Hire a Ghostwriter…with These 8-steps
“You should really write a book!”
Maybe you have heard this as you relate your story to other people and maybe you have a great story idea (or many ideas!). By all means, you should write a book and there is absolutely no reason why you can’t.
Check that item off of your bucket list and feel proud of yourself. The sense of accomplishment you gain, the success you enjoy, and the money you earn from your book sales are all excellent reasons to write one.
But writing a book can be daunting, especially if you have never written one before. Perhaps you don’t have the time to write a book or perhaps you don’t know quite how to put your words down on paper. That is when you hire a ghostwriter.
But What Does a Ghostwriter Do?
Ghostwriters are professional writers who create written content for you, while signing over all rights to the book and then you can then publish the book under your name. Some authors credit their ghostwriters and others do not. Credit is at your discretion.
When you hire a ghostwriter, you must consider some key things. Finding the right ghostwriter is everything to creating your dream the way you want it.
Read on to find out how to hire a ghostwriter who creates quality content for you.
1. Determine What you Want Your Book to be About and How you Want the Voice to Sound
This book is your baby so, you must make it what you really want.
What do you really want from your book? Do you want a fun, chatty, conversational tone? Do you want a formal piece, full of research? Do you want a noir feel, or a more Victorian approach? Is it fiction or non-fiction?
Then put it all together in a document. You should also include the basic content of the book that you want, as well. This will be the outline that you give to your ghostwriter.
2. Document Everything you Require When you Hire a Ghostwriter
If you have specific formatting needs, put them in this outline and be sure to document everything you require. The ghostwriter you hire is not a mind reader, so you must be as clear as possible in your communication. Is this going to be an ebook full of clickable links? Or is it going to be a more traditional book? Do you need it formatted for Kindle?
A ghostwriter will need to know all of this information. He or she will need to know what tone to write in and what to write about. You also need to know this information so that you can hire a ghostwriter who best writes to your vision.
3. Ghostwriters Don’t Work for Free!
You must figure out what your budget is. Since ghostwriters charge different rates be sure to have your budget in mind when you hire a ghostwriter.
Be very clear with your ghostwriter so their are no issues when the job is completed.
4. State your Deadlines When you Hire a Ghostwriter
You need a timeline and what is your deadline? How much time can you dedicate to the book and how much time do you expect from your ghostwriter? The average novel can take several months to a year. A textbook could take longer and a blog article could take one day.
Always have this in writing when you hire a ghostwriter.
5. Hire a Ghostwriter Using an Agency
Various agencies exist which connect you with professional ghostwriters. These agencies are excellent places to start when you hire a ghostwriter, especially if you have never hired one before. Legacy One is one such agency. Another great one is Arbor Books.
Contact the agency and give them all of the information you have brainstormed for your book. That way, they can match you with someone who can write in your style and who can meet your budget and schedule.
6. Hire a Ghostwriter Online
The Internet is full of ghostwriters looking for work. You must use your intuition and look at their reviews, writing samples, and portfolios to determine if they meet your needs.
The best way to connect with ghostwriters is through sites like Upwork, Guru, and Freelancer. Create an employer account and set up your payment information. Then post your job with all of your specifications.
One tip is to include an odd request in your post, to ensure that your ghostwriter can follow instructions. Ask something like, “Start your application with ‘Three.’” You can easily weed out the applicants who don’t do this as people who don’t follow instructions.
Next, go through the applications, or bids, that you receive. You could get hundreds! Reject the ghostwriters who can’t complete your book in time, who charge rates that don’t meet your budget, or who can’t follow your proposal instructions. Reject the applicants who submit proposals and samples full of errors, as well. Seriously consider the ones who send in strong applications listing their skills and experience, and who submit quality writing samples.
From there, you can interview these applicants. See which ones can match your desired voice and ask for writing samples similar to what you are seeking, as these samples a good indicator of the ghostwriter’s style.
My advice is to perform a video interview. You can get to know your ghostwriter and communicate far more effectively in person.
After a few days of interviewing and reviewing samples, you are now ready to hire a ghostwriter. Hire the one who best fits your needs.
7. Have an NDA When you Hire a Ghostwriter
Before you start working with a ghostwriter, you must obtain a non-disclosure agreement and you can find simple ones for free online. The NDA outlines your rights and the ghostwriter’s rights. It protects both you and the ghostwriter, should a legal squabble arise. Hopefully it never does, but you never know what could happen. Having this document in place is critical!
8. Be Patient
When you hire a ghostwriter, don’t expect perfection on the first round. This book is a collaboration that you undertake with your ghostwriter. Only through combined effort, good communication, and many revisions do you create the manuscript that you really want.
It is all too common for clients to fire ghostwriters the minute they read the first draft and see that it is not exactly what they wanted. Give your ghostwriter a chance.
Before work begins, make it very clear what you expect. Your ghostwriter is not a mind reader. You have to specify the topics you want covered, the voice you want your ghostwriter to write in, and the length and style of the document. You should send examples of work, such as web page links, that are similar to what you expect.
If you don’t like the first draft, request revisions. Make it clear what you want revised. Tell your ghostwriter specifically what is wrong with the document and how you want him or her to change it. You could even make the changes yourself.
Using an online word processing tool like Google documents can help you collaborate with your ghostwriter. You can add comments on parts that you want changed and you can address issues with the text, as well. Working together can be easier with such integrated documents.
Don’t let a packed work schedule or a lack of writing skill stop you from creating your very own book. Your ideas deserve the attention of adoring fans. Hire a ghostwriter and you can make your dream come true!
Wendy Van de Poll is a twelve-time best-selling author on Amazon. She is a sought out ghostwriter, freelance writer and writing coach that helps writers develop and write their books and blogs. She works with authors on all aspects of self-publishing. The genre’s she writes in are pet loss, children’s picture books, human-animal bond, and cozy mysteries. You can reach her to talk about your new project. You can also visit Wendy at Center for Pet Loss Grief.