So you’ve decided to write a book, that’s great! But what happens when you realize that you don’t have the time or writing skills to do so?
Should you just shelve your ideas and make excuses? Absolutely not.
You don’t have to be a skilled writer, or have all the time in the world to write the book of your dreams.
In fact, you don’t even have to write that book at all. A ghostwriter can do that for you.
Sounds too good to be true? Well, it’s not.
Ghostwriting is a lot more complicated than it seems. In this article, you’ll gain a clearer understanding of this controversial form of writing.
Read more to find out what a ghostwriter actually does, if you should hire one, and how much it costs.
And what better way to get all this information than from an actual experienced ghostwriter? Let’s dive in!
What is a Ghostwriter?
This is one of the most common questions I get when I tell people I’m a ghostwriter.
Think of a ghost for a second. What are the main characteristics of a ghost?
Here are some:
Only exists to the person who claims to have seen the ghost
Those exact characteristics can accurately describe what it’s like to be a ghostwriter.
Ghostwriters get hired by celebrities and influential people who want skilled writers to write their stories for them.
Ghostwriters are invisible because they do not get author credit.
Most readers don’t even believe that their favorite authors hired ghostwriters so the ghostwriters are non-existent.
Legally speaking, only the authors are aware that the ghostwriter exists.
Get it? 😉
With carefully negotiated contracts and NDA agreements, ghostwriters work closely with their clients to publish books or smaller forms of content.
In these contracts, ghostwriters agree to give all the rights of their work to their clients and in exchange, clients pay their ghostwriters a pretty penny.
But don’t mistake this for blatant plagiarism. Ghostwriters work closely with clients to represent their ideas as best as possible.
They are masters at impersonation and incredibly skilled writers because they can switch their writing voice and style to fit their client’s needs.
Ghostwriters are the skilled hands behind some of the greatest memoirs, biographies and books written by public figures.
No, Trump did not sit down and write that book, I can assure you. But if you thought that he did, then that just means his ghostwriter was that good.
Should You Hire a Ghostwriter?
I’m not going to beat around the bush here, hiring an experienced ghostwriter is expensive.
Writers will charge at least 25% higher rates for ghostwriting projects because they have to relinquish their author rights and credits.
Keep in mind that ghostwriting projects can be books, articles, PR press releases, and smaller writing projects. Ghostwriting projects are not limited to books alone.
When you are too busy to produce content on your website, for example, a ghostwriter could use your ideas and instructions to write the content for you.
The only thing is, the content would be published with your name on it, not theirs.
Ask yourself these questions to analyze whether you might need a ghostwriter:
Do you have a deep desire to publish more articles or books to build your brand?
Do you notice that you have limited time to write your own articles or books?
Do you realize that you do not have strong writing skills to publish high-quality articles or books?
Are you willing to pay extra to have high-quality articles or books published in your name?
If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, then I’d recommend that you hire a professional ghostwriter.
How Much Do Ghostwriting Projects Cost?
Here’s the thing, when you receive a 30,000 word manuscript from your ghostwriter, you keep all the rights.
In fact, most ghostwriting contracts enable the client to keep 100% of the royalties as well.
When you pay a ghostwriter, you are paying for their author credit, their time, expertise, and their writing skills.
Once the writing project is complete, it is not the ghostwriter’s responsibility to market or pitch your book to literary agents and publishers.
Once the writing is done, the ghostwriter becomes a ghost.
You will be charged a higher fee than you would if the writer received author credit for their work.
Hiring a ghostwriter for a book costs between $22,800-$80,000.
If the writer receives no credit whatsoever, the price can go up to $100,000 depending on the length of the book.
If you need ghostwriters for shorter content like articles or blog content, the hourly rate is $100 on average. Most ghostwriters charge an hourly rate for interviews and meetings in addition to the writing time.
You should also expect to pay between 25%-40% of the total amount at the start of the ghostwriting project. This is up for negotiation with your ghostwriter, but you won’t be expected to pay the full amount up front. It’s often paid in installments.
At Indelible Consultancy, the pricing is a lot easier to navigate because ghostwriters charge $0.50 per word. This makes it easier for you to calculate how much it could potentially cost you.
Here’s an estimate:
Article: 2,000 words = $1,000
Book: 20,000 words = $10,000
The price goes up with the number of words, it’s that simple. There is no hourly rate at Indelible Consultancy, you only get charged for the written work.
This makes our packages much more attractive and affordable for people in need of ghostwriting services.
How Does Ghostwriting Work?
Ghostwriting projects are divided into several steps and it’s important that you fully understand them before hiring a writer.
A preliminary meeting can be a phone call, a video conference, or even in person meeting (if possible). The whole purpose of this is to get to know your ghostwriter and see if there’s a connection between the two of you.
It’s important for both parties to feel comfortable with each other because there needs to be an element of trust and mutual respect.
The ghostwriter will ask you many questions about your expectations, writing needs, and an overview of the project.
You can also ask as many questions to better understand who you’re hiring.
Here are some things to look out for:
Does the ghostwriter have a proven track record of high-quality writing projects?
Is there a blog or a book that they’ve written? Don’t hire ghostwriters who don’t have their own writing projects to show.
Does the ghostwriter genuinely love writing?
Is the ghostwriter attentive to your needs? Don’t hire a ghostwriter who will misrepresent you.
Try to make sure that your ghostwriter is already a highly-skilled writer.
This is a big one!
If they don’t have a blog, or portfolio to show that they take writing seriously, then you shouldn’t hire them. Plain and simple.
After this insightful meeting, if you both feel comfortable with each other and choose to proceed, then the ghostwriter will present a project proposal to you.
This proposal will be customized for the specific article, or book. This is also the stage where you both sign an agreement, or a contract (as you see fit).
This is an important part of the ghostwriting project because you both get a clear understanding of how the project will be managed.
Here is what you should finalize at this stage:
Financial compensation: Will you be paying in installments? If so, how much and how often?
Author credit: Will the ghostwriter receive partial or no author credit? No matter what you decide, the ghostwriter must consent to this in writing.
Timeline: How long will the project be? What is an acceptable time frame for both of you? Is this a recurring partnership?
Believe me, the earlier you get these three elements sorted out, the smoother your ghostwriting project will be.
This is an essential part of any ghostwriting project. The ghostwriter will interview the client either in person or on a video call and record the entire thing.
This is important because it helps the ghostwriter transcribe everything that the client wants to express in the writing project.
It also helps them write a preliminary outline or draft for the client’s approval.
The client will speak and the ghostwriter will record and return with a well-written book or article based on those interviews.
This means that the writing projects will be authentic to the client’s writing voice and mission.
Ghostwriters do not add their own ideas or misrepresentations in writing projects.
Once the ghostwriter finishes writing the article or book, the client is then able to make an in-depth revision.
This is an important aspect because it enables the client to analyze whether the writing project truly represents them and their mission authentically.
If the client is dissatisfied with certain aspects of the draft, then the ghostwriter will rewrite until the client is satisfied with the final outcome.
The client can be as hands-on as they prefer because the writing project is technically theirs and their name will be on the final project.
It’s important that the outcome meets the client’s standards.
Final Thoughts on Ghostwriting
Hiring a ghostwriter is an investment.
Make sure that you hire ghostwriters with proven writing skills and experience because they will produce better work for you.
Remember that ghostwriters are available, you don’t have to look that hard!
You can even start at Indelible Consultancy. You’ll find experienced ghostwriters who are also professional writers in their fields.
If you have more questions about ghostwriting services and are looking for a skilled one, you can contact us!