The Ghostwriting Process
As professional ghostwriters and editors with more than 50 published books to our credit, including New York Times bestsellers, we know that a good book is a conversation with the reader…
…often an intimate conversation during which you, the writer, share your ideas, insights and perhaps your feelings, depending on the type of book.
That’s why we like to begin our work together by having a conversation with you – a lengthy one, as we delve deeply into your ideas and experiences.
We will sit down together several times and get to know each other well enough that we can turn our chats into a book that makes your readers feel as if they, too, are sitting with you, listening to your every word.
We love turning great ideas into great books!
If you’re ready to begin creating your book, call Barry or Nadine at 818-917-5362.
If you’d like more information, see what VIPs have said about our ghostwriting process on the Testimonials Page.
Think of us as your confidential “ghostwriter for hire” who will turn your ideas and experiences into an exciting, thought-provoking book. Our works include:
Exactly what is a ghostwriter?
A professional ghostwriter is both an expert wordsmith and a “big picture” thinker who ensures that your book is written in a style appropriate to its subject, and contains all the necessary material – but no more. What is a ghostwriter? In addition to being a wordsmith and “big picture” thinker, a ghost is an eager ear, honest critic, researcher, publishing consultant and more.
What is the ghostwriting process?
In other words, how does ghostwriting work?
That depends on you. You and your ghostwriter may sit down together to create your book from scratch. Or, the ghostwriter may do all of the conceptualizing and writing, while you simply provide some initial ideas and information. Or the ghostwriter may work from material that’s already prepared, turning a rough first draft into a polished book.
Who owns my book, if it was actually written by a ghostwriter?
You do. The professional ghostwriter is usually paid a flat fee and does not own a “piece” of the book.
Who gets the credit?
Only your name appears on the book. The ghostwriter is “invisible” and fades away once the work is complete. Depending on the contract, the ghostwriter may or may not receive an acknowledgement in the book.
Is the ghostwriter allowed to tell people that he/she wrote my book?
That depends on your agreement. You may agree that your book can be listed on the ghostwriter’s website and resume as a ghostwritten project. Or you may stipulate that it can only be listed as “edited,” not “ghostwritten.” Or you may request complete confidentiality, which means the ghostwriter cannot mention your book at all.
What type of books do professional ghostwriters write?
All types, including business books, memoirs, health books, inspirational books, history books and works of fiction.
Can a ghostwriter really be qualified to write on more than one topic? Even an experienced ghostwriter?
Yes. Remember, the ghost is an expert at converting information and ideas into a book; he/she doesn’t have to be an expert in the particular topic. The ghostwriter’s expertise is the ability to understand material and explain it clearly to the average person.
How are professional ghostwriters paid?
They are almost always paid a flat fee for their work. Experienced book ghostwriters rarely work on spec; that is, writing your book without charging an upfront fee in exchange for a percentage of the royalties you anticipate earning. This is because books are always a gamble: even the most professionally-written manuscript, created by a top ghostwriter and with an incredibly “hot” topic, may not earn a lot of money.
How do I find the best ghostwriter?
Finding any old ghostwriter is easy thanks to the Internet – but finding top ghostwriters, and the one that’s right for you, will take a bit of effort. The best approach is to make a list of experienced ghostwriters who can handle the kind of book you want to write, with fees that are within in your range.
Then, talk to each one. Choose the one you feel most comfortable with, the person who has the personal characteristics that are most important to you. For example, you might want someone who is sympathetic and empathetic, has a good sense of humor, appears professional and well-organized, and so on. This is crucial, for you must feel that you can trust this person to help craft your message to the world.
Equally important, look for a ghost who will challenge you to make your book even better – the one who is eager to improve your concept and can actually do so. That’s a top ghostwriter!
Do I need a ghostwriter who lives nearby?
No, it’s not necessary to work with one who lives in your city. I’m based in Los Angeles, California and work with people and companies across the U.S. and around the world. Thanks to the telephone, email and Skype, you can search the world to find the best ghostwriter for you.
Is using a ghostwriter for my book cheating?
No. Readers of non-fiction books are interested in your ideas; they don’t really care whether you wrote the book by yourself or had help. In fact, many people automatically assume that books authored by politicians, athletes, entertainers and business figures are ghostwritten.
What’s the difference between an author, writer and ghostwriter?
The author is the person whose name appears on the book. For your book, you are the author. The writer is the person who actually writes it. If the writer is named on the book, he’s known as the coauthor; if not, he’s the ghostwriter.
Should I hire a professional ghostwriter as soon as I get my book idea?
Don’t worry about the “how to hire a ghostwriter” issue until you’ve thought through some important questions, such as why you are writing your book, what you want from a ghostwriter, and whether you prefer standard or self-publishing.
Thinking through these issues will prepare you to hire a writer, which you can do by goggling “professional ghostwriters,” best ghostwriters” or something similar, then putting together a list of candidates and interviewing each one of them.
Should I search for a “ghostwriter” or “ghost writer,” is it one word or two?
In the United States we typically spell “ghostwriter” as one word, while other English-speaking countries use two words: “ghost writer.” Some “hire-a-writer” firms will hedge their bets, using both “ghostwriter” and “ghost writer” on their sites.
How do I know if I need a professional ghostwriter for my book?
If you don’t have enough time to write your book… you need a ghostwriter.
If you have a great idea but aren’t sure how to turn it into a full-fledged book… you need a ghostwriter.
If you’ve written or dictated a first draft but it’s not up to snuff… you need a ghostwriter.
If your writing is too technical for the layperson; if you have a wealth of knowledge and practical experience but don’t have a specific program to present; if you want to make sure your message is delivered clearly, concisely and in a manner that appeals to the reading public…you need a professional ghostwriter.
One more time: People really use professional ghostwriters? Honestly?
Yes! Lots of people, from all walks of life, use ghostwriters. Even politicians. Senator Hillary Clinton, President John F. Kennedy, and First Lady Laura Bush are just a few of the politicians mentioned in the Washington Post’s article Who Wrote That Political Memoir? No, Who Actually Wrote It? For a quick look at celebrities and professional ghostwriters, see NPR’s article, “So You Need A Celebrity Book. Who You Gonna Call? Ghostwriters.”