You may think I’m about to tell you to hire me, Amandah Tayler Blackwell, as your ghost writer, but I’m not.
Did your jaw hit the floor?
Let’s face it; not every freelance writer or ghost writer (even me), may not be the ‘right’ fit for you and your project.
What is a Ghost Writer?
Wikipedia defines a ghost writer as “a writer who writes books, articles, stories, reports, or other texts that are officially credited to another person.” Dictionary.com’s definition of a ghost writer is “a person who writes one or numerous speeches, books, articles, etc., for another person who is named as or presumed to be the author.”
The bottom line is a ghost writer writes material and or edits and proofreads completed materials without receiving ‘written’ credit for it. Usually. Some celebrities, Maureen McCormick aka Marcia Brady, for example, have no problem revealing their ghost writer’s name. But this is rare.
Who Would Hire a Ghost Writer?
CEOs, celebrities, entrepreneurs, political leaders, and others hire ghostwriters to write or edit various materials from autobiographies to blog posts. The film industry uses ghostwriters write a film score composition and or songs and lyrics.
Simple Questions to Ask a Ghost Writer
How long have you been a ghost writer?
There’s nothing wrong with hiring a ghost writer that doesn’t have 25 years experience. In fact, you may want to hire a writer that is up-to-date with technologies such as SEO writing and social media. But you want to make sure the writer you hire understands what it means to be a ghost writer. Believe it or not, some writers who call themselves ghost writers don’t understand they won’t receive written credit for their work.
Can you show me samples?
This is tricky because I established that a ghost writer is writing for someone else. However, there’s always an exception to that rule which is a ghost writer may be able to show you some samples if they have written permission from their clients.
Here’s a tip: Interview a couple of ghost writers before you hire one. Take a day or two to make your decision. Don’t rush it. Your projects deserve the best ghost writer for them.
What do you enjoy about being a ghost writer? What do you like to write?
Most writers enjoy reading and writing which is why they’ve chosen the career path of the writer. However, most writers may prefer to work on writing projects such as non-fiction, fiction, screenplays, YA, short stories, poems, etc. They could have a preference for specific genres of writing such as romance, chicklit, memoirs, travel, eBooks, children’s books, etc.
What word processing program do you use?
A ghost writer probably uses Word; however, there are other word processing programs such as Microsoft Works, Lotus Word Pro, WordPad, and many others. Make sure you hire a ghost writer that uses the word processing program you know and understand.
How do you communicate?
Most writers are ‘hooked up or plugged-in’ to their computer or laptop every day. Some ghost writers may prefer to communicate via email because they can answer your questions efficiently and quickly. Others will use Skype, and IM program, phone, or text. Be clear about how you like to communicate. If the ghost writer is close to you, perhaps you can meet in person from time-to-time.
What is the estimated completion time?
What’s your deadline? Do you even have one? Don’t hesitate to tell a ghost writer that you need your project completed by a specific date. Being vague with a deadline doesn’t work. Ghostwriters usually have more than one client; therefore, if you find a writer that you believe is perfect for your book, eBook, screenplay, etc., be clear about your deadline date.
What are your fees?
All writers have different fees for a variety reasons. Some have more experience in one niche topic or have more experience over all. Hire a ghost writer whose fees you can pay. Please be up front about your budget. There are plenty of writers out there. You’ll find one that works for you!
By the way…Sometimes it pays to spend a little more on writing services than you originally wanted to. You really do get what you pay for. It’s better to hire a writer who understands your project and what it means to be a ghost writer.
Hiring the Right Ghost Writer
Now that you have the simple steps to hiring the ‘right’ ghost writer for your projects, you can breathe a sigh of relief when you start looking for a ghost writer. It won’t seem like a scary process or something you dread. You may want to ask other questions in addition to the ones above.
There are some ghost writers who may try to take your project in a different direction, but it’s up to you to speak up and reiterate that it’s not their project, it’s your project. Make sure there’s a clause in a contract that either party can walk away at anytime should the project take a turn in the wrong direction. The ghost writer should have been paid one half or a third up front and can’t come back to say you didn’t pay them for their work thus far.
Be clear and concise about your writing project. Be honest about what you can afford to pay for writing services. Also, write down the characteristics and skills you’re looking for in a ghost writer. Conduct a Google search or ask your business associates to refer a writer.
If you hire a ghost write today, you’ll have a completed screenplay, eBook, short story, series of blog posts, children’s book, white paper, etc. tomorrow.
What are you waiting for?
Find and hire a ghost writer today!