GCT Certificate

Apparently, the universe is tapping me on the shoulder to hold one more private class before I take Ghostwriter Certification Training into CSULB.

This past week, as the department head and I worked out the particulars of expanding GCT into a 2-semester program at a cost approximately 4 times its current rate, I’ve received a number of calls asking about an immediate class. So….

I will teach one last 15-week class on Saturday mornings from 9 AM to Noon PDT starting Nov 3 and running through Feb 9 at the current low price of $1080 plus $130 books.

For a list of topics covered, go to http://wambtac.com/lci/gct/what-youll-learn/.

To read what grads say about the class, go to http://wambtac.com/lci/gct/gct-testimonials/.

To register—and I do mean NOW–go to http://wambtac.com/lci/gct/register/ or call

Due to scheduling concerns, I can only make this offer for an extremely limited time. If the class doesn’t fill immediately, it will be cancelled. Ergo, if you’re interested, please register now!

Ghostwriter Certification Training

Yup, school starts soon, and so does the Fall term of Ghostwriter Certification Training.

I designed GCT help freelancers like you (and me) expand or launch your book-ghosting career. Why take the class? To gain:

  • A dynamic ghostwriting skill set not available anywhere else
  • The confidence to charge what you deserve
  • The marketing tools to find the clients who can afford you

As one of our grads put it:

“I’ve found that ignorance is far more expensive than education. Far more. Wish I would have known about GCT a year ago – I could have saved myself so much time and made so much more money.”  – Derek Lewis

The Fall term starts August 27. It’s an experience you’ll never forget or regret.

Get details and registration at http://wambtac.com/lci/gct, or call me toll-free at 1-800-641-3936.

What’s Going On

G’ Morning! I made a vow to myself to blog at least once a week. Unless I’m touched by inspiration, that blog is going to be a recap of what’s going on.

Wambtac’s summer schedule is out with  something for everyone: Level II workshops for Ghostwriter Certification Training grads, a quickie peek into how ghosts do fiction for novelists, even a clue-in for high school and community college students on how to write better papers. Details and registration are available at http://wambtac.com/left-coast-institute/summer-courses-2012/ .

Also, have gotten some interesting feedback on my upcoming title release, Buh Bye, M.S.!  It’s the sweet, heartwarming story of how I went mano-a-mano with multiple sclerosis for 42 years until I  finally kicked its miserable, capricious, maggot-ridden butt out of my system for good.

We’re raising money for the initial print run, but you can order in advance (and help that fund-raising effort) by going to http://wambtac.com/wc-publishing/buh-bye-ms/ .

Strong language and irreverent descriptions. May be unsuitable for the fainthearted and politically correct. Spiritual guidance advised.

Finally, we’re getting ready to launch a new service: Book Plans. Every book needs its own strategy to get ready for market, get into the market, and get sold at market. Watch this space for news on this upcoming new, exciting, and effective individualized action plan.

You Published a Book!


If you want that title to sell, be it ebook or paperback, here are some things to consider before you sit back and wait for the orders to roll in:

  • Does your book have editorial accountability?
  • Into what categories does your title fall?
  • Have you developed your list of keywords?
  • What is your marketing strategy?
  • What is your promotional action plan?
  • Do you have a one-pager about the book? A fact sheet? A one-paragraph bio? A list of suggested questions for interviewers?
  • Do you have endorsement blurbs?
  • Do you know what “thought leader” or corporation to go to for sponsorship and have a plan for approaching them?
Ideally, you created these materials and plans before you published, but better late than never. If you need help, email me.
If I can’t help you, I know someone who can.

Check these out

A couple of links you might find interesting.

The first is Michael J Dowling’s White Paper on Publishing Options, in which he very clearly spells out the advantages and disadvantages of today’s publishing options. Check it out at: http://www.michaeljdowling.com/pdf/Michael-J-Dowling_Publishing-Options-White-Paper.pdf.

The second is my discussion with JW Najarian about ghostwriters and ghostwriting on his quite fascinating “Cause and Effect” site. Look for it at: http://jwnajarian.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/claudia-suzanne-professional-ghost-writer-on-learning-how-to-find-one-or-be-one/

What a great time to be in the book business!

Happy Holidays–Ready for Your New Career?

I want to wish you and yours a delightful holiday season and a healthy, prosperous 2012!

I also want to share a few special December opportunities with you.

You know ghostwriting is the hottest and most lucrative career path for today’s writer, so our first special is a Tuition Only Early Bird price cut for next semester’s Ghostwriter Certification Training.

You cover the cost of the class, we’ll cover the books, shipping, and any taxes. Go to http://wambtac.com/gct-early-bird-special/ or call 1-800-641-3936.

Don’t tarry — this special ends Dec. 23, 2011.

Our second special is the chance to help the other writers in your life. Our Holiday Gift Certificates come in denominations that cover an hour’s consultation ($350 value), a manuscript Analysis & Recommendations ($500 value), or the cost of Ghostwriter Certification Training–and yes, if you make the deadline, we’ll give you the Early Bird price. See http://wambtac.com/services/gift-certificates/ for details and ordering.

Good writing to you today and always, and from my family to yours, have a most joyous and peaceful holiday season!

Claudia Suzanne

Passive Voice, Static Voice – What’s All the Fuss About?

As writers, we naturally write the way we write naturally. But readers can’t hear the cadence of the words playing out in our heads as our fingers fly across the keys. Readers’ minds merely decipher the little black marks on the page or the pixels on the screen. So “Mom was calling every week; Dad was emailing every day” cannot possibly convey the sense of urgency the author wants to impart because the reader can’t feel it—it’s over, it’s way in the past, it’s a “was.” It’s passive.

Ah, but suppose the line read: “Mom called every week; Dad emailed every day,” with no extra “it’s all over” verb standing between the doer and the deed? Now the reader feels the author’s irritation and can sympathize, snicker, or simply roll their eyes. It’s active.

And “static writing is …?” I hear you ask. Extra words, albeit not necessarily “to be” verbs, that stretch out the sentence or obfuscate its meaning. “I extracted a sample of both of their DNA from the inside of their mouths.”

The line is static: it has no life, it has no energy, it just relays flat, lifeless information. Maybe that’s okay for a textbook or dissertation, but for commercial writing? Ugh.

But suppose the line read: “I extracted DNA samples from inside both their mouths.” Doesn’t that sing a little sweeter? It provides the same information without holding the reader hostage for an extra six words and so pumps the material forward. It’s active.

And that, in 200 little words, is what the passive voice/static voice fuss is all about!

Want to learn more? Go to http://claudiasuzanne.com/gct for information on how you can change your life, improve your writing, and pad your wallet by becoming a Certified Ghostwriter. Hurry! Classes start March 7th.

Claudia Suzanne
Ghostwriting Expert & Instructor

Why do I teach GCT?

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 …

Damn little.

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!

Register for Summer GCT

I regularly find LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. posts from freelance writers lamenting low fees, slow pays, and big corporations getting away with employee restraints but not providing employee benefits.

Don’t you deserve better?

As a book ghostwriter, I always get paid, I set my own fees, and I can work as many big-ticket projects at the same time as I want. Business ghostwriter Michael Levin says that three $35,000 projects per year is not unusual for him; truth is, it’s not unusual for any trained or experienced ghostwriter.

Ghostwriter Certification Training is the wave of today. Join the  growing ranks of certified ghostwriters who are landing hi-ticket projects that are fun and fulfilling. The next GCT session starts the first week of June with day classes, teleclasses, and evening classes. Click on Ghostwriter Certification Training in the left column or go to http://claudiasuzanne.com/gct to learn how to improve your writing, increase your income, and get paid to live the writer’s life.

I look forward to seeing you in class next month!

Great Teleclass

Thank you, Janice and NAIWE, for sponsoring this afternoon’s great teleclass. We had wonderful participants with good questions and I, for one, had a lot of fun.

If you were on the phone with us and have any questions, please do not hestitate to ask them in a comment here, or email me directly at claudiasuzanne@gmail.com. I know, that’s not the email address I gave over the phone, but it’s the one that works the best.

Thanks, everybody who phoned in. I hope to talk with each one of you soon individually!