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Can I Laugh On Your Shoulder?

Jan 8, 2020

Today I asked all the questions I know you want the answers to about writing a book, or more specifically, working with a ghost writer! My guest this week is Joshua Lisec. Joshua is the world’s ONLY award-winning, celebrity-recommended, #1 International Bestselling, certified professional ghostwriter. Wow! He’s the founder of The Entrepreneur’s Wordsmith, LLC as well as a contributor to Forbes, a TedEx speaker, and a two-time published novelist. He’s taken his gift of writing and used it create change, impacting so many people. I was so fascinated by today’s conversation and I know you’re going to love learning more about Joshua and his ghostwriting skills!

2:31 - The Joshua 101

  • You heard a little of Joshua’s accolades in the introduction. Not only is he a wildly successful ghostwriter, he’s also been personally recommended by celebrities for ghostwriting. They’ve also endorsed his books! His books have sold tens of thousands of copies a month after the book’s release!
  • California State University (Long Beach) is the only academically sponsored ghostwriting training program in the world. Only about 50 people have completed this course by not only completing the degree, but also demonstrating professional proficiency as a ghostwriter. Joshua is the first and only person in Ohio to complete the program.
  • As a kid, Joshua loved reading The Chronicles of Narnia series and The Space Trilogy, both by C.S. Lewis. He was so inspired that he decided he wanted to become a novelist. At just 20 years old, Joshua had a two-book deal with an independent publishing house of Washington, D.C. Around this time, he also started a freelance writing business. 
  • As he’s began promoting his novels, some of his clients told him they loved his writing and novels. They didn’t want to write a novel, but they did want to share their stories with Joshua’s help.
  • Joshua didn’t even know what ghostwriting was at the time! He learned a bit more and agreed to help. 40 books later, and he’s still helping people tell their stories.

8:29 – How Does Ghostwriting Work?

  • There are many people who want to get their stories out, but don’t know exactly what to say or are inhibited by their own self-criticism or self-censorship. It can even happen to people who’ve already written a book or self-published.
  • Just as entrepreneurs desire to work on their business and not in their business, authors desire to work on their book, not in their book. Their time and energy is better focused on the impact they want their book to have rather than agonizing over style and grammar as well.
  • In order for a Joshua to understand what’s going on in a person’s head, he starts with a free manuscript strategy session. To start, this helps answer whether a person should be writing a book at all. If the answer is yes, the next step is to figure out what that person’s future readers want. A ghostwriter literally helps an author figure out what the book should be about if there’s a good idea there.
  • This first step is an iterative process that goes on for about a month, and the goal is to figure out what the book will cover, what it will deliver, and how it will transform the readers it’s intended for. For several months, the writer and ghostwriter will work on one chapter each week for several months.
  • Everything written is in the voice of the author. Often a ghostwriter is better at pulling out what an author is trying to say if they are the best version of themselves, the uncensored version. It’s not just what they want to say, it’s the best possible version of what they want to say.
  • Once a rough manuscript is ready, Joshua helps edit line-by-line, chapter-by-chapter in The Chicago Manual of Style. They style considerations are what separates a self-published book apart from a book on a bestseller list.

15:37 – The Jay Conrad Levinson Rule

  • Jay Conrad Levinson wrote the International bestseller, Guerilla Marketing. It was the first book of its kind to help small business with low or no cost advertising. When asked how much money the book made him, Levinson said it was about 10 million dollars. The royalties over 30 years only paid about $30,000, but the book opened a door to consulting, speaking, products, services, upsells, masterminds, etc., that accounted for the remaining 9.9 million dollars.
  • Following the Jay Conrad Levinson rule where people can gain from further resources that accompany your book after they’ve read it is the only way to see a big return on investment in the process of writing a book.

24:00 – Could Your Book Sell If You Didn’t Market It?

  • Have you ever thought about writing a book? Would you have ever thought you need to know about SEO when coming up with your book title? Joshua also equips authors with resources (like Publisher Rocket) to know how to title your book. It literally tells you what book titles are profitable and which ones are not profitable.

33:23 – Live Ghostwriting and More

  • Joshua also helps people who are interested in writing a book on their own. You can write your own book, but Joshua consults on how to structure material and then reviews the work you’ve done or the changes you’ve made. It’s almost like a live ghostwriting experience.
  • Joshua has a similar program for publishing by setting up an independent publishing business for you, going through all the traditional processes of a normal printing press AND it comes in audiobook form too!

Memorable Quotes:


“Authors want to work on their book, not in their book. Your job, your effort, your energy as the author should really goes toward the impact you want your book to have, that high level goal of the book, rather than whether an adverb goes here or here in the sentence.”


“Just like steppingstones across a creek, you want the stones to be there before you start walking.”

39:28: Getting To Know Our Guest

Find out what Joshua would eat if he had to eat the same thing for dinner every night for the rest of his life, a dream that he’s yet to achieve, and most importantly, what it means to him to run a business with purpose.


Every day Joshua Lisec helps authors manifest the mission behind their voice. Joshua is the world's only award-winning, celebrity-recommended #1 international bestselling Certified Professional Ghostwriter. He is also a Forbes Contributor ghostwriter, a TEDx speaker, and a two-time published novelist. Since 2011, he has ghostwritten forty books for everyone from household names with millions of followers to small town preachers who want to share their testimony.


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