Haunted by a Book Concept? Hire a Ghost.


Hire a ghost if you are haunted by a book concept.I can’t tell you how many people write to me because they are haunted by an idea for a book. When I say haunted, I mean that they can’t sleep at night because they need to see their book brought to life and published.

Some want to share a fictional story, while others have lived a life that could very well be a novel. Various CEOs approach me with a nonfiction concept, a how-to book, on a subject where they are experts. Most people haunted by a book idea contact me because they recognize they need a little help. The next step they take is to research how to hire a ghost. That’s where I come in.

People reach out to me daily. They all say versions of the same thing:

“Laura, I have been trying to write a book for years. Everyone I share my story with tells me I should write a book. I have tried, but I just get stuck and can’t move on. Can you help me?”

Does this resonate with you? If so, please reach out to me.

However, if you’re looking to hire a ghost, it’s a good idea to prepare a little before emailing. It will help you in the long run, I promise.

To get you started, here are a few questions I usually ask my prospective clients:


What’s the genre?


Writing a novel is very different from writing a nonfiction how-to book, which is very different from writing a memoir. They each take a lot of time to write but require different literary muscles to accomplish.

Some clients are haunted by more than one book concept. I recently had someone reach out to me who wanted to write two how-to books and a memoir. She also had an idea for a novel. She was a busy executive and definitely needed to hire a ghost.

When someone approaches me with various ideas, the first step is to pick one and move forward with that.

“Which book haunts you the most?” will be my question.

While I can work on a few projects at the same time, it’s often best for my client to tackle them one at a time.

Prepare for this question and consider the genre. If you’re writing a fiction piece, there are a hundreds of genres and subgenres to consider. You don’t have to know these, but it helps to narrow them down a bit so I can determine if I’m the right writer for you.


How long is your proposed book?


This question trips up a lot of first-time authors. It’s a good idea to research the average page count of your genre. That’s easy to google. Another tip is to research your proposed book concept on Amazon and see what the page count of other books within your proposed genre have been. If you find ten books to be 350 pages, don’t plan to write an 80 page book. It won’t sell well. Also, you’ll need to lower your price point.

Here’s another pro tip: if you’re planning to hire a ghost, you need to start thinking in terms of word count, not page count. After all, page count is really determined by font style and type, as well as spacing. Word count is very precise.

You can plan for the average page to have 250 words. So if you consider that the average book is 200 – 300 pages, that will mean your book will be 50,000 – 75,000 words. A short novella will be 25,000 words or so.


What’s your budget?


Learn the costs when you hire a ghostI’ll be honest, when I ask this question, I’m never impressed by the answer, “I don’t know.” I’ve learned that this response signals a lack of research; this person just doesn’t know how much it costs to hire a ghost.

I’m always super upfront with my costs. I charge a dollar per word to ghostwrite. Now, I have less expensive packages depending on how much of the writing my client wishes to do. I also have coaching packages if you want to write your book and have a friendly ghostwriter by your side as you brave this new adventure. However, please be forewarned, the price tag will never be $499.

I picked that number because I’ve recently seen ads for that figure. “We’ll write your book for $499.”

As Jerry Seinfeld would say: Really? I mean REALLY?

I belong to a great association of ghostwriters. This group is wonderful because I can consult with them and ask for opinions on a variety of subjects. I asked the group about these ads to see what they thought. They all said it was a scam of some sort. “They’ll take your money and run.” Sounds about right.

Considering that it takes hundreds of hours to write a book, this would mean these “writers” are willing to write a book for a tenth of what people working at McDonald’s would make. Hm… Something’s fishy here.

Please don’t throw your money away on these sorts of “ghostwriting” scams.


What’s your deadline?


Don't rush the deadline. I recently received a call from someone who didn’t understand why it took so long to write a book.

“I can write two chapters in an hour!” he bragged.

When I explained it would take me a year, he called me “slow.” I will be honest with you, gentle reader, I had to bite my tongue. I told him that I could bang out a first draft (50,000 words or so) pretty quickly (by pretty quickly I mean a few months), but only if I really knew the subject. However, I normally need a good six months.

The thing most first-time authors don’t usually understand is that writing the outline and conducting the research is one of the most time-consuming aspects of the job.

Another hidden time-consuming part of the process is the editing phase. That usually takes three to four months because I like to hire an outside editor to review the manuscript before I deliver it to my client. I also need time to read the book over and over, taking breaks between. You can’t rush this process.

One thing to consider is: If you have been in the middle of this book project for years, there’s a reason. Some aspect of your manuscript needs tweaking. First-time authors often need to be rescued from the pathless jungle they wandered into and require a guide to work their way back to the main road. That’s why I get so many emails. That path can be hard to find on your own.


If you’re looking to hire a ghost, I’d recommend that you do a bit of research. Read articles, about pricing, genre, average book length for your genre, etc. That way when you speak to a ghostwriter you’ll be prepared (and not get caught off guard).

I’m here when you are ready for a conversation.


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