If you’re among the countless number of people who long to write a book, but just haven’t gotten it done, a ghostwriter can help make it happen. Perhaps you feel you lack the literary skills to do it yourself, or you’re so busy you simply haven’t been able to find the time.
Hiring a ghostwriter is a long-established and well-accepted way to get your book done. A ghostwriter differs from a co-author or an “as told to” writer, as the name of the ghostwriter doesn’t appear anywhere in the book, nor is there any indication that it was written by anyone other than the named author.
The ghostwriter works closely with the author, maintaining regular contact, whether in person, via telephone or by email (or a combination thereof), shaping the author’s notes, thoughts and comments into a complete manuscript. Of the books I’ve ghostwritten, several have been done for authors located thousands of miles away, some of whom I’ve never even met.
There are lots of well-qualified ghostwriters. Before hiring one, be sure to check his or her experience and reputation, preferably by talking with other clients.
One other important consideration is making certain that your book or article is written in your voice, not the ghostwriter’s. To do that, you need to use your ears, as well as your eyes. Read it aloud, or have someone else read it to you. The sound the words make is very important, and you want to be sure those words sound like you.
A word of caution: get a written proposal, including fees, before making a decision. You’ll probably be asked for a retainer, which is normal, but it shouldn’t exceed one-third of the full fee. Final payment should be subject to your approval of the completed manuscript.