Ghost Writer Frequently Asked Questions
So what is a ghost writer?
A ghost writer is a professionally trained writer who writes on your behalf, as you and in your ‘voice’.
Is it ethical?
Absolutely and it’s rising in popularity. Many books are written in this way. Celebrity memoirs and autobiographies will most certainly have been ghost written, but it’s not a privilege reserved for the rich and famous. Business owners, consultants, coaches, academics – anyone can hire a ghost writer.
Reasons for hiring a ghost writer are varied:
- You might, for example, have an idea for a book, but you’re not sure where to start.
- You may have already written your manuscript, but you lack confidence in your writing ability. Perhaps you’re worried it’s not publishable.
- You are an extremely busy person, with no time to research and write your book yourself.
As a professional writer with a background in Journalism, I’m a trained expert in getting thoughts down on paper (or online) in a way that is engaging to the reader.
There’s nothing unethical about hiring a professional to do a job that you’re unable, or don’t have the time to, do yourself.
Does anyone have to know?
Not at all – unless you want them to. But otherwise, you are under no obligation to reveal my identity. That’s the beauty of hiring me. You simply benefit from my professional writing.
So, how does it work, exactly?
We can work together in one of two ways:
(1) Traditional Publishing
If you’re taking the traditional publishing route, i.e., to a mainstream UK publisher, you will need to create a book proposal. This is a document which shows a publisher why your book idea is a saleable, marketable product. A book proposal can take weeks, if not months to research, develop and then write. It also has to be presented in a certain way.
There are no guarantees as to whether a publisher will agree to publish your book, however, the better the proposal, the better your chances of a publishing deal.
I initially charge a flat fee for creating your book proposal, and a flat fee for writing the rest of the book. This can be paid in instalments as chapters are completed and handed to you.
If you want to self-publish your book (either for example, as print-on-demand or as an eBook), I will simply charge a flat fee for writing. Once again, this can be paid in instalments as chapters are completed and handed to you.
How long does it all take?
We initially spend up to two weeks talking, with me gathering information and all the material that I need. After that, I get on with the job of writing each chapter.
The total length of time it takes to complete your book obviously depends on how many words we’re working towards in total. But to give you some idea, a so-called ‘standard’ business book of 35,000 to 50,000 can take between 3 to 5 months to complete.
I already have a written manuscript but I need it rewritten. Can you help me?
Absolutely. It’s one of my favourite jobs – a polish and re-edit. It is still time-consuming, but I will always give an honest appraisal of the length of time I think your manuscript will take and how much of a polish and re-edit I think it needs.
Bear in mind that if you want your non-fiction or business book published in the traditional way, as I mention above, you will still need to prepare and submit a book proposal.
I also provide a unique service of taking your existing web content (from, for example, your blog), putting into shape, tidying and polishing it up and then turning it into a compelling, winning manuscript.
Just think about it. As a business owner, you’ve probably sent months or even years maintaining a blog, with the sole purpose of bringing traffic to your website.
That’s a proven and winning strategy to promote sales, but it’s also the perfect source of content for your next business book.
Suppose I don’t have enough material or content for a book?
I can help with that too. Something is better than nothing, right?!
So we can start with what you do have and build upon it so that we end up with a masterpiece.
Can you help me publish my book?
There are no guarantees a publisher will accept your proposal, but there are a number of things I can do to help you stand a better chance of a publishing deal:
- there needs to be a strong commercial market for your book,
- your idea needs a unique angle,
- your expertise/platform needs to be established, proven and robust enough to convince a publisher you have the audience to bring to them, i.e., to sell your book.
I’ll guide you through the process of including these factors and others so that you have an exciting, well-structured and marketable book proposal.
It’s important to note that proposals are often rejected because they have been submitted to a publisher or agent who is unlikely to be interested in that type of book. I will guide you through the process of researching and approaching the most suitable publisher or agent for your work.
I also work closely with agents, publishers and author consultants, so you won’t be left floundering on your own after we’ve completed your manuscript.
If you ghost write my book for me, who owns the copyright?
If I have written your book for you, by law, I own the copyright. However, assuming you will want to own the copyright as the author, we can agree to sign over the copyright to you. We also have other options we can consider and agree to.
If, however, I am simply polishing and re-editing work you have given to me (i.e., your manuscript) by law you own the copyright.
But don’t worry, we won’t enter into anything until these types of questions are clearly answered and agreed to in writing.
To discuss your project, please initially complete a booking form.