If you’ve decided to hire a memoirist ghostwriter to write your life story, you’re probably scouring the internet in search of the perfect person. Find someone with a website that resonates with you. That’s a good first step.
Once you find a ghostwriter you feel might be right for you, reach out to her. Now, you might be wondering how to broach the delicate subject that is your life story. After all, you’re basically looking for that special person who will be able to write your words for you. I’d recommend starting with an email describing yourself and the project in a few paragraphs.
Next, set up a time to talk on the phone. The initial interview will reveal a lot and help you make a decision if you know what to say and ask.
Learn about your memoirist ghostwriter
During the interview, your prime objective is to get to know the ghostwriter. If possible, I recommend that you research the ghostwriter’s background prior to the initial interview. Look for:
- Extensive experience
- Dozens of testimonials
- Writing samples that you enjoy reading
- A fee that matches your budget
Once you know that a ghostwriter meets your basic requirements, you can sit back and really get to know the person on the other end of the phone. This is someone you’re going to spend a lot of time with over the next year. Make sure that she is not only a highly qualified writer but that she will also be compatible.
In addition, spend some time discussing her writing process. Although my process will shift in small ways to suit the client’s needs, there are certain effective actions I take that make for a successful project.
By the end of the interview, you should feel good about the ghostwriter. You should also know that you can communicate easily with her. If she dodges your questions or doesn’t seem quite “present,” I would keep looking. There’s a better ghostwriter out there for you.
Share yourself with a memoir ghostwriter
Any memoir ghostwriter you might work with will need to know about you before she even considers taking on a project. Even during the initial interview, it’s a good plan to share important personal information. Just enough so that she gets to know you.
It’s also important to let your ghostwriter know your purpose for writing a memoir. She needs to know the reason that motivates you to share your life story with the world so she can express that for you. As a ghostwriter, I am extremely interested in my client’s main purpose as I wish to help him or her fulfill that goal. I love it when I can help someone positively impact the world.
As a side note, if you hire a memoirist ghostwriter, I highly recommend that you create a detailed biography to share with her. Even if you’re writing about a period in your mid-thirties, your writer will want to know all about your childhood and school experiences. Though these stories won’t appear in the book, they will help your ghostwriter understand you better. I always tell new clients that they can’t share too much information with me. It all helps develop your character in the book.
Share the specs of the book
When you are interviewing a memoirist ghostwriter, you’ll need to be prepared to answer a few questions about the project. Since the fee is directly linked to word count, it’s good to have a rough idea of the length of your memoir. The average length book is 200–300 pages. Some are just a hair over 100 pages, while others exceed 400 pages.
In addition, if you have an urgent deadline, it’s a good idea to communicate that upfront. Most ghostwriters are busy and require at least eight months to a year to complete your book. If you’re fine with skipping the editing phase and you have most of the research to hand, this timeline can be shortened quite a bit. Unless you have an urgent need for a rushed deadline, I’d encourage you to allow the ghostwriter to create your book on her schedule. It will come out better that way.
When you interview and hire a memoirist ghostwriter, it should be a fun task. You’ll be meeting someone who will become an integral part of your life for the next year. And in the end, you’ll have a completed memoir your readers will enjoy.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to hire a memoirist ghostwriter, check out my book: Your Guide to Hiring a Ghostwriter.