I Ain’t Afraid Of No Ghost(writers)!

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Do you want to write a book? Doesn’t matter what kind of book, what the topic, niche, genre. Do you have a killer idea, but you just “aren’t a writer”?

Is that your situation?

Don’t be scared. You can admit it. And if you do admit it, guess what? You are NOT alone. There are plenty of people, even people in “high” places who “aren’t writers” so guess what they do? They use Ghostwriters!

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What is a Ghostwriter?

Basically, a ghostwriter is someone who will write for, and in the name of, someone else. They get paid, but they don’t get the ‘credit’ for the writing. It is typically associated with the writing of books, but ghostwriters are used in many other situations including speechwriting (you didn’t really think the Presidents of the United States sat down a slaved over their speeches did you?) and corporate communications such as “white papers”. People even have ghostwriters for blogs and social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (yup, some of your favorite actors, sports figures, and companies have people tweeting for them!).

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The point being, ghostwriting is much more common than you may imagine, so there is no need to be ‘embarrassed’ if you need to hire someone else to pen your book

So How Does This Ghostwriting Thing Work?

Well, like I said before, if you decide to hire someone, you will come to an agreement. What you want them to write, how much you need them to write, and who you get to do the ghostwriting will play a part in how much you will have to pay the ghostwriter.

If you hired someone who is fresh out of college, no ‘real world’ experience writing, to write your entire book from start to finish, that will certainly cost you less than hiring a seasoned professional of 20 years. But you also will get what you pay for. Just be sure that whoever you hire, you understand their rates, and that you are clear with them about what you will need them to do for you. The more you ask them to do, the longer it will take for them to complete your project, and the more it will cost you, no matter who you hire.

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Here’s the thing, when you hire a ghostwriter, you should expect to work very closely with this person. After all, this is YOUR book, and it is based on YOUR ideas. While the ghostwriter may be good at putting the words together and making it sound good, YOU have to be there to provide them with the proper guidance.  Your best bet is to be as open with your communications with them as possible. After spending some time with the writer, s/he may begin to get a good sense of what it is you want, but in the beginning be prepared to answer a ton of questions.

Once all is said and done, they would provide you a finished product, you will pay them, and the most they will get is a “Thank you” in the credits.

So Where Can You Find Ghostwriters?

One is probably hovering right above you as you read this. Just kidding!

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You should look online in places like Elance, Craigslist, Backpages, and Mediabistro. You should even try to see if you can find someone on Fiverr (you’d be surprised what you find on fiverr!).

When you are picking from a potential pool of writers, make sure you know what your budget is. This will have the biggest impact on the level of expertise of your ghostwriter. It is very possible to get lucky and hire someone who is a young, up and coming, excellent writer, so don’t think you have to go with someone who has been writing for 50 years. You will want to get writing samples for your potentials so you can see how they write. It would be best if they have experience writing the type of book you are seeking to have written. And here is something that should NOT be overlooked, you want to personally speak with them. Remember, you may have to spend a considerable amount of time with this person, so you should see just how comfortable you are speaking with them. If your book is a research-based document, then personal connection won’t matter much, but if it is a memoir or biography, you should definitely get to know them.

Those are the basics of ghostwriters. If everything goes well, you will have a great new book, and maybe you and your ghostwriter can collaborate to create a few more masterpieces. So you see, there’s no reason to be afraid of ghosts