Ghostwriting Best Sellers, Persuasion and Making Ideas Happen with Joshua Lisec on Mind Reader University with Jonathan Pritchard

Check out the Episode Page and Show Notes

And check out Joshua’s course, Write This, Not That: The 45 Anti-Persuasion Mistakes You’re Making (And How To Fix Them), which includes the Podcast Notes Summary as a bonus. Learn the do’s and don’ts of written persuasion by the world’s leading ghostwriter – We were so impressed with this course, we took the Official NOTES!

Key Takeaways

  • The key for a successful book is finding “where the writer’s memories overlap with the things that readers will pay to also know” – Joshua Lisec
  • The Instant Value Test: If the value of your project can’t be conceived instantly, is it valuable?
  • All three Forms of Value should be captured in a book’s title:
    • Functional value – a job done the best way
    • Financial Value – a job done the most economical way
    • Emotional Value– a job done in a way that gives the person confidence it will work
  • The process of ghostwriting begins with discovering the unique promise of value in the project
  • Show don’t tell when writing – “Sell the sizzle not the steak”
  • Authors should build their table of contents/outline around their life experiences
  • Avoid the what-you-can-do-for-me scenario and embrace a what-I-can-do-for-you mentality
  • The biggest deal-breaker for a book is under-promising while over-delivering: over-promise!

Intro

Joshua Lisec (t: @JoshuaLisec) is the founder of The Entrepreneur’s Wordsmith LLC Ohio’s first Certified Professional Ghostwriter and a multiple-time #1 International Bestselling ghostwriter,  and a two-time published novelist and creator of the course, Write This, Not That: The 45 Anti-Persuasion Mistakes You’re Making (And How To Fix Them).

Ghostwriting 101

  • Ghostwriters don’t use their own voice – they use their client’s voice and make them sound the best way possible
  • For Joshua, his professional acting background -embodying someone else’s personality – really helped
  • Don’t edit out an author’s voice
  • Don’t use your own metaphors
  • Put your client’s thoughts on the page

Building Magic

  • The key for a successful book is finding “where the writer’s memories overlap with things that readers will pay to also know” – Joshua Lisec
  • The worst book experiences start with the method, the best start with the end in mind
  • Like a magician, an author should start with the end – the experience – then roll backward
  • Before starting a book, ask: What’s the intent? What does this book need to do for my client?

Creating Content to Sell

  • Most authors think they’ve got it all- idea, premise, hook, title – but most are wrong!
  • Authors should answer the following question: what’s in it for the reader?
  • Then the answer to that question should be truncated into a title
  • Finding a great hook/tag line is putting the cart before the horse
  • What Customers Want”- Using Outcome-Driven Innovation to Create Breakthrough Products and Services by Anthony Ulwick

Jobs to do be Done Theory

  • In general, the tool people choose for anything, is the one that will get the job done the best way
  • Forms of Value:
    • Functional value – a job done the best way
    • Financial Value – a job done the most economical way
    • Emotional Value– a job done that gives the person confidence it will work
  • All three values should intersect with your book’s title
  • Produce a product that people say: “I haven’t seen that before”
  • Most ideas have been written about before, but what unique value does your idea have?

How to Communicate Value

  • Communicate through either the title or sub-title as to how your project/book is going to give the customer value
  • The Instant Value Test: If the value of your project can’t be conceived instantly, is it valuable?
  • Perception is reality – a good author wants to get into the reader’s subconscious

Hypnosis and Persuasion

  • It’s important to show not tell when writing anything
  • The subconscious mind cannot process the intangible
  • Show the magic, don’t tell about it
  • Focus on the impact the project could have

The Framework

  • The Writer’s Block Paradox – when you have so much to say yet can’t and “the curser is sitting there laughing at you” – Joshua Lisec
  • A ghostwriter helps an author develop a title, subtitle, and the chapter organization
  • The process of ghostwriting begins with discovering the unique promise of value in the project
  • At the initial strategy session, Joshua digs through potential topics to find an angle – a new tool to get the job done
  • Joshua says it takes an author only two hours of working with him as a ghost writer to get the job done

How a Ghostwriter Keeps an Author on Track

  • Hold the client to that unique promise of three-pronged value – functional, emotional, and financial
  • Ask them what they need to do to leave readers feeling that they got their value
  • Help the author build the table of contents/outline around their life experiences
    • Structure – one idea per chapter
  • For one project, Joshua drew out a unique idea from an author by spinning the title base on the book’s ROT – return on time:
    • It became an award-winning book by Ramesh Dontha (ghostwritten by Joshua)

Agents and Publishers

  • Agents’ and publishers’ main concern is: how can we make this book interesting to as many people as possible?
  • A better question is: what’s your promise of value?
  • The big publishing houses want a ten+ year shelf life on books

Problems/Frustrations with Authors from the Ghostwriter’s Point of View

  • Authors try to jam too many ideas into too small a funnel
    • E.g. Trying to teach everything about starting a company in one book
  • Some writers fall into the mistake of the big five publishing houses and try to make their book as broad as possible
    • Joshua asks his clients to make their projects as hyper-focused as possible– “it’s way more effective”
  • Most writers think their books are for everyone
  • Alternately, would-be authors sometimes pick a hyper-specific demographic to write for
  • Some authors want to pitch their business in the book- it triggers a subconscious thought in the reader’s brain – this is an ad, a commercial!
  • Avoid the what-you-can-do-for-me scenario and embrace a what-I-can-do-for-you mentality

The Biggest Deal Breaker for a Book…

  • …under promising while over-delivering
  • Overpromise! Put it all in your title and subtitle
    • Embrace the Imposter syndrome
  • Put your best foot upfront and don’t hold back – emphasize what the book can do for the reader
  • Offer free content upgrades or an online course and access to an online community – even if the content is the same

How To Tell People You’re a Ghostwriter?

  • Joshua mentions the number of books he’s written as an ice-breaker – over fifty
  • That interesting fact leads to follow-up questions
  • Ghostwriters shouldn’t use the word “freelance” because it sends a negative subconscious trigger that says you can’t get hired
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Notes By EWerbitsky

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