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Link: The Very Best Ghostwriters For Conjuring a Bestseller

You’re a successful founder or C-suite exec at the pinnacle of your career, looking to climb one more mountain: the bestseller list. Whether you want to write a book to share the lessons you’ve learned, launch a personal platform or cement your legacy, a great ghostwriter—one who can channel your voice, act as a thought partner and help you construct a compelling narrative—might be just the person to help make that dream a reality. What qualities should you look for? “A good match has subject-area expertise, writing chops, a high pain threshold and no ego,” said Madeleine Morel, founder and president of 2M Communications, a literary agency that only represents ghostwriters. “And personal chemistry is vital.” You’ve got to be able to trust the person too. “This is a very intimate relationship, where you’ll be spending a lot of time together over 18 months or more and sharing a lot of sensitive information,” said Dan Gerstein, CEO of Gotham Ghostwriters, an agency that connects authors with ghosts and guides them through the publishing process. Good help doesn’t come cheap. Fees for well-regarded ghostwriters who have previously penned best-sellers typically run between $100,000 and $200,000, while elite collaborators who work with the highest-profile celebrities and business leaders command $200,000 to $500,000 or more. “This is a field where you really get what you pay for,” Gerstein said. Michelle Burford; instead of the term ghostwriter, Burford prefers to call herself a story architect: “You bring the bricks, I build the mansion.” Typically, those homes are occupied by celebrities and high-profile athletes—she’s written memoirs with Simone Biles, Alicia Keys, Robin Roberts, Cicely Tyson and basketball star Brittney Griner, whose account of her 10 months in Russian captivity, “Coming Home,” was published a few weeks ago. But Burford, a former editor at Oprah’s magazine, thinks her storytelling skills translate to any genre, including business; a recent book written with a wellness entrepreneur is due out in September. What matters most to success, Burford said, is an author’s willingness to “go there” in providing memories, anecdotes and honest reflection. “A great book is an accurate portrayal of my co-author’s voice and ideas as filtered through my sensibilities,” she said. “That’s collaboration in its truest sense.” Other notable work: Of Burford’s eight New York Times bestsellers, three have debuted at No. 1: the Tyson and Biles memoirs, plus “Finding Me” by kidnapping survivor Michelle Knight. #


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