You may be a person who just has no time, or who has other challenges facing them, or who needs a finished book REALLY quickly, or who is one of the few with absolutely no writing talent and no inclination to develop some.
Your solution is to get someone else to write your book and if you follow the guidelines you’ll find in this article, it could be a very pleasant experience… but if you do it wrong, you’ve just purchased a huge headache.
The first thing you should be considering is the type of book you want to write. In almost every case where a ghostwriter is used (and that’s the term used in the industry) it’s best to use a ghostwriter for a non-fiction book. Can they be used for fiction? Absolutely, but the whole process is a lot more challenging and there will be a tremendous gap between what you were expecting and what you get.
And that’s the next point you should be considering. Even with a non-fiction book, you’re not going to get the precise book you were looking for when you started the process.
That’s really an inevitability. Even when an author decides to pen her own book, there’s a vast difference between her original idea, and the outline, and a bigger difference between the outline and the finished book. Now, add in the thoughts, peculiarities and writing idiosyncrasies of another author, and you’ve got a book that will be even farther from what you were expecting when you started.
That’s not to say that the book you end up with will be a bad book… just different. If you know going in that the book will be different from what you expected originally, you’ll be just fine. If you’re dogmatic and you want the author to produce exactly what you have in your mind, well, you’re in for a rough ride.
But the book that is ghostwritten will simply be different, neither better nor worse, just different.
When you hire a ghostwriter, try to be as precise as you possibly can be and you’re more likely to get a book that is closer to what you wanted.
That means have an idea, know what the purpose of the book is to be. Have a very good idea of the size of the book in pages and word count. Know how many chapters you want and what each chapter will cover. You might even give some thought to what you want to avoid in the book. How much of the book will come from your own thoughts and ideas, and how much will be left to the ghostwriter to create from their own background or research.
Get all this nailed down. Also, have regular meetings, on the telephone is fine, with the ghostwriter so you know what’s happening. And review what is being produced. If it’s fine, then let it go. No one likes to have someone second guessing every word. Remember, I said the book will not be the book you would have written, but you’re giving up this input to have the time or inclination to do other things.
Make sure the ghostwriter knows about the deadlines you both must work to. That’s write, both of you. The writer must have each chapter ready by a specific date, and the client must be available for interviews, reviews and okaying the chapters.
Here’s a strategy I use when I ghostwrite a client’s book: The book is 200 pages in length, $50 per page. The client will supply an outline for the book with a brief outline of information contained in each chapter. Each chapter will start with a client interview. The chapter will be written and submitted for client review three business days after the interview. The client will have 48 hours to review, make written suggestions and return the reviewed chapter to the writer. The writer will have 48 hours to make the changes. If the client is satisfied with the chapter, the second chapter interview is scheduled immediately. And so the process goes until the book is complete.
The client pays the writer 50% initially and 50% at the half way point.
When everyone knows what is expected of them, and knows the deadlines this can be a great way to get your book written. And a lucrative strategy for writers.
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