Ghostwriting FAQ

What is Ghostwriting?

A ghostwritten book is one that was written by someone other than the person it is attributed to. Simply put, a ghostwriter is someone who writes books on other people’s behalf. Many celebrity memoirs are ghostwritten.

Who hires ghostwriters?

Celebrities, athletes, politicians, scientists and people in the public eye hire ghostwriters to write their stories for them. If you’re a musician, politician, actor, scientist, or athlete, for example, you may not have time to write a book – a daunting task that could take years to complete – but a ghostwriter could write your book in six months to a year. You most likely have a fan base, colleagues, or supporters who would be more than happy to read about your life, career, or area of expertise.

But you don’t need to be famous.

Everyday people also hire ghostwriters to pen memoirs, novels, magazine articles, scientific manuals, and self-help books.

Benefits of a ghostwritten book

  • If you’re a celebrity or a public figure, a book will:
    • Connect you to your fan base, constituency, or colleagues in a meaningful way
    • Tell your story before others tell it incorrectly
    • Explain what really happened
    • Tell your “rags to riches” story
  • Establish credibility in your field
    • Be in a position to ask for a better salary
    • Move up the corporate ladder faster
    • Earn the respect of colleagues
  • Becoming an authority in your niche will open doors
    • Invitations to speak at conferences
    • Talk & radio show appearances
    • Offer corporate training /workshops

Why hire a ghostwriter?

Ghostwriters are good at listening, identifying with other people’s experiences, and relaying those stories in clients’ unique voices. There are many reasons why you may choose to hire a ghostwriter. Here are a few of the most common reasons:

  • You lead a busy life
  • You don’t enjoy writing
  • You may be too close to the subject matter
  • English isn’t your native language
  • You don’t feel your writing is of a high enough standard
  • You have difficulty explaining technical jargon to a lay audience

What does the process involve?

Usually, the client and the ghostwriter meet in private, either in a hotel or the client’s home. Here, through interviews, transcriptions, and note-taking, the structure and content of the book can be assessed before the rough draft is composed. The interviews, together with diary entries, newspaper clippings, emails, SMS messages, and relevant memorabilia form the basis of the book.

How do I know I can trust a ghostwriter?

Celebrities especially voice this concern, as they have to be careful that writers don’t leak personal information to the press. When we sign contracts we also sign a confidentiality agreement ensuring that absolute discretion is maintained.

What does it cost?

A full-length book – whether it’s a memoir, a biography, a self-help book, or a nonfiction title – will cost anywhere from $8,000 to $25,000. The fee is contingent upon many factors. For instance, a nonfiction business book that arrives on our desk as a rough draft – well organized, with few errors – will take much less time for us to bring to a publishable standard than a book that we need to write completely, based upon interviews, journal entries, newspapers, personal correspondence, etc. The business book might take three months, whereas the memoir-from-scratch could take one year. Additionally, the initial fee can often be reduced in exchange for an increase in royalties.

Do you have a payment plan?

We negotiate every project individually and are happy to provide payment plans that involve three benchmark payments; one at the beginning, one midway, and one at the end of the project.

Do you guarantee publication?

While we guarantee that every book we ghostwrite is of publishable quality,  ghostwriters cannot promise publication. We do, however, have experience writing book proposals, synopses, and queries. Though we are in no position to gauge the publishing market, we are happy to contact agents and publishers on behalf of our ghostwriting clients.

Do you help with the publication process?

We have a lot of experience with both traditional and self-publication. We can help you craft compelling query letters, blurbs, press releases, synopses, and proposals. These services aren’t included in the ghostwriting fee. However, after we have finished your ghostwritten story, we can draw up a new contract for publication services.

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