What to Expect When Working With a Ghostwriter

What to expect from your ghostwriter

Working with a ghostwriter isn’t as scary as it sounds. Here’s what to expect.

You’ve begun the process of writing a book and have decided that you will benefit from collaboration with a professional ghostwriter.  The only thing holding you back from hiring a ghostwriter is that you don’t know exactly what to expect or how the process works.

Ghostwriting is basically having someone take your ideas and turn them into a book, a speech, an article, a op-ed, an e-book, a sales letter or a script.  Ghostwriter services are for people who have ideas but lack the ability or time to put those ideas into actual words or into the proper format for your goals–books, screenplays, op-eds, etc. For purposes of this article the process of book ghostwriting will be discussed, but generally the process is the same for all formats.

When you hire a ghostwriter, you are giving them the full responsibility to write a quality book (screenplay, article, etc) from the guidelines that you give him or her.   About 50% of all books on the market today (and upwards of 80% of non-fiction books) were written by talented ghostwriters. The typical ghostwriting services you receive when you hire a professional ghostwriter include interviewing you to thoroughly understand and organize your ideas, researching the topic, writing original quality content,  maintaining proper spelling and grammar, accurately translating your ideas, creating the work in the proper format for submission or publication and releasing all rights to the material.  The person who hires the ghostwriter is considered the author of the work.  The ghostwriter will do the work, but will usually not have their name on the book and will usually receive no royalties–unless it is agreed upon by both parties (very rare).

There are other ghostwriter services that could benefit you when you want to write a book.  Better quality ghostwriters have connections in the publishing industry–from publishers, to editors, to book designers, to distributors, to marketing people and PR.  A good ghostwriter will have had his own books published, too.  Having someone on your side to guide you though this process is the next best thing to having an agent and can save you time and money.

The Process of Working with a Ghostwriter

  1. Generally, when you contact a professional ghostwriter about your project, he will first briefly interview you. The ghostwriter must know how to listen and ask the right questions to draw out the details that lead to a provocative story. You should have a sense that the ghostwriter understands who you are and what you are trying to say.
  2. In the next phase, the ghostwriter will evaluate your story and your budget to determine whether the project is a good fit. Often at this point, the writer may request whatever work you have already done to determine how much more work needs to be done. In rare cases, a rewrite of existing material may suffice and be less expensive than anticipated. In other cases, or when starting from scratch, more work will be required.
  3. The ghostwriter will then call to discuss the fees and agree on a time-frame.
  4. If you agree, the ghostwriter will send over a contract to cover the work. This contract will outline the agreed upon fees–including payment schedule, timeline, format, and what services are included. You may wish to have it examined by an attorney, but most ghostwriting contracts are fairly standard. This contract will also convey all rights to the material to you. Beware of doing work without a contract. The contract protects both you and the ghostwriter.
  5. Once signed, you will make the first deposit according to the contract and the agreed upon start date.
  6. The ghostwriter will then call (or in some cases visit) for a detailed interview or series of interviews. The total number of hours depends on the project.
  7. The ghostwriter will then do necessary research and write the material. The ghostwriter may call occasionally to clarify details or get more information. The ghostwriter will work with you schedule and can usually complete writing your book needing only one hour a week of your time. The ghostwriter will present the pages to you for approval either at predetermined stages or upon completion depending on the contract.
  8. If step payments are required by the contract, you will make those payments at the proper times.
  9. Upon completion, you will review the writing. You may request changes. Generally ghostwriters will include a certain number of revisions in the contract as part of the price. Better writers will have had the manuscript professionally edited as part of their service as well.
  10. Once satisfied, final payments are made and any other services offered by the ghostwriter such as referral to publishers, agents or other publishing services will be completed. The time required for each project varies depending on it’s length and complexity. A full-length book manuscript or screenplay will usually take three to six months to complete whereas speeches, articles, op-eds, etc., can be completed in a matter of days.

Hiring a ghostwriter is a great way to get your idea on paper without having to find the time to do all the work.  In fact, if you are too busy to write a book, you need to write a book and hiring a professional ghostwriter, such as Your Ghostwriter Online, will make your book happen.  Now that you know what to expect when working with a ghostwriter, why not call today, or click this sentence and fill out the form on the next page, for your free, no-obligation book consultation?  As Tony Robbins says, “Never leave the scene of a decision without taking action towards that decision.”

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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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