Have you heard of the term ghostwriter?
I am sure you must have, even if you are not aware of who they honestly are. The term ghostwriter was coined centuries ago.
For instance, in the classical era, Mozart was famous for being a musical ghostwriter for the elites.
Similarly, the coveted artist Andy Warhol made use of a similar approach for producing commissioned art.
Now come to think about it, do you think legends like Beyonce, Benazir Bhutto, Sarah Palin, Barrack Obama, or Lance Armstrong had the time to write their own book?
In reality, the bestselling book (or some of the best-selling stories) that you read have been written down by top-notch book writers.
So, before you start wondering how to find a ghostwriter, let’s take a step back and discuss hiring a ghostwriter is and how they can help you.
What is a Ghostwriter?
Ghostwriting is a renowned tried and tested profession. Through this medium, you can have your content written when you actually do not have the time, ability, or designated skills to get the job done.
Regardless, if you are interested to share stories in your book, or wish to produce high quality, engaging content for your digital space, hiring a professional will help you achieve your goal efficiently.
In simpler words, a book ghostwriter is an individual who does not get credit for the work they have done. No matter if they are working in the music, writing, or art industry – ghostwriting has gained immense popularity where they sell the content to you to be used as per your liking.
In the content and copywriting domain, hiring a ghostwriter is the one who is responsible to write a copy without expecting their name on it as authors.
They do not get any exposure at all. A ghostwriter only expects a handsome paycheck in exchange of the services rendered.
Difference Between Ghostwriter, Freelancer, & Hired Writer
Now that we are aware of what a ghostwriter is – let’s look at how a ghostwriter is different from a writer who is either working as a freelancer or a writer you hire for an in-house position.
The primary differences that set all these three profiles apart are
Let’s break it down for you to help you understand the concept behind these three better.
A ghostwriter is contracted to get the job done in return for compensation. Book writers do not worry about the rights and ownership of the work they do.
All they care about is the pay that they will receive upon completion of the project. This is one of the main reasons why many ghostwriters do not have a portfolio.
A freelancer is an individual who works on a gig or contract basis for an employer.
Depending on the terms and conditions of the job role, a freelancer could be a ghostwriter or request to take credit for their work.
The pay is associated with the type of freelance writer they choose to become. A freelancer who does ghostwriting is comparatively paid more than the one who asks for attribution.
This is because they can also reap the benefits of having their name attached for all the pieces published on a certain link.
A hired writer is an employee working as a full-time resource for a company.
Now, whether a hired writer gets attribution for the work they have done depends on the terms and conditions set between the employee and employer during the hiring and interview process.
The primary difference between all forms of writers is that a ghostwriter does not take credit of his writing while others may retain the right of whatever they have written (as per the terms and conditions of their contract).
Process of Ghostwriting
Depending on the form of content you are ghostwriting for an author, the process varies.
For instance, the process you might follow to writing a blog will be different than what is required to draft a book or report.
For every ghostwriter (no matter the form of content they are working on), the most basic process is as follows:
How to Hire a Ghostwriter?
If you have finally decided to find a ghostwriter and hire one for your next project, it is important to know that finding the RIGHT one is the key to success.
In today’s market, finding a ghostwriter is not an easy task. With so many excellent options available on the market, it can get overwhelming.
However, if you put in effort and time to find a ghostwriter, and pay the right fee for the services, you will not be disappointed!
Whether or not you are an established name in the market, you can hire a ghostwriter for various purposes. They are well known to pay attention to details and write words that will entice the readers.
Typically, people hire ghostwriters to get the job done for which they do not have enough time. Whether it is to write a book or publish dozens of pieces for website blog writing, a ghostwriter can not only contribute towards the ideas but help you accomplish those goals.
When you contract a ghostwriter these days can get overwhelming with so many options available on the market. Not only that but to hire a trustworthy and reliable writer is not an easy task.
To make it easier for you, we have created a list of things you should know and remember when you are looking for a ghostwriter for your next project.
#1: Understand Your Goals & Objectives
It is important to know that you will be putting in time, effort, and money to find, hire and be successful with a ghostwriter.
Therefore, before you make the final decision to work with someone else for your book, determine your goals and objectives.
Understand what you wish to achieve from the project – are you looking to increase your brand awareness or expand your outreach? Or maybe you are looking to improve your credibility or grow your business.
No matter the goal you wish to accomplish, these questions will help you making an informed decision.
When you are well aware of your personal goals, think about what your project is going to do for the readers.
Choosing the right ghostwriter who can keep a balance between both while communicating the message strongly and effectively can make or break your success.
#2: Search for Ghostwriters
Once you have your goals aligned and understood your objectives, it is time to search for a ghostwriter.
To be fair, it is an easier said than done job because ghostwriters are not the simplest professionals you can find.
As ghostwriters ourselves, our profiles are not very public and we also have a restricted or limited portfolio to share with the clients. Therefore, do your due diligence before you begin your hunt!
The best place to start looking for a ghostwriter is a few simple searches on Google:
These search queries will give you the results of individuals and agencies who currently have the best ghostwriters.
You can review the portfolio (if available) as well as the testimonials for any past work they have done. This will help you shortlist at least two to three names who match your requirements and budget
You can also utilize freelance platforms to find your next ghostwriter, but we suggest sticking to credible sources who have listed projects and can assist you better.
Once you have a finalized shortlist of candidates or agencies, get in touch with them with your requirements to get a quotation.
#3: Test the Skills of Ghostwriter
When you are hiring a ghostwriter, there are multiple skills you should look for before making the final decision. How good is the storytelling skill of the ghost?
Are they able to convey their message clearly to the readers with strong writing skill? Do they have an extraordinary logical thinking and problem solving skills? Can they process large amounts of information quickly and efficiently?
These are just the basics you should be looking for in a ghostwriter. The skill of a ghostwriter also depends on the type of project.
Not necessarily all ghostwriters will have the same skill set as they may have different specializations. Some might be best in the business, article writing, SEO content writing, memo writing, medical writing, novel writing, of course, for their story by writing fictional stories while others can be more inclined towards being the best ghost writer.
You can also ask your editor to review the technical skills of a ghostwriter such as how well they write, creativity level, sentence structuring, storytelling, and more.
Therefore, your assessment can be made based on the overall quality of the content and how well it looks and reads.
#4: Ask for Previous Work and/or Samples
We believe this is one of the most important aspects when you are on the hunt for an excellent ghostwriter. It’s best to talk about their experience and request for previous work can make your hiring job easier.
A good rule of thumb is to request your shortlisted candidates about what they have written in the past and how long they have worked as a ghostwriter or professional writer.
Now, remember you are also looking for a ‘GHOST’ writer, which means whatever they write on your behalf, you will have ALL the right of ownership and use.
Therefore, asking for previous work can be tricky when hiring a ghostwriter as most of the times they do not have the permission or authority to show their past work.
Depending on their legal agreements with the employer, they may or may not be in position to share portfolio.
If you are planning to hire a writer for a biography, the best way is to review their website.
As ghost writing service providers ourselves, we have a website with a list of books and other content pieces we have worked on in the past allowing our clients to decide. However, these do not imply our role in those projects.
Regardless, it is not like a ghostwriter is unable to share any sort of work experience or acknowledgment with you; unless, they work as deep ghosts.
Another good way to assess the work of a ghostwriter is by reviewing the ranking and reviews of a particular piece of content.
Just don’t go by their word – do your due diligence as a client to make an informed decision to save your time and money.
#5: Evaluate if the Ghostwriter can Portray Your Style and Voice
Similar to actors who play a certain character, ghostwriters have to carefully choose their style, voice, tone, words, and rhythm as well.
Working with an experienced ghost gives you an advantage as they can match a wide range of writing styles. Therefore, reviewing a ghostwriter’s sample is only helpful if you are assessing the quality of a writer or have a similar project in the pipeline.
No matter whether or not you have a established voice, tone, or style – it is the responsibility of a ghost to determine, capture, and establish your voice when they start working on your project. However, this is only applicable for fictional projects.
When you are hiring a non-fiction writers task, you have to be really careful. The blog or book should read like YOU are talking to the readers. So, there should be connection – and, it is only possible if the voice in the writing belongs to you.
As Dennis Farina said, “I think first impressions are important when you pick up a script.”
#6: Be Precise with your Needs
We have come a long way, yeah? By this time – we believe you might have decided (or at least finalized) the ghostwriter with whom you will be working together on your project.
Moving forward, be clear about everything you want. Discuss with your ghost how hands off or hands on you want them to be, so they can work accordingly.
A few questions that you should address include will they be allowed creative freedom and license? Or, do they have to follow your manuscript? Do you want the ghostwriter to share creative ideas? Would you like to hear feedback or comments on your project from the ghost?
These are just some questions which suggests how much room you are going to give to your ghost. On the contrary, a ghostwriter MUST be involved in the same capacity when collaborating on your project. They should make it VERY clear if they are willing to share and contribute more towards the projects creatively or will only rely on the ideas you provide.
Once all the technical writing details are sorted, it is time to discuss the mode and method of communication with your ghost. Will the ghostwriter be available to meet with you in person?
Majority ghost writers work ‘entirely’ remotely and attend virtual audio/video meetings to discuss the scope of work. Depending on your requirement, you can also ask the writer to be available to meet in person.
#7: Assess the Details Involved
Now that the project will be moving towards the initial stage, it is important for you to discuss the details of writing process with your ghost.
The two basic prerequisites for ghost writing comprise effective communication and cooperation between the writer and the editor. The need for both merely depends on the writing methodology the ghost follows alongside the demands/expectations of the authors.
When we talk about the process of ghostwriting, some ghosts prefer to work with the author on a milestone basis.
This is where they complete a good chunk of your project, deliver the written first draft for you to proofread, and start working on the next milestone. Others are likely to spend more time with the author to gather all the information, do their research, ask questions, and then disappear to start working on the project to deliver the final product.
The reason you should know the different variations of ghostwriting processes is to understand the one that more suitable with your work style and voice.
If you cannot dedicate more time working with the ghost, it is recommended to go with the first example where the writer works on a milestone basis independently and you can ask for changes as and when required. However, if you like to be more involved – you should consider the second example.
This is where you should determine what your role is going to be when the ghost submits written drafts. Are you going to make changes yourself or will you ask a copy editor to make necessary changes as per your comments? How many rounds of revisions would you like?
#8: Availability is not Mandatory
When you are hiring a ghost, please understand that they might not be available immediately to take on your project.
There are many authors who have missed out on working with excellent ghost writers only because they wanted them to start right away. This is not the case at all!
There might be a reason why they are not busy, or as busy as others – therefore, you might want to choose the right ghost. And what are the chances that your chosen ghost is available to start immediately? Highly unlikely, right?
Understand the industry of ghostwriting. The majority of writers book their projects in advance and meanwhile they are working on their committed deliveries.
It also depends on the ghost writer and whether they specialize in shorter or longer projects.
Regardless, it is important to consider this aspect when you are in the selection phase. Be clear with your needs, determine your goals and what you want to achieve before you finalize your decision and send in a contract to the client.
You would not want to rush your dream book or piece of content only because you now need it ASAP. It’s best to give things time and plan it out properly.
Book writing is a long-term project and to ensure it is a successful one, you should give it the time it deserves for a fruitful end product. Save yourself some time and hire the best available writer.
#9: Quality over Price
Have you thought about what’s your ideal budget and price range?
This must be your dream project. To get a book published. To become a successful author. To read and hear the words ‘best-selling book’ or ‘best-selling author’. To be named in the bestseller list. If you are envisioning this, you must always pay good money and prioritize quality over price.
The cost could be more when you want a professional to write an ebook or write a blog on your behalf, but you have to look at the bigger picture.
Over the years, we have heard many people saying that writing should not cost ‘THIS’ much. They are not willing to spend four to six figures investment only because they think it should be cheaper.
Well, that is certainly not the case!
If you believe this project is your dream, you should not be prioritizing price over quality and success. Obviously, cost is a factor one should consider – but, this does not mean you do not pay the worth of the project.
Hiring cheap ghost writers will take you nowhere. This project will be the public representation of you. Everything you write and mention is what you represent.
And, in today’s time, readers are tough critics. We recommend you to not take any chances. Go for the best ghost so your book stands out!
Your readers will also be making an investment by paying a price and purchasing your book and dedicating time to read it.
If you do not deliver the BEST, they are most likely not going to recommend or make a second purchase in the future.
#10: Discuss Timeline
By now you have finalized the ghost writer you will be hiring for your project. This is the best time to discuss timeline.
Ghostwriters are normally really busy and book their projects in advance. Therefore, it is important that you discuss with your chosen ghost about when they would be able to submit the project.
Both parties can agree on either on a per milestone basis or entire project completion (depending on what’s more suitable for the author). The timeline also depends on the scope of work of your project.
Typically, it takes a ghost writer to complete a book of 50 pages in about one to two months. Similarly, for other projects such as online content marketing – the timeline is decided according to the work required.
For full length projects, the timeline could vary from a couple of months to a year.
#11: Ask About Publishing
Will the ghost writer publish work on your behalf? It is necessary to know what your ghost’s role will be when it comes to publishing.
In case you how to hire a ghostwriter who does not handle publishing by any means, it is up to you to find a publisher in New York once the book is finalized.
Why Marketers & Companies Hire Ghostwriters?
In the past few years, the number of ghostwriters has significantly increased mainly because of several benefits they offer to marketers and companies. We have compiled a list of reasons why marketers and companies prefer to hire ghostwriters in New York.
How Can Ghostwriting Services Help You?
No matter if you are looking for a book ghost writer for yourself or for a client, Ghostwriting Services has got you covered. Our team of word writers works closely with you to turn your ideas and vision into reality. Ghostwriter’s writing and editing team of more than 200+ professionals ensures timely delivery allowing you to make a mark in the digital world.
All you have to do is contact us and share your requirements, and one of our book editors will get in touch with you to talk to you about how to take the plan forward. From non-fiction and fiction books to online content marketing plan, Ghostwriter’s team have lot of time in hand to offer a free discussion on your next project.
It is an important decision for an author to contact a ghostwriter to get your book written. This is because you will be working with them throughout the course of bringing your idea and story to reality. Be it the brainstorming phase, editing or publishing phase, you both will be working together.
It will be a long tiresome process, therefore it is vital to have a skilled ghostwriter who you feel comfortable to work with to write your book. Contact Ghostwriting Services today to learn more about how our word smith can help you improve your presence in the online world.