Business RadioX The Writing King Richard Lowe

Business RadioX
The Writing King Richard Lowe

Richard Lowe is a professional ghostwriter and author. His passion is to help businesses and individuals write books that showcase their expertise, build credibility and tell their story. Richard has written and published 63 books on a variety of subjects (including 2 Kindle bestsellers), ghostwritten 42 books, and authored over a thousand articles for blogs […]

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Business RadioX: broadcasting live from the Business Radio X studios in Atlanta, Georgia, it’s time for high velocity radio. We can’t are here another episode of high velocity radio, and this is gonna be a good one today I have with us, Richard Lowe, the writing King. Welcome, Richard.

Richard Lowe: Thank you. How are you today?

Business RadioX: I am doing well, before we get too far into things. Tell us about your writing King practice. How are you serving folks?

Richard Lowe: Well, basically, I meet people on LinkedIn and my website and other means and they want to write a book. It could be a fiction book, it could be a book about their career. It could be anything and then or blog series. And then I helped him with that.

Business RadioX: So now do you do the actual writing or you do coaching to help them become a writer or some combination?

Richard Lowe: I have a series of models of business, one of them is to write the book myself, and one of them is to collaborate with them on it. It’s kind of close collaborator, all the way down to coaching them if they want to write it themselves.

Business RadioX: So how’d you get into this line of work?

Richard Lowe: Well, I’ve always liked to write. But I never was published or anything before I decided to become a writer. And I worked in the technical field as VP of two companies, and then the director of computer operations for Trader Joe’s for 20 years. And just got tired of working for a corporation and decided to reach out on my own.

And writing was the natural thing. So I started writing, and then ran into another ghostwriter who had a company and we got along pretty well. And I wrote some interesting books, and then realized that I could make a lot more money doing it by myself and went off on my own and have never looked back.

Business RadioX: So now, a lot of people want to be writers, but they don’t like the writing part. Like in their head, the idea of being an author is very attractive. But the you know, going from Hey, I have an interesting thought, or is this even enough material for a book? Like there’s a lot of moving parts of this, I would think, how do you help a person kind of figure out what’s the best path for them?

Richard Lowe: Well, that would be the initial part of the engagement is where we get together and discuss what the books about and come up with. If it’s a fiction book, come up with the plot summary and the story arc and the characters and things and work all that out. That takes that can take any amount of time from a few weeks to a few days depends.

If it’s a nonfiction book, it’s it’s kind of similar. But we’re not worried about story arcs and things there. Of course, we’re not worried about characters. But we start with saying a nonfiction book, we’ll start with what they want to achieve, who their audience is, what kind of how they want the book, to read with the voices, and so forth and work down the chapters and work it out with them. And before long, we’ve got the the basic overview of a book, and then we start writing.

Business RadioX: So now what do you think holds most people back when it comes to this kind of a, this is on a lot of people’s bucket list?

Richard Lowe: Well, writing a book is not an easy thing. It’s some writers take years to write their first book. Of course, I have, just like everybody who wants to be a writer, I have a number of books in the pile waiting to be finished. in various stages of completion. I’m sure most people who want to be writers have that. And then they got discarded for one reason or another.

But the writing part is a big barrier. And then comes the, the polishing and the editing part and actually making it so that it’s publishable. That’s another barrier. And then the biggest barrier of all, is how do you actually get the book to sell? That’s for most writers who want to actually sell their books on Amazon. That’s the problem.

My clients don’t run into that normally, because my clients are using the book as a marketing tool to help market themselves. So they’re not really interested in how well it sells on Amazon, they want to know, how can this book helped me get speaking engagements or getting a job or become getting promotions and things like that. And that’s where we work on there.

Business RadioX: So now, when that’s the objective, that seems easier to make happen for them. But if they want to be like, I want to be famous, or I want a movie made in my book, that seems more like kind of a lottery ticket.

Richard Lowe: Well, yeah, they have to actually write a good book. It has to have an engaging plot, a good storyline, good characters, all the things need to come together there. Plus, you need to have an agent or a publisher backing you up on that. So yeah, it’s an order of magnitude more when you actually want say, a best seller, or a movie or something. I haven’t done any screenwriting yet.

Probably will do that in the future. But I’ve written books that are they intend to form into the basis of screenwriting? So I wrote the book part and then a screenwriter will take it over from there. But yeah, it’s an order of magnitude more, more.

Business RadioX: Now when you’re working with somebody and they say, You know what, I This seems like a lot of work. Richard, why don’t you just take it from here? Is it something that now I washed my hands on this I, you know, we just maybe discussed the concept. And then you’re off to the races.

And then I’m just reading it and saying, You know what, I think the, this person should be the love interest, or I think that there should be a chapter on this. Like, How involved is the writer, if you’re kind of ghost writing it?

Richard Lowe: Well, the writer, that person’s called the author, and I’m the writer, by the way, so they’re the author, I’m the writer, just that’s the terminology. They’re, they’re engaged, and that they have to validate that what I’ve written is what they want. And they have to give me their ideas. Because we don’t want me to write a book that for me, we want me to write a book from them and their heart and their soul and whatever they want.

So I have to interview them and get their story, get what they want to write. Then I write it usually chapter by chapter, and I send them each chapter at a time to review. Because the last thing I want us to get all the way through the book and have them say, No. So we do it chapter by chapter, and we review it together and, and basically, work out the kinks. And before long, we’re in sync, and we’re writing together and it looks pretty good. So that’s the way that works.

Business RadioX: Now, how do you kind of get their voice, the author’s voice,

Richard Lowe: Work with them, first of all, interview them and talk to them and figure out how they talk, how they speak what they want. And then we’ll review, say, my first chapter together with them. And we’ll work out the kinks that way kind of interactively. And that can be quite a process, they, they might have a voice, but then they also have their characters might have individual voices of their own.

So one might have a certain dialect might have another dialect, one might be, say, a Southern gentleman, and other one might be a Northerner. So they have to have different ways to speak, and different ways to mannerisms and different ways they look. All these things are important. And to make the book more real, but their voice is, is something I have to do interactively with them.

Business RadioX: Now, how when you were starting in this journey, as a ghost writer, how did you kind of have the confidence to say, you know what, I can do this. I mean, even though I don’t, I might not have a huge track record of writing southern fiction, I believe I have the ability to do that kind of work.

Richard Lowe: Well, I forget his name, but he was the he’s the owner of Virgin Airlines. He has a saying that if you don’t know how to do it, say yes, and then figure it out. So I’m paraphrasing, of course, and I take that attitude. Through my whole life, I used to be director of tech services for Trader Joe’s and, and I would quite often get projects thrown at me that, you know, build this computer. And I didn’t know how to build a computer.

So I figured it out. I needed to install these brand-new computers that have artificial intelligence. I didn’t know anything about that, but I had to figure it out. That’s part of part of life. And I take that attitude, and I have confidence, and I just make it happen. And I’ve researched and things I don’t, I don’t have to know the subject.

I’ve got them as the knowledge experts say, for nonfiction, and I have Google and other tools. So and I can do basic research, I can do research on anything and come up with a great book. That’s how I’ve written say, books on artificial intelligence and digital transformation and things. I might not know those subjects very well. But by the time I’m done, I know him really well. And it’s just basic research.

Business RadioX: Now. So you have a high belief in yourself that you’re able to deliver whatever it is, you promise, how did you kind of figure out the appropriate pricing?

Richard Lowe: Well, that took some work, the the pricing that a lot of writers do, they go into freelance writing, they make the mistake of pricing themselves to low. And what a low price says is that they’re a commodity. They are something you can go find 100 writers who will charge, say, $2,000 for a book, I’m just pulling that number out of the year, and you’re gonna get a $2,000 book, which is going to be pretty poor, most likely.

And if you want to not be a commodity, if you want to be professional, you need to price yourself higher. And you need to be at a level where Yeah, okay, I’m getting a professional he knows he’s worth something. He’s he’s worked it out. That’s why I charge 50 cents a word.

For the writing. It’s right about in the middle, a lot of ghost writers will charge less, and a lot of them a few of them will charge more like $1 word even $2 a word. But I found 50 cents a word works really well for my market of people. And then for a collaboration project to charge by the hour instead because we’re actually you know, it’s not based on word is based on how much time we spend together. It just it’s just a matter of having confidence.

Business RadioX: And then what is the deliverable at the end just the book in their hand. You don’t have any He promises of okay; this will make you more marketable, or here’s a strategy to get more clients that’s outside the scope, or do you include some of that as well,

Richard Lowe: That’s outside the scope, but through the entire book will be, well, the whole process will be discussing that. And I will refer them to experts who know how to do those kinds of things that I that I have in my connections on LinkedIn, and so forth.

I know people who are editors who will take that book and polish, it proofreaders, promoters, publishers, agents. So that will help them do that. And then we’ll be discussing it all along, because I’ve had, I’ve written 40 ghostwritten 42 books down, kind of have a feel for how it works, and how it will sell and how they should avoid and things like that.

Business RadioX: So now, what’s a ballpark range for a nonfiction book for a business person out there that’s thinking of doing this in order to help them have more credibility, or more authority in their space?

Richard Lowe: Generally be running about $20,000?

Business RadioX: And is that just your fee or is that now I gotta find all the editor and then the people that put on on the Kindle and do all the marketing and things like that.

Richard Lowe: That’s my fee for writing the book. And what they get is a manuscript that’s ready for an editor who then takes it, I tell them that they should never have the writer edit the book. Because I’m biased. I wrote the book. So I’m not going to find as many errors as an editor will. An editor also has a specialized knowledge of how to make it polished and publishable.

So having that second pair of eyes editors aren’t very expensive compared to ghost writing that so putting that polish on is great. And then you send it to a proofreader. So those are all extra cost items, but they’re, they’re not that expensive. And then I can also help them self publish, if that’s what they want to do. I’ve done it over 100 times. I’ve got it pretty well figured out. And I charge that by the hour.

Business RadioX: So then what what’s typically the walk away to do everything as if you would recommend it, is it closer to $30,000? Once it’s done?

Richard Lowe: Well, not including promotion, which can be anything, the books probably going to run up between 22 and $25,000. Most likely, with when you add in all the extras, if they want illustrations, it’s going to be more because then they have to hire an artist. I’ve only run into that once though, where they want to illustrate twice actually where they want to illustrations.

And that drives up the price because illustrators professionals have also their own rates and things and they you want to get good quality. If you’ve paid for a ghostwriter. Obviously, you want good quality illustrations.

Business RadioX: Now is a way a less expensive way to attack the same kind of authority and credibility, if that’s your objective to do a blog series rather than a book?

Richard Lowe: Yeah, well, there’s two ways to do that. One is we can collaborate on the book that turns out to be a lot less expensive. Because they’re doing a lot of the work. So me ghost writing on my own is I’m doing all the work. So that’s that’s the $20,000 price for 40,000 word book. But if we were going to collaborate, it’s by the hour.

And that’s probably half that price, a blog to book concept or blogging series, I’ve got several blogging series going now. And those are just monthly fees, we usually retainer basis, say $1,000 a month for a couple of articles. And I write those for them. And I usually recommend that we write them in such a way that they can be that they work together so that we can make a book out of it when we’re done after a year or so.

Business RadioX: So you kind of create like kind of an editorial calendar that these these kinds of months are going to turn into chapters where they could be kind of sliced and dice into chapters.

Richard Lowe: Yeah, yeah. And there’s a different way you write blogs, and then you write chapters. So it’s better to know that you want to blog to book up front, so that you factor that in. And you don’t have to have that conversion at the end of adding all the transitions and things between chapters and stuff.

Business RadioX: Now, what’s the most rewarding part for you in this adventure?

Richard Lowe: The success of the client, I had one client, actually one of my very first clients, he came to me for a book on the IoT, Internet of Things. And we wrote it together. It was a collaboration project. And his goal was he worked for a fortune 50 company, a division of a fortune 50 company and he wanted to get noticed by the CEO of that company. So he we worked together on the book and the CEO wound up writing the foreword of the book.

So he got the notice he got promotions, he got speaking engagements, Keynote engagements, like $5,000 a pop, and he got recognized at conferences, and his books, the textbook now in several schools. So he’s really happy with the results. And that’s very fulfilling that, that I’m able to say what he got from this, that it helped his career immensely. And he’s very happy with the result.

Business RadioX: Now do you have a preference fiction or nonfiction?

Richard Lowe: I’ve done more nonfiction than fiction, but I have no preference I can do either one, I’ve written quite a bit of fixed fiction, and I’m happy with it. And I can help in either case.

Business RadioX: Now, when you’re on your own doing stuff for yourself, what do you typically write fiction or nonfiction?

Richard Lowe: Well, when I began, I wrote a whole pile of nonfiction books that I have on Amazon. But I pretty much don’t. For me, now, I’m working on fiction. So I’m collaborating, actually, with two other authors we’re writing, I’m writing two books, one author, each, we’re collaborating on some science fiction, I’ve got a goal over the next few years of writing one book of my own, in each of 12 different genres.

I want to write a romance book, a Western a science fiction game, a horror book, and so forth. So that I get experience in all of those different genres, I think that would be rather interesting,

Business RadioX: All under your own name or under a pseudonym,

Richard Lowe: Probably under pseudonyms, because you want to build a brand under, if you mix them all up, you lose the brand, you dilute the brand event, so probably under pseudonyms.

Business RadioX: So now what some advice for the person that is considering doing this, but is maybe fearful of taking the plunge into into authoring a book.

Richard Lowe: Well, if they if the problem is, is they don’t know how to write, or they don’t have the time, they should hire me to help them out. They can also hire me on a writing consulting basis where I basically coach them. And that’s, that’s just by the hour.

And I can help them get over that hump. If they’re if they’re have, say, writer’s block, which is a real thing, by the way, I can help them through that if they don’t know how to write while I’m helping one author now he’s having trouble with, with showing versus tell. That’s a that’s a pretty interesting concept in writing where you want to show something rather than tell it and it makes the story more interesting and alive.

And I’m helping him with that. That’s, that’s interesting. But the thing I would say is, just write the definition to me of a writer is someone who writes and with the intention of publishing, who eventually publishes, because everybody, anybody can write a journal. Journals are easy, but if you want to publish it, that’s a whole different.

Dynamic, you need to do a lot of different things to make it happen. And that’s, that’s what I think of as a real writer, a professional writer, so to speak, moves it from amateur to professional, just do it. Now,

Business RadioX: What is the kind of a baby step for writing a book? Like, what do you outline it? Do you have to come up with a catchy title? Like, what is the thing that is the, you know, first one or two steps a person has to do to begin the book writing process,

Richard Lowe: The theme and the audience? It doesn’t matter whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, what do you want to accomplish? So, what will the reader get when they finish this book? And who is the audience for this as a young adult? Is that children? Is it? Is it a CEOs? Is it who’s going to read it, and then we aim it at that audience, and we aim it with the intention at the end that they will come away with that particular theme in their head? Don’t understand that.

Business RadioX: And that, and for a book, how many kinds of big takeaways do you need to think say, Okay, that was a good book that was worth my $15.

Richard Lowe: Well, for a nonfiction book, you probably want a good solid takeaway for each significant chapter. And each chapter should have one or two at the most. So if you had a book with 12 chapters, you want to have 12, specific takeaways from that have value, something valuable from it for nonfiction, the takeaways, obviously, the excitement and the interest of following these characters through without any real continuity errors and things like that.

Good story arcs are, the story arc defines how the character moves through the story, how the characters move through the story, and what happens in the story. Those that’s the most important part of starting a book is coming up with a story arc, a fiction book, and the character arcs and how they look how they grow, and so forth.

Business RadioX: Well, it’s an amazing story, and you’re leading an exciting life for a writer, I mean, to be able to crank out that much content and produce that many books is pretty impressive, and quite the accomplishment.

Richard Lowe: Well, thank you. Thank you. Yeah, it’s, it’s, I’ve kind of lucked into it. And it turns out that it’s intersects my passion with my abilities and with able to make income. So it worked out really well. I’m very passionate about it. I love it. I love helping somebody produce a book. And whether it’s a client who wants to become more able to advance their career or whether it’s a person who’s always wanted to write a fiction novel and never have the time or the abilities.

I just love doing that and helping them do it. I like it even more than writing my own. It’s helping somebody else. So I have a good value from that myself satisfaction and so forth. And I look for good clients are who are easy to work with, so that I don’t have stress and they don’t have the stress and, and basically a good working environment and I like working from home. And it’s basically ideal for me.

Business RadioX: Now if somebody wanted to learn more have a more substantive conversation with you, what is the website.

Richard Lowe: www.thewritingking.com. So thewritingking.com would be the best way you go there. There’s there’ll be a forum where you can contact me or you can just send me a message at rich at the writing king.com Ric H at the writing king.com. And that will get to me also, and happy to talk. Just just I give a free consultation to anyone who wants to write up with the book.

And there’s no obligation for that. And there’s no cost for that. So we can set up a half hour hour long talk and talk, talk talk, talk about whatever you want to do, and then come up with a way for you to do it.

Business RadioX: Well, thank you again for sharing your story. You’re doing important work and we appreciate you.

Richard Lowe: Well, thank you very much. Appreciate it. That’s fun to be on here.

Business RadioX: All right, this is Lee Canter. We will see you all next time on high velocity radio.

Richard Lowe

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