HIRE BESTSELLING GHOSTWRITER
By Bonnie H.
But…how do you hire bestselling ghostwriter me, here at Ghost Writer, Inc.?
You have a great, compelling story to tell, and you think you need the help of a ghostwriter. But how do you find the right one for you? First, ask yourself what you are seeking. You want an affordable ghostwriter who understands and relates to your story, right? You also want a professional ghostwriter with experience handling and perhaps helping publish books such as yours.
Now, be honest with yourself. Do you have the time to devote to the writing project? When you hire a ghostwriter, he or she is going to want to talk to you on the phone in order to capture your voice on the page. Some may want written notes. Do you have the budget necessary to hire a professional ghostwriter? Experienced writers will charge from about 30 cents to one dollar or more per word. (And, no, most will not take a percentage of your project in lieu of payment.)
Most of all, do you have the passion to see this book through? Is this a story that must be told? If so, here are some questions to ask a potential ghostwriter:
“What is your vision for this book?”
What the ghostwriter sees for your book tells as much about him or her as it does your story. If it’s that your book will be a mega hit, and you will play yourself in the movie, back off. A professional ghostwriter is not going to make those claims no matter how much she loves your book. If there’s no passion from the ghostwriter, though, no excitement about your story, and no feedback about how to tell it, there won’t be any passion on the page either. When you hire a ghostwriter, it’s a lot like dating. Whatever feels wrong at the beginning will prove to be really wrong down the line.
“How soon can you ghostwrite my book?”
I try to complete most projects in four to six months. For clients on publication deadlines, I’ve ghosted in less time. What’s a little lost sleep, right? However, you want enough time to fully develop your book with the ghostwriter. Also ask how often you will speak. E-mail won’t be enough. You should probably talk at least weekly to start.
“Will you be the only ghostwriter working on my book?”
Not only should you ask this, but you should be certain that it’s in your agreement with the ghostwriter. You don’t want to hire a name ghostwriter only to be farmed off to his or her assistant.
“What style do you use?”
Most books are written according to the Chicago Manual of Style. So, “Chicago Style” is a great answer to that question. You are paying for a ghostwriter, but you want to be sure your finished manuscript meets current publication standards. I can’t begin to tell you how many do not. Which brings us to…
“Will you help me find a publisher?”
With today’s changing world of publishing, many options await the savvy author. Should you go to a big publisher? A boutique publisher? An ebook publisher? Are you really better off self-publishing? (Probably not.) A knowledgeable ghostwriter should be able to answer your questions.
“What other books have you written and/or edited, and do you have references I could call?”
If you are on a tight budget, you may end up hiring a ghostwriter with less experience, but at least compare. Has this ghostwriter worked with large publishers, or are all of his clients self-published? There’s nothing wrong with that. But remember—as I said before, finding a ghostwriter is like dating. You need to see how your goals for your book line up with the ghostwriter’s experience and abilities.
Here’s wishing you a match made in literary heaven, wherever and whenever you hire a ghostwriter!
Bonnie H. has had nine of her last ten book proposals accepted for publication by large or boutique publishers (not self-published), and six were represented by literary agents. She assists her clients with the writing and editing as well as the agent-publisher search. And she loves everything about writing, even when she hates it!