Hire a Ghostwriter to Write Your Book
Writing a book is no easy feat to accomplish. It is one of the purest forms of art. People often want to write a book when they have a burning desire to tell a story.
It's comparable to climbing a mountain. As difficult and impossible as it seems, it is worth all the effort, patience, and perseverance.
But not everyone has the capacity to write a book on their own. Just in the same way that everyone does not have the ability to build a house for themselves. Should all those people remain homeless until they learn the complex engineering behind construction? Of course not. It's okay to hire someone to do it for you.
So the question arises:
Can I Hire Someone to Write My Book?
Answer: Of course, you can. Lack of resources should never be a hindrance in the way of your goals, especially when you can afford it. We regularly hire specialized resources in our daily lives to handle tasks that we're not well-equipped to deal with. Why should it be any different when it comes to writing a book for yourself?
If you have a concept in your head that you want to convert into a book but don't think you're up to the task on your own, ask someone else who can. There are scores of writers out there who are willing to exchange their time, skills, and knowledge in exchange for money, like every other service in the world.
Speaking of money, getting someone to write a book for you is a service - a service for which you pay the writer. But how much do you need to pay a writer to write your book?
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Ghostwriter?
The cost of hiring a ghostwriter may vary with the writer and their preferred pricing method. Let's take a brief look at the major practices people follow in the ghostwriting industry. These things are usually discussed at the beginning of the contract, so you have to be informed about what you're comfortable with and what to ask for.
The most prevalent way of gauging a writer's tier level or skill is based on the cost per word of that writer. So if you're a celebrity with no limits on how much you can spend on writing a book to tell your story of how you rose to fame, then you may want to go for a new york times recognized writer who charges $5.00/word and lives in a penthouse in New York.
However, the skill level of a ghostwriter is not directly proportional to their cost per word. You can also get a professional ghostwriter with years of experience in around a dollar per word.
So if you don't have a ton of money to burn, doing some research can get you a well-qualified and professional ghostwriter without spending a fortune on it. It all depends on where you're looking and what your requirements are.
But there's a catch. Multiple other factors can affect the total cost of a book writing project. A writer may agree to write a book for you for less than their usual fee if you're a client who understands the troubles of writing a book, will be of assistance in the research process and are easy to communicate with.
But if your book belongs to a niche so exotic it requires extensive research on the writer's end, you should expect to pay for it accordingly.
In general, the writing process will be smooth if you just spend some time, in the beginning, to make sure you are working with the right people. Let's discuss some of the things that you need to know before you get yourself a ghostwriter.
Things You Need to Know Before Hiring a Ghostwriter
The first thing that you need to know is what services you need. Do you just want to prepare the first draft of your manuscript, or do you want the writer to revise the content as many times as you want if need be? Do you want to get your manuscript proofread as well? Do you also want them to format the book according to publishing standards?
Ultimately, you will want to get your book proofread, formatted, and its cover designed and published. Perhaps you even want a book trailer video produced and released for marketing. Maybe even a website with a complete author profile, social media publicity, and custom printing service.
Getting clear in your head on what you want will help you save your costs in the long run.
Let's say you have two potential candidates in your mind. Writer A is charging $1,000 for your project with unlimited revisions. They will also proofread the book line-by-line, format the manuscript entirely, and design the covers and other components of the book's interior, delivering you a complete book ready to be published.
On the other hand, writer B charges $700 for the same project, but they will only send you a manuscript. After that, it takes $1/word for every word they rewrite. You will have to find on your own a proofreader, a formatting service, a cover design artist, and a designer for illustrations. And you will have to pay for these services separately.
Which option do you think is more cost-effective in the long run? Writer A, of course. Someone who is not aware of their needs might make a poor choice and regret it later.
Oftentimes, communication, which is supposed to be the bridge between the author's thoughts and the writer's words, becomes the biggest hindrance in achieving your book's maximum potential.
The writer may be excellent at their job. You may be the most cooperative client in the world. But if you two can't find a way to communicate your thoughts and intentions with each other effectively, the book suffers.
Some writers like to take an advance, collect all required details from you, and disappear for the next 5 months. They'll return to you with a finished manuscript, but in the meantime, they don't want to be disturbed.
In contrast, most writers expect the author to be continuously involved in the writing process. At the very least, the writer expects you to review the content simultaneously as they send it to you. So if the book's going in a direction you don't intend, it can still be saved while it's possible. Along with a hundred other complications that can be avoided simply by the power of open, clear, and consistent communication.
Are you someone who will have trust issues if you had little to no contact with your ghost for months on end? Or maybe you don't have enough time to spend on small details. Decide for yourself before you talk to a particular writer, so you can get an idea of what your experience with them is going to be like.
If the writer is someone who appreciates clients who stay in touch with the writer, providing supporting information and suggestions regularly, they'll be more flexible in their pricing.
And if the writer will have to spend a lot of time on research due to your project's nature, they're going to charge accordingly for that.
But what if you decide to write your book by yourself and skip the troubles of hiring a ghostwriter?
What it Feels Like to Write a Book on Your Own
You sit down every single day to juggle between your thoughts going back and forth between the thinker and the writer in your head. Sometimes the writer wants to follow the creative flow of words but the thinker wants to go in a different direction with the book.
You will have to make sure you are free from distractions because that one minute of getting carried away can become a rolling stone and lead to zero productivity for the day.
And then there's always the struggle of trying to articulate your thoughts right. Rewriting a single sentence, again and again, to get it just right somehow.
A professional writer will have written a thousand words by the time a one-time author manages to write a paragraph.
Is it worth going through the trouble to find a ghostwriter instead?
What Working with a Ghostwriter Looks Like
Separate the thinker from the writer. When you have a ghost writing the book for you, you don't need to worry about the specifics of writing. You focus on the direction and communicate to your ghost what you need to accomplish in the book. The ghost tries to the best of their capability to fulfill your requirements while managing to make your book the best that it can possibly be.
Some clients like to review and mark changes after the ghost is done with the writing, and the first draft is written. Some clients need to take a look at every single chapter after it's written to make changes simultaneously. So the next chapter of the story is written with the changes implemented.
You would be spending a lot of time having one-on-one sessions with your ghost via email, voice calls, chats, etc. Communication has become a lot easier, thanks to technology. Clients can travel to a different city, country, or even continent for business purposes or pleasure, but the process does not have to stop.
If revisions are a part of your contract, then you would be using a tool known as "Track Changes" to leave comments on parts that you would like to change and any changes that you make in the document will be highlighted too. So the writer can incorporate those changes formally.
Make sure you discuss all of your demands at the time of hiring. It can't be stressed enough.
Here's a guide to help you in the hiring process:
Where to find a Ghostwriter for my Book?
First, you have to know where to look for ghostwriters. If this is the first time you're looking for a ghostwriter, then skip the next paragraph.
If you have already worked with ghostwriters before, then it is suggested to first go back to the ones who have written for you. A new ghostwriter would have to start over in understanding your personality to capture your voice. Even if the author's voice is not important for the book you need to write, the ghostwriter would know how you communicate, how much time it takes for you to reply to their email, how the project is going to work out, etc. If you need to look for a new ghostwriter to work with, then let's look at the options.
A) Freelance Websites
There are hundreds of people out there who have a knack for writing and work as freelance ghostwriters. You can find them looking for a freelance writing project on one of these platforms: Fiverr, Upwork, Guru, Freelancer, The Creative Group, Writer, etc.
There are a bunch of books in the market that were written by freelance writers. For blog articles, essays, and other tasks, freelancer websites are a prominent source of writers. For books, however, we suggest that thorough research be done before you hire a ghostwriter from here.
These freelance websites are full of writers who claim they'll do a ton of work, but you would need to manage the work to get the most out of the project.
For some people, this may be a dealbreaker. Some clients hire a ghostwriter to save time, like entrepreneurs who have to invest a great deal of time in their business every day. They want to streamline their work.
These freelance websites are home to all sorts of freelancers like graphic designers, video editors, voice artists, etc. So the platforms aren't specifically optimized for writers.
B) Ghostwriter Platforms
Naturally, since the writing business is not a small industry, there are specific forums for ghostwriting to connect clients with writers. These forums are focused on ghostwriting and categorize writers based on their experience, niche, writing style, genres, etc.
These platforms are optimized for ghostwriting work. The process is smoother and more advanced than general freelance websites. You would find a ghostwriter more easily and reliably on these forums.
These websites, again, are home to many freelance writers. Most of the ghostwriters do not offer extra services of editing, multiple revisions, help in publishing, cover designing, etc.
The ghostwriter you find here will offer you their time in exchange for a fee, which is a great working model. If that's all you're looking for, then we suggest looking for a ghostwriter for hire on one of these platforms is a great idea. The hiring process is smoother than general freelancer websites.
Many authors who can take care of the rest of the steps in the book-writing process only need the first draft written. They need control over every little aspect. They work well with a professional writer from one of these platforms.
Some people, on the other hand, do not just need a ghost. They need help in converting the manuscript into a full-fledged book complete with interior pages designed, formatted, and the cover art prepared. Some authors would need someone to help them market their book too.
If you're one of those clients, then it's much better to go to a professional ghostwriting agency, rather than hiring a separate person for each task.
C) Professional Ghostwriting Agency
A ghostwriting agency is where you can find help at every single step in the process of writing your book, thanks to the growing business market. Many authors go to these agencies with the mere idea of a story. In the end, they get a complete book - published and everything.
Many people, without a background in literature, hire them to tell the story of their life and get an autobiography or memoir written by them. Authors also hire them for specific tasks like proofreading, copyediting, developmental editing, cover designing, etc.
These agencies usually have dedicated departments for all of those tasks. They have project managers who look after the books while they're being written, so the author does not have to spend much time managing the ghostwriter. The agency manages the ghostwriter for them.
The biggest advantage is that the ghostwriters these agencies hire to work for them are usually skilled with years of experience on their resumes. Moreover, a ghostwriter working on a book individually does not rub shoulders with peers, editors, and other professionals of the book writing business on a daily basis.
A ghostwriter working in one of these agencies learns significantly working under senior profiles. They always have a vast resource of knowledge and creativity that they share with other great ghostwriters in their company.
Other than that, when the ghostwriter who would be writing the book is under the same roof as the designer who would be designing the cover, they are better able to communicate and share their concepts.
Moreover, a great many issues do not even arise by the virtue of all the entities working on the book under the same roof and being managed by the same person - a dedicated manager. You may just stay in touch with only the project manager over email or calls. Although, we suggest voice calls over email.
How can I Get a Free Ghostwriter?
Let's make it clear from the get-go. You should not expect to get something as valuable as a ghostwriting service without offering anything in return.
Ghostwriters are professionals who write books as their day job. They are not doing it for charity; they do it to make a living.
A book is a high-value product that requires a considerable amount of skill, time, and perseverance. Unless you don't have something equally valuable to offer in return, it's not considered polite to ask a professional to work for you for free.
There may be some rare cases where a writer may agree to work on a project without an upfront fee. When the author is already a renowned name in the industry whose books are guaranteed to sell hundreds of copies, the writer may agree to work for a percentage of share in the royalties or their name on the book as a co-author.
Even in that scenario, the writer is getting something of value in return. The number of ghost writers who are willing to work for recognition instead of money is very low, although not entirely zero.
But aren't recognition and writer credits a great thing to have for a writer? Not necessarily.
Why not? Read on to find out.
Why is a Ghostwriter called "Ghost" Writer?
Imagine this. You enter a room, and you are greeted by your favorite person in the world. They start talking about themselves and suddenly you're listening to them talk about their life and sharing their story.
But you know for a fact that the person in question is somewhere else right now going about their business like usual, and not in this room.
But this figure that you see in front of you sounds exactly like the same person to you. You'll probably freeze. As if you've seen a ghost in front of you.
That's what a ghost writer is.
A ghost writer is a hidden creature. The general public can't see them. They hide in the shadows. They don't like to go out in the light. They don't want people to know about them and they don't care about recognition.
A ghost writer will imitate and capture your voice to the best of their ability. Ideally, the reader can't tell the difference between the author's voice and style, and the ghost writing.
The work of the ghost writer is meant to be undetectable. Most authors don't want their readers to know that the book is not written by the author in the literal sense of writing.
That skill, of hiding so well that the audience can never detect, is what a ghost writer aspires for. It takes great effort and years of ghost writing to attain that level.
Big-name authors often work with a dedicated ghost writer or two for their popular franchises. The ghost writer accompanies them to their fan meets and conferences, but nobody ever recognizes them as a person of interest. The ghost writer stands beside the author, but remains hidden in the face of limelight.
They are satisfied with that. Their goals are different. That's what it means to be a ghostwriter.
The Book-Writing Process with a Ghostwriter
When you hire a ghostwriter, the book writing process becomes totally different as opposed to when you're doing the writing on your own. Let's break down the process into simple steps so you can prepare for it accordingly.
We're laying out the process assuming that you're working with a good ghostwriter who has spent some time in the industry and has experience in ghostwriting books. If your project is being handled by a ghostwriting agency, then the process will be the same more or less.
Details of the Book
When you have selected who you want to work with, the first step is relaying the information to the writer. The first interaction is usually an email or message, but you would describe the details over the phone or maybe even in person.
You would tell your story to the writer and explain to them what you would be looking to achieve in this book. Even the best ghostwriters need detailed directions from the author because their job is to write what you ask them as the author.
It should be noted here that authors don't have complete control of everything that goes in the book. Ghostwriters are often suggesting how to write a certain description or chapter. Authors always have the last say in what to write in their book because, well, they're the author at the end of the day. But, in general, ghostwriters have a lot of control over the books they write.
A good practice among ghostwriters is to draw up an outline first and email it to the client. The client replies to the email with comments and changes, if there are any. This outline is drawn up keeping in mind all the elements of a good book.
Moreover, this outline is also how your project is going to look like once finished. It is the map of your book, with each chapter's purpose clarified with a description.
Sometimes, a good ghostwriter will also write descriptions of major characters, places, and other important details that are key elements in the plot.
As the ghostwriter continues to write each chapter, they're going to send text files of each document to you over email. If you're not an email person, you might want to get familiar with the email system.
Take help from the vast book of knowledge that is the internet. Thanks to technology, a quick google search will reveal all the essential things you need to know for good communication between you and the ghostwriter. That includes how to write a new email, how to attach files to the email, what are some of the unwritten rules of email dialogue, etc.
However, you do not have to worry about it. You can send and receive files via your preferred method. Just ask your ghost politely and they should be able to work a way out.
Reviews and Revisions
When the ghostwriter is done with a chapter, they're most probably going to send it to you for review. You will use the "Track Changes" tool in the word processor to write comments, remarks, and any changes you want to incorporate.
The ghostwriter will accept changes, revise and edit the document before moving on to the next chapter. Reviewing before the next chapter gets written is useful because if the writer begins to write the next chapter and then you ask them to change something in the previous chapter that affects the next one, it's going to take more time than usual.
Once again, if you're not an email person, you will either need to find a way to communicate swiftly or become more vigilant in your email communication. Turn on email notifications on your phone so you get notified whenever your ghost sends you an email.
End of Writing
The project ends when the ghostwriter has sent you all the deliverables as discussed in the contract. You pay the writer as agreed upon and wish each other best of luck.
You get a good manuscript of your book and the writer gets the money for which he worked so hard. Now what? The project may have ended for the writer, but how are you going to turn the "project" into a book?
That is why the advantages of having a ghostwriting agency were discussed earlier.
If you've gone to a ghostwriting agency that offers extra services in the process of producing a book, then the project does not end here.
The ghost will help you edit the project professionally. They send the finished manuscript to editors to take help in making your book the best version of itself.
In developmental editing, the editors are individuals with years of experience in the book production market. They help the writer in improving the plot, descriptions, structure, concepts, and other aspects of that kind.
This kind of help is already part of the writing process in a ghostwriting agency. The chapters are sent to you after the developmental editors are done with them. The best way to know whether they actually do it or not is to check if they offer that service separately for a book that's already written.
Copyeditors go through each line focusing on grammar, sentence structure, composition, choice of words, cohesion, repetition, contradiction, the accuracy of any facts, and other aspects like that. They focus on language and writing in the technical sense.
Copyediting is not just spell-checking. They enhance the composition on multiple levels. That is why there are dedicated people to help writers in that department. Otherwise, the writer can self-edit their document too, but they're limited to some extent.
Copyeditors are expert linguists and nerds about technicalities. They can enhance the readability of a book drastically, in a way that a writer can't. Copyeditors are focused only on editing the language used in books and quite frankly, reading more books. They've spent the best years of their lives reading books. It's safe to say that they believe the best part about their job is that they get to read different kinds of books.
Just like the job of a writer is to write books. The job of a copyeditor is to edit those books.
Formatting a manuscript to publishing standards whether it's an ebook or hardcopy is an important part. Especially if you go the traditional publishing route, the gatekeepers will reject your manuscript if it is not formatted according to their suggested guidelines.
When everything is finalized, only then the formatting can begin. There are dedicated designers out there who format the book to make it look appealing and easy on the eyes, so the reader can spend more time with their eyes fixated on the pages without getting tired.
Your book needs a cover design even if it's just an ebook. It will be represented with a title, the author's name, and a thumbnail of your cover. That is why it is an important element.
The designer spends time to understand the idea of the book and tries to come up with a concept that best represents the story or the underlying theme, without hinting at any spoilers that might ruin the reader's experience.
A great many people make the mistake of not understanding what it means to hire a ghostwriter. Now that you know everything that there is to know about it, you can begin the process confidently.
You know where to find writers for hire, what a good writer looks like, what happens after the manuscript is done, how much time you should spend on revision, and how to take care of your own needs and demands by being proactive in the hiring process.
Best of luck on your book-writing journey.