The initial interview helps getting to know your client/author as well as what they want to cover in the project. I begin by finding out about the client’s background and interests. How did they get to where they are? Visit with them regularly during the project.
Clarify the type of book they want to write and what the subject will cover. As a ghostwriter, part of your job is to help direct your client in narrowing a subject that is too broad. For example, relationships has many subtopics. Education has many aspects. It is best to focus in on one aspect or only a few related subtopics. People don’t realize it, but their first instinct is to cover everything in one book. It becomes a never ending book. Encourage your client to write more than one book about the topic.
Work through the basics of what they want to say in the book. Their personal stories help enrich the content and help the reader to associate with the writer and the subject matter. What people does the client admire? Do they have favorite quotes? Who is their market? Are they clear on what the overall message is?
Compile some questions that you want to ask your client about their book and put together specifics that help clarify what the book includes. Then, put together an outline. Submit the outline to your client and then collaborate until you get the outline that your client is satisfyed with.
Next, it’s time to begin writing. As in other writing, allow yourself to write the first draft imperfectly. No first draft is ready for publication. It is where we start.
Most of all, enjoy working and collaborating with your client. Give them your best and they will return for your services time and time again. They will also refer other people to you.
For additional information about becoming a ghostwriter, read my article at Writing for Dollars.