Hiring a Ghostwriter: Your Ultimate Guide
Hiring a ghostwriter for a book for many people sounds like a terrifying thing. This is because they are usually torn between questions like “Is it ethical to hire someone to write a book and to give you the credit for that?” and “Can you have that kind of trust in a complete stranger?”
And while both of those doubts are completely justifiable, the truth is that ghostwriting has been around for centuries. In fact, there is one conspiracy theory claiming that most of Shakespeare’s plays have not been written by William Shakespeare himself but by some ghostwriters.
Of course, it might not be true and that’s exactly the charm of ghostwriting – those conspiracy theories always remain just that – conspiracy theories and nothing else. Hence, if you are thinking about hiring a ghostwriter to help you achieve your dream of becoming a published author then why not giving it a try?
If you don’t know where to start with, just keep reading and by the end of this blog post, you will have the answer to all technical questions related to hiring a ghostwriter.
Why Hiring a Ghostwriter?
Well, there are two reasons why someone would hire a ghostwriter; they either don’t have enough time or lack experience, and both reasons are valid.
Let’s elaborate more on them!
Not Enough Time
There is nothing new that people nowadays live life in a constant hustle and bustle. They are stuck pursuing careers that offer them immediate financial benefits while sacrificing their deepest dreams.
Many people dream about becoming a bestseller author and yet don’t have time to sit down and start writing their ideas and thoughts. By doing this, they constantly postpone working on their dream and eventually give up on it.
Yet, there are also people who decide to hire a ghostwriter and get things done. After all, that book will still be their work as it will reflect their ideas, thoughts, and narrative voice. The ghostwriter is often considered just to be the “performer” or the “transcriber” of your ideas.
Lack of Experience
Another good reason why some people decide to hire a ghostwriter is that they lack experience. Yes, they might have a great idea and a great story in their head, but it’s a whole other thing to put it on paper.
On top of that, writing the manuscript isn’t the only part of becoming a published author which is another thing that makes things slightly more complicated especially for people who are new to this.
Hence, they decide to hire a ghostwriter because usually ghostwriters are people who have extensive experience in translating ideas and thoughts on a paper and guiding them throughout the publishing process.
Hiring a ghostwriting agency vs. hiring an individual ghostwriter: Which One is Better?
Let’s first answer the most important question and that is: Where to find a ghostwriter?
Well, the answer truly relies on whether you want to hire a ghostwriting agency or an individual ghostwriter. Both options are equally good. However, a ghostwriting agency like ours might also offer you bonus editing, formatting, and a cover graphic design which is an advantage that you shouldn’t ignore.
On the other hand, if you decide to stick with an individual ghostwriter then Fiverr is a good start.
Things to consider before you hire a ghostwriter
Finding the right ghostwriter can be a challenging task. For this purpose, I have decided to create a list of things you should ask the ghostwriter before hiring them.
Unlike other writers, for obvious reasons, ghostwriters can’t really be specific about which projects exactly they have worked for in the past. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ask them about their experience at all.
What’s more, you shouldn’t skip this question if you want to learn more about their expertise. You can ask them for how long they have been working as a writer, which genres they have covered until now, and how many books they have written as a ghostwriter.
In addition, remember that newbies also deserve a chance so if you have a good feeling about them, give them that chance, test their writing skills, and then move on from there.
By the way, if you need content writing, learn more about hiring content writers here.
Ask Them for Samples
Yes, ghostwriters are not allowed to share all the work they have done in the past with anyone else. Nevertheless, they definitely can share a small piece of content they have written in order for you to see their writing skills.
One thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t pay too much attention to the narrative style they have used in the sample. Remember that writers usually follow the requirements of their clients which is why it might be different from what you are looking for, but you don’t have to worry about that.
Ask for the Pricing and What Is Included in the Package
The pricing is super important and I am aware that it might be the first thing you ask them. However, don’t forget to ask about the deadline of the first draft, how many times they will interview you, and how many revisions they will provide you for that price.
In addition, also ask their price for conducting extra interviews with you and providing you extra revisions if needed.
What Should You Provide to the Ghostwriter before They Start Working?
Don’t forget to discuss the writing process and what they will require from you. Some ghostwriters might require you to provide them with the topic, the genre that the book should be about, or even an outline or an interview where you will share the ideas that you have for the book. Remember that by furnishing them as many details as you can, the better they can do their job. Thus, give your best to be as collaborative as you can.
Here is how you can do it:
- Provide an outline of your ideas
- Provide some resources (if you have)
- Be specific about the genre
- Tell them what is your narrative style like
- Be always responsive
- Provide them with a constructive feedback
Due to the nature of their work, ghostwriters are usually used on signing NDAs for each of their clients. That’s why, before you even proceed with sharing your ideas and thoughts regarding your book, make sure to ask them to sign an NDA.
If you are not familiar with NDA, you can reach to your attorney and ask them to provide you with all the necessary details about this type of agreement. One thing that I can reveal to you about NDA is that it is typically used when confidential information is shared with potential employees, clients, investors, etc. It should guarantee you that the ghostwriter will not tell anyone that they were the one who wrote your book in the future.
And if they do, then you will have the opportunity to take legal action against them.
Many people believe that signing an NDA is enough when hiring a ghostwriter, but one thing that you should know is that NDA doesn’t mean that you will have the copyright of the book.
Thus, if you want to keep the copyright (which I guess you do), then you definitely should ask your ghostwriter to sign a copyright agreement where they give you full copyright for their work.
What about Royalties?
Having copyright doesn’t mean that you won’t have to share the profits of your work with the ghostwriter unless they state in a contract that they will only charge a flat fee. True to be told, many ghostwriters prefer the flat fee option, but some authors agree to reward their ghostwriters with a certain percentage of their earnings.
Regardless, whether you want to do that or not, you should communicate your decision with the ghostwriter and include it in the agreement.
What about Recognition?
Some ghostwriters might require some kind of recognition within the book. For example, being mentioned in the acknowledgements within the book
Therefore, make sure to discuss this with them before hiring them.
To wrap up
Ghostwriting is a dilemma that many aspiring authors have. However, ghostwriting has been around for centuries and many prominent writers have actually “played around with ghostwriting services” if you know what I mean. Hopefully, this guide will help you to hire a ghostwriter without any complications. However, keep in mind that it is always best if you hire someone that conveys trust and professionalism.
In case you still haven’t found a ghostwriter that has those attributes then just contact us because those two qualities are some of our core values.
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Pursuing the dream of becoming a recognized writer, Kristina decided to dive into freelancing during her student days. After gaining a Bachelors’s degree in English language and literature, she continued working towards gaining new skills in the field of content writing and digital marketing.
In 2017, she published her first poetry book, while in 2018 she started a travel blog that she named The Destinationship. After gaining enough knowledge and skills, she decided to gather “the last bona fide writers standing” and established Boho Writing Factory.
Just like many writers, Kristina likes the bohemian lifestyle and always follows her heart. Besides writing, she also loves reading, painting, and anything art-related. She appreciates genuine friendships, loves animals (has 5 cats), strives to learn more about the human psyche, and dreams of exploring the world.
March 29, 2021