A Ghostwriter’s Fee: How Do They Charge?

 “How does a ghostwriter get paid?”

This is a hot topic! There seems to be a mystery about the subject, so I thought I’d tackle it for you, upfront, head on, so that you can be armed with knowledge before reaching out to talk to a ghostwriter.

If you’d like a more specific breakdown on fees for ghostwriting a book, please read my article on the subject.

This article will highlight how a ghostwriter’s fee can be calculated. There are a few ways and it depends on the project, but here are the most popular methods:

Hourly

This is how I started, because many professionals charge by the hour. However, for writing, it isn’t always terribly practical. Most clients want to know how much a project will cost. They don’t want to be caught off guard. Today, I do sometimes charge on an hourly basis, when it makes sense, such as for a consulting fee. My hourly fee is $145 per hour, but I’ve seen other professionals charge $65 to $250 per hour.

Per Page

I’ve never charged on a per page basis, but know that some writers do. It is hard to calculate because the word count per page really depends on the page layout and font used. On average, you can consider that there are 250 words per page, so it is possible to make this calculation.

Per Word

Having tried a number of methods, this is the one I like best. There is no room for doubt or question. Researching prices, I’ve seen professional writers charge $0.50 to $3 per word. Personally, I charge a dollar per word.

Per project

When I bid on a book, I will always bid on the project, but base it on the number of words the client anticipates the work to be. For a full length book, I would charge anywhere from $50,000 to $120,000.

There are other incentives you can offer your ghostwriter, in order to negotiate the best price. Here are a few you might consider:

  • A percentage of the back end: Never ask a professional ghostwriter to work solely for a percentage of the back end (royalties). It’s not something a reputable writer would do. However, a student, who wishes to gain experience, might jump at such an offer. I will sometimes work out a deal where I get a percentage of sales on top of my fee, but in those cases, I agree to help with marketing and promotional ideas. These are not within the purview of a typical ghostwriter, but I love working on this aspect of projects.
  • A cover credit: Most often my clients do not want to share the cover credit with me. They prefer that I remain a ghost in the process. Some will give me a quiet acknowledgment on the opening pages, but others ask me never to share that I had anything to do with the book. That is their right, one I respect fully. However, some will offer me the coveted “with” credit on the cover. It lets the world know the author hired me to ghostwrite for them.

In addition, it is always nice to present your ghostwriter with a written testimonial at the end of the project. I have gathered a collection now, which you can see on my testimonial page.

Please feel free to email me anytime with questions. I know this area can be confusing. I’m here to help!

Additional articles you might find helpful:

Hire a Ghostwriter to Record Your Family History for Future Generations

It’s Good Business to Write a Book

Four Different Ghostwriting Methods

What You Need in a Ghostwriting Contract

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Ghostwriter?

I Want To Hire A Ghostwriter, But Don’t Have Any Money…

I really enjoy talking to people about their book concepts. After all, I’ve worked with dozens of clients over the last sixteen years and have had the privilege of writing their books with them. It is wonderfully rewarding!

Some prospective clients have very good ideas and just need help. However, occasionally there are those calls which frustrate me beyond belief. One occurred the other day…

I was right in the middle of the last chapter of a memoir I was ghostwriting for a client when the phone rang. Normally, I don’t like to be interrupted while writing as it breaks my creative flow, but I worried that it might be a writer with a question, so I picked up (I also coach budding writers from time to time).

“Hello?” I asked.

“Is this Laura Sherman?” the young woman asked, her voice slightly demanding.

Oh my… It wasn’t a good start. I was brought up to identify myself on the phone and dislike it when people don’t bother to give their name before asking me for mine.

“Yes, it is,” I said, with a sigh. I wasn’t in the mood to correct her. At least the woman didn’t seem like a telephone solicitor.

“I want to hire a ghostwriter to write my book, because I just don’t have the time to write it myself.”

“That makes sense,” I said. She had voiced a common plea. Most of my clients are busy executives, with very little extra time. “And to whom am I speaking?” (hint hint)

She paused for a moment, probably weighing the pros and cons of telling me her name. “Joyce.” (Okay, that wasn’t really her name, but I’m a ghostwriter, so I can embellish.)

“Hello, Joyce,” I said. “What’s your book about?”

“My life story,” was all she offered. “What are the steps involved with hiring someone to write my book.”

I gave her a brief overview of how the process works, letting her know it would probably require a couple dozen interviews, spread out over a ten month period. I explained how it takes a ghostwriter hundreds of hours to write a book. She asked a few more questions then got to the big one.

“So, how much will it cost?”

“How long will your book be?”

“About two hundred pages,” she said.

“I charge a dollar per word,” I said. “So, I’d charge $50,000. What’s your budget?”

“I don’t know. I don’t have a lot of money to spend.”

Just what every ghostwriter wants to hear. “Well, how much did you want to spend?”

“I don’t know, maybe a thousand dollars? I know that probably isn’t enough, right?”

“No, it isn’t,” I agreed. No one can charge a thousand dollars for ten months work, not even starving ghostwriters. However, I always like to try to help everyone who contacts me.  “Look, I know a few editors who are looking to branch out into writing. If you’re interested in writing a short, one-hundred page book, I could talk to one of them about maybe coming down to ten thousand dollars. That’s low, but possible.”

“I don’t have that kind of money.”

“Then you’ll probably need to write the book yourself,” I said. “If you did manage to find someone willing to write your book for a thousand dollars, it probably wouldn’t come out well. Then you’d be stuck hiring someone else to rewrite it.”

She then asked me what would happen after the book was written and I gave her a rundown on what an author needs to do to sell a book, such as creating and maintaining marketing websites.

“I’m not good with computers, so I can’t do any of that,” she said.

“You’ll need to learn,” I said. My bluntness sometimes gets me into trouble, but I find it’s better to be upfront than beat around the bush. “Even if you get a publisher, you’ll need to do your own marketing.”

“So, how can I find a ghostwriter?”

“As I said, if you’re able to scrape together ten thousand dollars, I can ask around for you.”

“But that would be for a good writer,” she replied. “What if I just wanted to find a writer who will do it for one thousand dollars?”

I have to admit I was speechless for a moment. Finally, I tried to repeat that anyone willing to write a book for a thousand dollars wasn’t someone she’d want to hire, but she cut me off and said, “OK, thank you!” and hung up.

Moral of the story: If you’re serious about writing a book, you will find a way. Either by hiring a good, qualified ghostwriter or by making the time to write it yourself.

Now, if you’ve read this article and you are interested in hiring a ghostwriter, I would love to hear from you. I charge $50,000 for a 200-page (50,000 word) book. Am I within your budget?

Writers, Please Put off Procrastinating Promptly!

I speak to potential authors every day. So many people have a dream to become a published writer. More than not, they are passionate about their books, but ultimately decide to put off starting their projects.

Why?

The list of reasons is endless. The content of the excuses is unique to the writer, but themes are usually frighteningly similar. Too busy, too broke, too preoccupied with some facet of life…

One for one, the clients who hire me to ghostwrite for them are the ones who make a firm decision and don’t let the quirky whims of life sway them. Take charge people end up with a published book in their hands.

After all, I take the hard work off their plates, as well as the hundreds of hours it takes to complete a well-written book. I only really need my clients to spare an hour or two a week to help me complete their project. Sometimes less.

Don’t get me wrong, the reasons not to write a book might be quite valid. If you don’t have a story to tell, wisdom to share, or a passion to help others, it’s probably best not to embark on a writing adventure. Complaining about how unfair life has been to you will never make a good book. Sorry.

However, if you have a good idea and have been stewing over your book for the last year, it’s probably time to do something about it. Or have you been pondering your book concept for two, three…ten years? Come on, when will be the right time?

If you think about your future book on a regular basis, but haven’t taken the first step, please stop procrastinating immediately and do something to further this important long-term goal. If you have a reasonable budget and are ready to start, feel free to contact me. Just to warn you, I’m often booked, but if the project is enticing enough, I might be able to squeeze you in. I’m an outside-the-box thinker and am here to help. If I’m not the best writer for you, I’ll do my best to find someone who is.

I want to help you finish your book!

Whatever you do, don’t sit for a minute longer and carefully consider the wisdom of taking a tentative step forward. Leap, my friend! Leap into the wonderful world of creativity and become a published author!

Additional articles you might find helpful:

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

Should I Write and Publish My Memoir?

Questions for a Ghostwriter

It’s Good Business to Write a Book!

Four Different Ghostwriting Methods

Why You Should Become an Author

After talking to many people, it seems clear that most want to write at least one book within their lifetime. It makes sense! For some, it’s a burning passion that can only be satisfied by completing the goal. Just thinking about the idea or being stuck in the middle of a book project is very unfulfilling, isn’t it?

Most people don’t desire to write a book because they crave fame and fortune. Instead, it’s more like they have something important to say and want to share that message with an audience, whether it be their memoir, useful information in their particular field, or a just fantastical story. Many people have a communication they wish heard.

However, while most everyone has something to say, many don’t have the time or skills necessary to put a book together.

That’s where I come in. As a ghostwriter, it’s my job to do what I can to help.

I speak from experience when I say that you will gain a sense of pride and self-confidence that’s unparalleled when you publish your first book. There’s nothing like seeing your name in print and getting reviews of praise from readers.

If you decide to tackle your book project yourself, my advice is to write from the heart and focus on helping others through your message. Your book will stay with readers long after they’ve finished it, influencing their lives and the lives of those they talk to about your book.

Perhaps you’ve already started on your book, but haven’t been able to finish it due to time constraints or writer’s block. Whatever the reason, don’t give up! You’ll run the risk of leaving an important life goal hanging in limbo, not to mention all the lives that could have been influenced through your message.

If you’re reading my blog, you’re most likely one of the many people who yearn to see their words in print, to see their name on a book cover. If so, then I urge you to find a way to complete your book. Too many people let the dream of being an author go unfulfilled.

I’ve ghostwritten nearly twenty books and have personally authored one, Chess Is Child’s Play – Teaching Techniques That Work. When I receive notes from readers about my book, it brightens my day tremendously. There’s nothing else like it! It’s wonderfully rewarding.

Whether you’re just getting started or already several chapters deep, if you find yourself stuck, let me know! I’d like to help in any way I can, be it offering writing tips and tricks, helping with self-publishing, editing or proofreading, or taking on your book project to free up your time. I have a large network of talented writers, editors, and proofreaders and can help find the perfect match for you.

Feel free to email me any time. I’m here to help!

Additional articles you might find helpful:

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

Should I Write and Publish My Memoir?

Questions for a Ghostwriter

It’s Good Business to Write a Book!

Four Different Ghostwriting Methods

Four Different Ghostwriting Methods

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

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. After all, in the end, my client is my writing partner, and each relationship is quite different.

If you’re interested in hiring a ghostwriter, please write me and tell me which method makes the most sense to you.

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!

If you’re interested in learning more about what a ghostwriter charges, please review my article on the subject.

Additional articles you might find helpful:

It’s Good Business to Write a Book

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

Writing and Publishing Your book

Do you have a great book idea?

Having talked to many people over the last decade or so, I have heard a lot of excellent book concepts. Some clients want to write their exciting life story while others have a good how-to book in mind. And many have a fictional story they want to share.

It seems to me, the place where many of them fall short is the follow-through. Coming up with the idea is one thing, but writing your book then getting it published takes some dedication and know-how.

One of the top questions I routinely receive is, “How do I publish a book?” So, I wanted to address this topic for those of you who may have the same question. Basically, there are two main choices:

  1. Find an agent, who will help you find a publisher.
  2. Self-publish your book.

So, how do you know which is the best option for you?

Well, if your story has been featured heavily in the news for the last few months or you are a top celebrity, you probably want to hire an agent and find a publisher. It won’t be hard and you might get an advance (money paid by the publisher when the contract is signed, which is paid against future sales of your book). They will take over the publishing process for you, so all you really need to worry about is writing your book.

However, if you fall into the category that most people do, where you have an excellent fiction or nonfiction book concept, but you aren’t a household name, you’re probably better off self-publishing your book. You can always try to find a publisher, but they will need to see that you have an excellent marketing plan with a proven track record in sales, before they will invest with you.

Many people don’t realize that publishers expect their authors to sell their own books. Authors need to be out there, very visibly, making an impact with their readers. Action is key.

Today, self-publishing is a good, viable option.

When you self-publish, you will need to market and sell your book on your own, but here are a few tips:

  • Get a website going early on to promote your book.
  • Read up on how to self-publish and market your book.
  • Attach a blog to your website and blog as often as you can.
  • Guest blog on relevant sites.
  • Ask people to review your book and post these on their blogs and Amazon.com.
  • Always keep copies of your book in your car so you can sell it.

It’s also a good plan to set up avenues for selling your book. Some people do a lot of public speaking and lectures while others hold book-signings. There are various options. Get creative with it and enjoy the process!

However, the first step involves actually writing a book. So, what are you waiting for? Get started now!

Additional articles you might find helpful:

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

Should I Write and Publish My Memoir?

Questions for a Ghostwriter

It’s Good Business to Write a Book!

Four Different Ghostwriting Methods

Should I Write and Publish My Memoir?

writing a memoirBeing a ghostwriter, quite a few people have shared their ideas and dreams with me about writing a book. I become their fast confidant, which is a role I enjoy!

Many people who want to share their life story really aren’t sure how to go about starting.

Does this sound like you?

If so, here are a few questions to consider:

What makes a good memoir?

This is a question many people fail to ask themselves. A book that seeks revenge or shares a horrific upbringing as its theme would be a book that shouldn’t be written. Only write your book if you would still be proud of it in five years.

Here are some elements to think about as you consider writing a memoir, whether it’s for posterity or for all to read:

Will my book uplift others? Really, at the end of the day, you want to create a book that will inspire others toward greatness. You want to encourage them to live their lives to the fullest, and learn from your experiences.

Do I have an interesting story to tell? A story is made up a series of incidents tied together by an overall theme. These incidents flow on a path, which follows a message and purpose. If you really only have an anecdote, even if it is hilarious, moving, or powerful, it isn’t enough for a book. It could make a good short story though!

Is my story unique? If you have a powerful viewpoint and a story with lots of action, you have the makings of a riveting book. But it’s equally important that the author has done something which would intrigue and educate the reader. Adventures are fun, but when it comes to memoir readers expect to take something positive away from your life experiences. They want to learn from your example.

Should I self-publish?

If you’re a celebrity or have been the topic of a strong news story recently, you might be able to write a good proposal, find an agent and get a good contract with a publisher. Otherwise, it’s unlikely (but not impossible) that you will land a decent publishing contract. And keep in mind that this process takes time and can be difficult. In addition, if you’re a first time author, don’t expect to get an advance. Most likely you’ll receive a 10% royalty, which will only kick in once the book starts selling and that could be years later.

In this day and age, especially with the advent of eBooks, you can do very well as a self-published author. You’ll have to learn a little about the industry, but if you can pull together a marketing plan, you can sell your book on Amazon.com and other popular retailers.

Should I hire a ghostwriter?

The answer really boils down to time, money, and skill. Writing a book on your own takes time and skill, but will save you a lot of money. Hiring a ghostwriter will alleviate your concerns over time and skill, but will cost you money upfront.

These are the top questions I receive from readers and clients specifically regarding writing memoirs. I’d really encourage you to explore your goals in writing a book. If your purpose is to help others, you will probably do well.

If you have a question that I haven’t covered here, please feel free to email me! I’d love to help you. If you’d like to learn more about pricing, please check out my article on the subject.

Additional articles you might find helpful:

Questions for a Ghostwriter

Seven Tips For Writing A Great Memoir

It’s Good Business to Write a Book

Four Different Ghostwriting Methods

What Are Good Memoir Themes?

Many people don’t consider that there should be memoir themes. Memoirs are just life stories, right? But just like with any story, your memoir should have a message, an overall theme. Remember, you’re not publishing your diary or a shopping list of memories. Your memoir needs to follow the same rules as any book, so you must be able to tie the threads of your tapestry together with a compelling theme.

So, what are some good themes for a memoir? Here are a few examples to consider:

Persistence always wins in the end

If you’ve lived a hard life, one with lots of obstacles to overcome, this can be a great theme if you’ve triumphed. However, if you’re still amid the battle and really don’t have anything positive to share, or wish to complain to your reader, it won’t make for a good book. I mean, would you want to read a book like that?

Continual courage can lead to victory

We have all experienced battles where the odds seemed against us. It’s what you do at those moments that count and can make for a good story. If your life is filled with examples of courage and integrity, that would be a great theme.

Family is important

This is a simple theme, but a good one. In this day and age, where the media reports that most marriages fail and children are growing up without the support and love of their parents, a good memoir showing the beautiful bond of family is important. Simply recording your family history for future generations is also a great concept!

Ethical people lead better lives

If your story highlights times when you stood up and did the right thing, even when it was difficult for you, your story can set an example for others. It isn’t always easy to keep your integrity, especially when peers are there pressuring you to do the opposite. Writing a book that shows how you succeeded by being ethical can help others make similar choices in their own lives. Perhaps someone will pick up your book when they’re at an important crossroad in their life and just need a gentle nudge to make the right decision.

Crime doesn’t pay

I actually receive a number of requests from former inmates who are eager to share their stories of reform. The ones who are passionate about this subject, who regularly go out and speak to young adults can do well with a complementary memoir. It might be rough in places and won’t always be happy-go-lucky, but the lessons learned by someone who has traveled the wrong path can be helpful to others. This theme works best if the author is presently leading a successful and ethical life.

There are many more good and valid themes to choose from. Really, you just need to look at the effect your story could have on others. If it uplifts and inspires them, go for it! Write your book! However, if you think that your story will depress people, make them less enthusiastic about life in any way, well, perhaps now isn’t quite the time to pen your memoir.

If you’re in the market for a ghostwriter, please contact me. I’d love to chat with you about your memoir project!

Additional articles you might find helpful:

Questions for a Ghostwriter

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

Seven Tips For Writing A Great Memoir

A Ghostwriter’s Fee: How Do They Charge?

Working With A Ghostwriter – What Steps Should You Take?

What You Need in a Ghostwriting Contract

Ghostwriting ContractIt’s always a good idea to have a good, clear ghostwriting contract. That way you and the writer know what to expect and there can’t be misunderstandings down the line.

If you’re a professional writer, I highly recommend you hire a lawyer to create a good basic template that you can adjust depending on the parameters of a particular project. It’s well worth the cost to make sure your contract says what you think it says!

While some projects are so small they don’t really require a contract, it’s still a good idea to put everything you agree on in writing in some fashion. An email can sometime suffice.

As you put together your contract template, here are a few basic components to consider:

Dates

The first paragraph of my contract includes my name and the name of the client, as well as the effective date of the contract. Later, I include the four major milestones, along with their deadlines.

The four milestones I use in my ghostwriting contract are:

• The completion of the outline.

• The first half of the first draft.

• The completion of the first draft.

• The final manuscript.

Price

Because I use four milestones, I like to break up the payments into four parts. My policy is to be paid ahead of the writing, but you can come to any sort of agreement that works for you.

Set the total price for the service then include the payments for each segment in your contract. For instance, if your total price is $30,000, the compensation for each segment would be $7,500, if you use my four milestone approach.

Expected Length

Most ghostwriters charge on a per word basis, so the contract should specify how many words the author should expect to receive. Most clients think in terms of pages, but that can change depending on the font style and size chosen. I like to include the agreed-upon word count along with a rough page estimate for clarity.

It’s a good rule of thumb to consider that there are 250 words per page, so a 200 page manuscript should run about 50,000 words.

A Description of the Project

If possible, you might include the genre or a rough description of the book in the contract, along with the title. This description doesn’t need to be long.

Ghostwriter Services

It’s important to mention the specifics of the service expected. For instance, as a ghostwriter, I can’t promise that the book will be published. I also don’t create the cover design or work on layout. I also don’t provide illustrations or photographs.

My job is to create a well-written manuscript that is as error free as I can get it. I work with a few proofreaders and editors to produce an as near-perfect product as possible. I think it’s important to have a number of eyes review the final document before turning it over to the client.

Copyrights

It’s important to address copyright issues in your ghostwriting contract, making it clear that the client will own all the rights to the final work. They are the author. It’s their book and they can publish it in any form they desire. As a ghostwriter, I own no claim or rights to the work.

Revisions

It’s to be expected that the client will have revisions for the ghostwriter as pieces are submitted. However, if the number of revision requests isn’t specified, the process can be endless.

Personally, I allow the client one set of revisions per milestone, but will of course make minor revisions along the way. Since we always work off of a detailed outline, there shouldn’t be any drastic changes during the revision process.

Confidentiality

Sometimes a client requires confidentiality because of the nature of the project. Perhaps the ideas are unique and cutting edge or the author simply doesn’t want anyone to know he or she had help writing their book. If this is the case for your project, include a confidentiality clause within the contract.

Things That Could Go Wrong

Most likely everything will go smoothly throughout the process, but it’s always good to put in a clause covering what happens if one party wants to terminate the agreement prematurely.

In addition, consider limiting the damages and agreeing to arbitration to resolve all disputes.

A ghostwriting contract is something you’ll need for any large project. It shouldn’t be taken lightly as it could save you from unnecessary headaches in the future. If you have any questions or concerns, please consult a lawyer. It’s worth the investment!

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?

A Ghostwriter’s Fee: How Do They Charge?

Eight Reasons Why You Should Write a Book

Questions for a Ghostwriter

how much is a ghostwriterAre you interested in hiring a ghostwriter?

If so, you probably have a few questions. After all, hiring a ghostwriter isn’t an everyday activity!

Throughout the years, I’ve discussed various topics in this blog, so when appropriate I’ll refer you to those articles to help clarify some of the answers.

How much does a ghostwriter cost?

This is by far the number one question I receive. Most people honestly have no idea how much a professional writer charges. It’s a little like going to an art gallery and asking the owner for a price on a painting you like. It might only be twenty dollars or it could be up to twenty thousand.

I know the topic of money can be uncomfortable for some, so I’ve written a two articles about this subject:

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Ghostwriter?

A Ghostwriter’s Fee: How Do They Charge?

The simple answer is that you can expect to pay anywhere from ten thousand to seventy-five thousand dollars for a hundred to three hundred page book. Anything less and you’re hiring someone with little or no experience.

How long does it take to write a book?

Ghostwriters usually budget between four months and two years to write a book. Personally, I ask for six to eight months to write a full-length book, although I might be able to complete it faster. Some projects require extra research and interviews, so I like to leave some buffer room. Having said that, if a client needs it sooner, I do what I can to accommodate their schedule.

Does a ghostwriter publish books? Do they edit?

The main job of a ghostwriter is to write your book, in your voice and style, with your information and ideas. While some ghostwriters do edit, not all are trained editors. For instance, I’m not. And most ghostwriters and editors are not publishers.

Here is an article I wrote that breaks down the jobs of writing professionals in detail:

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

Do ghostwriters ever work for a percentage of the sales of the book (royalties)?

No. Professional writers are always paid upfront.

Does it upset you that, even though you wrote the book, someone else gets all the credit?

I’m asked this a lot. My answer is no, it really doesn’t bother me at all. That seems to surprise some people.

In reality, I see the book as my client’s baby. That would make me the midwife. Yes, I work hard to deliver the book, but the author is the one who came up with the idea, who provided all the information. It really is their book.

I love writing books for other people, helping them fulfill their lifelong dream!

Sometimes people ask me if the whole concept of ghostwriting is ethical. I wouldn’t be in this business if I felt it was wrong. Here’s an article I wrote about that subject:

Is Ghostwriting Ethical?

What kind of books do you write?

I love writing most genres. I have written quite a few prescriptive nonfiction books (how-to books), novels, and memoirs. I specialize in uplifting books that help, inspire, or teach others.

For an example of prescriptive nonfiction, check out my book, Chess Is Child’s Play: Teaching Techniques That Work.

For an example of a memoir I ghostwrote, please review, Joshua’s Missing Peace.

How do you get the information needed to write a book for a client?

Every client is different. That’s part of the fun! I often get hundreds of pages of notes, which can be in the form of a very rough draft. Although the book needs to be completely rewritten, the notes are very helpful.

Sometimes a client doesn’t like to write or research, so I need to interview the person extensively. This usually requires about thirty to fifty hours.

In addition, I always double and triple check everything using the internet, the library, and book stores. It’s important to verify information.

I hope this article has helped answer some of the questions you may have had about ghostwriters. If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me and let me know. I’ll do my best to answer them!

Additional articles you might find helpful:

Writing Nonfiction – A Niche Area of Expertise

Seven Tips For Writing A Great Memoir

Why Should I Hire a Ghostwriter?

When You Shouldn’t Write Your Memoir

Working With A Ghostwriter – What Steps Should You Take?