Member Spotlight: Sandra Beckwith
Sandra Beckwith is an experienced freelance writer and book marketing coach who focuses on writing prescriptive nonfiction content that is easy to read and understand. A charter member of the Association of Ghostwriters, she has ghostwritten or edited several books on topics ranging from customer service to branding to marketing. One of her favorite client book projects, though, was on coping with grief and loss. View her writing portfolio at https://sandrabeckwith.contently.com/.
Tell us about your first ghostwriting project.
I’ve ghostwritten bylined trade magazine or marketing newsletter articles for client executives and experts during most of my career. My first book project, though, was a book about global marketing for two business professors at a well-known East Coast university. I worked primarily from textbooks and journal articles they had already written. I enjoyed turning their academic prose into something that was a better fit for a business audience.
How did that project come to you?
It was a referral from a friend who knew one of the professors.
What is your competitive advantage as a ghostwriter?
With regards to books, one is that I only take on projects where I think I can add value either through knowledge or my interest in the topic. I’m not a generalist who will write anything from fiction to memoir to how-to. I’m pretty focused on business books because of my knowledge, experience, and interests. In addition, I’m recognized internationally as a book marketing expert, so the marketing sections of my book proposals are particularly strong. I can also help shape the content to make the book more marketable.
In addition, I bring a great deal of writing experience on a wide range of topics to other types of ghostwriting assignments that include articles and blog posts.
What do you wish you’d known about ghostwriting when you were first starting out?
I expected the client to be the project manager, but in my experience, that’s not usually the case — the client is rarely leading the project. I’m usually the one who’s pushing to meet the client’s timeline or to get the promised information, not the other way around.
What was your most successful project?
I define success in terms of client satisfaction, so any project that leads to client referrals is a success for me. One client returned to me for another project and referred two colleagues to me, so that first project with her is successful by my definition.