Many people have a bunch of ideas or one big story concept they want to turn into a book. A story about a killer on a spree with troubled family background, a life story about the participation of your grandfather in a war that you want to save for the future generations, the lessons that you learned growing up that shaped you as a person, or a skill you have mastered and now want to convey to others. The ideas can be vast and can potentially be transformed into a book your readers love.
Being an avid reader since your childhood, you may have grown a desire of having a book with your name on it as an author. Or you might have drawn huge inspiration from all the fantasy, adventure, or nighttime stories you read while dreaming of extending your own world of imagination and giving life to the characters in your realm.
If you’re at a stage where you have developed a book idea and want to materialize it but cannot find the time for it, or maybe you don’t have the skills to transform it into a great book that you can publish and market successfully, you can hire someone else to do the job for you.
To help you find the right ghostwriter who doesn’t ghost you, this post will give you all that you need to know about ghostwriting and finding a writer that you can trust with your whole book and get a perfect end result.
Know That Book Writing Process Can Be Challenging
There are two things that are crucial to begin writing a book: your time and writing skills. Book writing is a lengthy and complex process that requires a great deal of work. Many writers have an idea for a book, but not all of them know how to write it. In addition to being able to come up with a good idea, writers also have to demonstrate the ability to turn their ideas into reality.
It is a huge commitment to write a book, and the process can be very frustrating at times. The lack of progress and motivation you face during the writing process or having a busy schedule can affect your ability to sit and write with a peaceful mind.
While all this can be quite infuriating, if you keep picking up the first draft, again and again, to only fail at the numerous writing attempts to finish the book, it will only make you abandon the whole project altogether.
This is when hiring ghostwriters can be beneficial.
Ghostwriting entails turning an idea into a finished book –just as if you were writing it themselves– but without having to commit any of your time and effort. When outsourcing this task to someone else, you can benefit from professionals who will take on those responsibilities instead so that you can focus on investing your time in your business or looking after someone at home while also making your dream of having a book come true.
The World of Ghostwriting
You may probably be familiar with the fact that high-profile politicians, celebrities, and spokespersons do not write their own speeches or books because who’s got the time to sit and write when they can probably get it done with the help of someone who can do it better and has the expertise?
What exactly is ghostwriting?
When you hire professional ghostwriter to write your books, papers, speeches, or literally anything, and still get the credit, this is referred to as ghostwriting. The word itself can give a clue about what it actually is which means the hired professional is a ‘ghost’ and stays offers the expertise in exchange for a sum while staying back and not getting any credit.
Ghostwriting is just like any other writing service like content and copywriting with only one difference: offering a service without receiving the credit for it.
Ghost writers who have been in the industry for a while have served numerous authors, ghostwritten hundreds of books, and even co-authored many of them if the clients openly admit that they have hired a ghostwriter to get their book written.
Is it legal and ethical?
Ghostwriters are frequently asked a question that is inevitable for them- is ghostwriting ethical or legal? As far as the legality of ghostwriting is concerned, it is absolutely legal for everyone across the globe to collaborate with a ghostwriter for their projects.
It is the business of writing an article, book, or other written content on behalf of another person and this is how some of the best books are written. For example, James Patterson has many ghostwriters who write his books. Just like him, if you see any other author on a book cover, it’s possible that a lot of times they may not have written the book themselves.
Ghostwriters represent a wide range of talent including authors, CEOs, athletes, entertainers, and politicians, and help them achieve their goals so that they can focus on more important tasks of handling their businesses and promoting their careers.
However, there are very few cases where ghostwriting isn’t allowed.
The ethical concerns associated with ghostwriting have been discussed on several platforms and extensively covered by journalists and communication experts. As long as the collaborative process goes along in a transparent way, covers authentic and accurate information, provides the ghostwriter credits for creative skills, and justifies the reason and need to hire a ghostwriter, there is no chance that the ghostwriting service would be questioned for ethical considerations.
How To Find a Ghostwriter You Can Trust
Now that you know everything about ghostwriting, it’s time to start looking for a reliable and professional writer. But before you start looking for one, you should know how to find a good ghostwriter since there are plenty of writers offering their services, and hiring someone who works collaboratively with you is crucial.
But before diving in, do you have all it takes to begin? Have you decided on your vision and have all the details to give your ghostwriter? If yes, good job. You can skip the next session and jump directly onto where to look for ghostwriters. But if not, don’t worry. That’s exactly why we’ve addressed these 4 tips comprehensively to guide you through the hiring process.
1. Be clear about the goals and purpose of your book
A lot of people want to write a book but they don’t know for sure what they want to write about. They leave it up in the air and start writing, which ends up costing them a lot of time and energy.
What is the overarching goal you want your book to accomplish?
Do you want it to be a business book or a personal memoir? Do you want it to be inspirational or educational? Do you want it to tell a specific story or teach readers how to take action? Is this something you need to write now and would like help getting it done, or do you have another project in mind that will come first?
Defining the scope of your project and having a clear goal about the vision will help you find the right fit for your book. If you feel stuck, you can also discuss your book goals with someone who can help you figure out the best way to get there.
Having a clear understanding of the genre of your book
Having a clear understanding of the type of book you want and its nuances will help you develop a solid foundation for your book goals. For instance, when writing a memoir, you need to have a good understanding of the events you’ve experienced and convey your insights to your prospective ghostwriter in a precise manner.
Or if you want a novel and want it to be an excellent work of art, you’ll mostly rely on the creativity of the ghostwriter but still, know where you want to take the story. Lastly, if your book will be used in your business with the goal of promoting your brand or career, then the focus may be on making it more usable for your audience.
Here are a few takeaway points to help you develop clarity about your book objectives:
Remember: Explore your mind and heart, discover ways to figure out how to influence your audience, and take things slow without rushing into hiring someone.
2. Work on the book details and decide the length
You’ll need to decide how long your book will be and prepare all the necessary details your ghostwriter may need to start working on the book.
To set a particular length of your book, having a particular topic in mind and gleaning ideas from other books on the subject may be of great help. For instance, if your book is about personal finance, read up on other books on the subject and make your mind about the overall content and length.
Your book can be either long or short. Depending on the type or genre, the minimum number of pages can be 150-200, going up to 1000 pages in the case of a nonfiction book with extensive knowledge and insight or a fiction book that has multiple parts. You can also set the length based on the total expected word count which is between 150,000-300,000 words on average.
Next, brainstorm about the content of your book and distribute it into respective chapters while deciding whether you want the chapters to be long and few or short and more. While doing this, make sure you don’t overburden your reader with too much information in one chapter and don’t offer anything valuable in the other.
Whatever the message your story carries, try to preserve it without adding extra information that’s not relevant to the story or characters just to exceed a set word count. This will only make your reader feel like you’re forcing stuff on them instead of providing something valuable and engaging.
Remember: Avoid stuffing your book with overly described characters or unnecessary details that are irrelevant to your main story to keep the tone engaging.
3. Select the publishing method
From traditional publishing to self-publishing to eBook distribution, there are a number of options for books looking to get their message out to the world.
When you’re starting out, deciding how to publish your book can be a lot of fun — and a bit stressful — especially if it’s the first book you’ve ever published. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” route to take when it comes to publishing, and choosing a publishing method that best aligns with your book goals is crucial to determine its success.
Here are some ways to determine what type of publishing path is right for your book:
Self-publishing vs Print On Demand (POD)
If you want your book printed quickly and cheaply when you receive an order, print-on-demand is the way to go. POD offers a way to quickly print books without going through a traditional publisher, but it isn’t for everyone. If you’re planning on selling a few hundred copies at most, then POD might be a good choice because it allows you to control your costs and distribute your product locally.
Self-publishing has its advantages, though: You have complete creative control over the design of your book and can decide exactly what kind of distribution platform you want. By choosing an ebook format instead of print, you also make it easier for readers to download your work from their devices or read it at home. However, self-publishing isn’t always as cheap as it seems — upfront costs can be high depending on the level of design work required by the publisher you choose.
Traditional publishing involves working with an editor, formatted, and proofreader who make sure the manuscript is polished enough for publication before it’s shipped off to customers around the world. It also involves an established publisher that takes on the project and then works with you to help promote it and a literary agent who helps you connect you with the leading industry publishers. With traditional publishing, the company or publishing house pays an advance (a portion of the royalties) to the writers and then takes on the responsibilities of promoting and selling the books.
How to choose the right publishing method?
If you want to retain the rights of your book and keep the royalties earned from the sale, self-publishing would be the best option for you. But if your book will benefit from getting traditionally published and handled by the publisher in terms of promotion and marketing, traditional publishing is the way to go.
Remember that the traditional publishing route can be a long process and take some time until your book is noticed and approved by the publishing house and then sold to in the market. If you’re just starting out and do not have enough budget for a costly method, consider choosing self-publishing. All-in-all, weigh the pros and cons of all the publishing options and go for what suits you best.
4. Consider extra services
Other than book writing services, you can also consider having extra services that include editing, formatting, proofreading, and cover design for your book. Writing is only the first big step and it doesn’t guarantee that your book will be readily accepted by a publisher or enjoyed by your readers.
Proper editing and proofreading are crucial to add to the overall reading experience and rightly convey your story, whereas formatting is done to ensure your book contents are aligned with the standards of the traditional and self-publishing industry.
Your go-to publishing process will determine whether you need to grab these services or not. If you choose to self-publish, you’ll need to handle these additional tasks of editing and polishing your book or you can choose to hire a professional editor to get the job done. Your best bet will be an all-inclusive ghostwriting package that not only includes the writing part but will also aid in making your manuscript polished.
Where To Look For Ghostwriters?
Once you’re done preparing all that your book needs, get ready to start looking for the perfect ghostwriter. Whether you’re new to the process of working with a ghostwriter or an author who wants to hire a new ghostwriter for your project, this will equally benefit both.
If you belong to the latter group and have a future project lined up in your schedule that you can’t commit to, try communicating with your previous ghostwriter since it’ll be easier to work with someone who’s already familiar with your writing style, tone, and voice. Working with someone new will mean you both have to start over from scratch and work on each element again.
However, if the previous experience with your ghostwriter was not a great one and you had to put in extra effort even after giving a huge sum of money, then it’s time you start looking for professional writers who are collaborative, understand the process, and have proven experience with good reviews from the past clients. (professional writer)
There’s no need to feel stumped when looking for ghostwriters for your project on the internet because you can find them on many ghost writing websites that have tons of professional writers from all industries and backgrounds.
These websites have dedicated, passionate, and experienced writers from around the globe especially native writers to help you accomplish your book writing tasks in a seamless way. Depending on the website, they offer a range of writing, editing, and publishing services and even help you with the book cover design. Start by conducting a simple Google search about ghostwriting services or websites and explore each of them and have a look at the services they offer.
If you desire to have extra services like editing and proofreading along with writing, make sure the selected or desired ghostwriting package or individual ghostwriter offers an all-inclusive package, or better yet, you can discuss everything that you want with a customer support agent or a project manager on their website.
Ghostwriting websites let you search and select whoever you want to work with based on their expertise, previous work or writing samples, proven track record, reviews, and their genre or industry. Some platforms even allow hiring multiple writers for one project if it’s large and will take some time to complete.
The hiring process of these ghostwriting agencies is quite rigorous which means they carefully select each professional book writer and test their skills and experience of writing at least a few books to earn a rapport to be on top in their team.
To conclude, here are some important tips to consider when browsing a ghostwriting website:
Another place to look for experience and professional ghostwriters is freelancing platforms where tons of skilled people offer their services and expertise to generate an extra income, have a side hustle, or have a full-blown and successful freelancing career.
Freelancing platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Guru, and Freelancer are some of the top websites where you can find talented ghostwriters for your book. You can even hire skillful graphic designers to get a great book cover design as per your requirements.
However, the problem with freelancing platforms is that they’re highly likely to have many fake profiles or unreliable book writers who can fall short on their claims to provide you the right service. It’s also not guaranteed that the writers are actually familiar with the literature and publishing industry and know the rules and ethical concerns related to ghostwriting, unlike ghostwriting websites or agencies.
Moreover, it’s difficult to sort the writers based on what they offer. A lot of people offer multiple services that are not related to each other (for instance, a book writer who also offers UI/UX web design services). It’s important to choose someone who specializes in one domain and could clearly focus on it without leaving you midway.
Nonetheless, freelancing platforms can still be a great way to start exploring and giving a try. A lot of writers on ghostwriting websites also offer their services on these platforms so you can likely find someone professional there.
What To Expect and Look For in Your Ghostwriter?
When searching for ghostwriters, there are a few important aspects you need to look out for to filter the best ghostwriter for your book. Your book is something that you value a lot and hence it needs to be in someone’s hands who understands your vision and crafts a compelling book as per your satisfaction. Following are some of the most important factors to consider and evaluate to hire a ghost writer.
1. Experience and Skill Level
Anyone who’s professional and has been writing for a while will have perfect writing and language skills, the ability to handle large and complex pieces of information, and have strong storytelling skills. Based on your book goals, you’ll either want to hire someone who is an industry expert or has enough skills to handle the job.
A ghostwriter’s industry experience and samples play a huge to determine their proficiency. Usually, ghostwriters who have a track record of writing traditionally published and/or best-selling books can be the most sought-after. But it doesn’t mean that those who don’t make it to the list don’t have the right skills for the job, which takes us to the next factor.
2. Previous Works
Ghostwriters negotiate the terms with the authors they work with so that they’re permitted to show their work to potential clients. If your ghost claims to have written books for a long time, say 4 or 5 years and is permitted to show the past work, they’ll definitely have some published samples to share with you. Another way to see what they’ve worked on, it’s a good idea to check their websites and see how the books they’ve written, edited, or co-authored, and see their published acknowledgments and what lists they’ve been on (e.g, New York Times Bestseller’s list).
3. Writing Genre
So your ghostwriter has years of experience and seems like a perfect fit but he doesn’t write in your genre? Unfortunately, that’s not going to work. As much as the ghost’s experience and skill level matter, so does the genre. You wouldn’t want your fantasy fiction written by someone who has experience writing romance novels.
4. Writing Style and Voice
Skilled ghostwriters are like impersonators who artfully mimic voices and facial expressions. They use carefully chosen and well-thought-out words, rhythm, and pacing to incorporate a variety of voices and writing styles. To ensure your ghostwriter is able to craft words in the writing style you desire, it’s best to request a sample before you commit to working with the ghost. This will help you filter the best fit for your job in an all-comprehensive way.
If you think you don’t have a great writing style in fiction or non-fiction and only know how to write in either, your ghost can help you capture your voice so that your readers are able to connect with the author of the book.
5. Communication, Reliability, and Trust
As you’ll discuss the project details and set a timeline or schedule for future discussions and meetings, make sure your ghost communicates with you on a regular basis and is willing to set a face-to-face meeting so that both the parties can get to know each other and see who they’re working with. However, it’s important to understand that writing a book takes a huge chunk of time and that your ghost is also a human. A gap in communication can ring some bells only if it’s unintentional and not consecutive.
Effective communication will also give way to build trust with your ghost. Your book is a valuable project for you and you’ll need someone you can completely rely on and trust. Make sure you make your terms and goals clear, sign a non-disclosure agreement, and allow your ghost to share only what you approve of from your project.
6. Check How They Work and Be Clear About What You Want
This refers to how the ghostwriting process itself works. Mostly, the process goes on in the following way.
and the process goes on until the ghost submits the final manuscript.
Email is the go-to medium to exchange suggestions and ask questions but if the ghost wants to have a detailed discussion about a certain aspect of your book, it can be scheduled via a video call. Gaining familiarity with communication tools is highly beneficial and convenient to communicate with your ghost.
Lastly, having a clear discussion about the extent of involvement from both sides is also important because it will set the tone for your conversations and meetings. Do you want to give complete creative freedom to your ghost or want him to follow your detailed plan? Are you open to receiving feedback and suggestions? On the other hand, is your ghost willing to present their own ideas on the table or rely on your given content? Knowing all these details beforehand will help both you and the ghost to set clear boundaries and work comfortably.
How Much Does a Ghostwriter Cost?
Ghostwriters usually work in the range of $10,000 to $25000 and this can go up if the ghost has a strong profile of working with high-profile clients and have various traditionally published books under his belt. The total cost is determined by the cost per word ($0.40 -$5.00 per word) multiplied by the total word count of your book.
Do ghostwriters work at a reduced rate in exchange for royalties?
Some ghostwriters may reduce their fees in exchange for a percentage of royalties the author receives when the book sells. Or they do this in exchange for a name on the title of the book cover as a co-author or a ‘written with’ credit because it turns them from ghost to someone whose name actually appears on the book.
But this is only possible when the book has a high chance of being a best seller and generating a lot of sales after it’s written. Most ghostwriters may choose to charge the whole fee because they have to pay bills just like you and may choose to charge what deems best for them.
That was everything you can possibly gather about hiring a ghostwriter and how to work with one. We hope this thorough guide will help you understand how the world of ghostwriting works and how you can benefit from working with a ghost and have your dream book idea come true.
There’s no need to rush and hire whoever you find on the internet in haste; take your time, understand the process, and effectively communicate your goals to receive a fantastic end product.