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HOW TO DECIDE WHETHER TO APPOINT A GHOSTWRITER

Posted by Kerry McDuling on 19 April 2016


A common myth is that only writers or authors can produce a book. In other words, if you are a respected scientist and decide to publish a book about a ground-breaking concept that you have discovered, it is not possible unless you also happen to be a great writer. However, like any other skill, some people are adept at writing and others are better off "sticking to their day job."

And then, of course, writing it is just the beginning. Everything else that is required just adds to the overwhelm; including creating unique book cover designs, how to go about book typesetting, and finally, of course, sourcing affordable book publishing. So what does this mean for all the other respected professionals, and indeed anyone with an interesting story to tell? Do they then just miss out on the opportunity to publish a book?

Maybe you actually can do a half decent job at writing: You may have already published a couple of books that have been well received in their category and you may also manage to organise a manuscript assessment, copy editing and proofreading. The real problem is you have plenty of ideas for more books, but you are too busy with your day job, and it's just not feasible spending countless weeks writing. Think about it what would Richard Branson's hourly rate be in business? Or Bill Gates'? Even Donald Trump? Clearly it would be a bad business decision for these people to spend their time writing a book, or filing, or vacuuming their carpet for that matter.

This is where ghostwriters come in: Fortunately, no one has to forgo the exciting opportunity of self publishing because they either cannot write, or don't have the time to write.

Effectively, a client will share their information with an appointed ghostwriter for an agreed sum of money, and the ghostwriter will pen the book, which will go on to be published. The author of the book will be the client, not the ghostwriter. The front cover of the book will have the client's name as the author, because it is his/her ideas, knowledge and experience that are being shared the ghostwriter is, well, a ghost!

Ghostwriters are available all over the world, with different styles and fees.  If you are considering using a ghostwriter for your next book, you will want to contact a few to compare their business processes, and how they charge, because it differs vastly from one to another. The more popular ghostwriters (who are responsible for the books by the best business minds in the world and a few celebrities, too) are likely to have a lengthy waiting list, and their fees will be higher accordingly. Of course it may not be necessary for you to contract someone this experienced or popular. There is no need to pay top dollar and wait years for a ghostwriter; many others will do a good job for without hefty financial investments or lengthy delays.

The investment varies from one ghostwriter to another, and it will really depend on what country the ghost writer lives, because they will charge in their local currency. Face to face meetings are not usually necessary. You could just as easily work with a writer on the other side of the world.  Your currency (eg. the Australian Dollar) might be quite weak against the US Dollar, so in that case, it would make sense to hire locally.  There will always be ghostwriters (or individuals claiming to be) in countries such as India and the Philippines who are offering to complete the job for a very reasonable fee indeed, because their cost of living is much less than ours. It is true that there are many professional writers with an excellent command of the English language, but you may waste a great deal of time and money wading through a pool of writers with poor English and communication skills. 

The most important qualities in a ghostwriter are their professionalism in communication, examples of their work, and also how they prefer to gather information from you for the book. Every ghostwriter and client has a preferred method be it by Skype, recordings, or even written notes. Find a ghostwriter with a similar preference to yours. It is always a good idea to ask friends or colleagues if they have any referrals in their professional networks.

For many authors, the most satisfying part is actually the writing of the book, rather than creating a professional quality ebook. In that case, you may choose to sacrifice time and possibly also money (in your normal line of work) to write your own book. That is completely okay! Remember that it is also possible to negotiate a different model of working: maybe you wish to write most of your ideas in your style, and the job of the ghostwriter is simply to make it flow better.

As long as there are ghostwriters available to turn the ideas of smart and interesting people into words, we will all benefit from access to a vast selection of books on every topic imaginable. Once you have a professionally written book, then is the time to start looking for a quality affordable book publishing service.  Some self publishing services, like Publicious, offer the broad spectrum of services required, including global book and ebook distribution, print on demand, copy editing, proof reading and book marketing/publicity.


By Kerry McDuling for Publicious

 

Author: Kerry McDuling
Tags: Andy McDermott / Director

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