What’s Going On

It occurred to me that an awful lot of things are going on around here in the background, and I haven’t shared any of it on my blog, which is, theoretically, where I’m suppose to share these sorts of things. So here I go, sharing.

In January, I stopped being a freelance ghostwriter and became the Founder/Creative Director of Wambtac Communications LLC, a one-stop literary shop. We ghostwrite, we educate, we publish. Sounds succinct, doesn’t it? It’s actually a bit more elaborate than that.

We–meaning myself, my partner (aka daughter) Lona Nicholle, our teachers Liv Haugland and JD Moore, and our current intern Teri Stevens–ghostwrite books for people who have wonderful ideas. We are implementing a rather elaborate (read “time consuming and costly”) marketing/advertising campaign to let literary agents, publishers, CEOs, and one-percenters know that we have a growing cadre of professional Certified Ghostwriters who will do an excellent job on their or their clients’ books. Our intention is to spread those clients among the members of the Ghostwriter Guild, which is still in development but will be comprise our graduates from Ghostwriter Certification Training.

We’re expanding GCT to a three-semester program: Nonfiction, Fiction, and Business, which includes the politics we cover in the class now plus a strong grounding in the book industry itself. Until then, we’re offering Level II classes in Line Editing, A&Rs, Book Proposals, and The Industry.

The idea of taking GCT into Cal State U Long Beach Extension Education is still being bantered around between the parties (them and us), but has not yet come to fruition. Obviously, eh?

Our consumer-ed classes (The Story in Your Head, What You Know, Writing Your Life, Before Copy Editing, etc.) are also in development. Discussions are ongoing with ed2go.com for some of those, but most are going to come from us at Wanbtac.com.

The publishing part is semi-new. We’ve always been the ones to put out the four editions of This Business of Books (5th edition in the works) and Secrets of a Ghostwriter. Now we’re expanding to also publish other titles for writers, editors, and educators via On The List Publishing and general trade titles via Iridescent Orange Press. Our ebooks and multi-media products, such as MS Word for Writers, will be produced by Bad Walnut Media.

Sounds kinda ambitious, doesn’t i? It’s a great work-in-progress with a three-way mission: to help raise the literacy bar of the industry, one author at a time; to train/retrain displaced writers for lucrative ghostwriting careers; and to publish the good works they create if those authors cannot land a traditional New York publisher. We’ve got a fantastic operations director, Kata Schuyler, a great bookkeeper, Nyx Goldstone, a wonderful go-to assistant, Ben Picker, a good publicist, Devon Blaine, and an in-the-wings marketing guy who’s waiting for us to get our act (read $$) together. Which brings me to the logical wrap-up of this piece.

Every pitch session I’ve gone to lately insists one should always end on what one needs, so I’m sharing that, too. We’re a small, literacy-oriented organization, so of course we could use some seed money to launch these programs and products a bit faster. We’re also looking for a location so we can hold workshops and classes, and we could use a few extra pairs of volunteer’s hands around the office for our marketing campaigns.

Should I be putting all this in a blog post? Let’s be real: if I was the kind of person who worried about what I should and shouldn’t do, I wouldn’t be the kind of person of thought up such an elaborate scheme, brought three strangers into my house and made them family and now staff, or taught more than thirty people how to make a living ghostwriting for the absurd cost of approximately $8/hour for my time!

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