Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.
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Last updated February 2018
If you have a wonderful idea for a book, you've come to the right place.
My name is Hy Bender. I'm a world-class ghostwriter and editor, and probably the only book proposal writer you can hire who helped a first-time, non-celebrity author land a million dollar advance (please see below). I've helped hundreds of clients, ranging from New York Times bestselling authors to Hollywood screenwriters; and as a ghostwriter have helped two first-time authors reach The New York Times Bestseller list.
I'm also the author or co-author of 16 books under my own name that have sold hundreds of thousands of copies. The latter include five books in the popular Dummies series and a Complete Idiot's Guide, which demonstrate my ability to explain even complex concepts in an accessible, entertaining manner that anyone can understand.
And they further include an interview book with superstar novelist & screenwriter Neil Gaiman, published by DC/Vertigo, that quickly sold out its 40,000 print run. I'd use those same interview skills to draw out the critical details of your book.
Book as Personal Brand
My most frequent clients are professionals who have tremendously valuable knowledge and insights—doctors,
lawyers, business executives, scientists, journalists, life coaches, marketers, nutritionists, financial advisors, fitness trainers, spiritual
gurus, and more—but lack the experience and time to communicate them effectively in book form. If you fall into this category, I'd be superb at extracting your expert information by casually chatting with you over the phone, and then "translating" industry jargon and complex concepts into flowing prose that's fun to read and easy to absorb.
The result will typically be a book that powerfully delivers your key messages to a potential audience of millions; legitimizes you as a top expert in your field; helps you achieve national fame; and becomes the foundation of your personal brand.
Your Life Story as Book and Movie
If you want to tell your personal story via a memoir, I have a major advantage over other book ghostwriters because I'm also a professional story expert who helps
screenwriters bulletproof their scripts. My deep
understanding of feature films allows me to give
almost any life story a movie-like structure,
which vastly increases your memoir's chances of winning over
both large numbers of readers and Hollywood producers.
Laughter Makes Anything Better
On top of my book skills, I have a world-class sense of humor. I cover New York comedy via websites BestNewYorkComedy.com and HyReviews.com; and I've sold humor articles to such diverse national newspapers & magazines as The New York Times, American Film, Advertising Age, Spy, and Mad Magazine.
My comedy expertise allows me to both ghostwrite and edit with wit and an easy-going style, thus avoiding the sort of dry, muted tone that spells death for most nonfiction books.
Million Dollar Book Proposal Writer
My accomplishments as a ghostwriter and top book proposal developer include:
Meticulously developing a book proposal for a client who was a first-time author and non-celebrity that resulted in a $1 million advance—and without the help of an agent (it was snatched up in less than three days by the first publisher to which we sent it). This almost never happens, and you're unlikely to find any other ghostwriter who's managed to do this. The book went on to become a New York Times bestseller—and even more impressively, reached #16 on Amazon.com.
Helping Steve Olsher, who's been a client since
his first manuscript, reach #9 on The New York Times bestseller list with his third book What Is Your WHAT?, published by Wiley. In his Acknowledgements, Steve thanks me for being "the world's best editor" and "for teaching me the difference between writing and being a writer."
Helping clients receive glowing endorsements from such international celebrities as Elizabeth Gilbert, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat Pray Love.
Please know that I'm not for everyone. I'm exceptionally honest and very tough on pages (because both publishers and readers have high standards), so I'll never be patronizing and merely tell you what you want to hear. But if you have a thick skin, I'll do my best to help you write a compelling book proposal and, if we move to the next level, a great book.
You Need a Book Proposal
By the same token, I won't ever try to cheat you. For example, if you speak to other ghostwriters, they may try to persuade you to immediately pay $35,000-$60,000+ for them to write your entire book.
But the truth is that if you have a great idea for a nonfiction
book, the first step isn't to create a complete manuscript. It's to craft a book
proposal that clearly describes your concept, why it'll be compelling
to a large number of readers, the ways in which it can be promoted to
those readers, and how you'd flesh it out in book form. This proposal
can then be used to attract agents and convince book publishers. It's
only after obtaining a contractual commitment and advance payment from
a publisher that you should proceed to writing the entire book, either by yourself or with a ghostwriter.
Publishers not only prefer this approach for nonfiction books, they demand it. Among a proposal's advantages are that a busy editor can read it a lot faster than an entire manuscript; it provides critical business & marketing information that a manuscript doesn't; and it avoids you being "locked in" to any element,
giving an editor the freedom to ask for both major and minor changes before you devote an immense amount of time and effort into developing the full book.
I know of what I speak. On top of the 16 books published under my own name, I've been the ghostwriter for scores of books, manuals, scripts, and other client projects.
For almost all the books, I made the sale on the basis of
a 5-20 page "pitch" marketing
section, a 10-30 page detailed contents outline, and a 40-60 page collection of sample chapters.
I've been told repeatedly—by clients who meticulously explored the market for ghostwriters and then chose me—that I'm the finest book proposal writer for hire in the country. One of my clients, a New York Times bestselling author for whom I helped create an award-winning business book, calls me "the guru of book proposals."
to find anyone else who'll do as great a job of identifying and then presenting
on paper the best aspects of your book idea. Regardless of your level
of experience, I'll take your concept very seriously and, if I believe
you have a solid chance at selling it, will work hard to craft a winning
book proposal for you.
All You Have to Do is Talk
Among the reasons I'm at the top of the ghostwriting field is I'm a superb listener and interviewer. In addition to the extensive
interviewing performed for my bestselling books, I've used my conversational
skills to tackle projects for both individual clients and such renowned organizations as Morgan Stanley,
Reuters, American Insurance Group (AIG), New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), Northern
Telecom, Juno Online Services, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Congress.
You therefore don't need to write anything. We can create your entire proposal—and, eventually, your entire book—by simply chatting casually over the phone while I digitally record your knowledge and memories. My transcriptionist will then turn your spoken words into Microsoft Word documents...at which point we'll have text I can edit and, eventually, turn into polished material. I've used this approach to ghostwrite scores of compelling proposals and acclaimed books.
World-Class Editor and Ghostwriter
While my specialty is proposals, I'm highly skilled at every aspect of book development. For example, if you have an existing manuscript, please know
that I'm a world-class book editor. I've turned books that no one wanted to
buy into New York Times bestsellers through thoughtful—and at times brutal—cuts,
revisions, and rewriting.
Similarly, if you're working on a fiction manuscript,
I'm exceptional at providing analysis, editorial, and ghostwriting
help. That's why even Hollywood screenwriters rely on me to tell them whether
their movies are well-constructed and how their stories can be improved.
Alternatively, if you need an entire book or screenplay written from scratch,
I'm a quick, efficient, and superb ghostwriter.
I mostly help clients place their books with traditional publishers. However, if your project is better suited for self-publishing, I'll help build your
book every step of the way: ghostwriting
and/or editing the content, gathering evocative photos, making the cover and interiors appealing via superb book designers, and using a variety to tricks I've picked up to help increase your odds of success regardless of whether you're publishing an ebook (e.g., via Amazon's KDP Select program for Kindle, Barnes & Noble's Nook, and/or Apple's iBooks), a print-on-demand book (e.g., via Amazon's CreateSpace), an audio book, and/or a print run via one of the world's finest digital full-color presses I work with that provides exceptional quality at affordable prices.
Resume, Writing Samples, and Movie Analysis
To learn more about my experience as a ghostwriter, bestselling author, and screenplay analyst, please
click below to explore:
You can also read about the 16 books published under my own name by searching for "Hy
Bender" via either Google or online book superstore Amazon.com. The following are the covers
of some of my books:
of Hy's 16 published
A book proposal is essentially a business plan
for your book. It requires only one investor, i.e., a publisher; but that
publisher will be spending around $50,000 on editorial, layout, cover design, printing, distribution, marketing, etc., plus an additional $10,000-$100,000+ on your advance. Publishers therefore need you to provide a rock-solid document to
justify that investment.
Creating a book proposal that adequately meets this challenge requires highly skilled and time-consuming effort. I charge by the hour, working from upfront renewable retainers. The hourly rate and the amount of the retainer will vary depending on your book's needs; but to give you a sense, a fully developed book proposal that I carefully craft to sell to publishers typically runs 80-110 pages, and covers roughly a third of the work involved in creating the full book—i.e., it's akin to the book's skeleton, plus most of its brain (while writing the rest of the book is effectively adding flesh and blood to that skeleton). The cost for my top-of-the-line book proposal is $10,000-$15,000—again, roughly a third of the total cost for writing the complete book.
For example, if your book runs 250 pages, my total charge is typically around $45,000, with $15,000 for the book proposal and $30,000 for the rest of the book. The $45,000 is actually on the low side of what many other top ghostwriters charge. But the most important difference is that most other ghostwriters won't offer you the opportunity to first create your book proposal. Instead, they'll demand to write your entire book...and usually won't even mention book proposals exist. That's because when writing the complete book a) they get much more money upfront, and b) they don't have to meet the high standards of book agents and publishers. But their doing this robs you of the opportunity to limit your financial risk, and/or make key adjustments to your book at the outline stage, by first submitting your book proposal to agents and publishers and receiving real-world feedback. And they're also robbing you of the chance to land a contract with a publisher sooner than later, and to know precisely what that publisher wants as you create the rest of your book.
A $15,000 top-of-the-line book proposal typically takes me 150+ hours to craft with painstaking care, custom-tailoring it to your unique book needs while also addressing the highly challenging demands of publishers. While $15K is a substantial amount of money, it's a very reasonable investment in your future if you're serious about getting published to communicate your message to a mass audience, boost your national and international fame, push your career to the next level, and/or have a solid chance of becoming the author of a bestseller.
It's critical to understand that what you're paying for isn't merely a document to "trick" a publisher into saying yes. Creating your book proposal with me provides you with an extraordinary development process that helps you make the finest choices for your book, exploit and highlight its greatest elements, and help ensure you end up with the very best book possible. My goal for you isn't to simply land a publishing contract, but stack the odds in favor of your becoming a bestselling author.
When you land a publisher you'll
typically receive an advance of anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000+ (depending
on such factors as the size of your existing audience and the projected number of readers likely to buy your book), covering most or all of your book proposal cost.
And if your
sales take off, you could earn a great deal more than that from your royalties.
Your Ideas Are Kept Strictly Confidential
Please don't hesitate to share your book plans with me.
As a ghostwriter at the top of my profession, I receive hundreds of book and movie ideas a year. As a matter of policy, I keep them all strictly confidential. Protecting the concepts of my clients,
and potential clients, is as automatic for me as breathing.
If you still feel uncomfortable, though, then please feel encouraged to register
your manuscript—regardless of whatever partial stage of completion it's in—online with the US Copyright Office
It's a quick process, and
the $35 charge is worth it for peace of mind alone.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need a ghostwriter for any aspect of book development, please feel super encouraged to reach out.
Please be sure to include your phone number, as the best way for me to learn about your book and answer any questions you might have is to chat with you by phone.
Again, I've found that razor-sharp clients who spend weeks carefully interviewing ghostwriters around the country typically end up hiring me.
Whether you plan to put in that same amount of research work or simply want a ghostwriter who's an obvious right choice, I'd love to hear from you, learn about your ideas, answer any questions you might have, and chat about how I might be of help in turning your vision into a book.