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Many of our aspiring authors tell us they want to hire a ghostwriter. So, we thought a quick little overview of ghostwriting is in order. Of course, you can also contact us with any additional questions or for more information.

What is a ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter is a professional writer who writes on the behalf of another person as though they are that person. Celebrities who write books often state they are the author, but in many cases, they used a professional writer. A ghostwriter gives up any rights to the written work in exchange for payment for services rendered.

How does the process look?

Usually when you hire a ghostwriter, a contract is drawn up to set up clear expectations for both parties. Together the ghostwriter and aspiring author work out an action plan that includes interviews, collection of content (ie. Awards, stories, newspaper clippings), and overall direction of the book.

From there, a pattern of interviewing, writing, compiling, reviewing and editing is done for as long as the project takes. Writing a book takes significant time and ghostwriting nearly doubles it as two or more people are working together on it.

Do I need a ghostwriter?

With a better understanding of ghostwriting, you may now wonder if you need one. I have found most people are better served with a writing coach rather than a ghostwriter. A writing coach can guide you through tactics, accountability and encouragement for you to tell your story and compile your information.

However, if the aspiring author has a learning or other disability that makes writing extremely difficult or impossible, a ghostwriter may be a good fit. If the author has English as a second language or has extremely poor grammar skills, it may be better to hire a ghostwriter. However, in both cases, verbal dictation can be used and transcribed, which may be a more cost effective way to produce a book.

If time is the reason why you are considering hiring a ghostwriter, then I suggest considering how you feel the book would benefit you. It may be worth taking time off work or adjusting priorities for a time in order to get your book done.

What does a ghostwriter charge?

Ghostwriting is a labor intensive task, and for large projects, such as books, prices range from .35-1.00 per finished word. “Per finished word” means that when the work is complete, you pay for the number of words in the final manuscript being sent to the editor. According to Wikipedia, the average non-fiction book is about 50,000 words.

How do I hire a ghostwriter?

To hire a ghostwriter, you will want to start with a reliable, trustworthy company who has already worked with ghostwriters and has done the vetting for you. This may cost a little bit more, but is worth it. Ghostwriting is a large undertaking and should be looked at as thoroughly as you would hiring a contractor to build an addition onto your home.

If you choose to hire a ghostwriter from the big world wide web, ask for references and check them; ask for writing samples to see if you like how they present information and if it’s clear; and get a clear contract up front. If possible, have an editor take a look at the writing samples and have a lawyer review the contract before moving forward. Keep a copy of everything you submit to them and be open to the experience of getting your book out into the world!

My Word Publishing has vetted ghostwriters ready to support your goals, as well as writing coaches, if you choose that option instead. Once your manuscript is complete, they can support you in your self-publishing journey as well. Contact us today with any questions, comments or to schedule a complimentary discovery session.