Most ghostwriting jobs have a reasonably standard lifespan, give or take a few months. Another of our writers here at United Ghostwriters, Ginny Carter, has blogged on this site about some of the extremes either side of this, and as I’m soon to enter my seventh year working on a project, I often wonder: how much longer will it be before the story I and my collaborator have toiled over will finally make its debut?
The book in question had been due to be published in the summer, but legal complications associated with the Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry have delayed us yet again. It’s an immensely frustrating experience for us both, but the most important message here is: if you have something to say, however controversial, keep plugging away until you’re able to place your story in your preferred medium, or until the market is ready for it.
Obviously, a subject as sensitive as child abuse requires a great deal of scrutiny, and the legal process understandably takes a lot of time. Accusations require proof, where possible (it often isn’t there, or has been ‘lost’ or ‘misplaced’), and a publisher needs to protect both itself and its client.
Some of the more controversial subject areas will face an uphill struggle to see the light of day, but deserve to be told – and, crucially, read by others who’ve undergone similar experiences, and who may be encouraged to seek help, and solidarity with fellow victims, in the case of abuse, for example.
In a world as connected as ours, nobody need suffer in silence; and books are a great way of sharing stories – of reaching out to others. So whether your story takes a year, or six – or more – to break into the publishing market, stick with it and ensure that, in that time, everything is in place for it to be as successful as possible. And success isn’t solely measured in sales, although that, of course, helps – for success often means laying the ghosts of the past at least partially to rest, and helping others do likewise.
A quality ghostwriter can guide and provide support, and a publisher can put it to market. But without a good story, that has the capacity to resonate with others, it’s unlikely to have much of a shelf life, or impact on its readers. It’s just that, sometimes, it takes a hell of a long while for everything to come together. But, as the old adage goes: good things come to those who wait – right?