Ghostwriting

Contents of this page:

1.1: What is ghostwriting?
1.2: How do you find a great ghostwriter?
1.3: What does a ghostwriting workflow look like?
1.4: Our ghostwriting and rates

1.1: What is ghostwriting?

A ghostwriter normally comes into a project when an author doesn’t have time to start or finish a book they’re planning to publish. Another reason an author might hire a ghostwriter would be if they felt they didn’t have the writing skill to execute it like they envision it. The ghostwriter typically takes their notes and background material, then collaborates with the author on ideas for their book. Some authors might come with an entire outline prepared, while other authors might not even have a story idea to pursue for the project.

Most of the time, a ghostwriter takes a project fee in place of a byline and royalties for the book. The author pays the ghostwriter this fee, keeps all the future royalties, and retains the copyright for the book they hired the ghostwriter to complete. On rare occasions, you might see a ghostwritten book that has a “with” byline. Also, as far as payment arrangements, some ghostwriters might accept a royalty agreement in perpetuity if they are okay with taking on that risk of unknowable future income.

1.2: How do you find a great ghostwriter?

The best way to accomplish this is to do your research. Find three or more ghostwriters who are willing to give you writing samples along with a quote for their services. Pick the one that works best with your budget and the quality you’ll receive by hiring them. And, when you do your research, be sure to look for ghostwriters who have experience in your format or genre.

When you’re considering the quote–whether it’s too high or too low–try to find a reasonable balance between quality and price. Finding a ghostwriter who will only charge $100 sounds like a steal, but you won’t get top quality with a $100 ghostwrite. You want to hire someone who knows their value and charges appropriately. (You can learn about the dangers of hiring a low-quality ghostwriter in this blog post.)

1.3: What does a ghostwriting workflow look like?

  1. Before we take on any project, we do a consultation call to get to know the author, their project, and how they’d prefer to work and communicate with the team.
  2. Once we get all the details, we’ll put together a proposal to pitch to the author.
  3. Both parties will sign a contract that outlines everything they’ll receive, payment terms, and various deadlines throughout the scope of the contract.
  4. The lead ghostwriter will meet with the author, if necessary, for any brainstorming sessions if the outline is not fully fleshed out.
  5. If any research is necessary, either the ghostwriter or their research assistant will conduct the research for the project, including (but not limited to) interviews, transcription of audio/video provided, and other manual research necessary.
  6. The outline will be finalized through a collaboration with the lead ghostwriter and managing editor.
  7. The author will review and sign off on the outline, providing any notes for revision, if necessary.
  8. The lead ghostwriter will begin writing the first draft. As chapters are completed, they will be sent to the managing editor, who will ensure the narrative is polished and grammatical.
  9. If the author chooses, they will have an opportunity to review chapters based on a schedule that’s comfortable with them.
  10. Once the full manuscript is written and edited, the author will take as much time as they need to review it, then provide detailed notes on any revisions they feel are necessary.
  11. The ghostwriter and editing team will work together on the revisions.
  12. A round of proofreading will be performed to ensure the manuscript is error-free.
  13. The author will receive the final manuscript and sign off on the project.

1.4: Our Ghostwriting Rates

Every project is completely unique, so it’s hard to give one straight for every project. However, you can use the calculator below to get an estimate of what your ghostwriting fees might be. So, our actual quote might be different.

How much does ghostwriting cost?
Move the word count slider to get an approximate quote.

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