I'm Latham Shinder and I ghostwrite and edit memoirs for a living. Give me 60 seconds and I'll reveal the secret to turning ordinary stories into extraordinary memoirs.
I'm going to tell you the two main reasons most people never write their memoir. But before I do, let me tell you something about myself.
I am author of the novel The Graffiti Sculptor (available at Amazon.com) and a full-time ghostwriter and editor. I ghostwrite books for CEOs, entrepreneurs, national speakers or just about anyone who seeks a good story well told.
My specialty is memoirs, what I think of as “personal experience / lessons learned” books.
These are books with a personal narrative—a fatherless boy growing up in a depressed area of Chicago, a doctor struggling with a callous health care industry, a real estate developer who honors his grandfather by building the region's first green high-rise—and I blend these personal stories with the lessons learned along the way.
You know it takes knowledge, dedication, and effort to write a memoir. You know it isn't going to happen overnight. And anybody who tells you so shouldn't be trusted.
I'll bet you know a lot of people who want to write a book, but it just doesn't happen. The first reason most people never write their memoir is this: it takes time. The book writing process is slow. It takes time for planning, research, interviews, reading, writing, editing, and polishing that final draft. More than any other resource, it takes time to turn the most interesting events of your life into a marketable memoir.
That's why I'm offering to help. I've found a way to shorten the process . . .
You talk. I write. It's that simple.
My well-defined ghostwriting process guarantees a finished, print-ready memoir in exactly six months.
In the first month, I'll need an hour or two of your time several days a week. We'll talk on the phone, you'll tell me your story, and I'll ask some questions. I'll prompt you for details you thought were long gone, but suddenly become clear.
I capture your voice and your words, and I restructure the material into a compulsively readable book. I remove all the boring parts, fill in the gaps, and craft a story around a single clear message.
With my help, you become an irresistible narrator sharing a courageous story that provides readers with a new understanding of themselves. You share your hardships and successes and the lessons learned along the way. And in doing so, your personal story reveals universal truths.
Bottom line: you don't write a word.
As a memoir ghostwriter, here's what I've learned from helping authors write, edit, and publish their books. The little guy, with the right help, and the right tools, and the right attitude, can succeed.
I take on only one or two ghostwriting projects at a time, which gives me the freedom to take you by the hand and literally lead you through the book writing process. Many authors like you have someone like me in the background coaching, writing, and editing. I can promise you that Lee Iacocca didn't write those two best-sellers by himself. Iacocca was the author, but he wasn't the writer.
Read what some of my editing and book coaching clients had to say about me:
"Thanks to Latham for enhancing the narration and polishing the rough edges."
Attorney & CPA
Author of Ebby Halliday
"Working with Latham was easier than I thought possible. He made the interviewing and writing experience unforgettable—imaginative, insightful, and fun. I received a well-crafted and suspenseful memoir in a voice readers love."
—Sharon Simons, President
Mom at Last
Author of Mom at Last
“Latham poured his heart into my book. His knowledge of story design exceeded my expectations, and his understanding of deep character made my inspirational memoir more successful than I imagined.”
—Dean Smith, Evangelist
Author of Forgiveness: A Memoir of Faith
"Latham was a huge help in getting the book organized. He brought a breath of perspective to the material and was invaluable in helping me hone my message and speak
directly to my readers."
—Dave Brennan, President
Brennan Financial Services
Author of Wishing Won't Do It
"Latham helped me get unstuck. His positive personality and writing savvy helped me finish my book. I wholeheartedly recommend him."
—Brent O'Bannon, Cofounder
Author of Balance Matters
Choose me as your memoir ghostwriter, and I can show you how to:
—Make your book stand out
—Speak directly to your audience
—Create reader-friendly chapters
—Make your message unforgettable
Recent Book Projects
Here are just a few of my recent editing and ghostwriting projects:
- a heartfelt addiction memoir about the struggles of a wife left broke and nearly homeless while her husband spent three years in prison,
- a coming of age memoir about a young boy whose father murdered his mother and how forgiveness has become the guiding principle in his life,
- a war memoir about seeking peace, and
- a medical memoir that reads like a thriller.
I recently developmental edited a handful of other books: a business biography about Ebby Halliday, founder of Texas' largest real estate company, a medical memoir about three generations of surgeons, a family memoir about growing up fatherless...
And that's not all...
Not long ago I edited a remarkable book about achieving peak performance for an executive coach, and before that a book about justice for a state Supreme Court judge, a book about retirement planning for a financial advisor and Dallas-area television personality, a book about competitive advantage for an HR consultant, and a book on how to hire superstars for the CEO of an executive recruiting firm.
Hot Off the Press
I believe we all have a unique story to tell. So my purpose, my mission, my inspiration is to help you tell yours. I helped the following authors identify the memorable scenes, polish the dialogue, and heighten the emotion by taking readers through a transition in values.
Nothing moves forward in a story except through conflict. These authors created remarkable books by writing about the honest struggles of life. They produced lasting narratives by understanding that life isn't about subtle adjustments to stress nor is it about the hyper-conflicts of master criminals. Life is about the ultimate questions of finding love and self-worth, of bringing serenity to inner chaos, of time running out.
And they shaped these stories around a perception of what's worth living for, what's worth dying for, what's foolish to pursue, the meaning of justice and truth.
Ebby Halliday: The First Lady of Real Estate
by Michael Poss
"It reads like an adventure story..."
—Norman Brinker, Brinker International
"Vitality and audacious courage."
—Ross Perot, Perot Systems Corporation
Dr. Mayo's Boy: A Century of American Medicine
by Rob Tenery, M.D.
A medical memoir that traces the experiences of three generations of Texas physicians in small town Waxahachie and big city Dallas.
Dead Man's Alive
by Mark M. Tavakoli, M.D.
In dramatic and revealing stories of families, patients, and doctors, Tavakoli explores a new kind of medical memoir, nuanced and lucid, unafraid to confront the uncertainties at the heart of modern medicine.
Searching for Dad: Nine Side Effects of Growing Up Fatherless
by Byron Ricks
President, BRS Seminars Group
Searching for Dad steps inside the mind of a boy without a father. A coming of age memoir which recognizes the side effects of growing up fatherless, and a story that will help absentee fathers, single mothers, and sons survive a fatherless childhood.
What does it take to write a book that touches audiences? Keep reading and find out. . .
How to Accomplish Greatness
The second reason most people never write their memoir is this: you get what you expect. Another way to say this is: you get what you believe. And I'm willing to bet you don't believe you can write this book. You may not believe you have a compelling story. You may not believe you have the talent. You may not believe you have the wherewithal to sit for hours, weeks, months, and actually finish writing the book.
The way to overcome these beliefs is to work with someone who can coach you through the process. I'm looking for people who have a burning desire to tell their story. I look for people who understand the enormous value of working closely with a successful professional, and are willing to be led, step-by-step, through the book writing process.
You don't need to have the intelligence of Einstein. And I don't care if you don't know anything about writing—story structure, controlling idea, scene design, story conflict, progressive complications, turning points, grammar, or even spelling.
If you can listen, learn, and apply the information we will share, then I will guarantee this book is written on time and on budget.
My 10 Tricks for a Great Book
1. Start with a dramatic hook or concept
Write an introduction that highlights benefits
Use a unique and fresh writing voice
Create a sizzling first chapter
5. Use active language, avoid passive sentences
Write in short, snappy sentences
Be specific, avoid generalities
Slash away all adverbs
Create an emotional reader experience
10. Leave out the parts readers skip
Let me stop for a moment.
I must mention the cost.
A memoir based on your life experiences, the good times and the hard times, of approximately 250 pages, will take me six months to ghostwrite and edit.
My fee ranges from $225,000 to $250,000 depending on my estimate of the time involved. I believe your project calls for extra time and attention to achieve the quality you deserve.
That you're still reading means you know this can work. I typically conduct a series of meetings, either face-to-face, or more commonly over the phone. I record the calls and have the audio transcribed by a professional transcription services firm. My fee covers all transcription costs, which can run to hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Here's What I Expect of You
You must be open, coachable, and ready to begin. You must be willing to be interviewed, to review the drafts I send you, and to make constructive comments to improve the manuscript. You must be ready to write this book.
Call me now. 903.271.7770
I'm excited about your story, so please do let me know if I can help in any way. Please contact me with any questions, and I will gladly provide reviews, recent writing samples, bio, and resume at your request.
You may have come across cheaper ghostwriters and editors. And there's a reason they are cheap. In order for me to develop and deliver the kind of memoir you deserve, it requires preparation, research, and a huge investment on my part.
If you are ready to take this on, I encourage you to let me know as soon as possible. The fact of the matter is I wish I could help more authors…but I can't. I'm looking for one more author to add to my current schedule. I hope that author is you.
Call now and see if working with a ghostwriter is right for you.
Go for it,
Call now. 903.271.7770
P. S. Excuses are another one of the reasons most people never write their memoir. While the excuses seem legit to the person saying them, they are virtually all hogwash. If you buy into them, you're stuck. The "reason" keeps you from getting the results you want.
People say they can't write a memoir because they don't have the time, or they're too old, or too young, or too married, or too single. Are you going to let "reasons" and "excuses" stop you? Don't!
Don't make another excuse for why you can't do it...or why having me ghostwrite your book won't work for you.