A good friend recently asked me, “Hey, Laura, what’s it like to be a ghostwriter? How does the world of ghostwriting work? How do clients find you?” I loved the questions. Thank you, David.
What is a ghostwriter?
Ghostwriters are simply writers who write for a client, but don’t receive any credit for their work. These ethereal creatures are rarely seen. We work hard so you look good.
Over the years, a lot of people have asked me if I mind that I don’t get a cover credit. No, I’m cool with it. Why? Because I love to write. I love being part of the process for another author. It is an honor for me.
Now, I am also an author, with my own published works, so I don’t crave seeing my name on the cover of a book. I’ve experienced that joy!
What’s it like to be a ghostwriter?
Truly. Each project I work on is a fresh new adventure. Sure, some themes are similar to others, but no two authors have the same experience or the same message. In addition, each author brings their own unique perspective to the project.
I’m the kind of person who gets very wrapped up in my projects. I am fully engaged and learn a lot about the subject matter so that I become an expert in that field for the year or two it takes me to finish the book.
What do ghostwriters write?
There are many kinds of ghostwriters. Some specialize in screenplays, while others only pen memoirs. A number write novels or only write niche-market how-to booklets. Then again, many focus on ghostwriting articles.
I’ve ghostwritten about thirty books. Some are short stories, while others are over 400 pages in length. Most are memoirs.
I look for content when choosing my next project. I only work on books with positive messages which will help the author’s readers in some meaningful way. I also look for clients I can work with and who can easily communicate their ideas to me.
There’s a special bond that forms between me and my clients; I can’t explain it, but it is apparent when it is there.
How do clients find me?
Before I had a website, clients would just find a way to reach out to me, usually through word of mouth or some bizarre and extraordinary set of circumstances. Honestly, the whole process seemed magical!
Nowadays, most of my clients come in through my blog articles. They search the internet looking for help and find my page. When my clients find my website, something resonates for them and they stop shopping around and contact me.
I try to answer most emails that come my way, even if I know the writer can’t afford me or the project isn’t a good fit for me. If I believe I can help the person, I’ll reply.
Flexibility is key
A good ghostwriter is flexible. We have to be, because we work with a slew of different personalities and creative voices. The style and feel of one book will be different from another. It has to have the voice and spirit of the author to be authentic.
The needs of my clients also vary. Some wish a book written very quickly, while others require a lot of time to collaborate. Each relationship I have with an author is unique and I work hard to make the process enjoyable for each person.
I hope I’ve been able to shed some light on what’s it like to be a ghostwriter. If you need help and wish to chat with me, please feel free to reach out to me! I’d love to help you write your book.