Four Different Ghostwriting Methods

How do ghostwriters work? What is the ghostwriting process all about? I hear these questions a lot and would like to address them for you.

There are a variety of methods I use when helping someone write a book or a series of articles. I select the best method based on what the author needs and how much they have developed their ideas.

Method 1: Your ideas, my words

The most common request I get is to write a book based on a rough sketch or outline of a book concept. The author has ideas, but hasn’t had the time to form the words. After all, writing fifty thousand words is time consuming!

In this case, I take all the written material they’ve compiled and interview the client. Then I write based solely on that information. I will often supplement chapters with research data where needed as well.

Method 2: Your ideas, your words

This option is surprisingly rare. Most people who have never written a book don’t know how to structure their ideas or material into a complete manuscript. They also have trouble communicating their thoughts so that others can understand them. And while some are able to write, most don’t have the time, which is why they’ve come to me.

However, there are times when a client has found the time to write but will submit pages to me to be rewritten. I use their words but restructure the flow and fix any other issues the author has been struggling with.

Method 3: My ideas, my words

This option is also rare, but once in a while a client will give me a broad topic and a few scattered ideas, and asks me to provide all the rest of the material. I know it may sound strange, but if the topic is within my scope, I can write an entire book based on my knowledge. However, the book still belongs to the client – it’s their idea, they are the author.

In this case, I still interview the client to get personal knowledge or stories to add in. This is crucial in ensuring that the book is truly theirs.

Method 4: Researched ideas, my words

One common request I get from clients is to write a book or series of articles about a specific topic, often about which I know very little. Fortunately, it’s extremely easy to do research. You can learn about practically anything online using the Internet.

I like to ask my clients to provide websites they recommend, so that I follow their philosophy and can work from accurate data on their niche market. Once I have the starting point, it’s easy to navigate through the rest.

 

I have a lot of experience working with clients using these different methods. Some even use a variety of methods from one project to the next. Each manuscript has its own challenges, but in the end we always produce a good book that communicates well to others!

Additional articles you might find helpful:

It’s Good Business to Write a Book

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

What Do I Need to Start with a Ghostwriter?

What Is the Difference Between a Ghostwriter, an Editor, a Proofreader, and a Publisher?

Eight Reasons Why You Should Write a Book

What Is a Ghostwriter?

what is a ghostwriter

What is a ghostwriter?

I’ve learned it is a rather unusual concept for many people, so I wanted to clarify a few points.

Let’s start with a basic definition: Ghostwriters are professional writers who write for other people.

Who hires a ghostwriter?

Most of my clients are business men and women who don’t have the time to write a book themselves, but have something important to share. Many want to share their personal life story, while others want a business book to teach others what they know. Sometimes people want to write a best-selling novel and need a little help.

Who owns the book in the end?

Ghostwriters hand over the rights to the book when the project is completed and become a “ghost.” Sometimes, we get a “with” credit on the cover or an acknowledgement inside, but other times we are sworn to secrecy.

What do ghostwriters write?

I have been hired to write many books and articles. Sometimes, people need help with blog articles, too. I enjoy helping my clients find their writer’s voice!

It might surprise you the varied requests I receive. One client hired me to write a letter to an older gentleman who was on his death bed, while another asked me to pen a letter to the editor regarding a highly controversial subject.

Ghostwriters are most often asked to write books. Some specialize in a particular genre, while others write books in many different genres. I have written fiction, memoirs and prescriptive nonfiction (which are typically how-to books).

Isn’t it unethical to take credit for a book written by a ghostwriter?

No, not at all! It would be if you stole my work (that is, if you took my words without my permission). That’s plagiarism. This is different, because they are your ideas and you’re hiring a ghostwriter to present them.

My clients and I usually have a contract, where we spell out the details of the relationship. It’s always very clear that the book goes to the author, the person hiring the ghostwriter. Yes, you ARE the author. Without you, there would be no book.

Are some of the bestselling books really ghostwritten?

Yes! I just read a figure that states an estimated forty percent of published books are ghostwritten. It makes sense. Most people either don’t have the time to write a book, since they take hundreds of hours a piece to write!

Okay, now for a pop quiz…

What is a ghostwriter?

A. A writer who writes scary stories.

B. A recently deceased writer who completes a book postmortem.

C. A person who writes for someone else.

D. Casper!

If you have an answer E, please email me and let me know!

Find out more about ghostwriting services here.

Additional articles you might find helpful:

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

How to Find a Ghostwriter

Pricing  a Ghostwriter

Working with a Ghostwriter – What steps should you take?