How to Hire a Ghostwriter

Choosing the right ghostwriter.

Make the right choice when you hire your ghostwriter.

You have a book idea. You believe in getting the help of a professional writer to help bring your idea to life. Great. So how do you hire a ghostwriter?

A basic internet search for ghostwriting services will bring you a number of results. Mainly, you will see writers who specialize in writing copy for corporations–pamphlets, instruction guides, press releases, blogs, articles, speeches, etc. You will also find a number of book publishing services who offer ghostwriting as a side business to publishing your book. If you dig a little deeper, you will find professional writers who specialize in book ghostwriting. Usually all you need to do is read the writer’s web site to understand the writer’s focus. Make sure the writer you choose specializes in book ghostwriting if you are hiring him to write a book. As you look, you should have in mind a few things to discuss with your potential ghostwriter such as the time frame, topic, genre, and budget.

One of the most important aspects of hiring a ghostwriter is the initial interview. Whether you look to publish a memoir, self-help book, fictional story or treaty on world peace, you must first make sure your ghostwriter “gets you.” What that means is that it’s important for your ghostwriter to understand your point of view, what you are trying to say, how you want to be perceived and who your audience is. The initial conversation cannot be overemphasized in terms of its importance in making the right choice. You will be spending many weeks collaborating with this person. Are you comfortable? Is he or she comfortable with you? A good ghostwriter is part therapist and part investigative reporter looking to pull information from you that communicates what you really want to say. You may also want to consider whether this ghostwriter empathizes with what you have to say. Although it is not necessary that a ghostwriter have similar experiences as you, it helps if he at least agrees with your ideas.

When you hire a ghostwriter, you should also seek to determine his qualifications.  This can be difficult. A qualified ghostwriter should have a recently published book of his own. Why?  Few good writers exist solely as ghostwriters. Most writers need to publish their own work, too. If they do not have their own work for you to look over, at the very least, they should have samples of published books written for clients. A problem with client samples, though, is that the ghostwriting contract may prohibit revealing books the ghostwriter has worked on. With the advent of Google Books, it’s too easy to copy a section of a book, paste it into Google and find the book the section comes from, thus violating the ghostwriter contract. Remember, a ghostwriter who is willing to skirt around his contract in order to win new business will do the same to you and your privacy. Some ghostwriters have clients who don’t mind revealing their books were ghostwritten. These clients are few and far between. If clients wanted others to know their book was written by someone else, they would choose to use the ghost as a co-writer and give the ghostwriter credit on the cover.

Another reason your ghostwriter should be an author is because it helps him relate to you as an author–to understand what it is to negotiate with publishers, market books, handle publicity, write and manage a blog and handle the increasing responsibilities of social networking. Hiring a ghostwriter whose last book was published before the turn of the century might place you in the hands of someone out of touch with the modern publishing/distribution world–much of which has changed even since 2005. And as tempting as it may be to hire someone to write a 200 page book for $1,000 (or some other ridiculously low amount you might find at some overseas freelance site) you should understand that no one can afford to spend two to six months working for that little money. You may think you are getting a deal, but you will find out the only good thing you got from that transaction was an education. A professional ghostwriter will charge a professional fee for professional services and can help you get professionally published.

A professional ghostwriter will also have a professional contract that details what you can expect for the fee. The details covered in the contract will be the timeline, the costs, the copyright ownership (it should be yours only), the number of guaranteed rewrites, edits, other services or benefits (included or charged separately: such as querying publishers/agents/editors), how credit is handled, expected number of pages, etc.

Finally, if you come across a ghostwriter, such as Your Ghostwriter Online, that offers a free, no-obligation consultation on your book, take advantage of it. But when you do, make sure you are talking to the actual ghostwriter and not a sales rep. Some larger companies use this as a lure to get your name and number in their database then begin to bombard you with mailings, phone calls and high-pressure sales tactics. Other companies simply use fake offers to lure your information out of you so that they can sell your name as part of a lead list. When you call or fill out the form at Your Ghostwriter Online, you will be contacted by T. R. Locke directly to discuss your book idea thoroughly with absolutely no obligation on your part.

Unfortunately there are a few hurdles you have to overcome to find the right ghostwriter. Fortunately, Your Ghostwriter Online is here to help you clear those hurdles as quickly and easily as possible. Call or fill out the form, available by clicking this sentence, for your free, no-obligation book consultation today.

 

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T.R. Locke

Author and Ghostwriter at Your Ghostwriter Online
I am a bestselling author and ghostwriter who loves helping others tell their stories through books. I have written more than 20 books and proposals for professionals including professors, motivational speakers, UN peace negotiators, pastors, athletes, celebrities, politicians, humanitarians, lawyers, doctors, brokers, and thought leaders from around the world. I'm happy to help you, too.
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