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Course Syllabus for Editorial Toolkit: Book Doctoring and Ghostwriting

Instructor Information

Name: Jennifer Lawler


Course Goals

This four-week class is meant for editors who would like to add book doctoring, coauthoring, and/or ghostwriting to their editorial business. We’ll discuss how developmental editing offers opportunities to pursue all of these possibilities, we’ll practice the skills you’ll need, and we’ll talk about how to find clients for these services.

Course Requirements

No textbook is required for this class. The instructor will supply all needed materials. You will be able to find all the needed materials in the classroom site.

To get the most from the course, you’ll want to set aside time to read the lessons, do the assignments, and participate in forum discussions (a lot of the learning takes place there!) You can expect to spend about three to five hours per week on coursework.

Course Outline

Week 1. Distinctions among book doctoring, coauthoring, ghostwriting, and developmental editing.

Read the Week 1 lesson.

Assignment: Create a book doctor editorial plan for a book ms you’ve recently read (or the instructor can supply a ms).

Week 2. How to emulate an author’s voice in book doctoring

Read the Week 2 lesson.

Assignment: Revise a few pages of a ms the way a book doctor might.

Week 3. Pitching book projects

Read the Week 3 lesson.

Assignment: Try your hand at writing a query letter for a coauthor/ghostwriting project you’re interested in creating.

Week 4. Getting started in book doctoring and ghosting

Read the Week 4 lesson.

Assignment: Create a plan for getting your first book doctoring/ghostwriting project.