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.

What types of books do ghostwriters write?

Ghostwriters handle all kinds of books: memoirs, health books, business books, self-help books, biographies, sports books,  books about art and history, and more.

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, executives, and entertainers.

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 the general idea, then the ghost creates the manuscript. How you work with your ghostwriter is up to you.

Who gets author credit?

While the ghostwriter does most or all of the writing, the client – that’s you – owns the rights and gets all the credit.

How is a ghostwriter paid?

Ghostwriters are generally paid as the work progresses. Most professional ghostwriters do not work on spec; that is, they do not write your book in exchange for a percent of future earnings.

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

An experienced ghostwriter is an expert at turnings ideas and information into books, in numerous genres. 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.

Must I work with a ghostwriter who lives in my city?

Thanks to the Internet, you can work with a ghostwriter from any part of the world. We live in Los Angeles, California, but work with clients across the U.S. and around the world. We often begin by meeting with clients in person, but after the initial meeting, we generally communicate via phone, Skype, email, and so on.

Does a ghostwriter get you a literary agent?

Ghostwriters often have contacts with agents, but they cannot guarantee an agent will represent you. Agents make their decision to represent or not based on the potential client’s work and  marketing platform.

Do I need a ghostwriter or an editor?

If you need help writing your book, or want someone to write it for you, hire a ghostwriter. If you need someone to improve or “clean-up” your manuscript, look for an editor.

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