Ghostwriter Marcia and I connected a few years ago and I’m very pleased she’s able to share information about her ghostwriting business.
Tell us a little bit about your business.
I’m a business book ghostwriter who got her start in ghostwriting thanks to an agent. I wrote my first book in the 1990s, for my dad, who was a fine artist and who didn’t do much of any marketing or promotion. So I wrote Successful Fine Art Marketing to offer some guidance in marketing planning for artists. Having proven that I could write a book-length work, I then landed work with the Complete Idiot’s Guide series, and wrote some startup and marketing guides for Wiley, followed by some corporate histories and real estate guides. I had earned a reputation as a fast writer, so when my agent heard about a business book project that was way behind schedule and needed a ghostwriter to step in and produce it, she introduced me to the editor and the rest is history.
Although I continue to create content for major brands and publishing clients, ghostwriting business books accounts for around 80% of my business at the moment.
I’m also the founder and executive director of the Association of Ghostwriters, which aims to bring together professional ghostwriters for networking, business-building, and idea sharing.
How would you describe your ideal client?
As a ghostwriter, my ideal client is an entrepreneur, business owner, or CEO who is articulate, friendly, kind, intelligent, and decisive. They want to write a business book that contains stories and case studies and is practical in nature, helping the reader to learn a new skill or apply a new strategy or tactic. They know what they want to say and, typically due to an already full schedule, want to hand off the responsibility for writing and editing their book to a writer like me.
How did things change for you in 2020 and how did you manage to weather through the year during the pandemic?
I suspect that because I was already working with clients virtually, using the phone and Zoom, the pandemic didn’t change the way I worked. It did free up time for some clients to step forward and decide to start working on their books sooner rather than later, however. And I did find myself closing my office door more regularly, due to having other family members in the house during the day; I work best in silence.
What is your favorite tip for using social media?
I’m not sure I’m qualified to give advice regarding social media, since I’m very much a student myself, but I will say that one thing I’ve done this past year that has really helped me is to invest time in expanding my LinkedIn network. I spend time there weekly searching for people I’d like to be connected with, whether because of their company, their title, their expertise, or something else, and then ask to be connected on LinkedIn. As a result, I’ve more than doubled the size of my network and I’ve seen the number of inquiries rise, too.
What are your goals for 2021?
In 2021, I’d like to continue ghostwriting interesting business books for smart clients and decide on a dissertation topic for my doctorate, which will likely be related to writers and wealth-building.
I’d also like to blog more frequently for the Association of Ghostwriters, which I run. I’m aiming to post on a biweekly basis throughout 2021. I’m always in need of blog topics, too, if anyone wants to send me a request (email@example.com).
Where can authors find you?
Bestselling, award-winning writer Marcia Layton Turner has authored, co-authored, or ghostwritten more than 60 nonfiction books. Many of her titles and those of her clients have been published by major publishers, including John Wiley & Sons, McGraw-Hill, Penguin, and Macmillan. Hybrid and independent presses are becoming a popular choice, however, and Marcia has worked with several, including Jenkins Group and Authority Publishing.
One of her most recent ghosted books was expected to sell 2 million copies internationally when released, and her Unofficial Guide to Starting a Small Business was named a “Best Business Book” the year it was published, by Library Journal. A book she recently edited was a New York Times bestseller for several weeks.
She has ghostwritten books about leadership, marketing, Gen Z, business development, personal finance, and many other business topics.
When not ghostwriting books, Marcia writes articles and blog posts for outlets like Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Forbes Online, US News & World Report.com, CNN Money, and AmEx OPEN Forum.
She earned her MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, a BA with honors from Wellesley College, and is currently at work on her doctorate in business administration (DBA) at Temple University.