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Marie-Jo
02-25-2011, 03:29 AM
Did any of you get a ghost-writing proposal looking like this?

I am suspicious by nature. Actually, circumstances did help (I've been burned). So I basically asked the author of the "proposal": Who are you? And why did you address this request to me?

In any case, let me know what you think.

Here's a copy and paste of the e-mail I received a few days ago:


Hello
I am looking for a ghostwriter to write a glamour chick lit book based on an idea my writing partner and I have fleshed out. We are looking for a writer who can
1. Write in the style of Shopaholic author, Sophie Kinsella
2. We would want the ghostwriter to do the writing, using concepts and stories provided by us, the credited authors.
3. We need a writer who is well versed in luxury and top name fashion and life style brands which will be incorporated into our novel.
4. The ghostwriter would incorporated the research we have collected for one of the themes in our book. We do not expect and extra research to be done.
5. The writer must make changes we ask for.
6. We want an approved finished manuscript of approx 70,000 words
7. The approved first draft of the manuscript needs to be finished within 3 months.
8. The book deals with sisters in their late twenties, early thirties from the Midwest living in NYC-dealing with the usual-love and work.


Please let me know if this is a project you would be interested in, the process and the cost. Thanks.

Karen Junker
02-25-2011, 03:33 AM
I didn't get anything like this, but I would automatically delete it at the mention of a cost.

James D. Macdonald
02-25-2011, 03:38 AM
The cost?

$50K, half up front, one quarter on delivery of the first draft, one quarter on acceptance of the final draft.

And no guarantees at all of marketability.

Adobedragon
02-25-2011, 03:41 AM
3. We need a writer who is well versed in luxury and top name fashion and life style brands which will be incorporated into our novel.*Snerk.* Well, that counts me out. My idea of fashion is sweatpants and my favorite grubby T-shirt. Luxury would be a couch that doesn't sag in the middle.

I don't understand how one can have a "writing partner" who doesn't, apparently....write.

Stacia Kane
02-25-2011, 04:21 AM
I don't understand how one can have a "writing partner" who doesn't, apparently....write.


That confused me, too.



I'd either delete it or, if I were in that sort of mood, reply to say basically what Uncle Jim said; my rates are lower than his, but I'd tell them my absolute minimum price for writing a novel is 10k.*

So if they want to write me a check for that, I'll happily write their book for them.

(*That figure may or may not be over or under the advances I've earned in the past; it's not meant to imply anything specific re how much my books have made me.)

IceCreamEmpress
02-25-2011, 04:31 AM
Looks more to me like complete cluelessness than scam.

The going rate for that kind of work-for-hire with reputable US book packagers is $5,000 to $15,000. And you'd need to ask for the high end to make it worth while, because it's not like you'd be getting a foot in the door for future, more lucrative projects.

Also, I bet these ladies' ideas aren't as marketable or even as coherent as those of, say, the folks at Alloy. I don't even think I'd do it for $50,000 because of the stress of working with clueless amateurs.

Soccer Mom
02-25-2011, 04:55 AM
Wow. Clueless riding clueless and using clueless as a whip. I wouldn't touch this.

Jamesaritchie
02-25-2011, 04:59 AM
It looks like total cluelessness to me, but if you find out they're serious, send them my way. . .right after you check out the size of their collective bank accounts.

Alitriona
02-25-2011, 05:07 AM
I would hit delete fast and get back to writing my own books. I don't understand the thinking behind people who expect someone else to do the work with a fiction piece while they take the credit.

benbradley
02-25-2011, 05:21 AM
No, don't delete such an email, it makes for an interesting blogpost, or thread like this one. Title it "Cluelessness At Its Finest." It also makes for extra drama if the writer author emailer finds the blog.

We need a writer who is well versed in luxury and top name fashion and life style brands which will be incorporated into our novel
Why is this? Will there be an attempt to get product placement money from these brands? Or am I overthinking their intelligence?

The book deals with sisters in their late twenties, early thirties from the Midwest living in NYC-dealing with the usual-love and work.
While I've never actually seen an episode of the TV show, isn't this the typical "Sex In The City" storyline?

Susan Littlefield
02-25-2011, 08:22 AM
Marie-Jo,

Did they ever answer you back about why they emailed you with this "proposal?"

If someone I knew asked me to ghostwrite for them, I would give it serious thought. However, something like this received out of nowhere from someone I don't know would have me wondering...why me?

Like Stacia said, if they give me the money up front I would write a book for them. Like Jim said, I would tell them I cannot guarantee the marketability. Like James said, I would check out their bank accounts.

One more thing I'd add to this- If they wrote me a check, I 'd make sure they paid me the correct amount (not over the amount, as there is a scam where someone writes a check over the amount, says, "Oops, can you pay me back the difference?" Then their check turns out to be bad, they have my money, and they are nowhere to be found).

Nah, forget it. There's too much to do to make sure this whole deal is real.

Libbie
02-25-2011, 10:22 AM
People you don't know and/or people not referred to you by your trusty agent asking you to ghostwrite for them? No. Red flags all over the place. Even if it's legit and they intend to pay you, still, red flags. If not about money, then about whether you'd be able to work peacefully with them.

Mayusan
02-25-2011, 10:22 AM
No, don't delete such an email, it makes for an interesting blogpost, or thread like this one. Title it "Cluelessness At Its Finest." It also makes for extra drama if the writer author emailer finds the blog.

Why is this? Will there be an attempt to get product placement money from these brands? Or am I overthinking their intelligence?

While I've never actually seen an episode of the TV show, isn't this the typical "Sex In The City" storyline?

sounds to me to be more like the MTV "reality" show, "The Hills"

Phaeal
02-25-2011, 05:42 PM
I would ask them if I could include shoggoths (wearing Blahniks and Comme des Garcons, of course.) If not, forget about it.