077: Richard Lowe – Written 63 Books and Counting

How to keep the momentum when writing

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Richard Lowe is a professional ghostwriter and author. His passion is to help businesses and individuals write books that showcase their expertise, build credibility and tell their story.

Richard has written and published 63 books on a variety of subjects (including 2 Kindle bestsellers), ghostwritten 28 books, and authored over a thousand articles for blogs and social media.

Before his writing career, he was the Director of Computer Operations for Trader Joe’s Company, and before that the VP of Consulting for two computer firms. His works include Focus on LinkedIn (an Amazon bestseller), Cyberheist (for KnowBe4), and Digitize or Die (as Copy Editor).

What We Discuss with Richard Lowe:

  • The different kinds of ghostwriters
  • Transitioning from corporate to ghostwriting
  • Some stories of ghostwriting for striking topics
  • His ghostwriting process and how he promotes his business
  • What is the ideal length for Kindle Short Reads?
  • Some ways to find great ideas for your book and how to pick out the right one
  • His self-editing process, timeline, and the benefits of reading backwards
  • Why you want to use different pen names
  • The power of joining “writing critique” groups
  • The two rules of writing

[01:15] The Different Types of Ghostwriters

  • Celebrity ghostwriters are those who look for celebrities interested in making their autobiographies, for instance.
  • There are also ghostwriters who look for people who want to create themselves in their space (i.e. CEOs, midlevel managers, entrepreneurs). Their objective is to have a book they can hold in their hands and say they’re the expert. Their primary goal is not to sell on Amazon but to leverage the book as a marketing tool.
  • Fiction ghostwriters write a bunch of notes and they hand it to the writer to finish the book.

Especially authors who have many books where they seem to be slightly different from book to book, those may have been ghostwritten.

[03:33] Richard’s Writing Journey

Richard aspired to be a writer when he was 6 years old. His mom was a librarian as well so going to the library was not something unusual to him.

Fast-forward to several years, Richard held some corporate jobs. Until his wife was very sick and in a coma and he was still on-call. Eventually, he decided to leave his job and become a writer.

He attended a writing critique group, ran into a guy starting his own ghostwriting company, and he joined the bandwagon. The good thing about ghostwriting is you get to write and learn about diverse topics.

[14:15] A Day in the LIfe of Richard: Writing and Promoting His Business

Vomit the words first, then come back and edit later. When Richard writes, he is writing – not editing. Richard gets up at 4:30 am and writes until 7:30 am. then he takes a walk and writes more. He finds that most people get writer’s block if they write a paragraph and then tries to edit it again and again until they get stuck.

Put yourself out there. Richard sets time for promotion in the afternoon. He promotes himself for his business. The more you reach out, the more comes in. They don’t come to you if they don’t know you exist. If you want to be a freelance writer, spend a good portion of your day promoting yourself. (Richard spends 3-4 hours for this everyday.)

[22:10] What Are Kindle Short Reads

Start writing Kindle e-Books if you’re thinking of writing a book. They are quick, short books of about 6,000-10,000 words each. People can actually read them in an hour and they love it because it’s short, quick, and fast.

There are even short reads that are one-page long or those with only 3-4 lines. They sell very well because they answer a question that the reader wants. But typically, you’re going to want to put in 6,000-10,000 words.

If you’re able to write 500 words a day, you can finish a book in a month and put it on Kindle. They’re direct and short. There are not a lot of plots. They’re easy to write. But you also can’t be sloppy with it.

[26:05] Picking Great Ideas

Let your mind go free and you can get ideas. Take a walk and you never know what ideas you can get just from wandering and looking around, seeing things.

Think of ‘what ifs.’ If you’re watching a movie or some series, think of what-ifs. There may be a character who’s not getting as much airplay, think of what the character’s story might look like. Of course, you can’t write stories based on other people’s universes. (There are actually some licenses for this such as Amazon’s fan fiction for some books.)

Check out alternative history-type YouTube channels such as Alternate History Hub. They have different alternative histories for different historical events.

[30:00] Richard’s Self-Editing Process

Richard makes three passes through a book from front to back. He reads them out loud. He lets a few days go between each one and reads them out loud again. He changes it around.

For multiple plots, he does a line plot and draws out his timeline to find any plotholes so he could change them to make sure the story works.

Then he reads it backwards, paragraph by paragraph, out loud. This breaks the circuit in your mind. At that point, you’re not reading it for the story but to check for any grammar or spelling errors.

[35:15] Writing Under Different Pen Names

When you’re writing different genres, write under different pen names especially when you’re writing short Kindle eBooks. Don’t mix them up.

If the book isn’t good, you can just forget about it. It’s not your name anyway.

[36:55] Join Writing Critique Groups

Get on Meetup.com and join Writing Critique Groups in your area. If you can’t find one, start one. This is a great way to find your flaws and get specific, actionable critique, which is what you want.

Your writing critique group should energize you, and if it doesn’t, join another one. Find one with about eight people in it and a dozen at the most.

Get into reading clubs in libraries. You get to read your book to people and read to each other.

[39:45] The Two Rules of Writing

1. Write.

2. Publish it. If you’re writing and not publishing, why are you writing it? You need to get it out there. And publish them fast.

Start short. Most importantly, find your passion!

Episode Resources:

Richard’s media page: https://www.thewritingking.com/media-page-richard-lowe-jr/

Sites: 

The Writing King https://www.thewritingking.com

Fiction Master Class: https://www.fictionmasterclass.com

Other links:

Alternate History Hub

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