What is ghostwriting and who is a ghostwriter?

Ghostwriting happens when you hire a writer, usually a ghostwriter, to help you write something.

Ghostwriters tend to be professional writers who have extensive experience writing books, reports, speeches, manuals, etc. They should be skilled, professional writers because they need to understand and write about a variety of subjects.

The most commonly ghostwritten projects are books, both fiction and nonfiction, but people also hire ghostwriters to help them write screenplays, lyrics, reports, speeches, anything.

The term ghostwriter came about because the ghostwriter’s name usually does not appear on the book cover as the author or co-author. In essence, they are invisible, just like a ghost!

How does the ghostwriting process work?

Usually, the ghostwriting process is simple. The ghostwriter meets with the subject, gathers information, typically through interviews, and then uses the information to write the book or project.

The ghostwriter can then add, edit, and refine how the material is presented. When you hire a ghostwriter, it is their job to not only sound like you, but to sound like the best you that you can be: more eloquent, and more concise.

How to hire a ghostwriter

Ghostwriters can come from many walks of life, and different ghostwriters often specialize in  different subject areas.

For instance, if you want to write a book about finance, it may pay to hire a ghostwriter who has worked in finance. Or, if you want to write a book about sales or running a business, it might be wise to hire a ghostwriter who has worked in sales or owned their own business.

I have worked in finance, sales, and I have owned a small business (still do!), so I am comfortable helping people write books about those subjects.

Next, because you will likely be working closely with the ghostwriter, you will want to interview them before you hire them—over the phone is fine usually—to make sure that they are someone you can talk to, someone you like, and someone who listens. When you work with a ghostwriter, it makes sense to feel a good connection with them because you will be working closely with them for more then just a few days.

And last, but not least, be prepared to pay for the right ghostwriter. Good ghostwriters are not cheap (for more information, please see my page titled How much does a ghostwriter cost?). Again, the old saying that you get what you pay for holds true for ghostwriters as it does for any kind of service.

Does it matter where my ghostwriter lives?

Nowadays, the answer is a firm no. With phones, Zoom, and other ways of communicating online and over video, a skilled ghostwriter can help you uncover your book without having to be in the same room or even in the same state.

I live in South Carolina (I used to live in Utah, and I'm originally from the Washington, DC area), but I have worked with clients from all over the US and even people residing overseas. In particular, I have worked with clients in the following cities:

  • Oakland, California
  • Houston, Texas
  • San Diego, California
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • New York City, New York
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Johnstown, Pennsylvania
  • Atlanta, Georgia

Regardless of whether you live in NYC, DC, LA, Detroit, or St. Louis, the key to finding the right ghostwriter is to work with one who listens to you, who asks the right questions, and who wants to help you write the best book they can for you.

Questions? Or, if you are ready talk to talk about writing your book, please contact me to learn more!

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