Are you thinking of hiring a ghostwriter or becoming a ghostwriter? In this post, we’ve created the ultimate ghostwriting guide for clients and writers.
Ghostwriting is the art of writing for others, with their by-line to accompany the work. A strong working relationship is required between the ghostwriter and their client to produce excellent results.
What Is A Ghostwriter?
According to Oxford Onilne Dictionaries, the definition of a ghostwriter is: ‘A person whose job it is to write material for someone else who is the named author.’
Ghostwriters can be hired to produce many different kinds of writing for their clients: blog posts, articles, fiction, memoirs, and sometimes autobiographies.
The ghostwriter relies on collected resources to create writing in the author’s style. Interviews, articles, letters, and/or video resources are some of the things a ghostwriter could use.
Who Hires Ghostwriters?
The need for a ghostwriter can be corporate or private. People who need ghostwriters to produce work can include:
- Clients who would like to write, but lack the time.
- Clients who would like to write, but lack the writing experience.
- Clients who can tell a great story, but need help to write it.
A. Ghostwriting Guide For Clients
1. Where To Find Ghostwriters
Ghostwriters advertise their services on their website. Advertisements for ghostwriting also appear on job boards like Freelancer. Look at social media networks like LinkedIn. You can also try Upwork or Reedsy.
Clients can also find their ghostwriter through referral. Ask others who they have used as a reputable, experienced ghostwriter before.
2. What To Ask (Before You Hire A Ghostwriter)
A ghostwriter’s client should ask for samples and experience in the specific genre or field required for the writing. Who has the writer created work for in the past? How long have they been ghostwriting?
Without this information, a client risks hiring blind. Ask for an interview with your ghostwriter, and consider it an audition. Can you work together well from here?
3. The Million Dollar Question: What Are You Writing?
A ghostwriter will need to know your writing goals and intended style first. When you contact a potential writer, make sure you know what it is you would like to write.
If you are not sure about things like word counts, it’s okay to ask your ghostwriter’s advice. It’s what ghostwriters are there for.
4. What Ghostwriters Will Need
Let your ghostwriter guide you for the resources they need.
As a general guide, expect ghostwriters to require any research, practical information, and examples of style from you (the client).
Long-term ghostwriting projects are likely to require lengthy and detailed interviews. The longer the intended writing piece, the more resources might be necessary to finish it.
5. Editing With Yours
The editing process for ghostwriting between the client and their author is close-knit.
Editing should best happen throughout (and periodically). It gives the client a chance to voice concerns or changes, while giving the writer time to make them.
As a client, you should ask for regular check-overs, and never shy away from giving commentary on the work.
B. Ghostwriting Guide For Writers
1. Knowing Me, Knowing You
An important question for any ghostwriter is, ‘Can clients find their way to me?’ Don’t wait for work to fall into your inbox. Use the opportunity to advertise on your website, social media, and suggested job boards.
Clients will almost always ask for examples. Writers should always have their best, relevant writing samples ready.
2. Charging Ghostwriting
Ghostwriting involves time researching and interviewing as well as writing. It means that ghostwriters often charge per-hour or per-project fees, because it is easier to calculate.
Consider standard industry rates from writing federations or groups when calculating your rates. It guarantees that your pricing is always fair.
3. Information Gathering (As Ghostwriter)
Interviews are an immense help for the ghostwriter. You will be doing a lot of interviewing. Online tools like Skype and Zoom makes interviews easier, accessible from anywhere, and instant.
Smart ghostwriters record all their interviews, and keep all the added resources. File this information properly, in case you ever need to go back for further reference.
4. Further Research
Search for resources beyond what the client has given. Previous articles, interviews, video clips, and even further interviews can broaden the scope of what you know.
Learning your client’s vocal inflections and general manner of speech is essential to writing in their voice. Doing more research helps.
As added practice, try to write a piece in the style of your client. Ghostwriting is easier when you are used to their style.
5. Getting On The Same Page
Editing is very important. Successful editing must be done between writer-and-client throughout the project. For ideal results, choose a word count milestone, for example, every 1, 000 words, to edit and discuss.
It is also important to set a boundary for discussion. What are your set interview times? How can the writer or client get in touch if there’s a problem? Agree on everything beforehand, or it might get very confusing later.
The Last Word
Use our ghostwriting guide for successful ghostwriting. Co-operation, and sometimes compromise, are things that will count when creating any ghostwritten work.
By Alex J. Coyne. Alex is a writer, proofreader, and regular card player. His features about cards, bridge, and card playing have appeared in Great Bridge Links, Gifts for Card Players, Bridge Canada Magazine, and Caribbean Compass. Get in touch at alexcoyneofficial.com.
If you enjoyed this, read other posts by Alex:
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- Songwriting For Beginners – Part 1
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