Step into your local bookshop and take a look around you. What do you see?
In the average branch of Waterstones, you’ll see 30,000 to 40,000 books, many of them beautifully packaged, with dazzling and imaginative covers and quirky and enticing titles.
Sometimes it’s the name of a bestselling author that catches your eye. Sometimes there’s just the indefinable promise of a subject that stirs your interest. Always, if you’re anything like me, there will be armfuls of books you’d happily take home if only you could afford them.
For all its faults – and there are plenty – the publishing industry succeeds triumphantly when it comes to offering range and diversity. This is an ecosystem where every little nook and ledge is home to some odd and unexpected literary lifeform.
Interested in Proust? Clive James has written a splendidly personal commentary on the great madeleine-dunker’s masterwork – and every word of it’s in verse.
Passionate about railways? Choose Diesel Multiple Units 2017, or go to the other extreme and pick up the facsimile edition of Bradshaw’s Continental Railway Guide 1853. Want to learn about marketing strategy? Try Heather LeFevre’s Brain Surfing, Michael Porter’s classic Competitive Advantage or Seth Godin’s All Marketers Are Liars.
Surely there’s no niche that hasn’t been filled, no cranny that offers the chance to do something new. Surely your book can’t hope to cut through the clutter. And yet…
And yet, working with a sophisticated ghostwriter can help you find the angle, the slant that will make your book stand out.
If you want someone who can just take down your words, get yourself a typist.
If you want to be pushed, challenged, questioned and ultimately inspired to create something that’s better than you ever imagined, work with the professionals. You’ll be amazed at what we can get out of you.
Your book may not make you rich. In fact, that’s virtually guaranteed. But it will give you something you can be proud of for the rest of your life.
Ian Shircore is a vastly experienced non-fiction author and ghostwriter. His latest book is Loose Canon: The Extraordinary Songs of Clive James and Pete Atkin.