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Sally Collings

Sally Collings - Ghostwriter

San Jose, CA, United States

Award-winning, bestselling ghostwriter and book doctor. I love collaborating with authors, publishers, and family businesses.

Overview

With 20+ years’ experience inside the world of book publishing, I know how to craft a great book - and a great book proposal. Former non-fiction publisher for HarperCollins and editorial director for Amber Books, I now work as a ghostwriter, co-writer and developmental editor, producing award-winning books and bestsellers for the world’s leading publishing houses as well as for private clients. I have a special interest in family business narratives and origin stories, and I've written about dozens of the world's most successful multi-generational family enterprises, including Lavazza, Riedel, and Mitchells Family of Stores. Interviewing is one of my strengths: taking the conversation deep to find something that surprises, reveals, or enlightens. Subjects I enjoy exploring both personally and professionally include health and wellness, parenting and family life, and excellence of all kinds.

Services
Book Ghostwriting Book Proposal Short-Form Content
Languages
English (AUS) English (UK) English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs Business & Management Health & wellbeing Parenting & Families Self-help & Self-improvement

Certifications

  • Bachelor of Arts (Journalism & Radio Production)
  • Bachelor of Literature & Communication
  • Master of Arts (Lit. Comm.)

Awards

  • Walkley award for non-fiction book (Killing Fairfax)

Work experience

Founder & CEO

Self-employed
April, 2006 – Present (over 11 years)

I run a company that creates handcrafted books for family businesses. From in-depth personal interviews to writing the first draft, from book design to artisan bookbinding, we do more than craft a compelling business history. We take each client on a journey, an opportunity for reflection and self-examination, that deepens their understanding of what makes their family story exceptional.
Alongside our book creation services, we provide ghostwriting and editorial services to authors and publishers. Our expertise is in family business narratives, personal memoirs, and narrative non-fiction (especially health, wellness, and business inspiration).

Associate Publisher (non-fiction)

HarperCollins Publishers (Australia)
August, 2002 – April, 2003 (8 months)

Commissioning and budget responsibility for motivation, self-help, biography and business titles. Creating bestsellers with leading authors such as wine critic James Halliday, cookbook sensation Donna Hay, and surfing legend Mark Richards.

Publishing Manager

Focus Books
July, 2001 – August, 2002 (about 1 year)

I was responsible for running the editorial and design team for a custom publishing program, producing prestige books for business and government.

Managing Editor

News International (London)
January, 1995 – December, 1995 (11 months)

I managed a team producing award-winning CD-ROMs using content from The Times and Sunday Times as well as newly commissioned content.

Editorial Director

Amber Books (UK)
April, 1994 – April, 2001 (about 7 years)

Setting the editorial direction for a leading UK book packager, specializing in international co-editions of non-fiction titles. My job involved commissioning writers, designers, photographers and illustrators; attending international book fairs; overseeing budgets and schedules; and leading a strong in-house team of editors, photo researchers, and designers.

Executive Editor

Websters Multimedia (a Microsoft vendor)
January, 1993 – December, 1994 (almost 2 years)

My job was to head up a unit producing CD-ROM content for Microsoft’s Encarta World Atlas and other interactive reference titles. We localized content supplied from Microsoft US and commissioned new content from UK academics and authors.

Portfolio (13 selected works)

Family Spirit

William Grant & Sons

Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky is proud to share Family Spirit, celebrating the perseverance and triumphs of 12 remarkable family-run companies. Featuring gorgeous full-color and back-and-white photographs from the archives of participating families, Family Spirit offers wisdom handed down over generations, contemporary insights, and timely inspiration. Featured families include: Deniha... read more

Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky is proud to share Family Spirit, celebrating the perseverance and triumphs of 12 remarkable family-run companies. Featuring gorgeous full-color and back-and-white photographs from the archives of participating families, Family Spirit offers wisdom handed down over generations, contemporary insights, and timely inspiration. Featured families include: Deniha... read more

Shift: Creating Better Tomorrows: Winning at Work and in Life

Michael O'Brien

***ALL the profits from Shift will go to World Bicycle Relief.***This is a must-read book for anyone looking to change their perspective and live a more purposeful life. Michael O’Brien (OB to his friends) shows that the secret to becoming our best starts with our mindset.Drawing on his personal story from his “last bad day”, Michael shares the emotional and physical recovery that starts with ... read more

***ALL the profits from Shift will go to World Bicycle Relief.***This is a must-read book for anyone looking to change their perspective and live a more purposeful life. Michael O’Brien (OB to his friends) shows that the secret to becoming our best starts with our mindset.Drawing on his personal story from his “last bad day”, Michael shares the emotional and physical recovery that starts with ... read more

Fat Dad, Fat Kid: One Father and Son’s Journey to Take Power Away from the “F-Word”

Shay Butler, Gavin Butler

In today’s world where fast-food restaurants, soda, and processed foods reign supreme, does “fat dad” have to mean “fat kid”? Digital entrepreneur and beloved vlogger Shay Butler and his preteen son, Gavin, decided to find out the answer for themselves.Before Shay became famous for vlogging about life with his boisterous brood of five, known on YouTube as the Shaytards, he was like many other ... read more

In today’s world where fast-food restaurants, soda, and processed foods reign supreme, does “fat dad” have to mean “fat kid”? Digital entrepreneur and beloved vlogger Shay Butler and his preteen son, Gavin, decided to find out the answer for themselves.Before Shay became famous for vlogging about life with his boisterous brood of five, known on YouTube as the Shaytards, he was like many other ... read more

Positive

Sally Collings

For anyone going through cancer, as well as their friends and family. Can good things emerge - unexpectedly - from the cancer journey? Reeling from the death of her mother from cancer, Sally Collings saw nothing positive whatsoever about the disease. But then she read that two out of three cancer survivors and their families consider that something good has come of their experience and she dec... read more

For anyone going through cancer, as well as their friends and family. Can good things emerge - unexpectedly - from the cancer journey? Reeling from the death of her mother from cancer, Sally Collings saw nothing positive whatsoever about the disease. But then she read that two out of three cancer survivors and their families consider that something good has come of their experience and she dec... read more

Parenting with Soul

Sally Collings

The only sense of wonder I have in my day is wondering how three kids can make such a mess. Do you want more soul in your life? Parenting with Soul is for every parent who feels that purpose and meaning are things they lost under a pile of nappies, crayons and odd socks. Living and parenting with soul means enjoying a rewarding and active inner life. It also means living a life that is rich, d... read more

The only sense of wonder I have in my day is wondering how three kids can make such a mess. Do you want more soul in your life? Parenting with Soul is for every parent who feels that purpose and meaning are things they lost under a pile of nappies, crayons and odd socks. Living and parenting with soul means enjoying a rewarding and active inner life. It also means living a life that is rich, d... read more

The World According To Kids

Sally Collings

A child's-eye view of life, love and chocolate cake. Kids tell it like it is. And they know some very useful stuff indeed. Such as the fact that you can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk. Or it's never a good idea to try to baptise a cat. You just can't argue with these things. Our children are bursting to share commonsense advice that will help us grown-ups get through the day wit... read more

A child's-eye view of life, love and chocolate cake. Kids tell it like it is. And they know some very useful stuff indeed. Such as the fact that you can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk. Or it's never a good idea to try to baptise a cat. You just can't argue with these things. Our children are bursting to share commonsense advice that will help us grown-ups get through the day wit... read more

Sophie's Journey

Sally Collings

It could have been anybodys child. ten days before Christmas. A room of children, napping on mattresses in their childcare centre, waiting for Santa to arrive. It's a peaceful scene. Until a car crashes through the doors at head height, smashing into the midst of the sleeping children. the engine revs faster and faster; flames lick the ceiling. Incredibly, no child was killed at the Roundhouse... read more

It could have been anybodys child. ten days before Christmas. A room of children, napping on mattresses in their childcare centre, waiting for Santa to arrive. It's a peaceful scene. Until a car crashes through the doors at head height, smashing into the midst of the sleeping children. the engine revs faster and faster; flames lick the ceiling. Incredibly, no child was killed at the Roundhouse... read more

Get Published!

Sally Collings

With its zesty, punchy style, this book will teach you all you need to know about catching a publisher’s eye – and have some fun along the way.Didn’t know you needed to write a proposal? You need this book.Don’t know where to start with writing one? You need it too.Written one but have a tray full of rejections? You definitely need to read this. Get Published is a short, sharp, practical guide... read more

With its zesty, punchy style, this book will teach you all you need to know about catching a publisher’s eye – and have some fun along the way.Didn’t know you needed to write a proposal? You need this book.Don’t know where to start with writing one? You need it too.Written one but have a tray full of rejections? You definitely need to read this. Get Published is a short, sharp, practical guide... read more

Never Say Die

Chris O'Brien

In November 2006, Chris O'Brien was diagnosed with glioblastoma multi-forme, a malignant and extremely aggressive form of cancer. As one of the country's most eminent cancer specialists, O'Brien knows that the chances of beating the brain tumour are tiny; even with chemotherapy, surgery and radiation few sufferers survive past 12 months. Nevertheless, he is determined to beat the odds. With th... read more

In November 2006, Chris O'Brien was diagnosed with glioblastoma multi-forme, a malignant and extremely aggressive form of cancer. As one of the country's most eminent cancer specialists, O'Brien knows that the chances of beating the brain tumour are tiny; even with chemotherapy, surgery and radiation few sufferers survive past 12 months. Nevertheless, he is determined to beat the odds. With th... read more

Killing Fairfax: Packer, Murdoch and the Ultimate Revenge

Pamela Williams

KILLING FAIRFAX: PACKER, MURDOCH AND THE ULTIMATE REVENGE - an incisive, hard-hitting and utterly compelling exposé of media, powerful mates and multimillion-dollar deals that reads like a thriller. "Not since tHE LAtHAM DIARIES came out in 2005 has a book delivered so many scoops, insights and revelations into how power is wielded in Australia ... a treasure trove of gems" - Crikey "Pamela Wi... read more

KILLING FAIRFAX: PACKER, MURDOCH AND THE ULTIMATE REVENGE - an incisive, hard-hitting and utterly compelling exposé of media, powerful mates and multimillion-dollar deals that reads like a thriller. "Not since tHE LAtHAM DIARIES came out in 2005 has a book delivered so many scoops, insights and revelations into how power is wielded in Australia ... a treasure trove of gems" - Crikey "Pamela Wi... read more

Shane Jacobson: The Long Road to Overnight Success

Shane Jacobson

From the star of the film Kenny, the story of his long road to overnight success. After the film 'Kenny' catapulted him to national and international fame, actor, writer, producer Shane Jacobson was told by people that he had a talent for acting. Which was great news as he'd been on the stage since the age of ten. Working in musical theatre, stand up comedy, radio, ads, and the occasional Boy ... read more

From the star of the film Kenny, the story of his long road to overnight success. After the film 'Kenny' catapulted him to national and international fame, actor, writer, producer Shane Jacobson was told by people that he had a talent for acting. Which was great news as he'd been on the stage since the age of ten. Working in musical theatre, stand up comedy, radio, ads, and the occasional Boy ... read more

Days Like These: Even In The Darkest Moments, Light Can Shine Through

Kristian & Rachel Anderson

There are love stories and then there's the story of Kristian and Rachel Anderson. When Kristian wanted to show his wife Rachel how much he loved her after learning he was terminally ill, he ended up winning millions of hearts around the world, thanks to the now famous YouTube video he made for her 35th birthday. Social media is often seen as trivial and self-absorbed, but this heartfelt and m... read more

There are love stories and then there's the story of Kristian and Rachel Anderson. When Kristian wanted to show his wife Rachel how much he loved her after learning he was terminally ill, he ended up winning millions of hearts around the world, thanks to the now famous YouTube video he made for her 35th birthday. Social media is often seen as trivial and self-absorbed, but this heartfelt and m... read more

Living with Max (wt)

Chloe Maxwell

Heartbreakingly honest, moving and inspiring, Chloe Maxwell and Mat Rogers share their journey of discovery with their autistic son, Max. 'It feels terrible for your son to want to hurt you so bad that you bleed, and to look into his beautiful eyes and see nothing but hatred. What mother could deal with that? Not me, that's for sure. I loved my son, but I was no longer sure whether I was the r... read more

Heartbreakingly honest, moving and inspiring, Chloe Maxwell and Mat Rogers share their journey of discovery with their autistic son, Max. 'It feels terrible for your son to want to hurt you so bad that you bleed, and to look into his beautiful eyes and see nothing but hatred. What mother could deal with that? Not me, that's for sure. I loved my son, but I was no longer sure whether I was the r... read more

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