In Part I, I interviewed Bryna Rene about Good Writing and Ghostwriting and the process of Ghostwriting the memoir Secrets of a Metaphysical Flight Attendant. Here I interview the author, Rebecca Tripp.
LT: What did you like about the ghostwriting process, Rebecca?
RT: I’m stimulated by interacting with people. Having Bryna to talk to made the process more fun and interesting. Bryna helped me see what someone else found interesting [about my story]. I enjoy brainstorming and find that some of the best ideas come when there is human interaction.
Being accountable to someone else gave the project more of a structure than it would have had if I had tried to get it done on my own. Not wanting to disappoint when someone is counting on you to get something done is a motivator.
LT: What did you learn in working with your ghostwriter, Bryna Rene?
RT: Bryna stays focused. I could have taken some detours at times that would have gotten in the way of getting it done. She sees what needs to be done to stay the course.
LT: How and why did you choose Bryna Rene to ghostwrite your book?
RT: Good writing is a gift and an art form. There was really no other way for me to get my story out than to work with a ghostwriter because I’m not a writer. Bryna has the technical skills and the ability to make the story a fascinating read. She also captured my voice because people keep telling me it sounds just like me.
I was fortunate to find Bryna and feel it was in a way meant to be in that she told me she recognized my voice when I called her up. We had met a year or two before in a shop in Bristol, Rhode Island where we had engaged in a conversation and she remembered me by my voice. We met and hit it off. The project just seemed like something we could get done together right from the start. Not being a writer, I needed someone to converse with in order to put the story together and she seemed like someone I could talk to. She also lived close enough for us to make regular appointments. I prefer in person meetings as opposed to over the phone. Because I am a people person, I am much more creative when I can communicate in person.
LT: Can you share more about the ghostwriting process?
RT: There were three major phases: 1) Brainstorm, get the outline done and really get a feel for what we wanted the book to accomplish. 2) Set up a schedule; write the chapters. This phase took about one year and we met on a regular basis. 3) Re-writing, fine-tuning and editing to get the finished book as close to perfect as we could. And this is where it seemed important to bring in a few other people to do some evaluating and editing.
LT: What did you like about the self-publishing experience with Balboa Press?
RT: I’m enjoying my experience with Balboa Press. I paid them for a package that has included everything I have needed to get the book finished and in print. Because it’s my first venture into the world of publishing it has been nice to have help along the way and I’ve enjoyed working with the different people who have shown up as the process unfolded. I am not saying everything they did was perfect. The covers they came up with were disappointing but Bryna was able to design one that is very appealing to people and really helps to market the book.
LT: How about book marketing?
RT: The publishing world seems to be changing dramatically and now that the book is done I’m becoming aware that marketing is just as big as getting the book done. I had a choice between spending a chunk of money on a publicist or getting a few thousand books printed so that I would have something to sell when I do in person events. Balboa is working on a press release as we speak that they tell me will go to 1,000,000 people and I will be able to use it as a marketing tool. I’m glad I had 3,000 soft covers printed because I’m booking events and find it easy to sell the book after a talk.
LT: How’s it going?
RT: The people at Balboa tell me I’m ahead of most of their authors because I like to go out to make connections every day. They tell me the authors who sit on the couch and wait do not get anywhere. They also tell me that once I build a platform I might be offered a contract with a publishing house who would market the book. But I’ve also been told there’s an upside and a downside to this.
LT: Is there anything you didn’t like or wish you could change?
RT: The disappointing part of Balboa Press is the art department. As I mentioned, they could not come up with a cover that I felt worked and the website they have designed is not very interesting. Their marketing pieces are expensive but they have all the tools. Post cards, business cards, videos, audio and even workshops to teach me to market are all available and one could spend a fortune chasing the next thing that might work to sell lots of books. This can be addictive if one is not careful.
LT: Any parting thoughts?
RT: After it is all said and done, there are no guarantees. The people who sell the most books are those who really believe in their message and who go out all the time to market and spread the word. And it has to be authentic. The feedback I get has me convinced that we’ll sell a lot of books. I’m encouraged by people at Balboa as well as my readers. Balboa people have also told me that unlike a famous author who has to make it happen in the first few months, I can sell this book for years because I’m an unknown.
Many people tell me they plan to read the book again and take notes! I was pleasantly surprised when several readers told me they thought it would make a great movie. Maybe the world needs to meet the Metaphysical Flight Attendant…
Rebecca Tripp is a self-proclaimed “metaphysical junkie,” and an avid teacher and student of metaphysics, magic, and miracles. Her thirty-five year career as a sky goddess with United Airlines, combined with her love of travel, set the stage for her amazing manifestation of a life lived intentionally. Rebecca currently lives in Massachusetts, and leads workshops and retreats nationally and globally. Learn more about Rebecca at her website.