How to Hire a Ghostwriter
Hiring a ghostwriter for your project can be a daunting task. Especially when you don’t know where to look, and how to select the right one.
However, if you hunt the right way, you can easily land on the perfect ghostwriter. In this article, you’ll know how to hire one, how much will it cost you, and other stuff about ghostwriting.
Even if you are interested in becoming a ghostwriter yourself, you’ll find a lot of value ahead.
Let’s get into the details now.
What Do Ghost Writers Do?
In simple words, a ghostwriter is a person that writes for someone else, without getting credit for it. Or, clients might put them in the collaborator’s list.
The content that a ghostwriter writes can be blog posts, eBooks, memoirs, and more.
Moreover, ghostwriters hunt and communicate with clients on a day-to-day basis.
Their job doesn’t only involve writing. They also need to research a lot before starting to put their words on the paper or the screen.
And, clients may not have all the required information for a particular project. Ghostwriters need to dig into the subject and fill in the gaps themselves sometimes.
Plus, if the script is about the author’s biography, the ghostwriter might also want to interview people close to the author.
Their clients are normally busy personalities. For instance, a CEO of a large firm wants to write a book, but lack of time doesn’t allow that.
So, they hire someone to write for them.
What Skills Do They Need?
The first skill that any skill seller must learn is communication skill. You need to be able to communicate your thoughts and ideas to the client to maintain an effective working relationship.
Plus, you need to pick your client’s voice and tone. If your client is an author himself/herself, you may have to adapt to the style of idea presentation.
What Does the Author Do?
The author’s or the client’s job is to provide a clear brief about the project. They should know what they want and be able to communicate that to the ghostwriter.
Plus, it’s not a hand-over job. The author and the ghostwriter need to collaborate for many days. So, the author must be able to communicate the requirements well.
Why Do Authors Hire Ghostwriters?
There can be multiple reasons why authors hire ghostwriters to write their content.
Lack of Time
Lack of time is probably the biggest reason why authors hire ghostwriters. They have limited hours in a day. And, while writing a bestseller is something every author dreams about, they just don’t have enough energy.
Authors that hire ghostwriters realize early that writing isn’t a piece of cake. You need to sit in front of a blank paper or screen for hours on end, trying to come up with creative words and ideas.
Lack of Experience
Another issue that can prevent authors from writing themselves is the lack of necessary experience. Having a great story to tell isn’t enough to put it in powerful words in front of the world.
The skill of putting your thoughts on paper or a screen in an impactful way is rare.
You need to practice it repeatedly.
For people that are publishing a book for the first time, the whole process of writing a book can be a little overwhelming. So, they hire someone to do the heavy lifting for them.
A ghostwriter can easily tackle the process of writing and publishing a book.
How much Does it Cost to Hire a Ghostwriter?
The exact cost of a ghostwriter will depend on multiple factors. This includes the quality of work you want, the type, and the length of the book.
It may also depend on the experience of the writer. So, you’d have to decide whether you want an experienced ghostwriter or a newbie. It could be possible that a newbie can do a good enough job at a relatively low price.
A common baseline according to data is upwards of 30 cents per word.
More experienced writers who are worth their salt will charge more for their time and energy. But, you’ll most probably be getting higher quality work.
Writers that are just starting can give a tough time; especially while understanding the delicacies and adapting to the author’s tone.
It’s a good idea to have a chat about the budget. Ask them for their price after providing them all the information they’d need to write your book.
Don’t be hesitant in negotiating. The ghostwriter will probably want to land on a deal as well.
Should You Pay all at Once?
Probably the best way to go about paying your ghostwriter is dividing it into parts. This way, you can end the contract whenever you feel things are not working out the way they should have.
Remember that you’d have to invest more than a ghostwriter in your book. Today’s digital world and the competition it brings with it call for an effective digital marketing strategy if you are planning on selling your product online.
So, you’d also have to invest in advertising your book on relevant platforms to get sales. Unless you are a recognized author and don’t need new customers.
The cost of a ghostwriter will depend on a few factors.
How long is your book? The longer the book, the longer will be the time required to complete it. So, you’d have to pay more.
Do you have any existing material? If you have a collection of blogposts, articles, and other content, your ghostwriter might not need to do a lot of research.
So, the overall cost may reduce. However, you’d need to make sure that the material is usable for the project.
Do you want a fast delivery? If your ghostwriter normally takes 3 months to write a book and you ask them to write it in one month, you’ll have to pay them more than the normal rate.
How much work are you offering? Bulk work tends to bring down the rate a little. If you can promise a lot of work in the future, your ghostwriter may reduce their pricing.
What are the Best Ghostwriting Platforms?
Tons of freelance marketplaces host expert ghostwriters to hire. Whether you are looking to hire a ghostwriter or wanting to get hired, this section is for you.
We’ll be discussing the platforms that sell ghostwriting services. Platforms where ghostwriters and authors can connect.
Let’s discuss each one of them.
Upwork is one of the most popular platforms that host top-notch freelancers from all across the globe. So, you can hire anyone from anywhere here.
If you want a writer from a certain location, say the US or the UK, you can instantly get in touch with them on Upwork.
The platform maintains a secure and professional environment for sellers and buyers. So, you won’t have to worry about your investment or skill going to waste here.
Upwork allows freelance ghostwriters to bid on projects. So, if you are a buyer or an author looking for a ghostwriter, you’d post a job listing with all your requirements and wait for freelancers to send you applications (bids).
Alternatively, you can approach a freelancer to apply to your job listing.
You’d have to sift through those applications to land on the right ghostwriter for your project.
As a ghostwriter, you’d get a limited number of “Connects” to bid on job postings. So, it would be a good idea to use them wisely.
Fiverr’s selling and buying model is a little different than Upwork. There is a whole marketplace where sellers publish their gigs on Fiverr.
Buyers would come, type in the relevant keywords into the search box, and potential sellers would appear in front of them.
For instance, if you were to hire a ghostwriter on Fiver, you’d write “ghostwriter” in the search box and a list of writers that are selling their services in different packages will appear.
You can either purchase a suitable gig package or you can message them first and see if they want to work on your project.
As an author, you’d want to look at the reviews of these ghostwriters. Going with a seller with more 5-start reviews would be a smart strategy.
For ghostwriters, Fiverr can be a great platform to find work. You can create gig packages that appeal to your target customer.
The trick is to use relevant keywords in the title, description, and tags of your gig. Once the platform ranks your gig against relevant keywords, you’d start getting orders on autopilot.
So, on Fiverr, ghostwriters don’t have to hunt for jobs. Buyers (authors) will come to them.
Guru is another reputable freelance marketplace that connects ghostwriters and authors. It has a bidding model similar to Upwork.
As a ghostwriter, you’d go to job postings, find out the best matches, and apply on the relevant ones.
Guru offers limited bids initially. You can buy extra bids if you want.
As an author, you’d go to the platform, post your job listing, and wait for relevant freelancers to apply. The platform is relatively lenient on seller profiles as compared to Upwork.
Upwork doesn’t approve seller profiles that don’t satisfy certain criteria.
Are Ghost Writers Legal?
Absolutely! Ghostwriting is a completely legal business model. Ghostwriters write content by their consent. They get paid generous amounts for their services.
Not everyone has the skills and time to write an impactful book. CEOs and entrepreneurs usually hire ghostwriters because of a lack of time or skill.
How Much Should I Charge for Writing a Book?
As a ghostwriter, you’d be competing with highly experienced writers as well as newbies. Beginner writers may offer their services at an unfairly low price.
It could tempt you to lower your rates, but don’t do that. As a professional writer, you should know your worth and not settle for anything lower.
Your rate should also depend on the complexity of the task. Some topics may not demand in-depth research while some will take a lot of your effort.
However, don’t vary your payrate too much. You should stick to a rate unless you are in the learning stage and want to get exposure.
Your fees will also depend on the type of writing. For instance, articles and eBooks are two different content formats, so your pay rate can vary.
For an eBook $15 – $25 per page would be fine. When it comes to web content writing, it could be from $10 per page.
You can also charge per word as it seems to be the more popular choice these days.
That said it’s your service. You are investing your time and energy. And, you know the worth of your work. So, you can charge anything you want as long as someone is willing to pay that amount.
How Do I Find a Good Ghost Writer?
Finding a good ghostwriter can be tricky. But, with the right strategies, you can land on the right one easily.
When you are ready to hire a ghostwriter, ask yourself a few important questions.
Does the Ghostwriter Have Previous Experience in Your Niche?
The first thing to look out for is the writer’s capability to understand and write in your niche (industry). Only then he/she would be able to produce up-to-the-mark content.
For instance, if you are looking to produce a memoir, a writer with prior experience in writing a memoir would understand the nuances and can produce good results.
When you go with a ghostwriter with previous industry experience, there will be lesser bottlenecks. They’d have faced hindrances before and would know how to tackle them, making the process smooth.
How Long Will They Take to Finish Your Project?
As an author, you won’t mind a book written in a few days. But, that shouldn’t be your approach.
It’s important to have an idea of the time frame before handing over the project to anyone.
A realistic expectation will make things easier for both parties down the road.
If you want high-quality service, avoid indulging with freelancer writers that promise over-the-weekend delivery.
You don’t want poor content no matter how quickly you want your content ready.
On the other hand, there will be ghostwriters that take multiple projects and work on them for years. You’d want to stay away from them too.
If you know anything about the industry you are in, you’d have a good idea about the time it would take to produce a piece of content.
So, make sure your writer works on your project with focus and within a fair time frame. Although it would majorly depend on the content and its length, it can take around 3 months to finish the whole process (in the case of a book).
And, if you like a writer and he is not available right away, you can wait for them a little. Effective communication is a must to keep the process smooth and conflict-free.
Can You See their Portfolio?
If you want to work with an experienced ghostwriter, you’d have to check their portfolio. And, if you want to have the necessary peace of mind before handing over the project, you’d need to see their previous work.
But, that’s not a necessity. If a ghostwriter doesn’t have much experience and has got potential, you can ask them to share any other piece of content they’ve written in the past.
The same goes for experienced ghostwriters. Often, non-disclosure agreements with clients don’t allow experienced ghostwriters to show their work. You can ask them to show any relevant sample of their work to check their writing style and quality.
Another way to go about it would be to check the reviews of the ghostwriter on the platform you are hiring them from.
Alternatively, you can check their experience with their past client/author to get the necessary peace of mind.
Can You Read Reviews about Them?
Probably the best thing about hiring on a freelance platform is that they feature a review system where buyers can write their thoughts about a service.
So, if you are hiring someone on a reputable freelance platform like Upwork, you can check out past reviews of the service provider. Multiple 5-star reviews with positive comments can give you the necessary peace of mind before handing over the project.
How Do I Contact a Ghostwriter?
Thanks to the digital platforms that connect freelancers to buyers/companies, anyone who wants to contact a ghostwriter can do it instantly.
And, thanks to the review systems of freelance marketplaces, you don’t have to worry about the credibility and skill of a ghostwriter either.
You’ll just have to go to a popular platform, sift through the freelance ghostwriter’s list, and drop a message in their inboxes.
All you’d have to do is tell them about your project. Ask them what their requirements are and what would they charge for your project.
It’s not that tricky to find a good ghostwriter online these days. You just have to look in the right places.
Go to Upwork, Guru, PeoplePerHour, or other reputable platforms, write “ghostwriter” in their search box, and you’ll get a laundry list of them.
Can I Hire Someone to Write My Book?
Absolutely! You can hire a ghostwriter as its legal, effective, saves your time, and easy.
There are a lot of writers that offer their services as ghostwriters too.
Don’t worry about the process of hiring a ghostwriter. With tons of online platforms like Upwork, it’s quite smooth these days.
You just have to find the right one for your book. A ghostwriter that has prior experience in your industry and a good number of positive reviews would be an ideal choice.
For instance, if you want content on history, you wouldn’t want to hire a writer who has only written memoirs.
You can hire someone to write your book on any digital platform where you can effectively communicate with the writer.
However, I’d recommend using a professional marketplace like Upwork to keep things smooth.
Which Famous Authors Use Ghostwriters?
It’s quite common for celebrities, entrepreneurs, and people that are too busy to write or don’t have the required skill to use ghostwriters for their books.
Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Barrack Obama is no different than the politicians that use a ghostwriter for their rhetorical speeches to persuade the public.
He first partnered with Jon Favreau, a person he described his “mind reader”.
After winning as the President, Obama assigned Favreau as the director of speech writing in the White House.
John F. Kennedy
Another prominent leader in the history of the United States used a ghostwriter to write his popular and impactful book “Profiles in Courage” in 1956.
It was a bestseller that won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography. This boosted John F. Kennedy’s image in the public.
Although the book wasn’t known to be ghostwritten, one of the most popular presidential speechwriters Ted Sorensen admitted writing most of it.
Hiring a ghostwriter can be a tricky task. Especially, when you want to land on the right one for your project.
However, it doesn’t have to be difficult. With digital hiring platforms like Upwork and Guru, anyone with money in their account can hire any writer from anywhere around the world.
You’ll just have to make sure to check the reviews of the writer and establish good communication right from the start.
Plus, hiring a ghostwriter on a milestones basis would be better as you can step back anytime during the process if you want.
Many popular personalities use ghostwriting services as they don’t have the time to write themselves. It’s an industry where many professional writers make good money by offering ghostwriting services.