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  1. #1
    Deidre Shaw

    How do I find someone to write my story?

    I was one of the jurors on the Warren Jeffs trial. I am interested in telling my story. I am not good at writing. How do I find someone to write it for me?

  2. #2
    Jeanne Gassman

    Re: How do I find someone to write my story?


    Most professional writers will not take on this task unless you pay them. The offers to split royalties and profits 50/50 mean nothing because that money doesn't exist until the book is sold. As you may have gathered, the real work is in the writing of the book. And that can take months or even years.

    If you choose to hire a ghostwriter, you usually pay them by the hour or a flat rate for the project as a whole. Fees range from as low as $12 an hour to $60+ an hour, depending upon the writer's experience and qualifications.

    I've served on juries twice in the state of Arizona. Are you allowed to discuss the details of this case after the trial is over? Some juries, such as grand juries, must keep all testimony secret even after their terms have ended.

    There may be a directory of professional ghostwriters out there. You could try Googling "ghostwriters" and see what comes up.

    Good luck to you.


  3. #3
    Dee Power

    Re: How do I find someone to write my story?

    Buy a one month subscription to www.publishersmarketplace.com
    It's about $25 per month. You can cancel after the first month.

    On that website there is a database of deals. These are manuscripts, or in the case of nonfiction, book proposals that have been bought by publishing houses.

    You can search the database by genre, including nonfiction. go through the last 12 months of nonfiction deals looking for true crime, polygamy, Mormon, whatever fits in the description of the book deal. Make a list of the book title, author, brief description, and literary agent who sold the book.

    Next. Go to the contact database and look up the agent's address.

    Write a personalized query letter to each agent. I know this may be scary because you say you're not a writer, but it's something you have to do.

    The query letter should specify in the first paragraph that you were on the jury and why you think your story would make a great book. If you kept a diary or notes of the trial, mention that. Also state that you would need to work with a ghostwriter, or a co-author. Include that you thought the agent would be interested in representing this project because he/she recently sold (name the title of the book and the author.

    Projects like yours are often sold. The book could be ghostwritten, meaning you are the only one listed as author, but someone else actually wrote it. You wouldn't necessarily have to pay the ghostwriter yourself. The publisher would.

    You could be listed as the co-author with the author that actually writes the book. Or it could be your name "as told to" and then the author. And finally there is the old standby, your name and then "with" and the author's name.

    For example:

    By Dee Power

    By Dee Power and famous writer

    By Dee Power as told to famous writer

    By Dee Power with famous writer.

    If you think you have a good story, the notes, memory and research to back it up, and you're excited to tell it, there may well be an interested agent and publisher.

    A small bit of advice, if you're going to do this, do it now. I wouldn't be at all surprised if someone else is thinking the same thing.


  4. #4

    Re: How do I find someone to write my story?

    it doesn't have to be that complicated or costly... there are listings of agents and their specialties that you can access online for free... i have several i can forward to you if you send me an email...

    and a query letter to all who handle that type of non-fiction should snag at least one who has a writer client willing to take on your story...

    you can also go to your nearest border's or largest bookstore and check the acknowledgements pages of the current bestsellers on similar topics... there, you'll often find the author's agent's and/or editor's name... and/or you can query the writer directly, offering your story...

    that said, as the trial only took a week and jury deliberation a single day, i don't really see a book here...

    love and hugs, maia

  5. #5
    Jeanne Gassman

    Re: How do I find someone to write my story?

    I was wondering the same thing, maia. I live in the area where Warren Jeffs was BIG news. The local papers had numerous detailed feature stories about the FLDS community and Warren Jeffs's involvement and history. Unless something was revealed in the trial that didn't appear in the papers, I'm not sure there is enough new or insider info here to make a book out of it.

    Just my thoughts...


  6. #6
    Mark Phillips

    Re: How do I find someone to write my story?

    I agree with maia and Jeanne. The only way I could see making this into an actual non-fiction novel is if you went into Jeffs' life and past. That would be outside the purview of a jury (not that you couldn't do the research on it) and unless you've done all the research on the subject I don't really see why you'd be any more qualified than another writer for this project. I'm not trying to be harsh, just honest.

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