By Karen S. Cole – Ghostwriter for Hire:
Why do you need a ghostwriter for hire, in other words a freelance ghost?
Some of us work for publishers; some don’t.
Ghostwriter for Hire – Your Ghost and Others.
For what exactly do you need a ghostwriter for hire?
Well, we are a professional type of screening process that gives professional advice for pay, not for free. Because we are ghostly indeed. We get no real credit for our hard work. It’s a thankless job, in some ways, but pay is involved. That’s what makes the job worthwhile. We can advise you somewhat carpe diem, or a la carte, but in the end real hookups have got to come for money. That’s what other ghostwriters for hire may or may not handle. I always do my level best to fully prepare each manuscript for publishing purposes.
Why is it my business to be a ghostwriter for hire?
I pave the way for the author client to land a commercial publisher, even if my original corrected manuscript is chucked out the door. That’s a lesson I learned once again recently. Sometimes you do all the legwork, get paid for it, but you can forget about the book ever being your baby, or even the manuscript. It isn’t lack of experience or the quality of the ghostwriter’s work. I’ve been a ghost since 2003, and I’ve “edited” some 50+ published books I can cite.
Some of them, I may only relate a few details. Others I can direct you to on Amazon, such as “This is Your Time, Rwanda” by J. Mbabazi. Or “The Boys of Birmingham” by P. L. Ryan, on the Civil Rights Movement. Or “The Antichrist 666” by Cloise Orand II, all about Mars, history, the Catholic Church and science fiction, but not at all about evil. Semper Fi Forever, all the US Marines I have worked with – for your delightful books! Dr. King is in the Library of Congress more often through my hard work. MLK used ghostwriters. So did Malcolm X. On a regular basis. Those are just a few examples. Ghost Writer, Inc. also had a hand in “Miracles from Heaven,” a book ghostwritten by Kerry Z., movie starring Queen Latifah and Jennifer Garner.
I am and will be a Ghostwriter for Hire. Freelance.
However, lately I’ve been delegating. Work goes out to the 200+ ghostwriters for hire on our team instead of me. I reached an object pause in that today, when I found things out. One polite, nice Black couple, a lady and a gentleman, have taught me a lesson. When you’re sick, there’s no use taking on a project yourself. But I completed their project partially, my end of things, for $1,000.
I leveled the playing field and made sure I was paid accurately. The couple of clients involved needed a book proposal completed, and a more efficient short list of literary agents. Not a long list. I gave them three all-important names, Bonnie did it for me, ignoring all the other ones for now. Her work there is worth money, believe me! Those agents lead to the correct commercial book publishers, money is involved.
It made me feel weird. Like I can still work on a book. I probably will give in and work on the next book. The reality of being a ghostwriter for hire is the work changes on a day to day basis. You never know what to expect. The couple who hired me are “possibly” alcoholics and their thinking is scattered and disorganized. So much so that I wasn’t able to complete their manuscript.
It scattered and disorganized me, knowing that I would have to complete their ghostwritten book proposal, which is a pretty flat and tepid one next to the ones GWI team member Bonnie H., is able to produce. She churns out great copy and fantastic, exciting new book proposals, period. However, she has to charge appropriately for her services: $5 to $8,000 USD.
What is a professional freelance ghostwriter for hire to do?
This ghostwriter for hire was taken aback, because the budget for the Black couple’s project only totaled $5,000 for everything. The client already has a decent book proposal, but a dry and boring one. So after a lot of heavy thought, I turned the couple down on $5,000 USD for book editing their manuscript. It turned out they were writing it chapter by chapter as they go, and they were starting to try to make me do the entire book for $1,000 instead of the $5K we signed for. If they kept sending me chapters on top of chapters when we agreed in the Contract to send only about 50 pages at a time…I think they may have been crooked. They thought I was! That is always a “red flag” when it comes to the veracity of oncoming author clients.
I don’t think they intended that, I think they just weren’t thinking straight. Alcohol does that to people so far as I know. I don’t drink it; I’m an occasional coffee-holic, and know how thoroughly that drug can kick my butt. Same with caffeinated sodas. And you never can tell that easily which ones have caffeine in them. So I can’t cold turkey off of caffeine. So says this ghostwriter for hire. Anyway, when you work for able-bodied disabled people, it can go that way. JF the client and her husband got overinvolved. You should always work with one client at a time, not a married couple. It’s easier to establish a working relationship that way. Most of the jobs where two people thought they were writing the book or having a book editor fell apart. One or the other of them decided a gang-up on me was in order.
Rarely, one of my writers gangs up against me. With a client.
This is a job, and businesses should be treated respectfully. Not with wacko sexism, racism or whatever causes idiocy like that. I fire writers who pull head trips like that on me, I don’t take being taken for a fool. But I’m polite and understanding. I’m a ghostwriter for hire, not a psychological punching bag. Well, that is it. I need to be ghostwriting for $20-25,000 a book, not editing manuscripts. I think. It would have been a great job, as JF and her husband were nice, but alkies are alkies is all.
I know drinking “dazes you out.” Yes, they handed me something so disorganized I couldn’t have done a thing with it, if I’d been completely well. Philip Roth couldn’t have done it. He’s a long term professional ghostwriter who turned me onto the field. So did Woody Allen and Stan Lee. But I could swear the clients were trying to make me write the book for $1,000, handing me new chapters at the wrong time. That made me suspicious of their future conduct; but, did I just give up on the job?
No. I decided to fall back and regroup. Do the first two chapters, put it together with their other literary agent docs, which they can do instead of me. Then they send them out, no cost to them, and they save themselves $4,000. If the book has legs, one of those “interested agents” will surely go for the gusto. It was a book about bathrooms in clubs, wonderful short stories. I’m sad to have left that book behind.
Seriously, it takes more organization on the part of the client.
They need to not question my fees and my experience so much. Then, they also need to realize what it looks like if they keep stuffing work at me, when we need to stay on a schedule. Finally, I need to be well enough when I take on a book project, but of course I caught sick around the beginning of JR’s project. With luck, it’s just the flu. It could be trichinosis, heart problems, diabetes, or jungle rot. It figures. Well, I always knew I’d need to quit in the middle of a project for which I’d signed a contract. To be a ghostwriter for hire is to be on a voyage of learning, every step as you go. Ups and downs!
Regroup, try it again with someone else. Wait until I’m well again to take on the hard work that a book writing or editing project is. Meanwhile, I will send work out to the non-sick (hopefully) writers and editors on our team. Once I am well again, I will consider me taking on another book project. Meanwhile, I have over 200 people, someone to match each client’s specialty. So we are still a ghostwriter for hire agency. That doesn’t change overnight, but changes need their accommodations. I deeply enjoy working on the occasional project myself, but $5K is too low for someone like me.
The Quandary is Always how best to Serve the Ghostwriter for Hire Author Client~! Professional Conduct Issue.
What’s a professional ghostwriter for hire to do? Under Bonnie’s advice, I churned out two perfectly good chapters, as an ethical act. They go at the end of the book proposal they already have, which was prepared by yet another ghostwriter. Then they send out the needed docs to literary agents. They must do the legwork themselves, if $5,000 is all the budget they have available. That is just how that highly particular project has to go. They have all kinds of literary agents lined up to review their docs.
The reason they don’t need to finish a completed manuscript, possibly ever, is that if you line up a commercial publisher for a book, they will probably process it through a rewrite anyway. It will be edited into shape for them. They use in-house ghostwriters. So the book proposal, letter of query and two chapters fits the bill. I would have felt guilty writing them a “trash” manuscript. I’ve been told that I write like a beautiful dream.
I’ve won several awards and had a bunch of bestsellers as ghostwritten works. I have three of my own books out currently, under my name; bestsellers on Amazon! However, in many cases the publisher needs to make some extra money. They use in-house ghosts to go ahead and re-edit the book, no matter how well it is written. I’ve had many of my completed manuscripts accepted, by self and commercial publishers.
Why feel guilt-ridden, when I did my best to serve the client as a ghostwriter for hire?
Why ever be a ghostwriter for hire to begin with? There WAS a use to me completing their book manuscript. They get two representative chapters from it, possibly from the middle of the book. Their book drops some celebrity names, later on in the process. That could have worked, and the commercial publisher has something more to work with. However, in this case the client was too scattered, so they will have to draw back and think about things more thoroughly next time. I gave them a great start, and it is key for the $1,000 payment. So was Bonnie telling them which literary agents to pitch the proposal to – three excellent ones!
At any rate, in the future, I will have to a) BE well and b) understand that when somebody needs a book manuscript completed, they want two representative chapters from the entire thing. However, I gave them two fully polished, gleaming chapters, just the first two of them. That’s enough for the publisher to tell what is going on. I can only hope so, that I believe they will work to lure in a literary agent and a publisher. Those professionals will want a further look at things. It’s hard though to create a manuscript just so that it gets scrapped in favor of a newer manuscript. One that may not even be as well-written as the one a ghostwriter for hire writes.
You need to be less suspicious, and more of a positive outlook type of person.
If JF didn’t lie to me, they have a lot of interest in their book. They don’t need a completed manuscript, only the two chapters. It might as well be the first two in their case, those should lure in the agent and then the publisher. That’s the advice Bonnie H. meant to give me, and it’s what I’m sticking with for now. A ghostwriter for hire realizes the next client will have totally different needs, though. It’s the way it is, ever exciting, ever changing, ever mysteriously enticing me to work more.