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Ghostwriters for Books: Become an Author Without Writing

You want to create a book that will change the lives of thousands of people. You want to be a bestselling author who is recognized and respected in your industry. But there are only so many hours in the day and you simply cannot find the time to work on your writing. Or you find writing tedious. How do you write a book when you are not a writer? How do you write without sacrificing quality? What is the best way to become a bestselling author without writing?

You came to the right place because we got a solution for you—work with a ghostwriter. 

Working with a ghostwriter is an excellent way to bring your ideas to life faster than you would on your own.

This article will take you into the world of ghostwriting and help you become an author without writing a word yourself.

What Is a Ghostwriter?

a ghostwriter starting to write set of books

A ghostwriter is defined as a writer who writes in the name of another, whether it’s a person, institution, group, or company. They help authors to get their thoughts out into words but they aren’t allowed to claim ownership over the piece they create and won’t receive a public or byline credit, which is why it is referred to as the “ghost” of a particular person. 

This is not a one-sided affair; it’s often a collaborative effort covering a wide range of relationships, ranging from a commissioned piece to a customized form of work, often tailored to the clients’ work style and objectives. 

In order to avoid drawing attention to their own contributions, a ghostwriter will ‌ adapt his writing skills to match the needs of the individual client.

It is clear to the ghostwriter that it is the intended author who will have the final say over what gets into the book. The client must possess the “author’s voice” because‌ they’re the ones who bear responsibility for the content of their work. 

What a Ghostwriter Can Offer?

Non-fiction Book

For a non-fiction book, the ghostwriter will need the author to prepare all the materials that will be used in the project. It might include all the stories and case studies. For additional materials, the ghostwriter will need to conduct extensive research about the topic and may interview experts, even the author, to come up with essential pieces of information needed for the book content. 

Fiction Book

For fiction, the responsibility of the ghostwriter is not as well defined as it is for non-fiction. The intended author will give his vision of the book, including the main plot, premise, characters, and how the story might end. Then the ghostwriter will take it from there and do the rest. 

Non-fiction or fiction, ghostwriters can help you develop your story ideas, place together all your materials to craft your content, and will lead you in making vital decisions for your book’s benefit. So find a ghostwriter that has the insider knowledge and expertise to make your book as strong as possible, and doesn’t just offer professional guidance, but is also invested in your success as well.

Reasons to Hire a Ghostwriter

Here are the main reasons ‌you might choose to work with one of them. 

You Don’t Have the Writing Skills

You may be an expert in your field, but you may not be an excellent writer. Writing is a skill and not everyone possesses it. The technicalities are so complicated that you may want to leave it to the expert for the best results.

If you have the opportunity, hire a professional ghostwriter who can use the knowledge and information you have to create well-written content for you. Even if you are not a skilled writer, you can still share your expertise and get published. 

You Don’t Have the Time

With your tight and busy schedule, it’s understandable that you don’t have enough hours in the day to write a book you’ve always wanted to create. This is a tough reality that you must face eventually. However, hiring a ghostwriter helps you save time. And time is something you probably don’t have, so it’s worth the investment. The ghostwriter can do your book writing for you while you focus on other things.

You Don’t Have Extensive Knowledge

A ghostwriter can help you create an entire book even if you do not have a firm grasp of the topic you have in mind. Because most times, they are actually the ones with the knowledge. If they can’t fully depend on the understanding of the client, they can conduct thorough research to create the content. 

You Need Reinforcement

If you’re just starting out as a writer, it can be an overwhelming task. Not only do you need to write a great book, but you also need to handle all the steps necessary to get it published. There are several paths you can take to publication, and a good ghostwriter can help with all of them. Remember that they are experienced writers who have the expertise, ability, time, energy, and resources to finish a book within the agreed deadline.

The answer to this question is yes. It’s a legal process of exchanging services and involves a voluntary agreement between two parties. A ghostwriter agrees to write content about a certain topic and within the constraints set forth by the client. In return, the client agrees to pay the writer for their services. 

It is also ethical even if ghostwriters don’t get credit for their work. The contract terms and conditions stipulate they sell the rights to the work they create. And as the owner of the content, the client will fairly compensate them. Ghostwriters are familiar and perfectly fine with this collaboration system. 

And now, being caught up with all these basic pieces of information, it’s time to tackle the next vital step: hiring a ghostwriter. 

How to Hire a Ghostwriter?

Finding the right ghostwriter is very crucial for the success of your book. Hiring could be an overwhelming and challenging task, but if you put in enough time and effort, it will be worthwhile. Your goal is to have a good collaboration for you to create great content and a well-published book. 

To guide you with this process, we’ve prepared a list of steps you should know and consider when you are hiring a ghostwriter. 

Determine Your Goals and Objectives

The first step in finding a qualified ghostwriter is to understand your goal. You should be sure to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and accomplish through your book before you invest your resources, time, and effort into this project. Think about what you want to get from this book. That will be an important factor in determining its value. Ask yourself:

Are you trying to write a book to generate income? Is your goal to gain more knowledge on a particular topic? Or do you simply need help to complete a certain project? Do you want to establish your name in the industry? Do you need to expand your outreach or just to make an impactful brand for any of your endeavors? 

Think about your target audience. Do you want to impart knowledge to your readers or your goal is just to entertain them? 

The answers to these questions will help you clarify the purpose of the project and the direction you want it to take. Thus, making it easier for you to explain your needs and wants to your ghostwriter.

Search for Your Ghostwriter

You’ve got your goals in mind and you’re clear on what you want to accomplish. Now you need to find a ghostwriter. However, finding a ghostwriter isn’t always as easy as it may seem. They’re often in the business of keeping low profiles and they tend to avoid sharing their previous work. 

There are many agencies and platforms that have a roster of ghostwriters.  Leaders Press is in the business of providing ghostwriting services and making bestselling authors. You can book a free consultation and make clear your niche, topic, and goals.

Evaluate the Skills’ Level of the Ghostwriter

You need to look for several specific skills before deciding which one you are going to work with. Assess their storytelling and narrative skills. Are they excellent at developing and conveying their message clearly to their audience with their writing skills? Do they possess logical and critical thinking? Are they efficient in problem-solving? Are they good at organizing complex information? Consider these basic guiding questions to check their capabilities. 

You can also ask for help from a trusted literary agent or an editor to give you feedback on any potential ghostwriter. Yes, you can separate great writing from a mediocre one, but an expert and professional in the industry can detect some of the finer details, such as their technical skills. And these reviews can make all the big difference. 

Check Their Previous Works

You’ll need to consider two factors when you’re dealing with your shortlisted candidates. One is their experience, and the other is the quality of their previous works. Know how long they’ve been working as a writer and ask for their portfolio. 

However, because of non-disclosure agreements they had with past clients, asking for proof of experience can be tricky. As very often, they don’t possess the authority and permission to share their previous work.  

You can still find evidence of the work that ghostwriters have done by visiting their websites. They show a list of all the content and book projects they’ve been involved in, though it doesn’t imply the part they contributed to each book. However, you can check the reviews and rankings of a particular book mentioned on their platform. It might contribute to your assessment. 

Determine if the Ghostwriter Can Match Your Voice and Style

You need to make sure that the ghostwriter you are considering is well experienced and can write in different styles. If their previous works are available for you to review, check if they have experience in projects similar to yours.

For fictional projects, the ghostwriter should capture and match your tone and style even if these aspects were not that established. 

It’s a different discussion if you’re into non-fiction. The ghostwriter will make sure that the voice in the writing should be yours, as if you are talking to the audience. You don’t want your reader to be confused, especially those who know you and heard you speak. 

Be Exact About What You Need

At this stage, you’ve hired your preferred ghostwriter. And as the collaboration begins, what’s the next thing to do? 

While it’s a good idea to get a sense of how the ghostwriter will work on your project before handing over the reins, you’ll want to set the boundaries for them. Do you want them to work within your detailed plan or are they free to add some of their own ideas? How much freedom can you give, and how much direction do you want your ghostwriter to follow? Also, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into: is this a collaborative effort, or are you the one responsible for crafting the final product?

You should also think about the way of communication with your ghostwriter. Consider whether you’d like to have a physical meeting or whether virtual meetings are sufficient. Working long distance works well with many writers. However, occasionally you may want your ghostwriter to be physically present in some important meetings. Either way works.

Know the Details of Work Procedures

A successful ghostwriting collaboration mainly depends on two vital aspects: communication and cooperation. The client and the writer should know well the procedures they will follow based on their needs and the working process they are used to. As the project begins, some ghostwriters will work closely with their authors while doing extensive research, information gathering, and organizing all the materials needed. Then they’ll work solely for months to draft every chapter. Depending on the agreement, they might show the client the chapters by batch or the completely finished book. Some work in a bit-by-bit process, working jointly with every chapter as the collaboration progresses. And in between these two extremes, there are a wide variety of approaches.

You should also talk about the timeline. Ghostwriters have their projects planned out in advance, so they’re usually quite busy and book theirs in advance. Discuss when you can expect the project to be finished. 

It’s vital that you comprehend the working process used by the ghostwriter and see if it suits your style. If you’re used to having a great deal of control over your work, the first example will not apply to you. If you have a tight schedule and you trust your ghostwriter enough, then working on a milestone basis would be fit for you. 

Understand The Availability 

It may not be possible to get your ghostwriter on board right away, so it’s important to understand that you may have to wait for their services. In fact, some authors haven’t been able to find good ghostwriters because they want them to work immediately. 

It may seem that the chances of finding an experienced ghostwriter who is available to work on your project right away are slim‌. A qualified writer is usually occupied and has a tight schedule and book their project proposal in advance. The longer the project, the longer the time they’ll need to write it, so they are usually less likely to be available immediately. However, there are also writers who specialize in shorter projects. These have a greater chance of being available for immediate work.

It’s worth taking some time thinking about this. The urgency of the project shouldn’t compel you to rush it along. There’s no rush to get your book written because you need it now. A book is a long-term project, and it deserves the respect and time it needs to properly develop and complete.

Recognized the Fact That Quality Comes With a Price

When choosing a ghostwriter, it is important to understand that the fee you pay should not be the only deciding factor. There’s nothing wrong with prioritizing quality and success when you’re deciding on the price of a project. Quality always matters, even if it means paying more.

You can’t outsource a project to a cheaper writer and expect to receive a quality outcome. Think of your book as a way to present yourself to the world. Everything that’s written in your book is how you’re perceived by your audience. When readers invest their time and money in reading your book, they’re looking for the best possible outcome. 

How Much Does It Cost?

I’m sure this question is important to you. Ghostwriters don’t have a standard going rate. These factors can affect the cost:

  • The length of the project. It’s simple, they will charge you a higher price for a book project than for a shorter work like a blog article. 
  • The extent of involvement needed. Will the ghostwriter just help you for a shorter ‌time or will they work for you in the long run?
  • Their experience. If the writer has a lengthy track record, they will ‌ charge more. The better they are and the more experienced they are, the higher the price. If they are just starting out, however, they will probably charge less.

In general, it’s not a common practice for a ghostwriter to be given royalties and a share of profits for writing a book. Mostly, they’re paid a flat sum for a project. 

Include The Publishing Aspects 

It’s important that you understand the responsibility of your ghostwriter regarding the publishing of your book. Was it included in their scope of work? Do they have any connections with publishers or people working in publishing firms? To avoid the stress and hassle of this process, it’s important to consider these things and make sure that your ghostwriter will help you with publishing your work.

Process of Book Ghostwriting

Although every project has different procedures, ghostwriting for a book involves this process:

  • The ghostwriter and the client have their first meeting. In order to get an idea of how well they will work together, they discuss their work process. The ghostwriter will ask questions to get a better idea of the client’s requirements.
  • The ghostwriter submits a project proposal to the client. The collaboration will proceed once the proposal is approved and signed.
  • The client will be interviewed by the ghostwriter via phone or video conferencing. There can also be in person meet ups depending on your arrangements. This series of interviews will be transcribed. Based on the information gathered from the interviews, the author writes a book outline subject for revisions. Typically, a couple of different drafts will go by until it’s ready to be developed. 
  • An expanded book outline will be created by the ghostwriter. There will be some discussions about it until they come up with a final working outline.
  • The writing process is going to be the most important part of the ghostwriter’s job. It will take between a few months and a year for the book draft to be completed and sent to the client.
  • The author’s revision will be executed. This is the part where the client will be involved frequently. 
  • Once the manuscript is completed, it will undergo a series of editing to make it ready for publication.

Draw Up a Contract

Do I need to have something in black and white? You need to decide this matter before you go along with the process. A contract is the only legal way to formalize your project collaboration. This will give you assurance and a great way to protect your interests. It’s either the ghostwriter has a standard one or it’s you who will draw up a contract. 

Contract clauses you should check for: 

  • The non-disclosure agreement is a common clause in every ghostwriting contract. It will keep the confidentiality of the agreement and prohibit the writer from disclosing certain details and information about the deal project to a third party. 
  • The contract should stipulate that you, as the intended author, own the copyright and all the intellectual property of the book.
  • If you are a self-publishing author, it’s common to pay the ghostwriter through his fixed and standard fee.
  • If things don’t go exactly according to plan and both parties decide to part ways, a termination clause should be included. 

Maintain a Healthy Relationship 

Cultivating a good working relationship with your ghostwriter is very essential in your collaboration. Always keep the line of communication open. Talk to your ghostwriter as often as possible and discuss anything you may need to address. Because if you don’t communicate well, you will not be able to get the best out of your ghostwriting service.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we help you walk through the benefits of working with a ghostwriter to help you make your own book. If you do not have time or you feel you’re not capable of creating your own book, take a leap and try the service of a credible ghostwriter. It’s an exciting yet overwhelming process, so it is imperative to have a writer who you feel comfortable working with. Bring out your ideas into life and be an author without writing.

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