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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Content Editing vs. Copy Editing vs. Proofreading

The Gnome Tree

This e-published book, a fantasy novel for the teen and young adult readers, is a collaboration between James Ross and Mark Graham Communications.

There is often a mistaken perspective in the world of publishing – and self-publishing in particular – that editing, copyediting, and proofreading are the same, or at least cut from the same cloth. They aren’t. The similarities are important; but the differences are even more so.

Let’s begin with an overview of editing.  At Mark Graham Communications, we have two levels of editing that we offer our clients: developmental editing and content editing.

In both cases, you are looking for someone who can review your material, but also make substantive changes to the text that are meant to improve the pace, flow, and the overall quality of your writing.  With both developmental editing and content editing, your editor is working directly on the language of your piece. He or she might massage the dialogue, remove redundancies, add or subtract descriptions, and manipulate the action. Developmental editing goes a step further with suggestions and/or comments on where you as the author might make additional changes.

The goal is to bring your work to the highest level of presentation.  Continue reading

The Book Synopsis vs. The Book Description

Fallen Medicine: A Nurse's Dark Journey Through Ptsd, Drug Abuse and Sexual Addiction

This fascinating story of a nurse suffering from PTSD was a collaboration between D. F. Thompson and Mark Graham Communications.

Pretend you’re sending inquiries about your book to literary agents or publishers. Pretend you’re marketing your book on Amazon or GoodReads or Facebook. The former requires a synopsis of your book. The latter calls for a book description or book blurb meant to entice your readership.

Let’s begin by saying that a book synopsis and book description are not synonymous.  There are differences, and authors like you and I would be well-served to know what the differences are.

At Mark Graham Communications, we are frequently asked to define the two. A synopsis gives a concise but entertaining summary of the plot of your novel, the events behind your biography, or the driving message behind your business book or self-help book. A well-written synopsis mirrors the voice, tone, and style of the actual book. A synopsis needs to grab the attention of the agent or publisher you’re querying and sell your idea. If it’s a novel or biography, you have a finite number of words to blow your reader away with regarding your plot and your characters. If it’s a business book or self-help book, you have the same limited number of words to sell the uniqueness of your message and why you are the right person to write such a book.

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Ghostwriting a Commercially Viable Self-Help Book

There is a baseline message for every successful self-help book. In short, it says to the reader: “You can’t live without this. It will help you achieve what you want to achieve and get exactly what you want to get.”

This message is exactly what the reader wants to hear and expects to hear, and that is the beauty of it.  Remember upfront that whatever “self-help” tool, lesson, or product you are writing about, your reader wants to be convinced that your message will aid them in changing their lives.

A commercially viable self-help book is not fluff. If all you have is fluff, you might want to think about writing a different book. Your reader has a goal; your job is to present practical and practicable tools to reach that goal.

At Mark Graham Communications, we believe a step by step layout of your self-help message serves three purposes:

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Learning to Write

Don't Miss That Sale: Home Performance - Based Selling

This how-to business book that teaches methodology on home performance based selling is a collaboration between Arne Raisanen
and Mark Graham Communications.

Writing like the writers that you admire may not be as impossible as you imagine it.  They have all gone through the same struggles that we all go through.  They have all had to learn to rewrite, edit, and rewrite again.  They all have a process. They might not want you to be aware of the process, because then you’d be able to mold your average first draft into a magnificent second draft and an even better third draft.

At Mark Graham Communications, we have a saying: Writing is like mining. What you initially dig up might not look like much, but once it’s been cut and polished, it starts to look and read like the gem you were hoping to find.

Here are a few tips for taking that first draft of yours and enhancing it into that very special book you’ve dreamed of for years.

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