interested in purchasing this exclusive hardcover collector's item, please do so below.

   Get Your Limited Edition, Collector's Copy Here

We appreciate you, and we thank you for your support. Remember, in the world of business, as in publishing, nothing is impossible.

 Michael Conant, Publisher



BESTSELLING GHOSTWRITER - Author for Hire Andrew Crofts

Bestselling ghostwriter reveals the secret world of the author for hire

Andrew Crofts has written 80 titles and sold some 10 million copies in a 40-year career, mostly under names far more famous than his own – until now!

Andrew Crofts
Crofts: 'You get the commission, have the adventure – anywhere from a
palace to a brothel – and return to the security of your own home.'
Photograph: David Woolfall

"Behind the title of ghostwriter, I could converse with kings and billionaires as easily as whores and the homeless, go backstage with rock stars and actors. I could stick my nose into everyone else's business and ask all the impertinent questions I wanted to. At the same time, I could also live the pleasant life of a writer… "
Next week, in an exceedingly rare departure from a lifetime of tight-lipped professional discretion, Andrew Crofts, one of Britain's most invisible and yet successful writers, a bestseller you will never have heard of, will step out of the shadows and lift the veil on a trade that's almost as old as that other ancient calling. With a bit of skirt-lifting, and more than a hint of saucy revelations,Confessions of a Ghostwriter will be a timely publication.
There's an old saying that you should never judge a book by its cover. Today, perhaps, that conventional wisdom has rarely had more meaning. To a degree that might astonish the reading public, a significant percentage of any current bestseller list will not have been written by the authors whose names appear on the jackets.
Among the many mysteries of the British book world, none is quite so opaque as the life of the ghostwriter, the invisible man or woman who fulfils the vanity of those who want their name on the cover of a book but who, for the life of them, cannot write.
You may not know it, but literary ghosts are everywhere. In this golden age of reading, publishers desperate for copper-bottomed commercial titles in bestselling genres – misery memoir, sporting lives and celebrity autobiography – will not hesitate to sign up surrogate authors.

Behind such brand names as Sir Alex Ferguson, Jordan, Andy McNab and Victoria Beckham lurks the shy figure of the ghost. Sometimes, there is no deception.Keith Richards's Life was written by James Fox. Katie Price (aka Jordan) boasts that she does not do her own typing, and relied on Rebecca Farnworth to launch her career as a novelist with Angel. Further down the food chain, even the infuriating meerkat from the adverts has had A Simples Life put together by Val Hudson, formerly of Headline books.
The top category of ghosted titles remains the misery memoir, books such as Tell Me Why, Mummy or Please, Daddy, No, or Sharon Osbourne's Extreme: My Autobiography. At its peak, this genre accounted for almost 10% of the UK book market, closely followed by celebrity autobiographies (Russell Brand's My Booky Wook), true-crime memoirs (Dave Courtney's Stop the Ride, I Want to Get Off), sporting lives (Wayne Rooney's My Story So Far) and tales of derring-do (Bruce Parry, Bear Grylls, et al).
Ghostwriting in the English-speaking world is big business. The term was coined by an American, Christy Walsh, who set up the Christy Walsh Syndicate in 1921 to exploit the literary output of America's sporting heroes. Walsh not only commissioned his ghosts, he imposed a strict code of conduct on their pallid lives. Rule one: "Don't insult the intelligence of the public by claiming these men write their own stuff."
Walsh's code lingers. The acknowledgments page of many ghosted books will thank partners, children, even family pets, before making a discreet, sometimes grudging, nod to the invisible man or woman who quarried the angel from the marble. Alternatively, and more transparently, the book will be credited "as told to", or "written with", or "edited by".
Those innocuous phrases often mask a world of private pain: tearful interviews, angry confrontations, threats of violence, shocking revelations and interminable waiting, waiting, waiting. In France, ghosts are known as nègres, and there is a kind of slavery implicit in this transaction. The ghost's world may be one of jeopardy, but it's probably less perilous than it is depicted in Robert Harris's thriller The Ghost, a book credited by many with outing the ghost's tradecraft.
As with any book, the struggles of the ghosted book are all to do with love and money. First, there's the inevitable contract tussle. Traditionally, the ghost receives 33% of the advance (plus royalties). In recession, this has been squeezed to as little as 10%, a figure the better class of ghost will disdain.
Often, battles over the money pale into insignificance next to the titanic clash of egos involved in taking on another's voice and character.Some ghosts, who generally speak on conditions of anonymity, report that the subject they approach with utter dread is the fragile personality with pretensions to authorship.
Who, after all, is not vulnerable to the tug of amour-propre? The ghost, who starts out as a hybrid of therapist, muse and friend, enters a psychological minefield. Accordingly, the ghost is advised never to forget that, at the end of the day, he or she ranks somewhere between a valet and a cleaner.
I recall, some years ago, a female pop star attending a book trade prize-giving for which her ghosted bestselling memoir had been shortlisted. Before this honour, she boasted she hadn't even opened, still less actually read, the book that bore her name. When she duly won, she left her ghost at the table and graciously collected her prize, all smiles, modesty and gratitude, the model author. When she returned to her publisher's table, the woman who had actually written the book reached out, instinctively, to touch the trophy. Bad move. The star snatched it back, clouting her ghost across the cheek to remind her who was boss. When you pay the piper, you call the tune.
Crofts has written some 80 books, sold more than 10m copies and appeared a dozen times in UK bestseller lists. In a rare interview with the Observer, Crofts described some 40 years of ghosting. An easygoing, youthful man in his early 60s, Crofts was educated at Lancing College, but says he was "too arrogant" for university, and stumbled into ghostwriting because, he says, "I didn't want to have a permanent job".
Ghosts, notes Crofts, lead episodic lives: "It's a perfect arrangement. You get the commission, have the adventure – anywhere from a palace to a brothel – and return to the security of your own home." Crofts is a child of the 1960s who seems to have transformed a secret vagrancy into a way of life. At 17, on leaving school, he nurtured vague literary ambitions, wrote a novel ("more Robert Harris than Virginia Woolf"), suffered the inevitable rejection and began writing PR copy. With typical English self-deprecation, he describes himself as "an opportunistic hack" who would "do anything I got paid for". When pressed, however, he admits to taking pride in his craftsmanship and in having made "a good living as a writer for 40 years".
When he started, he recalls, "'ghostwriting' was a dirty word". In 1984, with the chutzpah of youth, he launched himself in business. His approach was simple and direct. He placed a three-word ad – "Ghostwriter for hire" – in The Bookseller, and waited for the phone to ring.
Crofts was lucky, with impeccable timing. Book publishing would be turned inside out by the IT revolution. Ghostwriting, similarly, was transformed by the web. "The internet made all the difference", says Crofts, who was one of the first ghosts to launch his own website. Now, he gets three or four approaches a day. "I'm writing all the time," he says.
Under his own name, and from a certain pride in his trade, he went on to publishGhostwriting, a how-to manual. When Robert Harris read this as part of his research for The Ghost, he sought permission to quote some of Crofts's obiter dicta("Of all the advantages that ghosting offers, one of the greatest must be the opportunity to meet people of interest") as chapter-heads. The Ghost, says Crofts, was "a gift from the gods. Harris did us all a huge favour."
Since 2007, Crofts has become the ghost's ghost, the go-to spook in a now-booming market. "I charge a lot," he admits, and concedes that his fees average six figures. Crofts, who currently earns more than most professional UK writers, is sought after by overseas celebrities, politicians and stars, especially in India. He also works with Russians, Africans, Arabs, and South Americans. "Everyone loves London," he says. "This is soft power in action. London is seen as the home of publishing, a place that's kosher, where Dickens walked the streets."
His rule for accepting a new client is that they must have a good backstory. He took on Alexandra Burke (of The X-Factor) because of her mother's career sacrifice. "She was in hospital watching her daughter on TV, living her life," he says, and confides a special interest in tales of childhood abuse. Sold, the shocking rape story of Zana Muhsen, has shifted 5m copies and, Crofts believes, created a new market for books such as Jane Elliott's The Little Prisoner. Crofts also took on Big Brother's Pete Bennett, an acute Tourette's sufferer, out of respect for "an extraordinarily attractive character", and ghosted Pete: My Story, another bestseller.
Is there anything he wouldn't do? "I have to be interested", he says, conceding that he could happily coexist with monsters. "I have a horrible feeling that if I'd got the call from Germany in the 1930s I would have hopped on that plane like a Mitford."



How to Write a Query Letter

5 Query Letter Hooks to Grab Your 

Editor’s Attention

by Brian Scott
How to write a query letter and get published:

Every line of a query letter is crucial, but the hook is the first part of the query that an editor will read, making it the most important. Most readers tend to move on to something more interesting if the first few lines of an article don't grab their attention. It only makes sense—and is plainly obvious--that an editor won't finish your query letter if you fail to grab his or her attention from the start. Much like the “mission statement” of a job resume, the hook of a query letter is your chance to yank the editor in and then use your writing skill to discuss succinctly how exactly your article is relevant, engaging, and interesting to the publication’s readership.

You can employ a proven hook when writing your next query letter. Each hook comes with its own context and set of benefits. I have listed the five recognizable hooks below, along with tips on when and how to use them.

1. The Problem/Solution Hook

This hook shows the editor that your article provides a valuable solution to a problem relevant to the publication’s readers. By explaining the problem and its impact on potential readers, you lay the groundwork to prove your article's relevance. The second half of this hook, the solution, strongly highlights that relevance. By the end of your hook, you should have convinced the editor that your chosen topic truly affects readers, and that your article provides a definite solution for which readers will be grateful.

Here is an example of the problem/solution hook:
It could happen suddenly, at any time, all it takes is a slip on the bathroom floor. You might think it wasn't too bad but painful enough to have it checked. At the hospital you find out you've broken your wrist, then you find out why….

Osteoporosis is common; all too common. It is estimated that 25%-30% of all women will break or fracture a bone because of osteoporosis, and by the age of 75, 50% of women have osteoporosis. Osteoporosis does not need to be a consequence of aging, however. It is largely a preventable disease. So how you keep the bone thief at bay?

Research has shown that keeping healthy bones depends more on preventing calcium loss than on increasing calcium intake, in fact, eating too much calcium in the absence of other nutrients may actually lead to osteoporosis.

2. The Informative Hook

The informative hook starts with a few slices of interesting and unusual information, then leads into the rest of the query letter by explaining why that information is relevant to readers. Editors respond well to this type of hook because it enables them to present fresh and unique information to their readers. When you begin your hook with a fact or statistic that goes against conventional wisdom, you're more likely to pique the editor's curiosity and get him or her to read the rest of your query for further explanation.

Here is an example of the informative hook:
Toe walking is very common among children with special needs, particularly those with autism, sensory integration issues, and cerebral palsy. (1-7 per 1,000 for CP)  It is also one of the more misdiagnosed conditions for children without cerebral palsy, with doctors telling parents the child will "just grow out of it" or even worse, that surgery is required.  If it is ignored, the child's ability to run will be affected as well as the back muscles, not to mention social acceptance by one's peers. 

3. The Question Hook

This hook can transform the problem/solution hook or the informative hook into an even more persuasive hook to grab an editor's attention. By presenting a problem or a specific piece of information in the form of a question, you are actively engaging the editor's thought-process. This is a powerful persuasion tactic because you force the editor to think about your question to which he or she probably doesn't know the answer. The more interesting and trivial your question, the better chance you have at making the editor read further to find out more.

Here is an example of the question hook:
Do you crave pancakes for breakfast?  When you eat out do you find you can’t get through dinner without succumbing to a decadent dessert? If you eat one cookie are the rest of them calling from the cupboard? If this sounds familiar you are not alone.

For many of us there are times when it seems an impossibility to forego our favorite foods. Some people even find certain foods "addictive." But why do we have these cravings for specific foods?

4. The Personal Experience/Anecdote

Stories told from a first-person perspective are often real and engaging. Readers generally relate well to these personal, experiential stories. The personal experience hook demonstrates your credibility by presenting the topic of your article in the context of a problem you've handled personally.

Here is an example of the personal experience/anecdote hook:
For nearly 10 weeks toward the end of my first pregnancy, I was put on bed rest (or as I like to call it, “bed arrest”) due to preterm labor. Several of my female friends admitted they were actually jealous of my newfound downtime, but let me tell you from first-hand experience, bed rest is no fun after the first few days. It fact, for a type-A personality like me, it's downright stressful.

5. The Attention-Grabber

This hook has the potential to turn your query letter into a success if used correctly. The “attention grabber” is a unique piece of information, an unexpected question, or even the opening paragraph of your article that surprises the editor and leaves him or her wanting to know more. Remember, the hook should relate to the rest of your article. If the subject matter of your article only tangentially relates to this hook, the editor will feel misled.

Here’s an example of the attention grabber hook:
Almost all parents have been through it – the sharp cry in the middle of the night, the fever, the tugging on the ear.  In fact, ear infections account for over 35% of all pediatric emergency visits in the U.S.  And ear infections that become chronic are even more frustrating for parents trying to get to work every day.  While there is nothing worse than having a child up crying all night, parents are now being told doctors are prescribing too many antibiotics.  Studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine have shown that when antibiotics are given for ear infections, the disease isn’t shortened and they fail to prevent reoccurrences.  In fact, reoccurrences were found to be higher with antibiotics, plus they can kill the good bacteria along with the bad.  What are parents supposed to do, just let their child suffer? 


Each hook has the power to be incredibly effective at quickly engaging the editor, but a hook's job is only to encourage the editor to read on so you can sway him or her by a powerful pitch. No matter how finely crafted the hook, if the rest of the query letter is boring and poorly organized, your hard work will end up as just another stack in the slushpile. Think of the hook as your chance to playfully and skillfully tease the editor with a preview of the engaging thought and style of the article to come.

—Brian Scott,


How much does a ghostwriter cost?

How much does a high-end ghostwriter cost?

4 Answers

how much does a ghostwriter cost

Tiffany SandersLSAT Geek
Because a client can hire pretty much anyone as a ghostwriter and rates can be whatever the two agree, there's a huge range. Though I'd like to agree with Shawn that the $12-50 rate is "completely and utterly incorrect," the truth is that there are a lot of people ghostwriting in that range. At the other end of the spectrum (since the question addressed "high end" ghostwriters, Shawn's figure is far too low for the most sought-after ghostwriters working with celebrities and politicians--in that sector, a book costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.

One of the reasons that the "salary" information provided by Anonymous isn't really useful is that many writers ghostwrite and publish under their own names, meaning that they're not making a full time living as ghostwriters. Another is that the term ghostwriter has become somewhat unclear as blogging and other quick publishing options have proliferated. People two years out of college with a marketing degree are working under the title "ghostwriter" and it means that they're blogging and running social media accounts for one or more company execs.

Owen Linderholm30 years writing and editing professionally
Most ghostwriters I know (and I know several) are paid per project. You are ghostwriting something (usually a book, sometimes an article). You quote for the full project. Almost now writers of any kind are paid per hour. For shorter forms (articles) you are typically paid either per word or per piece. For longer forms you are paid either a single flat fee for the project or you get a percentage of royalties. Ghostwriters usually get a flat fee although I have heard of a flat fee plus a share of royalties. And there isn't a typical rate. If you want James Patterson or Stephen King or JK Rowling to ghostwrite something you'd better be prepared to offer an insane amount of money (and they still wouldnt do it). If you want some random person with no experience then you are probably better off just burning your money. To give you some idea, you can get someone who can write grammatically correct sentences for about 10 cents a word. You can get someone who can actually write a coherent piece of prose on a topic and do some real research as part of the project for about $1 a word.

Tim VandeheyGhostwriter
Most of the top ghosts don't charge an hourly rate. I've ghosted more than 50 nonfiction books in my career, and my rate ranges from $30,000 on the low end to more than $60,000 on the high end, depending on the length and complexity of the book. That's for independent publishing. Ghosts can get more if they're getting a percentage of a large publisher's advance. Beware any ghostwriter on Elance who offers to write your 100,000 book for $5,000. You get what you pay for.

Shawn BellAuthor, Screenwriter, Media God
320 Views • Shawn is a Most Viewed Writer in Publishing.
$150 per page.

Ghostwriters aren't paid a salary.  They can make anywhere from zero to millions of dollars.  The answerer who claims that ghostwriters get paid a between $12 and $50 an hour is completely and utterly incorrect.

Craigslist Ghostwriters

Inside the Shady World of Craigslist Ghostwriters