There are only 26 letters. Use them wisely.
Ghostwriting, book doctoring and writing proposals for bestselling nonfiction since 2004
THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE
HONEST, THEY REALLY SAID THIS...
"I've been working with Tim since 1997. He possesses not just tremendous talent and speed as a writer, but a keen understanding of marketing, branding, publishing and more. To anyone who is looking for the ideal collaborator to create not just a terrific book but a winning brand, two words: Hire Tim."
—Peter Montoya, author, The Brand Called You
“If you're serious about bringing your dreams of becoming an author to life…look no further than Tim Vandehey. He is one of the best creative collaborators I've ever worked with. He is skilled at being able to bring out what's in your heart and help shape even the most raw ideas into fully fleshed out concepts.”
—DeVon Franklin, author, The Wait and The Hollywood Commandments
“Tim captured my essence in a way I didn’t think any writer could. He was able to put himself in the head of a former beauty queen, comedian and underwear designer and bring things out of my story I didn’t even know were there. He even wrote my book twice: first as a memoir, then as an advice book. We’re already working on Book #2!"
—Rhonda Shear, author, Up All Night
WHO I AM
I hear voices.
No, I’m not mentally ill. (You in the back, wipe that smirk off your face.) They’re the voices of my authors. I listen to their voices and stories, shape them and turn them into compelling, award-winning nonfiction books. So far, I've had 17 books published by Big Five New York imprints and had two New York Times bestsellers...and counting.
Sometimes the work involves developing a concept, doing hours of interviews and ghostwriting a book from scratch. Or I’ll write a book proposal that gets the author an agent and a publishing deal. Perhaps I’ll advise and coach while they write their own rough draft, then edit and polish the manuscript until it shines.
Whichever path my authors choose, my job is the same: help them bring their stories to the world in a way that furthers their goals, from enhancing a personal brand to making a bestseller list. I’ve done it more than 50 times since 2004. I can probably do it for you, too.
It's privilege to do this. I’m the custodian of people’s stories. They trust me to take their life experiences or big ideas and turn them into books that people want to read. There’s power in that. Books change lives. Words change the world. I couldn’t do this if I didn’t respect that power and love what I do.
Who am I? I’m a native Californian who’s found his way to the jazzy heart of Kansas City, Missouri. I’m a lifelong writer, starting with my days at California State University, Fullerton to my time as a magazine journalist, and then moving on to my work in advertising and marketing, and finally, to the world of books and publishing.
In 1995, I got fed up with other people’s deadlines and left my cozy ad agency job to become a freelance copywriter. It was all good: living with my best buddy at the beach, working for myself and doing my fair share of partying. After I had a family, I got the opportunity to write a book for one of my clients, The Brand Called You. It was a hit, and that book spun off more books, helped me get to know some top literary agents, and gave me a second career.
In 2004, I chose to focus my time exclusively on ghostwriting nonfiction books. Since then, I’ve moved to the Puget Sound region and then to the Midwest and knocked out more than 50 books, but my love for the journalistic, intimate, creative profession of ghostwriting has never faded.
I’m also the father of two amazing girls, a lifelong baseball fanatic, a blues singer and harmonica player, a sailor and a veteran world traveler.
HOW GHOSTWRITING WORKS
So, exactly what is ghostwriting? Simple. It's having a professional writer write your book for you because you lack the time or writing skill, and it's very common. Ghosting is ideal for people with a lot to say but schedules that leave them little time to even think about writing: CEOs, consultants, doctors, entrepreneurs, celebrities, pro athletes, elected officials, and even religious leaders. If there's an audience for your book and you have something to say, hiring a ghostwriter is often the best way to get a professional-quality manuscript that gets you a publishing deal and builds your brand.
However, there's more to ghostwriting than just, well, ghostwriting. I actually provide three services to my authors, depending on their needs. Give a click below to get the gory details, fees, and the whole enchilada.
Ghostwriting involves more than writing. It's also about conceptual development, structure, voice, brand and project management. Taking a book from an idea to a finished product on the shelves requires a firm hand and a clear vision.
A book proposal is a sales tool used by literary agents to sell nonfiction books to publishers. So it's not just about creativity, but persuasion, too. I've written more than 40 book proposals in my career and sold about 60% of them to publishers.
Book doctoring lies somewhere between editing and ghosting. You give me a complete but rough manuscript and then I rewrite, restructure, add new material and otherwise surgically alter your work so that it really sings.