Are stories bubbling in your mind and waiting to get out as books? Or perhaps, between your full-time job and writing, you cannot put your thoughts into a manuscript? Working with a ghostwriter is a good way to finish a book for self-publishing much quicker than you would otherwise.
If you have no idea how to find a ghostwriter for your book publishing needs, this article will help you with the right information and guidelines.
Meanwhile, if you are also looking for book publishing assistance, check out our free self-publishing platform, which comes with 15+ amazing benefits for authors.
Who are Ghostwriters? How Do They Work?
The term ghostwriting refers to a professional service where ghostwriters write under someone else’s byline. Ghostwriters are independent or freelance writers who specialize in writing different content, such as books, blogs, online articles, webpages, brochures, news articles, and more.
This means a ghostwriter will write your book for you and hand over their work’s IP (intellectual property) to you, allowing you to take credit as the book’s official author.
How Do Book Ghostwriters Work with Authors?
Many established authors use ghostwriting services to complete their books. Ghostwriters are particularly useful for self-publishing business books, autobiographies, academic books, journals, books by celebrities, and even fiction.
At times, when the author is willing, ghostwriters are mentioned as “co-authors” or “collaborators” in a book.
You can also share an unfinished manuscript, and the writer will complete it. For example, if you are self-publishing a cookbook, you can share the recipes and let the writer add the background story and overview, edit, and restructure the book.
As an author, the book is your only identity. If you believe you can trust a book ghostwriter who wouldn’t reveal the facts and stay bound to the confidentiality clauses, their service can be very helpful in your self-publishing journey.
Where and How to Find Ghostwriter for a Book?
With the advent of self-publishing and digital marketing, the demand for ghostwriters has increased worldwide. Since ghostwriters work independently, they can be hired from different places.
An individual search on LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, etc., can help you find ghostwriters, connect personally, interview, and hire them.
LinkedIn is a social media network for business professionals. While the search process may take some time, many freelance writers are actively looking for ghostwriting gigs and book projects on LinkedIn. All you have to be is patient in finding a ghostwriter for your book on your own.
Find professional ghostwriters for books on online platforms like Upwork, Freelancers, Fiverr, and Scripted. You can either post a project enquiry and let writers connect with you or search for expert freelance writers and choose the best for your job. The entire process, from hiring to payment, takes place online, making your work easy.
There are hundreds of writing agencies, such as iScribble, Verblio, etc., firms similar to HR companies or hiring agencies that connect you with ghostwriters for a fee.
While most companies are genuine, few can scam you with ineligible and inexperienced candidates just for the commission.
If you are selecting this hiring process, work with a dedicated writing agency. Ask the company about their process and how they choose a ghostwriter for a project. Check their payment terms and contract clauses. Find out if they offer a replacement or a money-back guarantee.
Other Options for Sourcing Ghostwriters
Writer’s Association, bookstores, publishing companies, and libraries in your area might have contacts of expert ghostwriters for books. They generally maintain a listing, and if you are lucky, it will be filled with writers.
Word of mouth is another good way to find a trustworthy writer to partner with for your book publishing needs.
Regardless of your option, hire a person who is familiar with your genre or subject, is interested in it, and is willing to spend time working with you and following your vision.
You must also make sure the ghostwriter’s writing style gels with you, and their personality matches yours. Communication and collaboration are the keys to the success of this partnership.
But most importantly, you should be able to trust this person and feel completely safe to let your guard down and entrust your life’s work and secrets.
How Much Does Book Ghostwriting Cost?
The cost of hiring a ghostwriter for your book differs with each country, book genre, and project.
For instance, for romantic novel fiction writing, a seasoned ghostwriter might charge from $10,000 to $25,000 in the USA.
Ghostwriters from online marketplaces like LinkedIn and Upwork may charge you less. Some freelance writers work by the hour and have standard hourly rates ranging from $8 to $25 per hour.
Things to Keep in Mind When Hiring a Ghostwriter for a Book
Finding the right book ghostwriter can be challenging. It is hard to see if their writing style matches you until you see them in action. And unless you hire them, you won’t see them in action. So, when you are ready to hire a book ghostwriter, asking the right questions will ease the process.
- Are They Specialized in Your Niche?
Book publishing is hard – genres are different from each other. A book on entrepreneurship will differ in style, tone, language, structure, content, and vocabulary from a romantic novel about vampires. Children’s comics are different from students’ textbooks.
This means that each of these book types requires dedicated writing skills. So, you must find a writer with experience and expertise in the kind of book you want to write.
By writing the same type of genre over and over again, writers hone their skills and also learn the research process, writing system, and the common problems that occur in self-publishing a book in a particular genre.
- What is the Ghost Writer’s Experience and Expertise Level?
This part is pretty simple. You can determine the experience and proficiency of the book ghostwriter based on the following criteria:
- Number of books they have written
- Quality level of the books they have worked on
- Last five authors they have worked with
- Years of experience as a freelance writer (non-fiction)
- Years of experience in your niche or industry (non-fiction)
- Does their work style and process suit you?
And when you read the works or sample draft of the ghostwriter, questions you must ask are:
- How well the ghostwriter gets your ideas and captures your voice?
- Is he or she able to fill in the gaps between your voice and the story/content?
- Does the narrative, story, language, and voice feel authentic and match your voice?
- How engaged were you when you read the first draft of the book?
- Is the book easy to understand and follow? Is it well structured? Are you able to find where you are in the story?
- Do They Follow a Reliable Process?
Book ghostwriting is teamwork between the author and the writer. So, to ensure the success of this partnership, great communication and a transparent process is important. A clear system and reliable process will definitely lead to a high-quality and predictable result.
- you and the ghostwriter must clearly map out the structure of the book, including the chapters, sub-topics, characterization, scenes, key points, etc.).
- A ghostwriter must deliver the first draft of the book for your review. The draft must replicate the blueprint and complete within four to five weeks.
- There should be at least three exchanges of review and draft refinement between you and the ghostwriter.
- All the little editing and proofreading issues must be addressed before the final draft is ready for self-publishing.
This entire process may take about 8 – 10 weeks.
- Confidentiality and Copywrite Agreement
Like all professional services, your ghostwriting contract must be sealed with a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and copywriting clause. The NDA will prevent the ghostwriter from revealing any information about the book, its content, and the contract to any third party.
The Copywrite clause ensures that all the ghostwritten book’s intellectual property (IP) is attributed to you before the full payment is made. The clause will change if you decide to make the book’s ghostwriter a ‘co-author.’
- What Are Their Payment Terms?
Before signing any work order, make the payment terms clear. Ghostwriters are remunerated in different ways, as mentioned earlier, such as;
- Payment for the number of hours worked
- A fixed rate, which is disbursed in intervals after the completion of each writing phase
- A percentage of the royalties from the book sales
In the same way, you wouldn’t put your life in danger in the hands of an inexperienced or cheap doctor; you shouldn’t hire a book ghostwriter just because he charges less than the rest. Professional ghostwriters are high-end service providers, and you must treat them as one.
Sometimes, the quality of the ghostwriting might be great even if the book has poor sales and low ratings. This could be due to inefficient book marketing and promotions.
You are the right judge of your book’s ghostwriter, so to simplify the hiring process, create a list of qualifications and skillsets you would like to see in your freelance writer.
Finding a ghostwriter for your book could be expensive. Therefore, if you want to publish your book on a tight budget and make the most of your book sales, our expert articles can help you.
Click here to read how to publish a book on a budget.
Read this post to learn how to make money by writing and self-publishing a book. While this was just the tip of the iceberg, we still hope we help you find the right ghostwriter for your book. If you want to self-publish a book in less than 30 minutes, check out Writat benefits for authors.