That’s what one of my students asked me a couple week ago.
“It can’t make you much money,” she said. “Not for the amount of time and work you put in over the three months.”
She’s right; it doesn’t. I spend three hours a week teaching each class–in the fall, that’s going to go up to four hours/week. My students tell me they put in between 6 and 10 hours on their homework every week–homework that I then have to go over, comment on, discuss, and correct. If I add up everyone’s tuition and divide by the number of hours I put in, I’m making …
So why do I teach GCT? Not sure. Let me muse as I write.
If we go back to the beginning, I started teaching the basics of the book business and a little bit about ghostwriting back in 1993, I think. Maybe 1996. Don’t remember. My motive then was to pass on some information and sell my book, This Business of Books: A Complete Overview of the Industry from Concept through Sales, then in its 3rd Edition.
Maybe I was looking for referrals. Maybe I just wanted to share. I honestly cannot remember. But I found I enjoyed teaching. It was fun. It was stimulating. It was educational for me. And people paid me a little bit of money. A win/win.
Over the years, the class ebbed and flowed. I taught sometimes, didn’t the rest. Tried to put together Professional Book Writing School, but life got in my way. Remember, I spent over two decades struggling with serious health problems, which I have now, Baruch Ha’Shem, completely overcome. But during most of the past two decades, I was inconsistent and intermittent with my work habits, my clients, and my teaching.
Looking back, it’s amazing to me how much I managed to get done by just bulldozing through. When faced with allegedly insurmountable odds, some people take it easy, some people rely on the medical community, and some people give up. I just put my head down and worked. Not fast, not always well, but through the best and the worst of it, I worked.
And then I was facing the end.
It was 2000 and I had one of those “life-changing” episodes during a downward health spiral that told me I was coming to the end of my days. But I had a client! How could I transition to the next world and leave my client up in the air? So I handed the client over to one of my interns and started pricing funerals.
I won’t keep you in suspense–I didn’t die. In fact, with the help of my beautiful sister-by-love, Bera Dordoni, N.D. (Bastis Foundation), I began the long journey back to perfect and total health. But it was an eye-opening experience and I realized I had to write a book. And so I did.
And I rewrote it.
And rewrote it.
And so and so forth and scooby dooby do.
The final edition of said book, Secrets of a Ghostwriter: World’s First Step-by-Step Guide to the Theory, Skills, and Politics of Ghostwriting, is at long last complete and exhaustively emended by five wonderful, nit-picky editors. And Ghostwriter Certification Training has evolved from a 5-week to a 7-week to a 14-week and soon to be 16-week program that details exactly what the job is, how to do the job, how to find aspiring authors to do the job for, and how to convert those authors into contracted clients.
Which may be the actual reason why I continue to teach GCT. After putting in all this time and effort to develop what Cora Foerstner called “the seminal text” on the subject and honing the program to the point that I’m confident it’s turning out skilled, competent ghostwriters, how can I stop?
But I warn you now: in fall, the price is going up. Because yeah–I don’t make enough money at this right now!