Marina Krakovsky

Marina Krakovsky - Ghostwriter

San Mateo, United States

Stanford-educated nonfiction book author, magazine journalist, and editorial consultant specializing in the social sciences. I help experts.

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Overview

Hello! If you're an expert in your field, I'd love to help you share your expertise with the world.

I'm a journalist, author, and editorial consultant specializing in the social sciences.
• I'm the author of one business book, THE MIDDLEMAN ECONOMY, and have completed collaborations on four others: SECRETS OF THE MONEYLAB, DIE WITH ZERO, HOW GOOGLE WORKS, and TRILLION DOLLAR COACH. (I was the co-author on the first, the ghostwriter on the second, and the researcher on the remaining two.)
• My articles and essays have appeared in Discover, the New York Times Magazine, Scientific American and Scientific American Mind, O, The Oprah Magazine, Psychology Today, Slate, FastCompany, Stanford Magazine, the Washington Post, Wired, and more.
• I earned my degree in English from Stanford University, and for more than 10 years I wrote articles about faculty research for the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
• Before I turned to journalism and editorial consulting, I worked for 8 years as a software technical writer, first on staff and later as an independent contractor—creating user manuals for Oracle, Apple, and other software companies. During this time, I also wrote an after-market book, UNDERSTANDING THE ORACLE SERVER, published by Prentice-Hall.
• My experience in explanatory journalism serves my clients well: I ask probing questions to fully understand your ideas — so that I can ultimately explain these ideas to your audience in an engaging and accessible way. I also understand how acquiring editors think, helping you create pieces that editors will be inclined to accept with minimal revision.
• My editorial services include ghostwriting, developmental editing, finding relevant research and examples, creating and critiquing book proposals, suggesting appropriate agents, and guiding authors through the entire process from idea to publication.

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What to expect in working with me:

• Whether you are looking for help with a book or an article, the writing itself can't start without some serious thinking and planning. What is your book or article trying to achieve? Who is the audience? What's the best way to approach the project, and what will a successful end product look like? These are some of the key questions you must answer before you begin writing—yet I find that most experts who come to me need help with thinking through these questions; even if they have editorial know-how, they are usually too close to the material to see the forest for the trees.

That's why my first offer is almost always for a consultation. For example, if you've submitted some written materials, I'll most likely suggest a consultation consisting of a review of the materials and a video call to discuss this feedback, answer questions, and suggest next steps. Or, if you're looking for help with a book proposal to submit to agents and publishers, the consultation will help you tease out whether you truly have the makings of a salable proposal before you invest the time and money in developing the proposal. No matter what the project, starting with a consultation is an opportunity for both of us to test the waters before deciding whether we want to make a larger commitment to a full article, a book proposal, or an entire book.

• If you're looking for help with a book, know that a book is a huge undertaking. "No kidding," you say—"that's why I'm looking for a ghostwriter!" But even with a ghostwriter, a book is still a huge undertaking for you because it's impossible to outsource all the work—a successful client-ghostwriter relationship is truly a collaboration, requiring significant time and effort from both parties. Yes, working with me will save you time (and will yield higher quality) than doing everything yourself—but you are the expert in your subject and in what you like. So to attain the best possible product you need to carve out time for interviews, draft reviews, and the like.

The single biggest time commitment I ask for of book authors is a regular weekly call (about one hour); during that call, I ask questions to gather all the information I need to do that week's work on my end. Doing that not only enables me to work efficiently (which saves you money)—it also helps me capture your voice (in a way that sending me a bunch of documents does not).

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What clients say about me:

"Having well-thought-out ideas is one thing, but converting those ideas into a convincing, easy-to-read book is another. For that I would need to work with a writer who could take my words, stories, and explanations and shape them into a flowing, easy-to-read text while retaining my voice, style, and passion. That writer was Marina Krakovsky. I was really lucky to have a writer who was familiar with the relevant ideas from economics and who had the ability to support these ideas with relevant academic research. She also knew my agent as well as Kay-Yut Chen, a brilliant economist whom I went on to hire for work on this book. I want to thank Marina not only for all this, but also for pushing me through the long, unfamiliar, and sometimes painful process of turning a complex series of ideas into a book anyone can understand." (From author Bill Perkins's Acknowledgements in DIE WITH ZERO, a book that went on to become a WSJ business-books bestseller)

"Marina Krakovsky, our research partner, always goes about two steps farther than we expect. She is as insightful and thoughtful as she is diligent and thorough." (From the Acknowledgements of the New York Times bestseller HOW GOOGLE WORKS, by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Alan Eagle)

"Marina Krakovsky helped us connect Bill's principles with academic research, showing that he was truly ahead of his time in the business management world. She is always creative and insightful, and a heck of an editor to boot. It was a great pleasure to work with you again, Marina!" (From the Acknowledgements of the NYT and WSJ bestseller TRILLION DOLLAR COACH, by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Alan Eagle)

What about short-form content and other services?

• In addition to working on books, I help experts in their fields produce shorter-form content—blog posts, articles, and ebooks.
• I provide proposal critiques for existing proposal drafts, and I develop detailed outlines and other proposal sections.
• Although Reedsy requires service providers to be listed as either ghostwriters or editors, not both, there's often a gray area between these services, particularly for experts who like to do some of their own writing, so I also provide developmental editing where appropriate.
• Reedsy doesn't offer a "Consultation" menu item for people hiring a ghostwriter, so if that's all you want, choose any service and mention consulting/questions in your description.
• For experts who prefer to do their own writing but need some coaching to help them move forward, I serve as a sounding board, accountability partner, and voice of encouragement.

What don't I do?

I don't take on fiction or memoir/autobiography. If you want help with your novel or your life story, you'll be far better off finding a writer who specializes in those areas.


Services
Short-Form Content
Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Business & Management
Economics
Law
Psychology
Self-help & Self-improvement
Sociology

Certifications

  • Bachelor of Arts, Stanford University
  • American Society of Journalists and Authors
  • National Association of Science Writers

Work experience

Author | Editorial Consultant | Ghostwriter

Self-employed
July, 2013 – Present (over 7 years)

Author of THE MIDDLEMAN ECONOMY, a book about how middlemen (including digital middlemen) create value and become better partners. Also: Editorial consultant, collaborating with experts aiming to go from book idea to publication. Occasionally: writing for magazines on subjects I'm passionate about. When invited: speaking about all things middleman-related.

Reporter

Self-employed
June, 2003 – Present (over 17 years)

Writing articles for publications that include:
Communications of the ACM
Discover
HR Magazine
New York Times Magazine
O, The Oprah Magazine
Psychology Today
Scientific American
Scientific American Mind
Stanford magazine
Slate
Washington Post
Wired

Technical Writer

Self-employed
April, 1997 – July, 2000 (about 3 years)

Wrote software manuals for companies that create either educational or database products. Clients included Oracle, Apple, Netscape, Siebel, Mergent (acquired by Commerce One), The Learning Company, and Computer Curriculum Corporation

Instructional Designer

Apple Computer
October, 1995 – April, 1997 (over 1 year)

Wrote manuals and other instructional materials for Apple's and third-party software, mainly for the K-12 education market.

Instructor

UC Berkeley Extension
October, 1995 – July, 2000 (over 4 years)

Developed and taught introductory classes in technical writing to adult students.

Portfolio (5 selected works)

Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley's Bill Campbell

Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, Alan Eagle

The team behind How Google Works returns with management lessons from legendary coach and business executive, Bill Campbell, whose mentoring of some of our most successful modern entrepreneurs has helped create well over a trillion dollars in market value.Bill Campbell played an instrumental role in the growth of several prominent companies, such as Google, Apple, and Intuit, fostering deep re... read more

The team behind How Google Works returns with management lessons from legendary coach and business executive, Bill Campbell, whose mentoring of some of our most successful modern entrepreneurs has helped create well over a trillion dollars in market value.Bill Campbell played an instrumental role in the growth of several prominent companies, such as Google, Apple, and Intuit, fostering deep re... read more

The Middleman Economy: How Brokers, Agents, Dealers, and Everyday Matchmakers Create Value and Profit

Marina Krakovsky

If you're a PowerSeller on eBay, or a real-estate agent showing houses to your client, or a sales rep in any field (as more than two million Americans are), you're not just pushing products. If you're worth your salt, you're a Certifier, staking your reputation on the quality of the goods you represent. Far from killing the middleman, the Internet has generated a thriving new breed. Between 19... read more

If you're a PowerSeller on eBay, or a real-estate agent showing houses to your client, or a sales rep in any field (as more than two million Americans are), you're not just pushing products. If you're worth your salt, you're a Certifier, staking your reputation on the quality of the goods you represent. Far from killing the middleman, the Internet has generated a thriving new breed. Between 19... read more

How Google Works

Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg

Seasoned Google execs Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg provide an insider's guide to Google-from the business history and corporate strategy to developing a new managment philosophy and creating a workplace culture where innovation and creativity thrive.Google Executive Chairman and ex-CEO Eric Schmidt and former SVP of Products Jonathan Rosenberg came to Google over a decade ago as proven ... read more

Seasoned Google execs Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg provide an insider's guide to Google-from the business history and corporate strategy to developing a new managment philosophy and creating a workplace culture where innovation and creativity thrive.Google Executive Chairman and ex-CEO Eric Schmidt and former SVP of Products Jonathan Rosenberg came to Google over a decade ago as proven ... read more

Secrets of the Moneylab: How Behavioral Economics Can Improve Your Business

Kay-Yut Chen, Marina Krakovsky

Taking the findings of behavioral economics from the cocktail party to the boardroom. Experimental economist Kay-Yut Chen leads an economics lab at Hewlett- Packard-the first of its kind at any company. His groundbreaking research into human behavior has turned into tangible results for HP. He has saved the company millions of dollars, simply by explaining why people really do the things they ... read more

Taking the findings of behavioral economics from the cocktail party to the boardroom. Experimental economist Kay-Yut Chen leads an economics lab at Hewlett- Packard-the first of its kind at any company. His groundbreaking research into human behavior has turned into tangible results for HP. He has saved the company millions of dollars, simply by explaining why people really do the things they ... read more

Die with Zero: Getting All You Can from Your Money and Your Life

Bill Perkins

A Common-Sense Guide to Living Rich….Instead of Dying Rich Imagine if by the time you died, you did everything you were told to. You worked hard, saved your money, and looked forward to financial freedom when you retired. The only thing you wasted along the way was…your life. Die with Zero presents a startling new and provocative philosophy as well as practical guide on how to get the most out... read more

A Common-Sense Guide to Living Rich….Instead of Dying Rich Imagine if by the time you died, you did everything you were told to. You worked hard, saved your money, and looked forward to financial freedom when you retired. The only thing you wasted along the way was…your life. Die with Zero presents a startling new and provocative philosophy as well as practical guide on how to get the most out... read more

Marina has 1 review

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Dmitri Mehlhorn
Smart, honest, clear, insightful, fast. Really great.

Dmitri Mehlhorn, August 2020

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