WORKING WITH A GHOSTWRITER: Your Confidential Aide

Your Confidential Aide

A professional ghostwriter is an expert at turning your ideas and experiences into a captivating read, no matter what kind of book you envision.

  • It may be a health or business book presenting a program for success.
  • It may be a fascinating look at an artist or other famous person.
  • It may be a nostalgic, dramatic or amusing retelling of your life story.

But no matter which form the book takes, it must be yours, written in your voice and your style.

Exactly what does a ghostwriter do?

The ghostwriter ensures that your manuscript is written in a style appropriate to its subject and contains all of the desired material – but no more.

The ghostwriter may do all of the writing, with the client providing initial ideas and information, then reading and approving the completed manuscript. Or the ghost may work from material already prepared, turning a written or dictated first draft into a polished book. The ghostwriter may even sit down with the author and create the book from scratch.

Who owns my book?

In most cases, you do. The ghostwriter is usually paid a flat fee and does not own “percentage” of the book. On rare occasions, when working with celebrities or other VIPs whose books show promise of earning substantial royalties, a ghostwriter may agree to accept a lesser upfront fee in exchange for partial ownership of the book.

Is the ghostwriter allowed to tell people he/she wrote my book?

That’s up to you. You may agree, in the contract, that your ghost can list your book on his/her website and resume. You may want to dial back a bit by agreeing that the ghost can only claim to have edited the book. Or you may insist on complete confidentiality, meaning that the ghostwriter’s lips are sealed.

Do ghostwriters write all types of books?

Some ghostwriters work in numerous genres, while other specialize in a limited number of areas  – or even a single type of book.

Can a ghostwriter really be qualified to write on more than one topic?

Yes. Remember, the ghost is an expert at converting information and ideas into a book; he/she doesn’t have to be an expert in the particular topic. The ghostwriter’s expertise is the ability to understand the material and explain it clearly to the average person. I know a very successful ghostwriter who began writing health books, then moved into business books. Another ghostwriter began as a business writer, then moved into memoirs.

How do I find the right ghostwriter?

If you need a ghostwriter, simply finding one is easy thanks to the Internet  – but finding the one that’s right for you will take more effort. The best approach is to compile a list of experienced ghostwriters who can handle the kind of book you want to write, and whose fees are in your range. Then, talk to each one of them. Look for the one you feel most comfortable with, the person who has the personal characteristics that are most important to you. For example, you might want someone who is sympathetic and empathetic, or has a good sense of humor, appears professional and well-organized, and so on. Most of all, you need to feel that you can trust this person to help craft your message to the world. It’s of utmost importance, then, that you find the right “fit.”

We at Taylor-Fox can help you create your business book, health book, memoir, biography, inspirational book or other book and get it ready for publication. We’ve helped scores of people achieve their goals, and some of their books have landed on bestseller lists. Let us help you! Call us at 818-562-7721.

About Nadine Taylor, M.S., R.D.

Nadine Taylor, a Registered Dietitian, is an experienced writer who has authored or co-authored several books in the health and memoir genres. Her memoirs include Diana & Dodi: A Love Story, and her health books include Green Tea: The Natural Secret to a Healthier Life, Runaway Eating, Natural Menopause Remedies, Arthritis For Dummies and 25 Natural Ways To Relieve PMS. She has also ghostwritten numerous books in various genres.