Hiring a Local Ghostwriter: Is It Necessary?

Hiring a local ghostwriter won't help you write a good bookMany people feel that if they are going to hire someone to help them write their book hiring a local ghostwriter is vital. I get it and it’s a valid question, one I hear it a lot. Perhaps you are influenced by the movies, where a ghostwriter lives with his client, following him around wherever he goes.

However, I can share with you that my reality is much different than these fictional portrayals. Not only do I not live with my clients, but none of my clients live near me. The fact is, they live all over the world. We correspond via email and talk regularly on the phone.

Having said that, if it is convenient to meet up with my client in person, I will. It just isn’t necessary for the project’s success. The fact is, when I’ve met my clients, it’s usually been after the book was finished.

Don’t limit your choices

There are internet articles that advise you that hiring a local ghostwriter is a good idea. I’m not sure why people suggest this, but there are people who fervently hold onto that idea. I’ve actually had prospective clients refuse to talk to me because I wasn’t in their area. That’s a mistake.

This concept of only hiring someone locally severely limits your choices and will hinder your project. Truthfully, unless you live in a major city, you probably won’t find a qualified ghostwriter in your area. Most likely your ideal writer for your book lives clear across the country from you.

With two decades of experience under my belt, I can tell you it just isn’t necessary for a ghostwriter to walk where you’ve walked or personally tour the towns where your story takes place. Instead, I prefer to research locations on the internet. Sometimes I find detailed photographs and videos of an area, which help paint the picture along with the descriptions provided. Research is easy these days.

Qualities of a good ghostwriter

Finding the right ghostwriter might take some time. It’s a very personal choice, one you shouldn’t feel pressured into making. When you do choose a writer, make sure that you really like her because you will be working closely with her for many months.

Since hiring a local ghostwriter isn’t important, I want to spell out attributes that do matter and that are keys for success. Here are some qualities to look for in a ghostwriter:

  • Great writing ability. Hire someone who writes in a way you enjoy reading (and others will love).
  • Excellent communication skills. Make sure that you are comfortable talking with your ghostwriter.
  • Professional behavior. Some good writers have no idea how to run a business. Make sure yours knows what she’s doing.
  • Reliability. Select a writer who can meet a deadline and work through difficulties

If you absolutely feel you need to meet your ghostwriter in person (and Skype will not do), you can always fly out to her or fly her to you. Again, I don’t think this is necessary, but it is an option.

Research potential writers

hiring a local ghostwriter is best when you do the research onlineSome people feel they need to meet a person face to face to know whether or not he can be trusted. While I agree that this helps, internet research is much more effective for spotting a con man.

Someone who is trying to rip you off will have no internet presence. He will not have a website or a blog, and he probably won’t have any videos (because he won’t want to be seen). Testimonials are key to establishing trust in a ghostwriter. After all, what other people have to say about someone is more pertinent than what he has to say about himself, right?

Another trick is to type the ghostwriter’s name into a search engine with the word “scam” or “complaint” and find out if there have been problems with that person. Of course, there might be numerous people by the same name, but if you know where he lives and that he is a ghostwriter, it’s a good bet it’s the same person. I used this technique with a potential publisher before going into business with him. It saved me a heap of trouble!

In the end, it is far more effective to do your due diligence and research a someone rather than insist upon hiring a local ghostwriter. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Additional articles you might find helpful:

Guide to Hiring a Ghostwriter

My Ghostwriting Process

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

Working with a Ghostwriter – What steps should you take?

A Ghostwriting Contract