Bender, Hy

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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 Neil Gaiman, one of the most beloved novelists of our time, that quickly became a national bestseller. 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'm also a great choice because I'm 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 and; 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
  • 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 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, some ghostwriters will ask you to immediately commit to paying $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 written and/or helped develop scores of ghostwritten 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've meticulously explored the market for ghostwriters and then chosen 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."

You're unlikely 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 excel at ghostwriting 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, New York Mercantile Exchange, 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 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.


As noted above, I specialize in creating book proposals for any type of nonfiction book.

As for subject matter, I've worked on almost every topic, but am especially experienced with medical/health, science, self-help, memoir, spiritual, humor, fantasy/SF, and anything technical or complex that needs to be made friendly enough to appeal to mass audiences.

While most of my clients start out with just an idea, I'm just as happy to work with an existing manuscript. I'm a world-class book editor, and have turned books that no one wanted to buy into New York Timesbestsellers 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.

Of course, if you need an entire book written from scratch, I'm a quick, efficient, and superb ghostwriter.

Resume, Writing Samples, and Screenplay Analysis

You can find my resume here and my writing samples here.

And if you're interested in my screenplay services, please click here.


A book proposal is essentially a business plan for your book. It requires only one investor—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, if it greenlights your idea. Publishers need you to provide a rock-solid document to justify that investment.

Creating a book proposal that adequately meets this challenge therefore requires highly skilled and time-consuming effort. My rate is $100 an hour, working from upfront renewable retainers of $5,000 (i.e., covering 50 hours). And a fully developed proposal, typically running 80-110 pages, will usually cost 2-3 retainers, or $10,000-$15,000. That's very reasonable if you're serious about getting published to communicate your message to a mass audience, enhance your reputation, and/or push your career to the next level.

It's also critical to understand that what you're paying for isn't merely a document to "trick" a publisher into saying yes. Creating your proposal with me provides you with an extraordinary book 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.

Then again, if your budget is limited, and you're willing and able to do most of the work yourself, you can hire me as a guide and advisor. In this case my rate of $100 an hour remains the same, but we can start off with a lower retainer and see how far that takes us.

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). 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. 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 at It's a quick process, and the $35 charge is worth it for peace of mind alone.

Email Me

To learn more, please visit my book site at

If you're at all interested in my services, please feel encouraged to email me at 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.

If you need a ghostwriter or editor for any aspect of book development, I'd love to hear from you.