Lil Barcaski: The Ghostwriting Process with Longbar Creative Solutions

November 25, 2019

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Welcome to the thoughtful entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, founder and CEO of up my We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. stick around to the end of the show, where I'll reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go. All right, Lil Barcaski. Listen, it took some doing to get you to talk about what you do, because you are a very, very gifted, talented and successful ghostwriter. And I know you're not allowed to say some of the books that you've written, but you have, you have a prolific library behind you. And so normally what I was thinking is that we would, we would Edit and mask your voice. But thank you so much for being willing to use your real voice.

And no problem.

So now you are the VP for long bar creative solutions. And one of the companies, it's a part of that is ghost writers network. And so let's start off by talking about- wait, no, let's start off with this, because it's blew my mind. What per year in this industry? What percentage of business books do you suppose a ghost writer is involved at some level?

I did. 90% you're looking at 80 to 90% it's rare. It's amazing.

And so and I mean, obviously, I think the the reason why is because it takes some effort to put a book together and I think that it also requires some skill. Um, if you've never written a book, you don't really understand what goes into it and So there's a lot of organization that goes in it, I just project management of it as well. And having gone through that process as many times as you and your team have gone through, you know, it's no big deal for you, you this is just another day at work whereas, you know, if I am a you know, if I'm a successful executive, or business owner, I've got a lot of other things going on. It's, it's, it's challenging to sit down, put pen to paper as it were, and then just go through this entire process and honestly, Lil, it may not be a good use of their time based on other responsibilities that they have.

Right? I always say we have we have a slogan at long bar creatives don't know your own long. You know, I spend I spend less on my lawn more for a month to get my garden so beautiful and I make it an hour by far right. So why Okay, so in terms of You know, your business, of course, you know what your business is about, you know, your subject matter, you can tell it to someone, but to sit down and spend the hours to craft it properly, to understand sentence structure and syntax and, and flow, and how should a book start and end where? What are the parameters, it's different today? You know, back in the day, you put acknowledgments up front, because everybody knows you're now you put that in the back, because when you go to Amazon, what do you want to see, when you go to flip over and look at a few pages, you want to see the introduction, the first couple pages you want to

get right after

that? That's like knowledge, you know? So one of the things we really do is try to get people to start right to start strong. Build an introduction, especially business books, you got to have a really good forward, someone important that writes it, and that gives you that actually, we go through the whole process. The next thing is that strong introduction. So when they look at the book, they go, why should I read this guy's book on sales? Who the hell is he? Is he anybody I really care about. Most people want to jump right into this subject matter before explain to the person why they should even read it. What there? What's the reasoning behind this book? The first thing I always ask the client is, why are you writing this book. And if they tell me to sell millions of copies and become rich, I say, I'm not the right writer for you write a business book, we write a business book to know that we're the expert to prove to the expert, and the most important thing you can do and my mentor says it over and over again, is speak. You have to be out speaking, if you want to make big kind of real headway, as a business entrepreneur, get out there in front of the public and when you speak, have a book in your hand. And that's that so we teach them all those those elements. It's not just writing the book. It's a little more than that.

Yeah, and so we kind of touched on this, but what are some of the reasons that someone you know, obviously, it's a huge authority bump. But what are some other reasons that someone would want to have a book to their name?

Well, you know, really, it's it's it's definitely validation. I think Anyone who could say, well, I've written a book on Sunday, you know, what's the expression? Well, you must have worked. You must have written a book on that one. You know, really, you're saying I know something someone else doesn't know I know enough to teach you something. Or, you know, you have a client who puts the book behind him and says, that's my picture of me with my book you know, that's they see you when they walk in the office your book should be sitting on your shelf. Is that your book? That's my boy. Yeah, I wrote that. It definitely validates who you are. I'm absolutely gives you the cloud to say you want to go out and speak meet more people since we own a networking company as well. We wanted company, tangerine networking group, and tangerine networking group started here in tangerine, Florida. And now it's a pretty big group or extent sending it to other states now, but we always say to people, you know, you've got to get out in front of people you got to get out and see people meet them person to person. A book is your you it's it's sending you out into the world. You can't be everywhere, but your book can. Your book can be everywhere. So it's your it's your calling card.

Yeah, for sure. And it can absolutely open doors for you without a question. Well, okay, so let's say that someone has been there had they've decided, well, I'm going to write a book, I want to do this. What is what's the process like? And, you know, I guess another question along with that is, you know, what should I have budgeted for this in the if I want to have a basic business book, you know, I've got a lot of notes. And I guess there's some different ways that you can do this, right? You've got someone that may be, you know, they've been writing blog articles for years. And then you may have somebody that says, Well, you know, all the informations up in my head right now, I actually haven't put it out there. That would be another scenario. What What, what are what are their options?

All right. Well, there's fish really, for us to kind of two ways that we can write a book for people and some people have some fair writing. Skill they write pretty well, like you say they write their own blogs, they've written technical manuals, whatever it might be. With someone who's got a lot of skill and a lot of material already gathered, we do what we call developmental editing, which is really not so much editing as it is writing and collaboration to some degree with the writer. It's almost a co authoring but the our name doesn't go on the book. And we do often with people, sometimes we actually do have our name on the front cover of the book, and we contribute even to the book. But if you've got a lot of material, and you've got a fairly decent writing skill, but you're not sure how to organize that, that material, the first thing we do is we sit down and once we've established that you can afford us and we were going to work, we sit down and we say okay, let's look at our let's make a roadmap, a roadmap is we're going from point A to point B, want to tell people these things, what are our chapters going to be like we do an outline, the very complete outline, maybe a dozen chapters, maybe three or four sub chapters in each one. So they kind of get a breakdown of what you're going to learn. This is folks, you want to give them a really good breakdown and it could be anywhere from Three to 10 sub chapters inside of chapter some subtitles if you will. So once we have that, then we have a roadmap and when you have a roadmap you can go anywhere, right? So that's the first thing we do and then we start to take the material that they already have and we set it in place. Okay, this belongs in chapter three, this belongs in chapter four. Well maybe part of this belongs in chapter two and seven chapter seven, and then we have a starting point. And then we sort of look at each chapter chapter by chapter and we start to really fill it out but they've got some meat on the bone already. So for thing like that it's a lot less than for me to start from scratch with them obviously for one of my guys start from scratch. So that's one way The other way is we go straight all together they still got little I'm terrible writer but I have my know my subject matter. We're going to talk about you know say you know, a specific kind of sales I do or a specific kind of mortgage brokering I do or or I one guy wrote a book about about travel about traveling and he, he was he All he does is broker BW To get a mortgage for a boat, a high end boat, or a bigger RV costs a lot of money, right? The only guy who does that sort of one of the few guys that does it sort of alone, CB creates really good loans. So we built a fun book about why it's fun to go and do these things, why it's funded on a boat. And we need one right here. I wrote the whole book, but but he, his name's on the book, but he told me chapter by chapter and we talked, you know, as we went, so that's really ghost writing. So that's, that's, that's kind of two primary ways. And then once we're done with that, it goes to copy editing, usually, certainly proof proofreading. And we make sure it's, you know, tighten and off it goes there.

And, and so budget wise, you know, again, you kind of laid out a couple of scenarios, but, you know, what, should I have socked away to begin the endeavor?

Okay. Well, we typically don't want a business book to go over 40,000 words altogether. So there's been books, they're going to be about 130 pages, give or take,

right? Right, right.

So I'm For a if your developmental editing and you've got a lot, we look at the material you have. And we kind of go case by case, it could be as little as maybe $3,000. If you've got a lot of material for us to just some time, putting it all together. Typically speaking, it's more like five to seven years to work on something like that, in the $5 range is probably pretty typical for someone who has a lot of material and is in pretty good shape. And all we're doing is helping them organize that book. If I'm going to write it from scratch, or one of my one of my team members is going to write it from scratch, you're looking at between 15 and 20,000. For that sort of a process typically, sometimes it can be a little less, the book might be a little short, the guy might have a lot of material already like in his head that we can move more quickly with. But it's rarely that we do a book for less than 12,000 for the writing. And it's rarely that we do more than 20 or business book. So I would say the sweet spot is probably right around 15,000 for us, and frankly, that's cheap. If you look at most most and we're we're growing and eventually we're probably going to be more than that, but I talked to other ghost writers who've been in the business. Now they're older and longer at it, and you know, whatever. Or I've done more and more and more, and some of their just in other locations, and they could think it's 25 to 35. for business book. So yeah, yeah, pretty reasonable in the $15,000 range. That doesn't include your publishing. But it does include no pretty or even your last proofread, but just the writing alone. And you might spend 1000, to proofread or maybe a little more, and then we typically charge around 2000, or a publishing situation. So Jen, I think on our website, we have a package for if I'm not mistaken, just under $20,000 includes everything. So that's us to write the book, have a final proofread of the book, and all of the accoutrement you need to publish and be ready to go. So that's right around 20 grand the whole nine yards.

Yeah, what is the process typically like then for the, for the, the customer for your client, in terms of like How long will this take? How much work? Should they still plan on in terms of getting the material because obviously, you can't create this stuff from scratch you need. Yeah, they need the

we kind of do. Sometimes we do creative is good. Um, what we do is typically this, once they've agreed to the price, we know we're going to build them an idea of what we're doing. We spent typically, anywhere from two to three hours with the modern outline. So it's not in person, it doesn't have to be in person. You can, like we're doing now You and I, we can be on the phone. And we work through an outline. We say, okay, we introduction, chapters one through 12. You think it's going to be a breakdown, we talked it out. And once we have an idea, they know their topics. Once you have an idea and get all have that WeChat we haven't given us all the topics they have. It's just the until piece of paper. What do you have in mind? What are you trying to write about? Okay, I'll give you an example with the football player I'm working with. And we're actually co writing a book. We sat down together and we started talking about well how are we going to structure this book and One of the chapters going to be like, what do we want to tell teenagers to get them? So they don't want living in their mother's basement and never failing to launch? You know, never having that launch app. So this is really it's a non failure to launch kind of book, right? So we once we took us, it took us a little bantering back and forth, and we wanted to put it out. Once your eyes together, then we start with the introduction. Generally, I write the introduction based on what they've told me already, or we talked through the introduction. I write the introduction, I send it to them. They look at the introduction, they say yes or no, I like it. I don't like it a little you miss over here, you forgot over here, or I thought of something else I wanted to say. But give it back to me. So let's say we talk I write the introduction on a Monday, and by Wednesday, they have that in their inbox. By Friday. I'm expecting to give you some changes. By the time we talk again next Monday. We're on to chapter one. And then we rinse and repeat. So then, okay, we've got the we've got that introduction. Ready, it's solid. Let's go to the next one. Once that's a solid done, deal. Say that one set, then we start on chapter one. And we have the topics. We know our subtitles. We know our roadmap. So I just asked them questions they speak, I type, and I stopped them when I have a question. Or see where you're off topic, I'm lost here. And that takes, we do about an hour and a half to two hours each session. So we've got to carve that time out from you, you've got to give me at least an hour, preferably an hour and a half to two hours each week. They go ahead and they do that. All right. So then, once that is set, we got that chapter done. The same exact thing happens by Wednesday, chapters in their inbox, by by Friday have told me their answers where they like don't like and by the time we get to Monday, again, we're back to chapter two, and so on. So so would be typically within 12 to 15 weeks. Their book is going through the process of of being sent off to be publishing. I think my my business partner might have just jumped jumped in. I know she's here, but she didn't But so that her big. Um, so what's next with me to go once that's all done. So let's say typically within 12 weeks or so now, if someone's in a hurry and they say, Oh my gosh, I have a conference coming up. And I'm going to speak in front of 5000 people, 300 people, wherever it is, I need my book, I need it now. I needed I needed a month and a half ago, can we do it? We just double that number. So Mondays we do chapter one, and we bang it out. And then Thursday rejected two. And we just work harder and we work faster. And then we can do that same process in eight weeks if we have to. It's not a criminal thing, and it's going to cost you more money, because you got to put that time aside and somebody else's and

getting our time.

But if it's more important to spend an extra $5,000 and have us do it inside of six to eight weeks, we've done it and we can do it. I wrote a fictional book in four weeks because a man was meeting with with a film company,

and he needed a book in his hand. And oh my goodness,

it's all fiction. But how have you done I just put my head down, and I wrote a book and we've got 35 five star reviews. US book review reviewed it said it was fantastic. And he's meeting with film company and book to now is out as well, which I wrote in eight weeks. Now he has a whole series book one in Book Two to go to, to the film company with they're already excited about the idea of making a film.

Yeah. So these all these reviews and this the last question, and so is is it important to be you know, number one rated best selling author on Amazon? Do you get involved in that? I mean, does it I mean, we have companies we go to easy to game that system and get that recognition that that means nothing to me now, but I know that it means a lot to the author and maybe someone who doesn't really understand that.

It really depends on your goal. Josh mean

like if your goal is to sell a lot of books, that does seem to look good to people, but frankly, so many people get it by just getting all their friends and family by 99 cents on the same day. If that's your goal that Yeah, we don't tell you that's a bad idea. I'm sure good reviews are How about better than bad reviews? Like anything else? You don't go to a restaurant without checking Yelp. But

the truth is, what do you want the book to do?

And what you also want the book to do as a business person. You say, I'm the best realtor in Tampa Bay. I am the smartest cook, and I have the best recipes. They'll save your they'll get you to lose weight. And I need you to do and be able to go out and cook and show people say, here's my book. Are you going to sell enough books to cover your witness spent on it? Maybe Maybe not. But if you're you know, if you're a realtor, you sell $1 million house because

that book showed you to be the best one. Exactly.

More than made that money back and you're going to do a lot more than that. It's a terrific, look at me. I'm the best at what I do and expensive if you're okay. We also write ebooks for people that they can put on a website and give it away. Those are very all we have. We have international those from five to 7000. Just No, there's no publishing. It's just going it's just a Principle book, right? So there's a million ways you can go the book or to be a tool you use as a speaker as an entrepreneur as a business owner and the Amazon thing you know, yeah, could be good could be not so much with fiction. Yeah, you want. You want some traction with fiction, you want it to rise up, but this is so many fiction books, it's hard to sell art and it's impossible to get them published. Traditionally, it's impossible as what you're not going to get a traditional publishing company. Look at your book, even if you're an NFL football player. We will we will diseases book because even as much as there are lots of out of work NFL football players are retired at 50 there's plenty of them. And unless you're like, you know, Tiger Woods playing golf or your Yeah, those guys get they're going to get a year if you're very, very, very well known salesman, you know, Ziegler or something you have anybody publishes. So Thanks Thanks, Tom. But no Tom Thomas askin we deal with Tom actions.

So, I

know there's lots of lots of reasons to buy to get a book so not too many reasons to worry about whether or not you get five star reviews on Amazon they just they just nice does makeup.

Yeah, for sure. Awesome. Well, little bark ASCII thank you so much for joining us again. So the name of your kind of Umbrella Corporation is what it was. Long bar right

law yes we're long in bar cascade we're Cindy Cindy long it's our my graphic designer, extraordinary networking guru or writing a book and now the other and cheap she and I worked together with long bar. She's the she's the lawn on the bar for Lil Barcaski, and we're our creative solutions. And we're a full service business consultancy, so we can help

you know the website, you know, just based on what we've been talking about today, Ghost writers And so do you. So you offer free consultations. So I think I could probably figure out what someone very quickly whether or not it would make sense to go down this road and what kind of package they would need. Yep. So they can get a realistic expectation about what that might look like. So again, there's right on the front page. It says, Would you like a free consultation about your book, we'd love to discuss it with you just click here. And then that brings up the contact form kind of go from there. So well, thank you so much. This is really really great information. Yeah, believe it or not, I don't have a book yet. Like it's like I said, it's I've written a zillion articles I've produced, you know, hours and hours of video, just kind of off the cuff teaching on my subject. So it seems to me like I probably just need to get off my hands and just get this done.

Anytime you want some help give us a call. If she was one of the Great,

thank you.

Thank you. This was delightful. I really enjoyed talking to you.

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