There are many people who want to write and publish a book, but are not sure about their own writing skills. There are also people who want to get books, articles, memoirs, biographies, speeches, and other types of marketing copy or books published, but just do not have the time. In these situations, it may be beneficial to hire a ghostwriter. But what exactly is a ghostwriter, and how do you work with one?
A ghostwriter is a person who writes book for others without claiming or expecting credit for the writing project. The term “ghostwriter” means exactly what it says: the actual writer is like a ghost—unseen and unacknowleged. Because a ghostwriter does not receive compensation from the sales of the published book, the ghostwriter is paid upfront for his or her services.
A ghostwriter takes the ideas of the person and put those ideas into written form. Ghostwriters work very closely with the person who hired them; the ghostwriters also work very hard to ensure that the completed document or book has captured the vision and “voice” of the credited author. There are many reasons why a person wants to have a ghostwriter who remains anonymous, and the relationship between a person and the ghostwriter is based on those reasons.
How much do ghostwriters charge? Well that depends on the experience and expertise of the ghostwriter, but hiring true ghostwriters is not a cheap or inexpensive proposition. Ghostwriters are experienced writers themselves, they are providing a valuable service, and ghostwriting is their business and their livelihood. It can take anywhere from six to eighteen months of work to ghostwrite a book. Professional ghostwriters do not work “on spec” or agree to paid royalties or from “future sales” of a book. That said, you should expect to pay within a range of $125 to $250 PER PAGE for the services of the professional ghostwriter you hire. Just as it is important to the ghostwriter that your book is well-researched, well-written, and successful; it is important for you to hire a professional, not just someone with the “lowest price.” It is true: you get what you pay for.
You also have the option to hire a person to collaboratively write your book with you for credit, including “as told to”, or even full credit, as in “written by XXX for XXX (you). A collaborative writer has a different business and professional relationship with the person who hires them, but the same value, experience, and expertise. In a future post, we will describe how to work with a collaborative book writer.
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