Going The Write Way Up

Everyone has a book inside them and sadly this is where it usually stays. But as Richard Bach says, ‘a professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.’

Is writing a book such a big challenge? Not if you consider that by way of letters and emails most people have already written enough to complete several paperbacks.

There’s a formula for success. Using the advice given or learned I added my name to over 70 book titles and I have ghosted as many more. Remember, your typing finger is simply a spare tongue so let your finger do the talking.

Most wannabe authors are deterred by their inability to write to retail standards. But poor writing never discouraged successful authors like Jeffrey Archer or Stephen King. Their storyline inspirations are simply handed to a ghostwriter who writes their book.

Most books are brought to publishing standards by a ghost-writer rather than the person named on the book’s cover. Many well-known authors lend their names to the works of lesser-known authors. These include Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, and Clive Cussler.

Clancy’s publishers say: ‘Tom Clancy creates the ideas for these series and the writers execute Clancy’s ideas. All are subject to his supervision.’ 

It helps if the writer has experience with the subject. It is not unknown for hoteliers, social workers, healthcare workers, policemen and entertainers to make more money selling the story of their life than living it.

Biographies don’t sell well but romance and adult romance certainly do. The latter generates $1.44 billion each year and most buyers are women. Hot on the heels of adult romance are crime novels but with sales at $728 million crime is unlikely to close the thigh gap.

Mills and Boon shrugged off its maiden aunt image by adding Cherish and Dare Romance books which are more sexually explicit. The thrust of passion fashion is described by the book publishers as ‘erotically charged and irresistibly passionate.’

Size is important: The word count for romantic novels is 50,000 plus whilst the average paperback is likely to consist of 70 to 80k words. Don’t worry if you can only manage say 30,000 words. A good ghost should be able to make up the difference by adding flair and flow and of course dialogue. A sticking point for many new authors is an embarrassment but if a pen name is used who knows?

Will you make the Rich List? It’s a lottery but ‘if you’re not in you can’t win’. Certainly, becoming a published author is viable. A 10-day cruise or a state-of-the-art camera would cost more than ghost-writing and publishing fees. On the credit side of things, royalties recover some or all of one’s outlay. These tend to be 10 to 15 per cent of the cover price and are paid directly into one’s bank account.



Professional writing services are not something many business owners use despite their importance to their shops, hotels, restaurants, their business. Fact: A single spelling mistake on a website’s home page will reduce sales by 50 per cent as it suggests professional sloppiness and possible fraud.

Although there is a pressing need for both translators and copywriters there is little demand for either. Translating is, of course, the conversion of say English to Spanish or Russian. The translation will be a faithful copy of the original content but like for like is rarely acceptable so avoid using Google translate.

Russians who translate to English are fine at grammar but the results fail to communicate in a way English speakers are comfortable with. The translation is wooden and written in bureaucracy-speak. Russian businesses tend to favour copywriters whose first language is English.

Copy-writing and ghostwriting (enhancing) is a creative trade in which there is a need for word empathy. The copywriter takes uninspiring content and ‘sexes it up’:

You sell the steak, the copywriter sells the sizzle. Fees charged for either service can be modest. Like much else in life you get what you pay for. Many translators are doing it ‘on the side’ and have only their time to consider. These translators are inappropriate for such legal and official documents that require a notary’s stamp.

On the other hand, the copywriter is rarely paid his true worth. He or she takes your written content and creatively spins a web of enticement to attract interest and buyers.

Their fees are often high and so they should be. You see an advert; he sees many hours of inspired concentration. Their job is to create masterpieces out of a basic sales pitch. The true business professional does not count the cost of the investment as he expects returns to be far higher. A good copywriter can multiply sales faster than a jackrabbit can fornicate to produce rabbit kittens. You cannot put a price on that. ~ Michael Walsh


If you have written a novel or biography but lack the skills to bring your work to retail standard Michael Walsh can help you.

Enquiries are invited from writers who have already written or are well advanced in writing their novels. There is a demand for fiction, real-life stories, mystery, romance, crime, erotica, and romantic comedy. Contact: or

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Did I Really Write That?

When during a televised skirmish President Reagan’s recently published memoirs came up, former president wryly remarked: ‘I hear it’s a terrific book. One of these days I am going to read it myself.’

Of course, the statesman hadn’t written his biography but he was hardly alone in employing a ghost-writer whose name never appears on a book’s cover. Interviewed by Vanity Fair about her autobiography, Ivana Trump warbled: ‘To my surprise, I find I have a great imagination. I don’t say I am the Shakespeare, but it’s not just about the beautiful people and the gorgeous yachts and the fabulous homes and lots of sex. I tried to put in more the feelings.’

It was a great sales spin but Ivana reportedly paid ghostwriter Camille Marchetta $350,000 to write For Love Alone.

Whatever the ethics involved in book editing (ghostwriting), Michael Walsh, who edits authors books for those who lack his writing flair, is matter-of-fact and asks: ‘Does anyone really believe that celebrities have the time or the skills needed to set down their life story?’

John Blake, of Blake Publishing, estimates that as many as 80 percent of celebrity books are ghosted. Lucie Cave who penned Jade Goody’s My Autobiography says; ‘It is a must-have accessory for anyone who has reached a certain level of fame. Obviously, these people cannot write their books themselves, so they need someone else to do it for them.’

The list of names adorning the spines of books is often impressive but their true authors are rarely known. Earl Conrad ghosted Errol Flynn’s My Wicked, Wicked Ways.

One would need to wade through 529 pages of Hilary Clinton’s autobiography to discover that her speechwriter was responsible for most of her biography.

In 1957 John F. Kennedy was accused of using a ghost for his Profiles of Courage and Why England Slept. Henry Ford’s My Philosophy of Industry (New York Coward McCann 1929) was written by Fay Faurote.

Many famous authors are heads of writers’ syndicates that churn out novels on an industrial scale. Some famous writers allow less well-known writers to use their names on the cover of their books ~ for a fee. These include Andrew Neiderman, Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, Naomi Campbell, and Clive Cussler. Clancy’s publishers say: ‘Tom Clancy creates the ideas for these series and the writers execute Clancy’s ideas. All are subject to his supervision.’ 

It is claimed that 40 percent of books are ghosted but is it ethical? Michael Walsh has helped scores of writers to bring their books up to retail standards:

‘If there were no co-writers there would be few books. We take advice in fixing our cars, having our photographs taken but why stop there?

‘There are hundreds of fascinating people with interesting stories to tell or experiences to pass on, but few who can bring life to them. If a co-writer achieves that then everyone benefits from the partnership.’


Help for Writers



Europe Renaissance

MICHAEL WALSHsuccessful author of over 70 books including novels at affordable staged payments can help you. Michael can work on stories partly or already completed and on your computer.

Particularly welcome genres include crime, paranormal, romance and erotic-romance, adventure, real life experiences with discretion assured and Amazon publishing optional.

Michael will edit, correct, enhance, he will add flair, flow and dialogue so that your book reaches retail standard and size. Work is priced at 1,000 words and payable via bank transactions in 10,000 word completed sections. Contact Michael Walsh at

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Inspire a Nation the Gift that keeps Giving

Europe Renaissance

Did you ever pause when reading a passage or a quote that jolted your senses when you were reading whatever book was in your lap? The veteran writer Michael Walsh over the years occasionally did so. Unable or unwilling to let an inspiring passage slip like moon dust through his fingers he assiduously kept those sayings he thought of special merit.

These, he thought, will one day fill the pots of gold found at the end of most people’s rainbows. The talented writer’s adagio of adages and truisms over many years were meticulously stored for posterity.

The award-winning writer often proven to be a prophet had no clear idea of what he might do with his growing collection of sayings coined by history’s greatest thinkers.

Into the Aladdin’s Cave went the most remarkable but unforgettable thoughts of Europe’s great composers, writers and philosophers. The period being irrelevant his collection of…

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The Stigma Enigma a Fusillade of City Mayhem

Europe Renaissance

‘You had the motive.’

Jack Scarlett appeared not to have heard the question as he gazed at a blank spot on the wall of the police station’s interrogation room.


‘I wasn’t sure if it was a statement or a question,’ the suspect replied in a monotone voice.

Proficient in body language, the questioning cop displayed impeccable timing. It was a gift he had inherited from Sting Ferguson. His since retired mentor had once earned considerable respect for his success rate in bringing the city’s felons to justice.

Coolly weighing the suspected serial killer up, Detective Chief Inspector Eric Jansen analysed each blink of the cold-blooded killer’s eyelids. At one point he thought he detected a nervous tic in the otherwise impassive stillness of his Scarlett’s features.

Increasingly aware that this was not going to be an easy case to crack the senior cop had little choice but to persevere…

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