Ask a Ghostwriter: Beginning to Write a Book

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Dear Friendly Ghostwriter, I’ve never hired a ghostwriter, and I have no idea how I go about any of this, but I really would like to write a book on my life. Please could you give me some advice on how I even start the process, and also, I’m not very good with writing so I’m not sure I’d be able to write it myself. – Tony

Dear Tony, Your question is very common and makes sense. I can understand why the ghostwriting process might seem to be a bit of a mystery. I’ll tell you, whenever I take on a new client, the process is unique, because the author and written content are unique. However, I can share with you a few aspects that seem to occur with every book project I’ve worked on for the last two decades.

Basically, there are three phases: research and outlining, first draft, and editing. I go over these in more detail in my article called “What to Expect When Hiring a Ghostwriter,” if you’d like to read up on them.

As a first step, your ghostwriter will need to collect all the information required to write your book. In the case of a fictional novel, that could simply be understanding your core idea (which might not be time consuming). However, with a memoir, your writer will need to know everything about your life that is relevant to the book. This takes time and can be done in different ways. One is for the writer to interview you in person or on the phone. However, I find it is far more effective for the client to send me a lot of written notes (in rough form). After I study these carefully, I can follow up with emails and phone calls if I need more information or any clarification.

Please understand, when you hire a ghostwriter, you don’t need to write the book; you just need to provide notes. All your notes will be rewritten, so don’t worry about spelling and grammar. Now, some people prefer to work with the ghostwriter and write their book alongside them. That works, too! Again, each relationship is unique, but never feel you have to be a good writer to hire a ghost.

Photo by Aubrey Rose Odom on Unsplash

Dear Friendly Ghostwriter, I need help and inspiration in surpassing the first eight pages of my book. I am sooo stuck… It feels as if I’m writing the same thing over and over, so I delete and delete, while continuously whittling my pages away. Also, I am constantly unsure of my grammar and punctuation. Any help is appreciated! –  Ennayt

Dear Ennayt, Stuck in the mud? You know, I hear this a lot! You’re not alone; not by a long shot. The fact is, a lot of new writers make the mistake of cutting out words, then pages, as they produce their first draft. It’s important to let yourself go and just write. I implore you not to waste any time (and words) editing in the beginning. Allow yourself the freedom to create! Trust me, once you get to the end of your first draft, you’ll be better equipped to sculpt your draft into a book.

I’d also recommend that you not worry about grammar in this phase. Just let the words pour out of your mind onto the page. If you’re interested in learning more about the English language, I’d recommend reading a simple grammar book or checking out an online source like Grammar Girl. Start by learning one rule, then applying it. Then select another and so forth. Take it step by step. You may just find the learning process fun!

Dear Friendly Ghostwriter, I would like to write an autobiography/screen play. This is something I have thought about for many years, but I’m extremely nervous how to approach this because of safety issues. I am not sure where to start. I would appreciate a consultation if possible. – Gen

Dear Gen, You bring up an excellent point. Honestly, I do think you have a right to be concerned. Once you put your story out there, you can’t take it back. I believe there are many instances when it just isn’t wise for someone to write their memoir. And it isn’t always safe.

Another point to consider is how a book will affect the people in your life. When writing a memoir, your characters are real people. They might not like what you have to say about them and if it isn’t handled correctly, the whole situation can blow up.

I always advise my clients to hide the people in the book as much as possible. For instance, it’s fine to change their names and physical appearances. The story will still be true even if the details are changed to protect the people involved.

Thank you all for your questions! Please feel free to write more in the comment section below or write me privately and I’ll do my best to answer!

Do You Need Help Writing a Book?

Many people have a great story idea, but need help writing a book. It takes discipline and experience to write a book that others will want to read (and can’t put down). If you’re not a professional writer, that doesn’t mean you have to abandon the idea you have of sharing your story with the world. You have options:

Improve your writing skills

You’ve decided to write the book yourself. That’s wonderful! Now it is time to gain experience. Write and write and write, and then write some more. It will probably take you a few hundred thousand words to find your own voice.

What should you write?

Anything and everything!

Keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings. Describe objects in your home or people you know. Record family stories or funny incidents that happen to you. Write a love letter to your partner. Jot down that silly bedtime story you made up for your child. The more you write, the easier you will find it to get the ideas out of your head and down on paper.

It is a good idea to read books on how to write. These will teach you basic techniques that will allow you to bring your thoughts to life.

And definitely read the works of other authors. Notice how they tackle challenging scenes. How do they approach dialogue? How do they incorporate descriptions? When you find a passage you particularly like, dissect it and see how they were able to communicate their vision to you.

Now that you have improved your writing skills, tackle that story! For more information on how to get started writing your book, check out my Ask a Ghostwriter series.

Hire a writing coach

If you want to write your own book, but feel you don’t have the experience and skill set to do so, you can hire a writing coach. This person’s job will be to provide guidance as you navigate your project. With this option, you will still do all the writing; you’ll just have a guardian angel on your shoulder.

Find a successful writer to coach you. If she has never written a book, she is unlikely to know the process and will not be able to guide you in the right direction.

It’s a good idea to lay out your writing goals early on. Share them with your coach and ask her to keep you accountable for them.

Of course, it goes without saying that you’ll need to pay them for their time. I charge $145 per hour to coach.

Hire a Ghostwriter

If you’d rather hire someone else to completely write your book then simply make comments or edits on their work, find a good ghostwriter to help you. Of course, this is the most expensive choice, but it’s also the least time consuming one. Having said that, you’ll need to put in time providing important research information in the beginning and definitely earmark time to review the work as it is written.

If you have limited time and a low budget, you might consider hiring a ghostwriter to write a novella. A novella is a shorter book, usually about 100 pages long, and will only run $25,000.

Once you have your finished book, plan to spend a little extra money on an editor to polish it up and do your proofreading. Personally, I include editing in my pricing (and always hire an outside professional to read my book with an expert eye), but not all ghostwriters do.

So, as you see, there are options for you to get help writing your book. If you need help sorting through these choices, please don’t hesitate to email me for a consultation!

Ask a Ghostwriter: Please Write a Book about My Life

i want someone to write a book about my life

Dear Friendly Ghostwriter, I want someone to write a book about my life. I’ve experienced so much, and I feel others could benefit from reading my story. There have been a lot of ups and downs, but I’ve come through and have a good life now. People are always telling me that I should write a book, so I’m reaching out to you. I don’t have the time and frankly, don’t have the experience needed. I need help! – R.W.

R.W. I’ll tell you, each week, I get at least three letters that paraphrase this sentiment. There are variations to this request, but the plea is basically the same. Help, help, I want someone to write my book!

I hear you!

I’m here to help.

I can’t always respond to everyone who writes, but here are a few ways you can be sure to catch my attention.

Have an uplifting angle

Trust me, no one wants to read a book about how horrible a life has been. While the story could be completely true, it will make reader feel awful (and sometimes squeamish). In addition, there will be no progression of the characters, which makes the book flat and boring.

Personally, I will only write meaningful stories, with good, uplifting endings. There is plenty of bad news in the world; I don’t need to add to it. It’s very rewarding for me when a reader walks away from reading a book I wrote with a new positive outlook and fresh approach to life.

I’ve ghostwritten a few books about the Holocaust, because I feel the survival stories are each important to share. I spoke to a woman the other day, who lives her life every day feeling grateful for being alive. She feels the weight of responsibility to make good decisions that help others. Shouldn’t we all feel that?

Research my website

I love it when authors write me and have done their homework. They have reviewed my website and want to hire me because they like how I write. I’ve written over a hundred blog articles, so if you want to get a feel for my writing style, my website is a great place to start.

I’ve also written over two dozen books, but unfortunately, you can’t read them. That’s because I always sign a confidentiality agreement with each client. After all, when you hire me, you’ll be the author and once we’re done, I’ll just be a ghost.

Still, I have two books that bear my name. Check them out. You don’t have to purchase them but can see a preview on Amazon. Yes, each client has a unique written voice, but it’s always wise to do a little research and become familiar with your ghostwriter’s writing skills.

Know what I charge

Take a moment and review my pricing. If you do, and I’m within your range, let me know. It saves us a lot of time. If you can’t afford me, but have a budget, be upfront about that. I can sometimes help you work something out with another writer.

I charge $50,000 for a 200-page (50,000 word) book. That works out to a dollar per word, so if you have a smaller budget, I can write a shorter book. Mini-eBooks are popular on Amazon, so that’s always an option.

Please understand that no matter how compelling your book is, I am not able to write it for free. It takes hundreds of hours to write a book!

I love working with new authors but am very selective about the books I write and the people I write with. My clients become my partners for the period we work together and most become good friends. It’s a special relationship, one I cherish.

If you’re saying to yourself, “I want someone to write a book about my life” email me and we’ll see what we can do to get started.

What To Expect When Hiring A Ghostwriter

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I’ve been ghostwriting for over fifteen years now. I tackle fiction, business books and memoirs and strive to always capture my client’s unique voice with every word. There really isn’t any genre that I can’t write for another author.

Having said that, I’m incredibly picky about the clients and the subject matter I take on. Why? Because I’m tied closely to that person and project for a long while. A book often takes a year to eighteen months to write, and my clients often become fast friends.

Who typically hires a ghostwriter?

When someone reaches out to me asking for help with their book, I can tell that they often have no idea what to expect when hiring a ghostwriter. I understand, as mine isn’t a common vocation. In fact, most people I speak to about my profession seem surprised to learn that people will actually hire someone else to write a book for them (then put their own name on that book). It’s done more often that many seem to realize and is completely ethical.

It’s not just the celebrities and politicians who reach out to hire a ghostwriter these days. Quite a few people hire me to write their life story simply to share their adventure with their descendants. In addition, many professionals seek out a professional writer who can put in the time and energy to put their vision on the page or bring their story to life. After all, it does take hundreds of hours to write a book. How many CEOs, visionaries, and entrepreneurs have that sort of spare time on their hands? And if they do, my bet is that they’d rather devote the weekends and evenings to their families and friends. Maybe travel a bit. Take on a new hobby.

What’s the cost?

No doubt about it, hiring a ghostwriter is an investment. I charge $25,000 per 100 pages. That’s about a dollar per word. While that might seem pricey, some ghostwriters run a quarter of a million dollars or more.

Plan to put 25% down and pay the rest as the book unfolds. Never ask a ghostwriter to accept a deferred payment; they could never run a business that way.

Who gets the credit?

Most often, the ghostwriter never receives any credit. We sign a Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA), swearing secrecy for the project. Now and then it might be in the best interests of the author to give the ghostwriter a writing credit (such as a “with” or a “as told to” tag on the cover). And some gracious clients will give a kind acknowledgment in the back of the book, thanking the writer for their assistance. I am always tremendously grateful for such a gift. However, I personally never expect a credit and am happy to remain the invisible ghost for the book.

How does ghostwriting work?

My clients really become new writing partners. Most will provide me with a lot of notes, which will help me form a good outline. Then we’ll chat on the phone until I have all the information I need. Each client is different, because each author has a unique story to tell and everyone has their own style. Some clients require hours of conversation, while others have very cohesive notes right from the start. The process is almost always different with each person.

What is the ghostwriting process?

When you’re hiring a ghostwriter, I’d say that the process can be broken up into three phases:

  1. The Research Phase: It’s hard to write a book without all the information upfront, so I like to dive in and immerse myself in the content before I begin writing. Once I have everything I need, I’ll write up an outline for the client. This will act as our road map for us for the entire process.
  2. The First Draft Phase: Once the outline is approved, I’ll write the first draft. I often send pages as I write the book, getting feedback and approval along the way. Not every ghostwriter works this way, but I find it works well. I wouldn’t want to finish the book only to realize I’d misunderstood a key element.
  3. The Editing Phase: After the first draft is approved by the client, I begin editing. I normally hire one or two editors to review the manuscript after I finish. The client is rarely involved in this stage as I would have already received all the feedback and comments in the previous phase.

It takes time

Hiring a ghostwriter makes writing a book simple and easy. However, I should warn you, it does require some time investment on the part of the author. Still, we’re taking dozens of hours rather than hundreds. Plan to spend a few hours a week answering questions and reviewing pages. Most clients find the process rewarding and, in the end, they always have a book with their name on it.

If you’re interested in hiring me, please email me, so we can put you on the calendar to get started as soon as possible.

Should I Hire A Ghostwriter?

377px-Albert_Anker_Mädchen_mit_SchiefertafelMany people have great ideas for a book. Usually, the concept has been with them for at least a decade, sometimes their whole life. It is a goal that burns deep within them, aching to be accomplished. Now, you might be asking yourself, “Why shouldn’t I just write the book myself? Why hire a ghostwriter?”

Here are ten good reasons why you should hire a ghostwriter to write your book:

Save time 

You just don’t have time to write a book right now. And “right now” will probably be “right now” in two weeks or two years. Most likely, if you can’t budget the time to complete your book now, things won’t change.

Popular authors hire ghostwriters

Many books that you know and love have been ghostwritten. Check it out on your favorite search engine. You may be surprised!

Gain experience

You may not have the experience needed to write your own book. It isn’t a matter of putting words down on a page. You need to be familiar enough with the rules of writing to know how to break them down creatively.

Avoid writing about painful subjects

You may be too close to the subject matter to be able to write about it. Approximately three quarters of the people who write to me, asking for help with their book, want to write their life story. Most get very emotional about the subject and can’t write objectively. They need help.

Discover new things about yourself

A ghostwriter is trained to interview you, pulling information from the depths of your memory. My clients routinely remark, “Wow, I’d completely forgotten all about that!” It’s a side gift I can give them.

Be an author of a well-written book

You get the benefit of a full author’s credit without having to put in the hundreds of hours needed to write a book people won’t want to put down. You’re the author. You own the rights to the story. It’s your name on the cover.

Write efficiently

You should get your book written as soon as possible. Why wait? There is no benefit to holding off, but there is a very real danger that someone else will come up with your idea and write the book themselves. If you write it yourself, it will take a few years, maybe more.

You will be a published author

Once your book is available to readers, you are a published author in every sense of the word. Your book will live forever, entertaining and educating your readers throughout future generations. It’s quite an achievement.

Receive great reviews

If you’ve been sitting on this book concept for a decade, you most likely want the book to be written correctly. How disappointing would it be to have the book released and get horrible reviews? Hiring a professional ghostwriter will give you a book that will make you proud!

Enjoy the process

The ghostwriting process is a lot of fun. You’ll enjoy watching the pages of your inspiration unfold before your eyes. Just imagine what it would be like to receive the first chapter of your book in your email’s inbox within a month. Go for it!

If you’d like to hire me, please contact me today and we’ll chat about your project!

Additional articles you might find helpful:

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

Tips For Writing Good Dialogue

Eight Reasons Why You Should Write A Book

A Ghostwriter’s Fee: How Do They Charge?

Do You Want To Write A Book About Your Life?

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

What Do I Need to Start with a Ghostwriter?

Are you planning to hire a ghostwriter? Or maybe you have signed the contract and are waiting to get started. After all, most popular ghostwriters book clients far in advance, giving them time to wrap up their current projects.

Clients often ask me what I need in order to get started with them.

Don’t try to prepare content on your own!

If you think about it, it doesn’t make any sense to hire a ghostwriter after you prepare the content. It’s a bit like mopping all the floors before a house cleaner arrives or repairing your car before taking it to the mechanic.

It’s much better to work with your hired writer right from the start. They can help guide you.

Most people hire me because they really don’t have any idea how to write a book. They need guidance in all aspects, which is natural. 

Unless you’ve written professionally, you probably don’t know how to structure the content of a book. There’s an art to putting together a book, one that I enjoy finding for each project.

How to present material to your ghostwriter

If you’ve researched material, definitely give that to your ghostwriter. Otherwise, start with the basics. Here are some things which should be easy to provide:

  • Diaries (especially for memoirs)
  • Blog posts you’ve written
  • Relevant newspaper articles
  • Links to websites that relate to your project
  • Any interviews you may have given

If you don’t have these items, your ghostwriter will help you collect them. Don’t wait until you have these in hand before you hire your writer. He or she will want to help direct you, informing you on what is relevant to your topic.

If you’re not quite ready to hire a ghostwriter

If you are waiting for funds to get started or are on the fence about hiring a ghostwriting, you can prepare by making a rough list of the incidents or elements you’d like to see in your book. Jot down notes about each key event, giving a brief explanation of each. Then, when you’re ready to begin, your ghostwriter can go over each of these pieces and help you organize them into a book. 

it’s important to know that you shouldn’t feel like you need to write your book before you hire a ghostwriter. It’s far better to hire your ghostwriter then work with them to collect data. Remember, research is all part of the ghostwriting process.

If you need help or wish to chat with a ghostwriter, email me. Review my testimonial page to learn more about my past projects.

Additional articles you might find helpful:

It’s Good Business to Write a Book

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

Is Ghostwriting Ethical?

A Ghostwriter’s Fee: How Do They Charge?

How To Find A Ghostwriter

Find a GhostwriterSo, you’ve got an epic book idea and you dream of getting it published, but you haven’t been able to find a way to complete it. Do you need help? Hiring a ghostwriter can certainly bring that dream to fruition, but it’s tough to know who to hire, who will be the person to see your project through to the end.

Just doing a search in Google for the term “ghostwriter” will provide a myriad of results. It can be a bit overwhelming if you have no clear plan of action in place. Here are a few tips to help you make sense of it all and find a ghostwriter to be your voice.

1.       Understand the different ghostwriting service providers. There are freelance sites like Elance and Guru, where you can find someone willing to do the job. They charge much less than the market generally demands, which may sound good, but should be a blaring warning sign. Consider if the average writer bids $15,000 to $60,000 to write a full length book, knowing that it takes six to eight months to write, how on earth can someone bid $500? There’s a reason for the low bid. If you hire someone in this ballpark, you will need to rewrite the book once it is delivered. After having experienced a low budget writer, most people are very willing to spend the money required to get an experienced and qualified expert to write their book.

2.       Establish your budget. As you search out the best ghostwriter for your project, discuss your budget early on in the conversation. I’ve noticed that some clients hesitate to tell me what they want to spend. Even if I love a project concept, I will not bid too low to get it. If you tell me upfront what you can spend, I can give you options and perhaps even find a writer for you within your range.

 3.       Check work samples. When reviewing a potential candidate, be sure to do your research and check their work samples and any books they may have published. There is no better indicator of the type of work someone can produce for you than the work they have already published. Professional writers have varying styles. Find a writer who writes in a style you and your readers would enjoy reading. If you don’t like the writer’s samples, chances are you won’t like how they tackle your book.

4.       Establish a rapport. Once you get through the initial stages of research and are drawn to a particular ghostwriter, take the time to talk to her. The writing process is a very bonding experience. Most likely, you’ll be immediately drawn to the right writer. If not, keep looking. It’s vital that you and she can communicate easily and well over the months to come.

5.       Start as soon as possible. Whenever a client puts off a project, it usually means it will never get done. It is rare that someone postpones for more than a month and then comes back to actually complete their book. If you want to write your book, understand it will take at least half a year, adding on a few months for the publishing process. When you consider that, now is a good time to start!

Finding a quality ghostwriter to deliver your book doesn’t have to be a haunting, I mean daunting task. I am always happy to give a free twenty minute consultation and answer all of your questions, giving you advice on the process.  I do also know many writers, so if you’re looking for something in particular, just let me know!

Additional articles you might find helpful:

Writing A Book Proposal

How To Write A Nonfiction Book

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

Working With A Ghostwriter – What Steps Should You Take?

Budget for a Ghostwriter

Are you interested in writing a book, but don’t know where to start? Feel free to contact me for some advice. You can also browse my blog for some of my thoughts on the subject. One of your first steps will be to determine your budget for a ghostwriter. As you probably know, ghostwriters aren’t cheap.

How much does it cost to hire a ghostwriter?

Honestly, you’ll find that fees vary quite a bit from writer to writer. People often write in or call, wondering how much they can expect to spend to hire someone to write their book for them. I like to be very direct about this.

An experienced ghostwriters will charge somewhere between $25,000 to $125,000 to ghostwrite a book. I run $50,000 for a 200 page book. That’s about a dollar per word.

If you get a bid that falls far below this estimate, ask a lot of questions and get a lot of references before you hire that person.

Can a ghostwriter write a book for free?

One of the top questions I get is, “Can you write for free?” or “What if I offer to split the profits with you?” The answer is simply, “No.” A professional writer will never accept these terms. It isn’t logical.

You might not realize it, but it takes 200 to 300 hours minimum to write a 200 to 300 page book (about 100 hours for 100 pages). Most likely your writer will need to interview you over the phone many times throughout the six to eight month period it takes to complete your project. Unless he or she is independently wealthy, they cannot afford to support their family without income.

Would you ask a roofer to fix your roof for free in the hope that you might sell your home and be able to pay him?

Would you expect to hire a dentist on a deferred basis to fix your teeth, hoping you might land a major film deal with those pearly whites?

I know that these examples are silly. But honestly, it’s a similar situation for a writer. If your book doesn’t sell, the writer won’t get paid for the months of work they did.

Consider writing a book proposal

If you have a limited budget, but have a book idea you feel will sell well, you can always opt to write a book proposal and pitch it to agents and publishers. This is a much less expensive route to take. Then you can take the proceeds from the advance and hire a writer.

The cost of a book proposal should be about $10,000 and will include:

  • A table of contents
  • An outline
  • Your biography
  • Two sample chapters
  • A marketing analysis.

Choosing the right ghostwriter

When you budget for ghostwriter, you will want to treat the process like any other major purchase. Consider your bids and don’t always jump at the lowest one. Instead, interview each candidate and check their testimonials and experience. Ask for a few samples of their work and make sure their writing style matches your needs.

One good option I strongly suggest is that you hire a few writers to write a sample for you. Test them out and see which writer is best for you. Find out which one can really capture your voice.

Hire an editor

If after reading this article, you realize that you really don’t have the money to hire someone to write a book, my suggestion is that you do your best to write it yourself. When you have a completed manuscript, you can hire an editor to help you polish it. Editors run four to ten cents per word, which is much less than a ghostwriter. Keep in mind though, that if you want your book rewritten, you are no longer looking to hire an editor. You’ll need a ghostwriter.

You can write a book yourself and sell it as an eBook. It can be any length and you can sell it for any amount. There are many options available for you, many ways to get your story out there.

If you think a ghostwriter is the way to go, please email me and I can give you a quote, so you can budget for a ghostwriter. All I need to know is your deadline, your story concept, and a few other details.

Additional articles you might find helpful:

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

Writing a Book Proposal

Do you need help writing a book?

Working with a Ghostwriter – What steps should you take?

Hiring a Ghostwriter

19749453_sHiring a ghostwriter is a major undertaking. You are about to enter into a long-term relationship with someone who will step inside your shoes, learning to write with your voice.

Make sure this person is a good match for you by interviewing the writer a few times, preparing questions ahead of time. Examples of topics to cover are:

  • The number of books they have ghostwritten
  • Testimonials from past clients
  • Their writing forte
  • Their current schedule

In addition you should Google their name and see what comes up. If they are a successful writer, their books, interviews and articles should pop up. If the proverbial crickets chirp (dead silence), you know they aren’t very well established (or they have chosen to keep off the internet).

It is a good idea to test your top candidates. Never ask a writer to write for free. No professional ghostwriter should agree to that (if they do, they’re far too desperate, which should be a red flag). However, you can ask them to write a few pages for you for a fee. You’re not only checking out their ability to write, but you should also observe their process. How do they respond to your feedback? How quickly do they answer your emails? These are vital points to consider when hiring a ghostwriter.

Most ghostwriters will give you a free consultation. This is a good time to talk to them about your project, giving them a chance to give you their thoughts on your book’s structure. How would they tackle the opening chapter? For instance if you’re writing your memoirs, you wouldn’t start with the day you were born. That approach rarely works, as it is typically rather boring.

You should enjoy the process of hiring a ghostwriter. And enjoy the process of turning your vision into a bestselling book!

Additional articles you might find helpful:

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

Should you hire a local ghostwriter?

Working with a Ghostwriter – What steps should you take?

There is no “standard” ghostwriting deal