Before You Hire a Writer, Consider These 5 Questions

hire a writerYou’re eager to hire a writer and get cracking on your book.

You whip through a Google search for “hire a writer,” draw up a list of potential ghostwriters, interview them on the phone, then pick a winner.

Yes, you can accomplish this in a few days or even in a few hours.

But you shouldn’t.

Before you hire a writer, it pays to think carefully about a few issues. So sit back, put your feet up, and spend some time answering a few questions…

#1 – Why you are writing your book?

What are you hoping to achieve by writing this book? Do you want to become rich? Share a wonderful story with the world? Introduce a new idea?

Thinking through the “why” will help determine the shape your book will take, its style and tone, and other issues. You may even realize that writing a book is not the best way to achieve your goals. Maybe you can accomplish more by giving speeches or posting a series of YouTube videos. For more on this, read “Why Are You Writing Your Book?

#2 – Do you really need a ghostwriter?

An expert ghostwriter can do it all for you, from conceptualization to research to writing.

But do you really want everything to be done for you? For some people, the process of writing is very important. Wrestling with ideas, memories, thoughts or feelings, perhaps making sense of a concept or special time in their lives, is very important. For such people, the process may be even more important than the final product; therefore, they may be better off creating their books completely on their own, warts and all.

Other people are not interested in the process, for their number-one goal is producing a well-crafted, highly-polished book. They should strongly consider hiring a professional ghostwriter.

#3 – Which type of client are you?

There are five:

  • the “You Do It” type
  • the “I’ll Finish It When You’re Done” type
  • the “Let’s Work Together” type
  • the “Guide Me Through It” type
  • the “I Did It, You Fix It” type

Read “How Does Ghostwriting Work? Here Are 5 Ways” to discover which you are. Knowing your type will help you select the right ghostwriter.

#4 – Are you interested in standard publishing or self-publication?

Standard publishers release a relatively small number of “big deal” books they hope will become huge bestsellers, including those by celebrities and various sequels. These publishers are typically not interested in unknown authors, or in any book that cannot practically guarantee big sales.

So if you wish to have your book published by a standard publisher, it pays to learn what they are looking for, as well as what you can expect from then. Spend some time studying self-publishing as well, and you’ll have a better idea of which approach is best for you. To learn more, see “Which is Better, “Standard” or Self-Publishing? – Part I”)

#5 – What is your budget?

Book ghostwriting fees vary quite a bit, from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Setting your budget in advance will help you narrow your search for a ghost, and help determine the size and scope of your book. It may even encourage you to save money by writing the book yourself, or at least a first draft, then hiring an editor to clean it up when you’re finished. For more on fees, see “Hiring a Ghostwriter: How Much Will It Cost?

Think first, then hire a writer

Yes, you can hire a ghostwriter first and ask questions later, but it’s better to think through these issues in advance. You’ll have a better idea of what you’re looking for in a writer, and a better chance of finding one that’s just right for you.