What Do I Need to Start with a Ghostwriter?

hire a ghostwriter

Ready, set, write your book!


Clients often ask me how they should prepare to work with a new ghostwriter. My answer is almost always the same.

If you’re going to hire a ghostwriter, please don’t go off and try to prepare content on your own!

If you think about it, that doesn’t make any sense. 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.

It’s my opinion that the author should grab the reader’s attention by the scruff of the neck with the very first line. Then, ideally by the time the reader has finished the first page, they will be so enthralled by the book they can’t put it down!

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. They can help direct you, informing you on what is relevant to your topic so you don’t waste a lot of time putting together notes that won’t end up being used.

If you are waiting for funds to get started, you might begin by making a rough list of the incidents or elements you’d like to see in your book, with a brief explanation of each. When you’re ready to begin, your ghostwriter can go over each of these pieces and help you organize them into a book, adding or deleting as needed.

So, please don’t feel like you need to write your book before you hire a ghostwriter! Collecting data and doing research is all part of the ghostwriting process.

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?

Why Should I Hire a Ghostwriter?


Laura Sherman (103 Posts)

Laura Sherman, a.k.a. “Laura the Friendly Ghostwriter,” is a professional ghostwriter and author. She enjoys writing fiction and nonfiction and is happiest when juggling multiple projects. She recently authored “Chess Is Child’s Play” to introduce the next generation to the game of kings and queens. As a parent of three, and one of the top 50 women chess players in the United States, Laura wrote this book to teach any parent to teach any child, of any age, to play chess.