He had long since left journalism to launch the Energy Project, a consulting firm that promises to improve employees productivity by helping them boost their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual morale. It was a successful company, with clients such as Facebook, and Schwartzs colleagues urged him to avoid the political fray. But the prospect of President Trump terrified him. It wasnt because of Trumps ideology—Schwartz doubted that he had one. The problem was Trumps personality, which he considered pathologically impulsive and self-centered. Schwartz thought about publishing an article describing his reservations about Trump, but he hesitated, knowing that, since hed cashed in on the flattering Art of the deal, his credibility and his motives would be seen as suspect.
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During that period, Schwartz felt, he had got to know him better than almost anyone else outside the Trump family. Until Schwartz posted the tweet, though, he had not spoken publicly about Trump for decades. It had never been his ambition to be a ghostwriter, and leisure he had been glad to move. But, as he watched a replay of the new write candidate holding forth for forty-five minutes, he noticed something strange: over the decades, Trump appeared to have convinced himself that he had written the book. Schwartz recalls thinking, If he could lie about that on day one—when it was so easily refuted—he is likely to lie about anything. It seemed improbable that Trumps campaign would succeed, so Schwartz told himself that he neednt worry much. But, as Trump denounced Mexican immigrants as rapists, near the end of the speech, Schwartz felt anxious. He had spent hundreds of hours observing Trump firsthand, and felt that he had an unusually deep understanding of what he regarded as Trumps beguiling strengths and disqualifying weaknesses. Many Americans, however, saw Trump as a charmingly brash entrepreneur with an unfailing knack for business—a mythical image that Schwartz had helped create. It pays to trust your instincts, Trump says in the book, adding that he was set to make hundreds of millions of dollars after buying a hotel that he hadnt even walked through. In the subsequent months, as Trump defied predictions by establishing himself as the front-runner for the republican nomination, Schwartzs desire to set the record straight grew.
Schwartz dashed off a tweet: Many thanks Donald Trump for suggesting I run for President, based on the fact that apple I wrote The Art of the deal. . Schwartz had ghostwritten Trumps 1987 breakthrough memoir, earning a joint byline on the cover, half of the books five-hundred-thousand-dollar advance, and half of the royalties. The book was a phenomenal success, spending forty-eight weeks on the. Times best-seller list, thirteen of them. More than a million copies have been bought, generating several million dollars in royalties. The book expanded Trumps renown far beyond New York city, making him an emblem of the successful tycoon. Edward Kosner, the former editor and publisher of, new York, where Schwartz worked as a writer at the time, says, tony created Trump. Starting in late 1985, Schwartz spent eighteen months with Trump—camping out in his office, joining him on his helicopter, tagging along at meetings, and spending weekends with him at his Manhattan apartment and his Florida estate.
Get in essay touch: Blog: email: web: m, short stories: m twitter: @calarmer, facebook: m/calarmer. I put lipstick on a pig, tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter, says. He feels deep remorse. Illustration by javier jaén, last June, as dusk fell outside tony Schwartzs sprawling house, on a leafy back road in riverdale, new York, he pulled out his laptop and caught up with the days big news: Donald. Trump had declared his candidacy for President. As Schwartz watched a video of the speech, he began to feel personally implicated. Trump, facing a crowd that had gathered in the lobby of Trump Tower, on Fifth avenue, laid out his qualifications, saying, we need a leader that wrote The Art of the deal. . If that was so, schwartz thought, then he, not Trump, should be running.
You, the ghost, should be invisible, your voice vanishing into that of your clients; your back-and-forth with him or her as frictionless and productive as you can make. Thats why youre called a ghost, and, ideally, a friendly one. David Rosenbaum is editor -in-chief of Bloom Group. He can be reached. Christina (C.A.) Larmer is the author of 12 books, including three in the Amazon best-selling Agatha Christie book club series and six. Ghostwriter, mysteries starring Aussie-based amateur sleuth Roxy parker. Has two stand-alone novels, the new posthumous mystery do not go gentle and An Island Lost, and the non-fiction book a measure of Papua new guinea (Focus, 2008). Born and bred in tropical Papua new guinea, christina has lived and worked around the world from New York and Los Angeles to london and Sydney. A journalist, editor, teacher and writer, she now runs an indie publishing business from the byron bay hinterland, on the east coast of Australia, where she lives with her musician husband, two sons, a devilish Blue heeler and countless koalas and snakes.
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After all, youre the professional writer. Everybody thinks they can write. All the consultants youll be working with got As on their college themes. However, their professors had to read what games they wrote; the audience these a students are trying to write for now doesnt. You, on the other hand, have spent your career hooking readers and keeping them hooked. If you werent good at that, you wouldnt be employed. Once youve finished your draft, dont grow attached.
The draft is simply a stage in a process that concludes when your client is happy. When the consultant sees your draft, new ideas, new connections and examples may occur to her. This is a good thing. Finally, remember that the engagement is not about you; its about them. Its not your ideas, its theirs.
All they have do is give us a 30 or 40 minute interview. All of a sudden, it becomes much easier for them. Consultants who have had a good experience with ghostwriters will spread the word internally: hey, this is simple; it works; its raising my profile and helping me build my business. Marketings job will become much easier thereafter. Advice for ghostwriters: How to be loved The job of the ghostwriter is to make the consultants life easier and help grow his practice by producing articles that generate business. Its essential that the ghostwriter research the experts area before that initial call so the writer can ask informed questions and not be baffled by the consultants references.
Theres nothing wrong with asking a dumb question, but asking a lot of dumb questions will naturally cause the consultant to ask how on earth the writer could possibly convey his ideas in an intelligent manner to an intelligent reader. One consultant suggested that the ghostwriter work to adapt your writing to the consultants voice, temperament, and style. A good ghostwriter does that naturally, but it cant hurt to ask the consultant what articles theyve written or read that they particularly like, and use those as a model. If, of course, theyre any good. They might not. In which case, its your job to bring your unique expertise to bear how to construct a strong argument and tell a compelling story that someone might want to read. And dont be shy about selling your expertise.
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This puts the onus on the ghostwriter to earn that trust. Coming to that first conversation well-prepared is an excellent way to do that. Asking good questions is another. And if, after that, a good article follows, trust will, too. Advice for marketers: make it easy. The marketers who contact the Bloom Group have come to the conclusion we obviously proposal want them to: that employing ghostwriters is a good, cost-effective way to produce the high-quality thought leadership that will lead to inquiries and leads. (And, also, that were just the guys to.) However, no matter what the marketer fuller believes, his problem still will be selling that proposition to his own aspiring authors. Sap editorial director Christopher Koch recently described the way he gets his consultants to buy in : What weve found is we get a good response if we approach them in a supportive way, telling them well do the heavy-lifting, handle the writing, the nuts.
Theres a degree of validity to this concern. Most ghostwriters are drawn from the ever-shrinking ranks of professional journalists. Journalists tend to be generalists, and often lack the specialized knowledge to engage intelligently with a subject matter expert sufficiently well to get. As my colleague tim Parker noted in a recent post suggesting what ghostwriters could do to be viewed as professionals providing a high-value service, and not merely drones dutifully transcribing the authors thoughts, If you dont know his field well enough to discuss it intelligently. If the consultant has to spend time explaining the industry in which she works, its basic concepts and language, before even beginning to describe her point of view, she would certainly be justified in questioning whether her time with the ghostwriter is well spent. And if the ghostwriter doesnt bring value to the relationship beyond his or her ability to put words together in a cogent manner (not that thats small potatoes the ghostwriter s value deserves to be questioned. Trust: youre a disembodied voice, in most cases, the first time the consultant and the ghostwriter meet is on a conference call. The consultant knows little or nothing about the ghostwriter other than that someone in marketing has suggested they talk. Theres no relationship, one consultant said, and without a relationship its difficult for the consultant to imagine allowing a stranger to represent her thoughts and experiences soweto to prospective clients.
the performance matrix, said one consultant (sounding like a consultant). Therefore, theres a general unwillingness among consultants to invest time in writing articles. As another said, i know I should write more but I service something like ten or 12 clients, run a p l and a team, and I just dont get down. One might think this would make the busy consultant welcome the ghostwriter s help, but its not so simple. You have to have a ghost who gets it, said another consultant. If you have to brief the ghostwriter three or four times in order to get an article done, you might as well do it yourself. So many dont bother.
We asked several consultants (satisfied Bloom Group clients to whom we promised anonymity) why they think so many of their confreres are loathe to work with ghostwriters such as we, and what we could do to change their minds. Consultants are special, this, said one consultant, is an I business, not a we business. By this he meant that collaboration did not come naturally to consultants, especially not to senior executives running their own business practices and. Indeed, the idea that they could benefit from help in communicating their ideas runs counter to the belief upon which consultancies are founded: that their subject matter experts have big, important ideas that others dont and they are uniquely capable of communicating them to clients. It takes a certain amount of ego (more than the average bears) to tell a business leader how to run his or her business, manage a deal, or develop a strategy. Such a personality may find asking for help or recognizing that he or she could benefit from it an odd notion, especially, as another consultant put it, a ghostwritten article might not sound like it came from. Indeed, this consultant wondered whether having his name on an article written by a ghost wasnt, in effect, misleading clients. For all these reasons, some consultants just wont work with ghostwriters, and theres really nothing to be done about.
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By, david Rosenbaum, according to a 2013 survey of 50 consulting firms conducted by the Bloom Group and the Association of Management Consulting Firms, more than half (57 percent) of the consultants in these firms are less than enthusiastic about working with ghostwriters, and only. Our survey also identified leaders and laggards among business consulting firms. We defined leaders as those whose online publications and thought leadership generated the most inquiries from potential clients (13 firms, each reporting over 40 inquiries on average from each article and laggards (20 firms reporting 20 or fewer inquiries). One piece of data from the survey is either inexplicable or perfectly understandable (depending upon where you sit 53 percent of the leaders were either comfortable or loved working with ghostwriters, while only 43 percent of the laggards expressed similarly positive feelings. There may be a correlation between using ghostwriters and getting more inquiries, there may not be (10 percent is not an enormous spread). But the data certainly justifies asking the question why a majority of consultants are averse to working with ghostwriters when it appears its in their interest to. Not only do firms that use ghostwriting seem to have more success in generating leads, having ghostwriters work with consultants should free them from the heavy-lifting of writing and leave them with more time to advise and bill clients; that is, diary do their jobs.