Once you know you need a ghostwriter, the process can go quickly, and while there are 11 important steps to take before you can say you’ve hired your ghost, these are the most common questions professionals have when it comes to ghostwriting services. Check out the answers below and feel free to comment if you have any additional questions.
The word “ghostwriting” comes from the idea that the person who is doing the actual writing is invisible—a ghost. They don’t get written or public acknowledgement, and a lot of times, they are contractually obligated to keep the fact that they were the ones who wrote the book hidden.
Recently, there have been changes in the way ghostwriting is handled, as many clients who hire writers to complete their books are much more likely to prefer a co-author situation where the ghostwriter also gets partial credit and their name on the front cover of the book.
At Literary Symmetry we offer both options because we know that no one solution will work for every client.
Ghostwriting services always start with a meeting.
Here, the client will tell the ghostwriter what kind of book they want, and the two will discuss options and also try to discover if they have compatible personalities. It is important to remember that this is a professional relationship that requires the client and the ghostwriter to collaborate often for a concentrated period of time. So, if the personalities aren’t a fit, it’s best to try again with a different ghostwriter.
After the initial meeting, if the client feels that the ghostwriter is a good fit personality wise, and that the ghostwriter can complete the specific genre of book they want written, they will discuss methods for capturing content to go into the book, the preferred word count, and the potential timeline for the project.
At this point ghostwriters have different methods for moving forward, but at Literary Symmetry we propose an outline and create a short writing sample. If the client wants to move forward, we then create a timeline and contract to protect all parties involved.
There are different payment methods available as well, and the method and frequency for payment will be decided and outlined in the contract. At that point a deposit is paid.
Next, the ghostwriter will collect the content from the client using different methods. At Literary Symmetry, we like to test different methods to see which one the client prefers, and we might also create a hybrid plan if more than one method works well for the client. Common ways of collecting content (including the personal stories of the client) includes but is not limited to: sending previously written material, asking questions that can be answered verbally through voice recordings, and live interviewing in person or through an online video platform. For a 35,000 word book, interviewing can take from five to fifteen hours’ worth of interviews and content creation.
After the content collection, the client and ghostwriter will finalize the outline and the ghostwriter will start writing.
The first draft of the manuscript will either be presented in sections or as a whole for the client to review. At this point, they also leave notes and add instructions for the ghostwriter based on their preferences for the developing manuscript. Depending on how many notes there are, there can be one to three rounds of edits that go back and forth for each section.
Once the manuscript is where the client wants it, the ghostwriter will do a final line edit before it’s sent off to the copyeditor, who will check for consistency, concision, clarity, and grammar.
The line edit is the final step for most ghostwriters, however, many will have support options and recommendations to help the client through the next steps which include copyediting, formatting, cover creation, book description writing, and marketing.
A ghostwriter is a service provider, which means they expert to be paid for a service they do for others. A lot of people question whether ghostwriting is legal because some people question whether a writer would ever be okay with someone taking credit for their work.
In the case of ghostwriters, we expect others to take the credit for our work. But the truth is, we are only letting others borrow our writing skills. The stories we collect from our clients to tell on their behalf are owned solely by them.
In the world of ghostwriting services, ghostwriters work with their clients in a collaborative effort.
There are some clients who prefer for their ghostwriter to sign a nondisclosure agreement so that the writer doesn’t have the option of telling others they wrote the book. But in modern times, the industry has seen a shift that allows the client to include the ghostwriter’s name on the book, giving them credit as a coauthor.
At Literary Symmetry, we offer both options because we understand that different clients have different needs.
Ghostwriting services are built around a collaborative experience where the client, the one who wants to tell their stories and write a book, works with a professional writer, the ghost, who uses their expertise to craft a book based on years or decades of experience.
There are also ghostwriters in the music industry who help artists write lyrics to songs.
Ghostwriting isn’t bad. It can be polarizing because there is a stigma around hiring a writer to craft your book. But the truth is, ghostwriting is the most time-efficient book creation method because ghostwriters and ghostwriting firms have access to the professionals who can make book ideas into books, fast.
If you don’t have 10 to 15 years to learn how to be an expert writer and you have an amazing story to tell, ghostwriting is your best option.
A ghost writer is someone who writes on someone else’s behalf behind the scenes. In the world of both business and music, a ghost writer can also be called a copywriter (for business), a song writer (for music), and a writing coach (even though in some cases they do most of the writing).
No matter what you call a ghost writer, the truth is that by hiring one you are renting their zone of genius and creating something that is at a level of writing that you shouldn’t have to spend your time acquiring.
Focus on your zone of genius and hire a professional writer to rent you theirs.
This is such a great question, and the answer depends on the level of experience you’re willing to pay for. If you have $10,000 set aside to work with a ghostwriter, you are either going to have to work with a new ghost or someone whose first language isn’t the language you want your book written in.
For example, if you want to hire a ghostwriter to craft a book in English and you only have $10,000, you will find that a lot of ghosts you can hire in this price range aren’t super fluent in English. If you find a new ghost who is willing to work for this price, the chances are they won’t have a well-planned workflow or writing model yet.
What does this level of manuscript mean to you moving forward? To get this kind of project to where you want it to be, you will need to hire an experienced developmental editor and then copywriter and invest a couple thousand more dollars. Still, that is more affordable for a lot of people, being priced around $13,500 for just the written portion. With editing, formatting, and cover design (for those choosing the self-publishing path), you’re looking for a total investment of between $16,000 and $20,000.
If you pay anything under this for your entire project to be written, edited, formatted, and designed, you are going to have a book that is lacking in quality. That’s just the truth.
With that said, to get an experienced ghostwriter, you need to expect to pay between $30,000 and $250,000.
For example, if you want a mid-level firm to write your book and have our team edit and format it while also creating your covers, you are going to pay at least $40,000.
If you want Literary Symmetry to do an offer critique and help you understand how to use your book (the one we write for you) to sell your dream clients your high ticket offer, the price starts at $50,000. And our firm is one of the only ones that combines offer audits with book writing services to get your investment back fast. (We’re a cool hybrid like that.)
But if you think about how long it would take you to learn to write a book as well as a professional writer does, the truth is that you would need to invest 10 to 15 years. So even with a higher price point, hiring a ghost will save you so much time, it’s well worth the money.
To find out more about how to start the process of hiring a ghost, check out this article:
Find Ghost Writers for Hire in 11 Steps Who Use Your Unique Voice
Or hop on call with us to discuss your amazing project