Who and what is a professional ghostwriter – and how can one of them assist you with your work?
What is it like to be a professional ghostwriter? The hours are terrific, as you set them all yourself. You can take off as many weekends, holidays or as much vacation time as you like, and you can haul your notebook along with you anywhere you go.
So you are free to work literally anywhere in the world. You are not bound by the usual bonds of time and space; you are your own independent agent. Also, you get to write stuff for a lot of different kinds of clients. As a professional ghostwriter, you are often asked to specialize in a particular genre or genres. In the past I’ve done lots of memoir assignments, especially for armed service members.
But I like doing a much wider variety of jobs, performing work on fiction novels of all types, life stories and nonfiction novels too. Having done work concerning the Holocaust, Dr. King, English horse racing, Russian private schools, the US Marines, house party sales, Haitian voodoo zombies, etc. And my work as a professional ghostwriter on a fiction book about the Antichrist sold some 20 copies a day from the author’s website.
How does a professional ghostwriter work – what is your routine?
A professional ghostwriter must be prepared to take on unusual assignments. Sometimes, my clients don’t even use a computer. Such as the Vietnam veteran who needed me to contact his stepson in order to continue my work. In cases like this, I often use tape or CD transcripts prepared by the client, sending the original material to a transcriptionist in order to put it into Word documents so that I have the background materials for the manuscript in progress.
I only do book ghostwriting and editing myself. As well as sending out work leads to writers on our GWI team. But sometimes a professional ghostwriter also handles screenplays and scripts, music and music lyrics too. I do refer work like this out to my team of professional writers, editors, marketers and others.
How do I talk to a professional ghostwriter – and what is the pay involved?
When you are a professional ghostwriter, you should have access to working with a variety of materials, such as transcribed notes, Word, WP and PDF documents, hand-written notes when possible, phone transcripts and conversations, Skype calls, etc. You have to be willing to communicate and interact closely with your client, using email, snail mail, phone and Skype, Internet messages, etc. The lines of communication must be constantly open, so you can deal with every small or large problem that comes along. As a professional ghostwriter, you must carefully live up to your title.
Finally, a professional ghostwriter is willing to work within a client’s budget, with reasonable limits. The ghostwriter must take all payments in advance in cases where the book is not by a celebrity or likely to sell extremely well, but should be willing to break up the payments into affordable monthly installments. Charging less than standard book ghostwriting rates can help a professional ghostwriter establish a firm client base, as many ghostwriters find that word of mouth is the best source for new and returning client contacts.
A professional ghostwriter is always willing to work hard for the money. In addition to this, to provide other related services such as marketing and publishing assistance. Such as book proposal and query creation and submission services. Usually this comes at additional pay to the original ghostwriting services.