5 lessons from America’s greatest ghostwriter

Alexander Hamilton was America’s greatest ghostwriter. Here are five lessons he leaves us, with quotes from the musical that bears his name.

Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genius of a writer, taking the fairly base form of entertainment that hip-hop is and elevating it to artistic grandeur. Hamilton: An American Musical contains layers of meaning, and pulls people into the story of America’s greatest ghostwriter.

What? You thought Hamilton was a banker? Or a politician? Or a lawyer? [Read more…]

Inspiring children’s kidlit book published (now an Amazon best seller)

Another client of THGM Writing Services publishes her kidlit book. Flying Cowboys and Confetti Rain: Dreams of a PBR Bull, by Debbie Felkins Tamez, is an inspiring children’s story.

A first-time author, Debbie tells the inspiring tale of Crash and his sidekick and trainer, Trouble. This is a team of bull and racoon, who will delight children on Crash’s quest to fulfill his dreams – to become Bull of the Year. [Read more…]

Investing book for beginners published

Another client of THGM Writing Services publishes his book. Wall Street Kitchen, by Victor Chiu, details a housewife’s recipe for investing success.

Victor invites you into his mother’s kitchen for some tasty treats and straight talk on investing, even if you have no formal education. He says that it is based on the true story of how his immigrant mother made herself wealthy:

“This is not a “rags to riches” story. It was more like a Levi’s to the whatever-we-choose-to-wear story, except we now choose to wear Levi’s because we like to. When you’re wealthy and don’t have to clock eight hours a day in an office, you get the choice.” [Read more…]

What’s it like to be a ghostwriter?

Do you wonder what is a ghostwriter, and what it’s like to be one? In this post, we spill the beans.

I’ve seen this question from time to time in forums and social media groups, so I would like to provide a complete answer: What’s it like to be a ghostwriter?

The short answer is that being a ghostwriter is many things.

I’ll assume you already have some idea what it’s like to be a writer, and most likely you already write. So I won’t cover that off.  Rather, I’ll compare what it’s like to be a ghostwriter with what it’s like writing for yourself. [Read more…]

The most abused word in the English language

Some words in the English language take a whipping every day. Here is my pick for the most abused word in the English language.

Pop quiz time. Please read the following four sentences and tell me what’s wrong with them:

  • He only ate the green peppers.
  • They only had ten minutes to get there.
  • She only wants a few firecrackers.
  • We only ate a dozen hamburgers.

“Only” is a word with an unspoken implication – that there are many possibilities, but all are false except one. [Read more…]

Write for your audience (5 sneaky hiring ads)

When you really need talent, you can find a creative way to write for your audience. Here are five superb examples of uber-targeted communications.

A friend of mine implored me to fire up The Guardian on my laptop a few days ago, so that I could see a hiring ad.

“Where?” I asked.

“Go there,” he said, pointing to “UK news”.

Puzzled, I clicked on “UK News”. [Read more…]

Top 10 most common business grammar errors

The Grammar Monster doesn’t like what he sees in business documents. Let’s publicly flog the worst offenders.

I edit a lot of business documents, from blog posts to case studies, from book manuscripts to press releases. It’s funny how the same errors repeat themselves from document to document, from client to client. Here are some of those I see the most. [Read more…]

Three ways to write for the Web – copywriting and online content writing tips

There are three ways to write for online readers. Learn copywriting and how to write content for the Web below.

You might have heard that writing for the Web is different than other writing. And you would be right. But it is not that simple.

There are three types of writing for the Web. Each serves a different purpose. Each takes a different approach. If you master these three styles, you can write anything you will need to reach an online audience:

Your conversion rate, however you measure it, depends on directly identifying the style you need. [Read more…]

My favorite online research tools for writers

Here’s how I researched material for a book I was ghostwriting. You might like these tools, too.

You can’t find everything on the Internet…yet.  But you sure can find a lot.  I’ve been working on a true story, a non-fiction novel about a business being sabotaged.  You know what I’m talking about – the players involved, the conspiracy, the heartbreaks and all that goes into a real-life story of intrigue and drama.

If you own a business, so much of this can happen to you, too. But it probably won’t.

Because this is a true story, I had better get my facts right. Here are some of the online research tools I used to write this novel accurately. [Read more…]

Writers, just write

Ever wonder how to become a better writer? It’s simple. Sit down at your keyboard and start writing.

I have seen this question posed in various ways over the years: “How can I become a better writer?” And the answer really isn’t any different than “How can I become a better basketball player?” Or “How can I become a better guitar player?” Or “How can I become a better evil magician?” [Read more…]

Take this test to see if you are an incurable writer (56 questions)

Are you an incurable writer? Here are 56 tell-tale clues!

This is the fifth in a series of self-help tests to diagnose you as an incurable writer, hopelessly addicted to words and a vagabond spirit upon this planet.

If you are a writer, my condolences. But you won’t get any pity from me, because I’m a writer, too. If you missed any of the first four tests, here are the links: [Read more…]

Top 7 myths about expert roundups

Expert roundup posts have become more than just trendy. Let’s clear up some of the biggest myths about them.

It was not that long ago that a “roundup” blog post meant a collection of the most interesting posts on a topic that had appeared in the past week, month or year. Sometimes these were posts from around the Web. Sometimes, especially for annual roundups, it would be the best or most popular posts that had appeared on that blog: “My top posts of 2015!”

These days, you rarely hear the word “roundup” without the word “expert” in front of it. These expert roundups typically feature a large number of people responding to one or two questions, and all their responses are published verbatim. [Read more…]

Authors, pro tips on how to sell the rights to your book

As an author, you have more rights than you might think. Get more out of your writing; sell your rights.

Most authors don’t think too much about their rights. They think about copyright, for sure. They often mail themselves a copy of their manuscript, making sure that the date of mailing is very clearly displayed in the cancellation, as proof of copyright.

Most authors also register their work with their national copyright registry. Many authors even believe that registering their work grants them copyright. It doesn’t; registration is just registration. Copyright is created when pen hits paper or fingertips hit keyboard.

The main reason we work with ghostwriting contracts is to establish that the copyright belongs to the author, not our writer.

But once the work is complete, there are many additional rights that you own and might be very valuable to sell. [Read more…]

The difference between authors and writers

What is the difference between a writer and an author? Well…it’s complicated.

Running a ghostwriting agency, I get this question all the time. “What is the difference between a writer and an author?” It is an important distinction to be made on a practical level, if for no other reason because our ghostwriting contracts sometimes make the distinction. [Read more…]

Ghostwriter contracts 101 – ghostwriting agreements clause by clause

Ready to hire a ghostwriter? You are probably wondering about the ghostwriter contract and fees. Here is what you should find in a ghostwriter contract.

Your search for a ghostwriter is complete. Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. What comes first? The contract, of course. Make sure that the agreement covers everything important. Better than reading a sample ghostwriting contract template, here is a quick guide of what to watch for in a ghostwriting contract. [Read more…]

Are you a #writer? Take this quiz.

Are you a writer? Take this 51-question quiz to find out!

This is the fourth in a series of self-tests to help you determine if you are a writer – someone afflicted with the compulsive need to express yourself in words at any time of day or night.

Being a writer is a terminal condition; it cannot be cured, only managed.  One of the best ways to manage being a writer is with humor.  So we take the humorous approach to diagnosing your condition. Take this writers quiz, then feel free to share your results in the comments below…if you dare! [Read more…]

The mega list of careers for writers – work as a freelancer or as a job

Who knew there were so many career paths for a writer to take? Here are 37 of ways professional writers work for their living, either as employees or as freelancers.

What image comes to mind when you hear the word “writer”?

Some people immediately think of a novelist, perhaps locked away in solitude working on his masterpiece like Hemingway or like “Alex Rover” in Nim’s Island.

Some people think right away of bloggers coming up with some new angle in their chosen niche each day.

Others might think of an intrepid journalist, writing news or sports or entertainment stories for the masses. [Read more…]

Should you join the #MBUstorm blogging challenge?

Would you start writing a new blog if you had help? Or if you had a competitive incentive? Welcome to the MBUstorm blogging challenge.

Have you ever wanted to start a blog from scratch and grow it into a business? It’s the perfect DIY career move for any writer, but blogging is about more than just writing. So help is on its way! [Read more…]

The power of motivational quotes

Motivational quotes capture people’s imagination. What’s so special about these portable tidbits of wisdom?

I am currently ghostwriting a book about stock market investment strategies. Yes, it’s a topic that is all about numbers. But don’t worry – the way I write it, readers will stay awake. One little trick in this book is that each chapter begins with a motivational quote, something to put the reader in the frame of mind to think about what’s coming up next. [Read more…]

Four resources to mine for trending content ideas

The world is talking. Is your content talking about the same things? Here are four ways to make sure it is.

In the world of online content, the topics people write about are often quite random. The goal of producing interesting and valuable content should be to establish credibility and drive visits to our websites. That can more effectively be accomplished by strategically choosing topics.

Aside from obvious topics in our chosen fields, how can we tap into and capitalize on the ever-changing flow of topical web traffic? I mean, how was I supposed to know that Kanye West was a telemarketer? [Read more…]