Questions for a Ghostwriter
Are you interested in hiring a ghostwriter?
If so, you probably have a few questions. After all, hiring a ghostwriter isn’t an everyday activity!
Throughout the years, I’ve discussed various topics in this blog, so when appropriate I’ll refer you to those articles to help clarify some of the answers.
How much does a ghostwriter cost?
This is by far the number one question I receive. Most people honestly have no idea how much a professional writer charges. It’s a little like going to an art gallery and asking the owner for a price on a painting you like. It might only be twenty dollars or it could be twenty thousand or more, right?
I know the topic of money can be uncomfortable for some, so I’ve written a two articles about this subject:
The simple answer is that you can expect to pay anywhere from twenty-five thousand to seventy-five thousand dollars for a hundred to three hundred page book. Anything less and you’re hiring someone with little or no experience (and please beware of plagiarized work).
How long does it take to write a book?
Ghostwriters usually budget between four months and two years to write a book. Personally, I ask for six to eight months to write a full-length book, although I might be able to complete it faster. Some projects require extra research and interviews, so I like to leave some buffer room. Having said that, if a client needs it sooner, I do what I can to accommodate their schedule.
Does a ghostwriter publish books? Do they edit?
The main job of a ghostwriter is to write your book, in your voice and style, with your information and ideas. While some ghostwriters do edit, not all are trained editors. For instance, I’m not. And most ghostwriters and editors are not publishers.
Here is an article I wrote that breaks down the jobs of writing professionals in detail:
Do ghostwriters ever work for a percentage of the sales of the book (royalties)?
No. Professional writers are always paid upfront.
Does it upset you that, even though you wrote the book, someone else gets all the credit?
Over the years, I have been asked this a lot. My answer is no, it really doesn’t bother me at all. That seems to surprise some people.
In reality, I see the book as my client’s baby. That would make me the midwife. Yes, I work hard to deliver the book, but the author is the one who came up with the idea, who provided all the information. It really is their book.
I love writing books for other people, helping them fulfill their lifelong dream!
Sometimes people ask me if the whole concept of ghostwriting is ethical. I wouldn’t be in this business if I felt it was wrong. Here’s an article I wrote about that subject:
What kind of books do you write?
I love writing most genres and have written quite a few prescriptive nonfiction books (how-to books), novels, and memoirs. Having said that, I specialize in uplifting books that help, inspire, or teach others.
For an example of prescriptive nonfiction, check out my book, Chess Is Child’s Play: Teaching Techniques That Work.
For an example of a memoir I ghostwrote, please review, Joshua’s Missing Peace.
How do you get the information needed to write a book for a client?
Every client is different. That’s part of the fun! I often get hundreds of pages of notes, which can be in the form of a very rough draft. Although the book needs to be completely rewritten, the notes are very helpful.
Sometimes a client doesn’t like to write or research, so I need to interview the person extensively. This usually requires about thirty to fifty hours.
In addition, I always double and triple check everything using the internet, the library, and book stores. It’s important to verify information.
I hope this article has helped answer some of the questions you may have had about ghostwriters. If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me and let me know. I’ll do my best to answer them!
Additional articles you might find helpful: