What is a Ghostwriter, Anyway, and Why Should You Hire One?
What is a ghostwriter, you ask? Ghostwriters are professionals hired to write material that someone else gets to claim as theirs. Ghostwriters are essentially some of the most celebrated authors that you’ve never heard of. They write manuscripts, novels, autobiographies, blogs, articles, social media content, and so much more.
Ghostwriting is very popular these days. After all, if it’s good enough for royalty (we’re looking at you, Prince Harry), then it’s good enough for any celebrity. But it’s not just celebs that benefit from a ghostwriter’s help. Us mere mortals can also hire a ghostwriter for so many projects.
Why should you hire a ghostwriter?
Want to write a book? You’ll be joining the majority of Americans with this desire. However, according to a recent survey of 2000 Americans, only 15% have started writing, and just 6% are halfway through. If your writing skills aren’t top-notch, or if you find writing difficult, hiring a ghostwriter is your opportunity to get it done well.
On the other hand, you might be an accomplished writer who simply knows your limits. Juggling your personal and professional life while striving to get stellar results for your clients doesn’t leave much time for pounding the keyboard for weeks or months on end.
The best leaders know they can’t do it all, and so they delegate. Hiring a ghostwriter is simply a form of delegation. It doesn’t make your story a fraud because it is still your story. A ghostwriter is there to help you get it down on paper in the best way possible.
A book is a business card that no one is likely to toss into a hotel restroom wastebasket. And if you have a story to tell but are struggling to tell it, hiring a ghostwriter might be the magic you need to make it happen.
Qualities of a good ghostwriter
The best ghostwriters are high-skill and low-ego. The latter can be challenging to find — after all, how many writers are willing to spend weeks, months, or even years on big projects, but not get the credit? How many more will be able to emulate your voice so it feels like your words are down on paper? Not to worry, though. Good ghostwriters are out there.
Writing well takes skill, but writing authentically in another person’s voice requires next-level talent — a talent that ghostwriters strive to cultivate. Some ghostwriters will crave more control in the writing process, but ultimately, the client gets the final say. Ghostwriters should be OK with never being recognized in print if that is what the client wants.
Beyond simply performing the mechanics of writing, a good ghostwriter can be a coach, encouraging subjects to dig deeper and to say more than they might otherwise. A top-notch ghostwriter will strategize and craft a compelling storyline, a strong call to action (if they are copywriting), and a consistent flow that keeps audiences engaged.
Misconceptions about ghostwriting
It’s not unusual for people to assume that if a book is ghostwritten, it must not be true. But in truth, the ideas come from the credited author (the client or person whose name graces the book cover). He or she plays a major role in the project’s creation, providing feedback, suggesting/requesting edits, and generally being as closely involved in the project as they want.
The ghostwriter is there to do the heavy lifting, and to add the polish and professionalism to the work. It’s a partnership that makes the credited author look great without taking on the lion’s share of work.
One ghostwriter who has written about A-List celebrities describes herself as a house builder, with the clients as the providers of bricks. The raw material can’t become a “house” without the ghostwriter, but the writer must have high-quality materials to work with.
What’s involved in ghostwriting services?
Usually, a ghostwriter will meet the author-to-be in person a handful of times, then communicate by phone, email, and/or text. During this time, they will ask their subject what they want to write about. This is when you get to dazzle them with all the fantastic ideas that have been floating through your brain. It’s crucial to feel comfortable with your ghostwriter. You’ll be interacting with them often, especially if your book is biographical.
Once the project is approved to move forward, a ghostwriter will typically require a payment upfront before diving into the outline of your book. Ghostwriter fees can range widely, from several thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. After an outline is approved, that’s when the writing begins. Depending on how long the project is, the writing process can take days, weeks, or months to complete.
Every ghostwriter may work a little differently, but they will generally start sending you first drafts of content by chapter or section. This is the ideal time to clear up any mix-ups or snags. It’s your book, after all. Once first drafts have been approved, your ghostwriter will typically start putting together a final manuscript, which will include your title page, descriptions, author bio, chapters, bibliography, glossary, etc. Some ghostwriters may include formatting, proofreading, or other related services. It’s important to know exactly what your ghostwriter will do, because it takes more than a ghostwriter to publish a book.
Writing a Book is More Possible Than You Think
If you have a story to tell, or an important message to make, you can make it a reality with the help of a good ghostwriter. Demonstrate your knowledge in your field and be seen as an expert. If you are thinking about hiring a ghostwriter or want to know more about what a ghostwriter is, reach out to Watch Media Group here to schedule a complimentary consultation.