Sitting on the sofa’s edge watching Chloe Kelly tap the ball into the net in the 110th minute of the UEFA Women’s Euros Final 2022, I literally wept with pride for our own Pride of Lionesses. They were the first football team, male or female, to ‘bring football home’ since the male team won the World Cup back in 1966, fifty-six years before. In doing so, the Lionesses had inspired and united a nation, including thousands of young girls.
As soon as the last echoes of Sweet Caroline faded, I whipped out my laptop and an entire synopsis for a wellbeing book aimed at young girls and teens poured forth.
I specialise in ghostwriting practical and inspirational books for anyone who wants to help their readers in some way. And as a qualified Positive Psychology Practitioner and author of several books of my own, I specialise in writing non-fiction self-help books that equip people with tools and techniques to fret less and flourish more.
Usually though, when it comes to ghostwriting or co-writing books, clients tend to approach me with their book ideas, not the other way round. However, this time, I felt so inspired by these amazing athletes, I wondered if I could approach them? So I did. At midnight on 31st July 2022, I submitted my synopsis to a literary agent who thankfully loved the idea. After spending a few months securing three Lionesses to work with and interviewing them to create some strong sample material, Bev James Management managed to secure Puffin as a publisher.
By teaming up with influential people who have a success story and a far greater social media following than my own meagre one, together we could reach (and equip) many more people and help more folk to flourish. And that is why I do what I do.
And therein lies the key to creating a good book. Especially when it comes to non-fiction books. Having a purposeful and meaningful ‘why’ should be at the heart of every project. Yes, the notion of having a Sunday Times or New York Times Bestseller and holidaying off the subsequent royalties is a welcome one (and not unreasonable nor unachievable). Yet the rewards of having a book out are far greater than financial if you have a strong reason WHY you want your book published.
For me, through the words I write (under other people’s names or my own) I want to help people of all ages to make the most of their lives and thrive. And, the more people I can reach, the better.
So, why would YOU want to have a book published?
- Perhaps you want to get onto the speaking circuit and become known as the go-to expert in your field?
- Maybe you want to help people achieve or do something better or faster than they would without your book?
- Do you want to leave a legacy behind? To have something out there in the world long after you’re gone?
- Do you want to make a difference or help people feel like they’re not alone by sharing your story?
Whatever your WHY – that is what matters most when it comes to writing a book or hiring someone else to do so. Because that WHY will make the process more enjoyable, the end result more readable (and relatable) and, if the book doesn’t end up atop those bestseller lists, you’ll still have accomplished what you set out to do – even if the readership is minimal – you’ll still have made a difference to someone’s life and brought some extra meaning to your own.
Your book must have MEANING behind it. As a ghostwriter I often team up with people who’ve gained a wealth of expertise or achieved success from years of working in a particular field or with coaches and therapists who’ve created a framework for their face to face clients but want to reach more people than they can see in a clinic. Ghostwriters’ own expertise is to turn that knowledge into book form so their clients can reach the audiences they most want to inform.
So, whether you have plenty of followers you hope to inspire or a big message with a smaller following, a ghostwriter can turn your own journey and experiences into a compelling book, adding additional research or our own expertise to create something practical and actionable for the reader. But one of the first questions we’ll ask you is your why – why do you want to author a book in the first place?
When you have a strong why, you’ll be more invested in giving what’s needed to create a great book. When you are the author of a good non-fiction book, you get to inspire and inform your audience, us ghosts get to do creative, meaningful and fulfilling work and readers get to read books filled with actionable guidance that can help them be their best selves and do their best work. A win-win-win.
Talking of winning, the three inspirational elite athletes I’ve worked with don’t just want to win trophies and tournaments (although that is the name of their game), they also want to inspire the next generation, which is why they were up for working on this book with me. That why is what compelled them to share their experiences, mistakes and stories with me.
Our shared ‘why’ for getting this book out into the world is to equip the next generation with the tools they need to cope with whatever curveballs may come their way.
I’m proud to say that Three Lionesses: find your team, build self-belief, embrace your inner Lioness, by Ella Toone, Nikita Parris and Georgia Stanway is published by Puffin just after the Women’s World Cup on August 31st 2023.
I hope you’ll be tuning in to watch our England Lionesses play on the world stage in Australia from July 20th– August 20th 2023. One thing I know for sure, whoever wins the tournament, as long as the individuals involved keep purposefully inspiring others with their words and experiences, they’ll never stop winning. Such is the power of sharing your messages in book form.
Cheryl Rickman writes books to help people fret less and flourish more at work and in life. She has ghostwritten 14 books and written 13 under her own name. Find out more at www.CherylRickman.co.uk and www.writer.uk.com