By Marie Hasty
Think about your favorite physician leader - chances are they’ve got a book to their name. Getting published is an unspoken strategy for building an expert personal brand. A book can open the door for speaking engagements, consulting opportunities, and waiting lists of referrals.
As a nonclinical physician, you’ve collected a wealth of knowledge and experience extending past clinical practice. A book helps your insights and ideas reach more people and elevates your brand. But if you’re just starting the writing process, or you're bogged down in a manuscript, what are your options for getting help? Should you work with a book coach, hire a ghostwriter, or go it alone?
I’m a ghostwriter for clinical entrepreneurs and physician leaders. Physicians often come to me unsure about what process is the best fit for them. So let’s talk about how to know if you should write your book yourself, hire a ghostwriter, or work with a book coach.
Writing Your Own Book
Writing your own book can be deeply rewarding. If you love writing, and you want to get better at it, I’d recommend trying your hand at writing your own book. You’ll get complete control over every word, and there’s nothing quite like reading your very own words on the printed page.
On the other hand, writing your own book is time-consuming, and you’ll need to commit hours every week to getting a manuscript ready. It can be a serious juggling act to balance writing alongside your professional and personal responsibilities. Writer’s block and self-doubt can also make the writing process more turbulent, and staying motivated is challenging for most first-time authors.
If you're thinking about writing a book yourself, you’ll want to think about your answers to these questions:
In thinking about your answers, I hope you’ve found some clarity on whether writing your own book aligns with your goals and time constraints. And there’s flexibility in this process; you might try your hand at writing, find you don’t enjoy it, and end up working with a ghostwriter. There’s no shame in consulting the experts.
This brings me to when and why a ghostwriter might be a better fit than writing your own book. Let’s talk about who should consider this option.
Hiring a Ghostwriter
If you want the benefits of a published book without going through the (sometimes painful) writing process yourself, you’ll want to work with a ghostwriter. A ghostwriter brings a wealth of writing expertise and storytelling finesse to the table, ensuring that your ideas are articulated with clarity, precision, and impact. And a great ghostwriter doesn’t just emulate your voice — they elevate it.
When physicians come to me to write their book, it’s typically because they don’t enjoy writing, they’re constrained by time and other commitments, and they want professional advisement on the publishing process. But some authors don’t like feeling so removed from the content of their book. You still get final say on your book with a ghostwriter, but you don’t get the control that comes from writing every word.
If you’re considering working with a ghostwriter, answer these questions:
A ghostwriter can be a great resource for physicians who want to invest in their career growth with a book, yet they don’t have the time to write themselves. And business books require strategy to get to where you want to go. A great ghostwriter will consult with you on your audience, your key narratives, and the structure of your book to make it marketable.
Psst. . . Curious about how to find the right collaborator? Check out this article on picking a ghostwriter.
But there’s a third option that falls between writing your own book and hiring a ghostwriter: book coaches. A book coach is someone who helps you make progress on your manuscript without writing it for you. Let’s get into what you can expect when working with a book coach, and why you might choose this over the other two options.
Working with a Book Coach
A book coach is an invaluable ally for physician leaders who want support and guidance while still writing their book themselves. Book coaches provide expert mentorship, helping you clarify your book's purpose, structure, and target audience. With guidance from a great book coach, you can strategize and write a professional book yourself.
What’s more, a book coach is an accountability partner throughout the writing process. They can help you set a timeline, and be sure you stick to it. And many book coaches work on a monthly basis, which helps incentivize you to get your book done faster.
Book coaches are an excellent option if you. . .
A book coach can help you articulate your ideas yourself while sticking to a timeline. And with a great book coach, you’ll learn lessons to apply on this book, the next one, and the next.
To learn more about book marketing for nonclinical physicians, see this article.
Check out this quick info comparing writing your own book with ghostwriting and book coaching
Writing Your Own Book
Timeline: Up to you
Working With a Ghostwriter
Cost: $25,000+ per manuscript
Timeline: 4-6 months
Cost: $1,000-$2,500 + per month
Timeline: 6 months-1 year
Which Option is Right for You?
Whether you choose to write yourself, work with a book coach, or hire a ghostwriter, getting published is a big achievement. A professionally written and published book can pay dividends in your career, and be a lasting legacy of your expertise. Books have helped many physicians become household names. Whether you want to get more speaking gigs, consulting contracts, or just expand your personal brand, and book can help you achieve your goals.
If you’re curious about the writing process, I encourage you to try writing yourself. You might get into the process and realize how much you love putting your stories to the page. Ghostwriters and book coaches are always there to help if you need guidance (or someone else to take the wheel).
If you’d like more specific consultant on what route is right for you, I’d love to help you gain clarity. My website is linked below, feel free to reach out to me with your questions.
About the Author: Marie Hasty is a concierge ghostwriter and content marketer for clinician leaders. A registered nurse, she loves helping advance careers for physicians who are advancing health and medicine. When she’s not writing books and articles, she’s oil painting or hiking. Learn more about her work on her website.
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