What is a ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter is an expert who writes books for other people, but doesn’t take author credit. Just like a ghost, the ghostwriter is invisible and disappears from view once the book has been written.

Almost any kind of book can be ghostwritten: memoirs, health books business books, self-help books, biographies, sports books or books about art or history.

Is it cheating to use a ghostwriter?

No. Your readers won’t care whether you wrote the book by yourself or had help; they’re just interested in your ideas. In fact, it’s usually assumed that ghostwriters are behind most of the books authored by athletes, politicians, entertainers and business people.

Does a ghostwriter do all of the writing?

That depends on the client. Some people come up with an entire manuscript before engaging a ghostwriter. Others work closely with the ghostwriter, hammering out the book together. Still others provide material, then the ghost creates the manuscript. The way you work with a ghost will be up to you.

Does a ghostwriter do more than just write?

Yes! A professional ghostwriter plays many roles, including:

  • A championship listener who spends a great deal of time listening to your ideas, thoughts, dreams, aspirations, visions and the like, to get raw material for your book.
  • A critic who steers you down a better path when your story strays off course, strengthen your core concepts, and help weed out ideas, storylines or inclusions that just don’t work
  • A researcher who verifies facts and fills in holes in your explanations, ensuring that your ideas, plan, and manuscript make sense.
  • A wordsmith who helps you select the perfect words to tell your story or get your point across with the utmost clarity.
  • A coordinator who organizes and synchronizes the entire book writing process, from writing to copy editing to proofreading, and more.
  • A cheerleader who energizes you when you’re flagging, because writing a book can be exhausting!
  • A detective who zeroes in on all the little details and makes sure everything is just right.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Who gets author credit?

While the ghostwriter does the writing (or the bulk of it), the client (that’s you) owns the rights and gets all the credit.

How is a ghostwriter paid?

Typically, a ghostwriter is paid a percentage at the beginning of the project, another installment or two at specific points during the writing process, and a final installment upon the client’s approval of the finished manuscript.

Is it possible for a ghostwriter to write well in several genres?

An experienced ghostwriter is an expert at creating books from information and ideas in several areas. It’s not necessary to be an expert in the topic; what’s most important is the ability to understand material and explain it clearly to the readers.

When should I hire a professional ghostwriter, instead of just writing the book myself?

Here are some excellent reasons to hire a ghostwriter:

  • You don’t have enough time to write your book.
  • You have a great idea but don’t know how to turn it into a book.
  • You’ve written a first draft but it’s not ready for publication, and you’re not sure what to do next.
  • You want to write a self-help book, but you don’t have a program or a plan to present.
  • Your writing is too technical for laypeople to understand.
  • You want to ensure that your story or message is delivered in the most accessible, interesting, and compelling way possible.

For these and many other reasons, you need to hire a professional ghostwriter!