Know What to Write Before Writing It

An award winning biography ghostwritten with Paul Wayne by Mark Graham Communications

An award winning biography ghostwritten with Paul Wayne by Mark Graham Communications

I know this sounds like a strange title for a blog about writing, but it so often happens that we get all geared up to the task of writing without really examining our book concept.  It is not to say that you have to know all the working parts, but you have to know enough to get the juices flowing. Writing is hard enough without the inspiration, so make sure you can feel it.

So here are a few thoughts on the subject of fleshing out that illusive idea.

There is a thing called having a vision for what you want your book to accomplish. To entertain, to help others with their struggles, to write your legacy piece. You get the idea. Pin this down.

Once you’ve got a handle on this vision thing, then decide if it fits the audience you are targeting.  This is pretty important.  Baby boomers, Gen-X’ers, 18-35 years olds. Put a name to it, then put an age to it, then consider your demographic.

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A Book is a Great Marketing Tool

This unique self-help book on realizing your dreams as a reality is a collaboration between Jason McKinney and Mark Graham Communications.

This unique self-help book on realizing your dreams as a reality is a collaboration between Jason McKinney and Mark Graham Communications.

No, this is not a blog dedicated solely to the writing of a business book.  Yes, a business book is an amazing way to establish brand clarity for you and your business expertise. It is a great way to establish business credibility and up your status within your industry.

The truth is, writing a novel, memoir, or self-help book can be just as dynamic in marketing you, your business, and your legacy.

A memoir has the advantage over a business book of letting a reader see inside your personal life, how you conduct yourself with family and friends, and how you deal with crisis and overcome obstacles.

A novel demonstrates a level of creativity that few other endeavors can, and there is something very captivating about a man or woman who completes such a monumental task.

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Writing the Book You’ve Always Wanted to Write

#5 Samaritan Court

This moving and powerful biography is a collaboration between Maria Mai-Thuy Swenka and Mark Graham Communications.

Most of us have thought: There is a book inside me.

This isn’t a random thought.  It’s true.  There is a message we all want to share or a story that keeps us up at night. There is a business concept that you’ve used to drive your success or a way of looking at the world that makes you unique. These are the seeds of an idea that everyone should plant and nurture, because at the end of the day, a book is part of your legacy, something only you can create.  But only if you actually do it.

You may have tried to sit down at the computer and begin the journey, or you may have told yourself there is no way: “I’m no writer.”

It could be that you don’t know where to start or that the fear is just too paralyzing. You don’t want to be part of that overwhelming majority of people who have the dream but don’t pursue it.  It is do-able.  Let’s talk about how.

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Put Your Big, New Idea into a Business Book

Wow Moments

This engaging how-to business book on customer interaction is a collaboration between Mark Kent and Mark Graham Communications

If you are a successful businesswoman or businessman, it’s because you think big. It’s because you think it terms of innovation. It’s because you have carved out a niche that sets you apart from your competition and your peers.

It is that kind of thinking that makes you the perfect candidate for writing a business book, a business book featuring the big, new idea that has become your trademark. There are plenty of books out there about sales and marketing, leadership and management, even motivation and purpose. Yes, these are all important components in running a successful business. But, much like the product or service that you sell and the way that you sell it, your perspective on successful leadership or marketing 101 or whatever subject you are most passionate about is what sets you apart. That is what you are selling in the business book that you will write.

It is your job as a successful business person and would-be author to have the idea. It is your job to know the idea inside and out. It is the job of our elite team of writers and editors at Mark Graham Communication to make sure the idea is BIG and NEW. It is our job to make sure the reader is captivated by the idea and motivated to act upon your message.

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Ghostwriting – What is it?

This intense and suspenseful read, written by King Hurly and Mark Graham Communications will keep you on the edge of your seat from cover-to-cover.

This intense and suspenseful read, written by King Hurley and Mark Graham Communications will keep you on the edge of your seat from cover-to-cover.

The first thing you need to know is that ghostwriting is, first and foremost, about relationships. If the ghostwriter and his or her client don’t have a special bond that allows for positive interaction throughout the process, the quality of the writing doesn’t mean a thing.

Whether the book in question is a novel, memoir, business book, or self-help book, effective ghostwriting begins with teamwork and the highest level of communication.  The ghostwriter’s first job is to fully understand the book project at hand, from the premise and the subject matter to the best way of gathering the necessary information for the project.  The best ghost writer is  an acclaimed author, skilled interviewer, and, when necessary, researcher extraordinaire.

The writers and editors on our elite team at Mark Graham Communications understand how to present the client’s material at the highest level without letting his or her prejudices get in the way. At the same time, the ghostwriters on our team need to understand the genre of a particular project well enough to develop a presentation both in style and content to best represent that genre.

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Ten Reasons You Should Write a Business Book

The System book cover

This business book was written by Jeremy Howerton and Mark Graham Communications.

If you’ve thought about writing a business book, it’s time to stop thinking and do it. If you haven’t considered the idea, here are ten good reasons why you should:

1. Establishes Your Credibility.
You’re good at what you do. You’ve put time, energy and hard work into your field of expertise. When you talk, people listen. You’ve earned a level of trust because you know what it takes to be successful. Put that expertise down on paper. The book you produce, based upon your specialty, can do more to enhance your credibility than almost anything else you do.

2. Builds Your Confidence.
True, you need to have a good amount of confidence to write a book, but when you actually see your ideas, concepts and principles coming to life on the page, you gain a new kind of confidence, as in, “If I can write a book, there’s not much I can’t do.”

3. Increases Your Education.
Writing is essentially one of the best possible ways to learn. While most people think of writing as a solitary endeavor, a business book evolves with everyone you talk to, every deal you make and every success or failure you experience: these will form the foundation of your book.

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The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Ghostwriter

image of The Race for Good Credit book cover

The Race for Good Credit was written by Trent L. Pettus and Mark Graham Communications.


The Pros are easy.  You save time hiring the right ghostwriter. But you save more than time. You get to spend your time on doing what your do best, while your ghostwriter does what he or she does best; this is assuming you’ve hired the right person with the right stuff. More on that later.

The Cons are easy. You pay for the time. If you’re not willing and able to pay for the time – and we’re talking about hundreds of hours – don’t go there. At Mark Graham Communications, we are upfront about the logistics of a project at the beginning so we can focus our attention on creating a special book moving forward.


The Pros are complicated. The bottom line is that you may have writing skills or you may not, but learning to write a book takes time and dedication, and you probably have many other important matters on your plate.  That said, you want to be absolutely certain that you are working with a writer or team of writers that have publishing credentials that include book length material and not just a blog post or two.

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Writing a Business Book That People Want to Read

Rings Of Value ecover

This business book, Ring$ of Value, was written by Timothy M. Beglin and Mark Graham Communications.

It is very common for business men and women to want to write a book that explores their business acumen or maps the paths they have traveled to arrive at their current position.  Some want to write a legacy piece or historical retrospective. Some want to advance their position within their industry. Some want to pursue a speaking career.

There is, however, often the perception that the process is straightforward and easy.  Of course, it is neither.  And that’s a good thing, because otherwise everyone would be doing it.

The first hurdle is determining what you intend to focus on.  You need an idea that has some degree of originality to it, because you don’t want your reader asking why you’ve written what you’re written. You want to a present a view of the business world that people haven’t heard before, or you need to present it in a way that is unique and valid.

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What is Developmental Editing?

What to look for in a ghostwriter: talent vs. experience

Some of the best writers of all time have needed editorial assistance, and they were smart enough to seek it out.

Let’s say you talk to your editor, publisher, or ghostwriter about your manuscript, and the consensus is that your work would benefit from something more than line editing or copy editing. They recommend developmental editing. What does that mean? At Mark Graham Communications, developmental editing is the most proactive of the levels of editing that we do. With developmental editing, we work on the actual language of the book. We freshen or enhance descriptive passages. We up the action component. We hone dialogue. We modify word usage when necessary. Moreover, we do all of this while respecting the voice you have created. Does this mean sharpening the voice? Sometimes. Does this mean tweaking the tone? Only if it ups the presentation. Developmental editing can be extremely aggressive or no more than a gentle massage. In all cases, the end goal is make your manuscript more appealing to the reader. If it doesn’t accomplish this, then don’t do it. Editing for editing sake is a not only a waste of time, but can end up doing more harm than good.

Okay, you say, but the description we just explored sounds more like content editing than developmental editing. Where does the development come in? At Mark Graham Communications, this is where the communication between you and the editor is so crucial. This is where we talk about the holes in your story – assuming you’ve written a novel or a memoir – or missing pieces in your character development. This is where we talk about the strengths or weaknesses in your message – assuming you’ve written a business book or self-help book – or the redundancies or inaccuracies in your examples or anecdotes. This is where a true collaboration takes root between you and us and a real partnership develops.

Writing most definitely has a solitary component to it. There is, however, a point in time when sharing what we’ve written becomes necessary. Sometimes we need a discerning eye. Sometimes we need an honest appraisal. Sometimes we need a helping hand. Some of the best writers of all time have needed editorial assistance, and they were smart enough to seek it out. It is, I think, a lesson from which we can all benefit.

Writing an Effective Query Letter

This award winning biography written by Paul Wayne and Mark Graham Communications

Everyone has an opinion as to what makes for a good query letter or cover letter when you’re submitting your book to a literary agent and/or publisher.  One thing most people agree upon is that your query or cover letter is the first thing an agent or editor sees, so it needs to be crafted with care and reflective of your writing style.

When we are consulting with clients at Mark Graham Communications, one of elements that we stress is that the query or cover letter– as important as it is – should NOT leave you feeling intimidated. Moreover, it should not be over-thought. Follow the rules, but let your skill have a free hand.

In our opinion, short and sweet is better than long and laborious. We favor a couple of paragraphs or in the area of 150 words, enough to convey your message without putting the agent or editor off.

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