Do you have an idea for a book but lack the time, knowledge or skills to write it? Or perhaps you want to explore your creativity and tell your story? Either way, ghostwriting offers a compelling solution: It enables clients to produce high-quality material themselves and concentrate on what matters most. Let’s define what a ghostwriter is:
There are many reasons why people turn to ghostwriters. Some lack the time or capacity to write a book, others have a story that they feel compelled to tell but lack the confidence and skill needed for writing it themselves.
Others may simply want an additional channel through which to share their message with a wide audience. Whatever your motivations, contracting a professional ghostwriter can work well for you. The right person can help you produce material of the highest quality – whether this is an autobiography, novel, newsletter series, marketing materials or even an entire website content plan! Nowadays several emerging technologies make it much easier to find talented professionals who understand your needs and cover them in ways that are unique.
The question is: How do I find the best ghostwriter for my project?
Here are some useful tips:
Reach out through your existing network. You may already know people who have successfully published a book or online material, and these individuals could provide you with the names of ghostwriters they personally recommend. A quick LinkedIn search may also turn up relevant contacts willing to work on projects like yours. However, referrals aren’t always the best way forward; it’s wise to make sure that people you reach out to have a track record in the field, so be discerning in whom you contact in this way. Search for professional associations in your area and see if they have alumni networks made up of colleagues from which you might find an excellent candidate for your project. If not, consider starting one yourself. Attend conferences and trade shows and see if they have a ‘meet the author’ or ‘meet the speaker’ session. You could also try visiting the website of an association that you belong to and look for any suitable forums there. A ghostwriting community may allow you to connect with other professionals in your area and share experiences, information about projects, etc. Check whether friends or family members have contacts that might be useful for your search.
Do not expect the first person that comes along to be fully qualified to write your book. It’s important to do your due diligence before signing on anyone, just as you would take care when deploying any professional service. These are some things you should consider:
Look at samples of their writing online or ask them to send you a writing sample from a similar kind of project. You can also ask them to take part in an interview so that you can get a better idea of how they think and work, and whether your personalities will be well-matched too.
Find out whether they have other projects on the go or if they already have lots of clients. This will give you some indication about their availability and also tell you more about what it’s like to work with them. Are their commitments compatible with your deadlines? Ask yourself: Is the match between your requirements and this person’s skills, experience and availability likely to be successful? Will either party benefit from working together, beyond the money involved? If not, consider moving on.
Confirm whether they have a good understanding of your field and the specific requirements of projects in it. You might ask them to describe their typical process for developing an idea from initial concept through to final publication, or even talk you through one of their own past projects. This way you can get a feel for whether you’ll be able to work well together.
Confirm whether they are willing to sign a non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement that will protect both parties while information is shared during the research and writing phases. You also need to make sure that any applicable copyrights belong wholly to you throughout the project — including at its end when it comes time for publishing.
Be clear about what kind of commitment you expect from each other. Decide whether you want to limit your working relationship to the particular project you’re currently engaged in, or whether you’d like it to continue on a more long-term basis.
Clarify how much money they expect for their services and what payment schedule is acceptable. Paying promptly will ensure that writers remain interested in your projects. Allowances of several months between milestones can be appropriate if this arrangement suits both parties. You may also need to pay expenses such as travel costs associated with research trips or attending relevant conferences and workshops which relate directly to the subject matter of your book.
As well as payment for their labour, you should offer to provide the writer with a free copy of your finished book so that they can add it to their portfolio. They may also want copies of all marketing/promotional materials for use on their website and promotional material. Be flexible about what you’re prepared to do but don’t be too generous or you might end up having to pay out more than expected!
Finally, remember that the quality of writing is only one criterion for selecting an author. Other factors may be equally important to you including availability, compatibility, creativity, experience working in your field, enthusiasm and ability to meet deadlines. Don’t make compromises if something isn’t quite right – whether it’s a matter of skills, commitment or personality – make sure you’ll be happy with the results. Also, if you need assistance and you’re looking for a ghostwriter, we are here and we can help! We have expert professionals that can help with your project. Simply contact us today for more information or if you have questions about our ghostwriting services and let’s get started!