Ghostwriting 101 — Part 2

Ghostwriting 101 — Part 2

In ghostwriting 101 Part 1 we learned a few of the basics about what ghostwriting is. In this article we will learn a little bit more about the process and business side of ghostwriting. It is a legitimate profession like any other — therefore there are procedures that you will typically encounter when working with a ghostwriter.

Does a ghostwriter require a contract?
They most certainly do if they are a true professional. If you are not offered a contract, run for the hills. As with any business there are standard business operations that are considered good business practices. A contract is the road map for the client and ghostwriter to follow. It lays out how they will work together, when drafts are due, how payment will be made, and much more. It should also include a confidentiality statement clearly outlining who receives the rights to the written work after it is completed.

How much will a ghostwriter charge?
That depends on the scope of your project. Most ghostwriters charge a flat fee as opposed to an hourly one. You will see fees ranging from as low as $ 1,500 to as high as $ 100,000. The higher fees are usually for clients such as celebrities or politicians. If you need a ghostwriter for a 50 page eBook, you may want to shop around. There are some good ghostwriters who charge common man fees, and produce excellent work.

What does the ghostwriter need from me?
It is helpful if you can give the ghostwriter any notes or research that you have, but not necessary. Most ghostwriters are used to doing research for projects, and will not find it strange if you don’t have a lot to offer. If you don’t have a lot to offer, the ghostwriter will most likely set up a series of interviews with you in order to get an understanding of the goal of your project. Also, depending on what you are having ghostwritten, they will need to speak with you in order to get a feel for your «voice». Be prepared to work closely with the ghostwriter to make sure the project is a success.

Will the ghostwriter help me publish and market my book?
Some ghostwriters offer this option as a part of their services, and some do not. Be sure to inquire about this early in the process so there are no surprises once your project is complete. You may find the ghostwriter can point you in the right direction to resources you can use for your marketing and publishing needs.

Now that you know more about ghostwriters and the process you will be better prepared when you seek one out. When you hire a ghostwriter go in with the mindset it is a professional service. Be prepared to collaborate. The more you know about the process the smoother it will be. View ghostwriting as your vehicle to becoming a published author.

Pamela DeBato-Cancel is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and owner of Uncommon Scribe. She specializes in helping accomplished professionals and small business owners build their credibility and expert status by becoming published authors. Visit for more information and to sign up for the free eCourse Is Your Grammar Talking Behind Your Back? Top 5 Grammar Mistakes and How to Fix Them. Pamela may be contacted at

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