What do Alexandre Dumas’s The Three Musketeers, JFK’s Profiles in Courage, and Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew series all have in common?
They were all written in whole or in part by ghostwriters.
Surprised? That’s the point—ghostwriters are called “ghosts” because you don’t know they’re there.
But what exactly is a ghostwriter?
In short, a professional ghostwriter works for someone with an idea for a book but who doesn’t have the time or the skills to write it him- or herself. A ghostwriter writes the book, but the client gets the credit as the author. Ghostwriting services cover every type of book you could think of—fiction, nonfiction, memoir, you name it.
Are you looking for a ghost author to write your book for you? In this post, we’ll explore how to hire a ghostwriter and what to expect once you’ve hired one.
Finding the right professional ghostwriter to write your book takes preparation and research. As you’re thinking about how to hire a ghostwriter for your book, follow these steps to ensure you find the ghostwriting services you need.
The more you know about your book concept, the better chance you’ll have of finding a ghostwriter who is a good fit for your book—after all, you don’t want to hire a memoir writer if your book is a fiction romance. Think about what you want your book to be (e.g., fiction, nonfiction, memoir). Then think about what you want it to accomplish and who you want it to reach. Finally, look for ghost authors who can help you achieve these goals.
The easiest way to tell whether a professional ghostwriter is right for your book is to look at the published books that ghostwriter has already worked on. For example, if you need to hire a memoir writer to write your memoir, look for a ghostwriter who has written a book about someone with a background similar to yours. Or if you need someone to write your historical fiction book, look for ghost authors who have written historical fiction about the same period as the one you chose for your story.
Do you know someone who has worked with a professional ghostwriter? If that person had a positive experience with the ghostwriter, research the writer’s background and writing specialties, and consider working with him or her on your book as well.
The best way to find ghostwriting services for your book is to search online. Often, ghostwriters have their own websites or LinkedIn pages. These offer helpful information about their ghostwriting experience. However, steer clear of writing mills: though they’re tempting, the lowest book ghostwriting fees likely won’t give you the best value.
Once you’ve narrowed the field and found a handful of possible ghostwriters, how do you know which you should hire?
Reach out to each writer, and ask some preliminary questions to determine compatibility. This will help you decide which writer is the best fit for your book.
Make sure a potential ghostwriter knows what type of book you want written, and give him or her as much information about your book concept as possible. Are you hiring a memoir writer? Share key facts about yourself. Do you need a fiction or nonfiction writer? Present your story idea or your vision for your book.
Ask questions about the ghostwriter’s process. What are the writer’s book ghostwriting fees? How does the writer prefer to handle payment? Also, how does the writer like to communicate? Furthermore, how long of a project timeline is the writer most comfortable with? Keep in mind that the best ghostwriters are often the busiest, so be prepared to book the writer to work on your project in a few weeks or months, rather than immediately.
Once you’ve discussed your vision for your book and the ghostwriter’s experience, process, and availability, you should have a clear idea of whether you and the ghostwriter will be compatible.
After you hire a professional ghostwriter, what will it be like to work with that person?
It will largely depend on the writer’s preferred process, but here are some things you can expect from your partnership with a ghostwriter.
Your partnership with your ghost author might involve close collaboration, including many interview sessions and a close review of the book on a chapter-by-chapter basis. This approach might be helpful, for example, if your book is a memoir and includes many important details about your family’s history that the ghostwriter needs to learn from you and can’t just research on his or her own.
If you feel you’ve given your ghostwriter sufficient notes about where you’d like your book to go, you might allow the writer some creative freedom in writing your book. This approach might be helpful if you have limited time to work alongside the writer.
Whether you work closely on the book with the ghostwriter or give him or her creative freedom, once the writer has produced a draft, you should look everything over and, if necessary, provide helpful suggestions to guide the draft closer to your vision of the book. For example, if your book is a business guide, you might add another professional anecdote or adjust some details to make the content more accurate. If your book is fiction, you might offer suggestions for character development or plot structure that further expand the story you’ve envisioned.
If a book idea is haunting the back of your mind, but you just don’t have the time or know-how to write it yourself, working with a ghost author could be a fun, rewarding, and even intimate way to make your book a reality. Though learning how to hire this type of writer can be intimidating, our tips for finding ghostwriters, learning about ghostwriting services, and understanding book ghostwriting fees should help you get started!
And here’s a parting bit of great news: at Elite Authors, we know you have a story, and we’d love to help you tell it. So sit back and relax, because we can take care of everything you just read about in this article. If you’re looking for ghostwriting help, we will do all the hard work and lead you through the process with ease, matching you up with the right ghostwriter. Our ghostwriters have written for CEOs of Fortune 500s, New York Times bestellers, celebrities, Hall of Famers, and more, so you can rest assured that your story—your vision—will be in the right hands. Ready to get started? Let’s chat.