Easing the task of looking for a ghostwriter
One client told me he had thought that looking for a ghostwriter would be very easy. All he had to do was go online and search for…
“find a ghostwriter for my book”
“looking for a ghostwriter”
…or something similar and voila! He’d get his answers. Unfortunately, this particular “voila” produces way too many results to be useful.
Googling “looking for a ghostwriter”
I Googled “looking for a ghostwriter” just now and got 456,000 results, plus ads. And “find a ghostwriter for my book” produced 2,390,000 results.
The possibilities are endless. There are freelance ghostwriters, ghostwriting firms, places like Reedsy.com where you can put your project up for bidding, SEO firms that also offer ghostwriting, writers associations, articles on ghostwriting, videos by ghostwriters on YouTube, and more. You can even find my YouTube presentation on Writing A Great Non-Fiction Book Proposal.
Looking for a ghostwriter can leave you overwhelmed by the possibilities! Here are seven things you do to make your searching more efficient and effective.
1. Focus your search
Rather than sorting through this humongous informational haystack, narrow your search by doing the following:
- Add a word or phrase describing the type of work you’d like to create, as in “looking for a book ghostwriter” or “article ghostwriter.”
- Add a word or phrase describing the genre, as in “looking for a business book ghostwriter” or “find a political book ghostwriter.”
- Add a word or phrase relating to the experience level you’re looking for, such as “looking for a bestselling memoir ghostwriter” or “find an experienced art book ghostwriter.”
- If you’d like to find a ghostwriter who lives nearby, add the name of your city or state, as in “looking for experienced memoir ghostwriter Los Angeles, California.”
You can refine your search even further by using negative keywords to screen out those ghostwriters you don’t want to bother with. To do so, go to the Google Advanced Search Page, where you can use the “none of these words” box to eliminate ghostwriters you don’t want to work with.
For example, you might want to type “cheap” and “inexpensive” in this box to eliminate low-end ghostwriters. (The old adage “You get what you pay for” applies here.) You might also type in “academic” and “textbook” to screen out writers who most likely will lack experience in writing for the popular press.
You can also search by language on the advanced search page, should you want a ghostwriter fluent in a certain language, or by region, should you with to work with one close to you.
But remember, googling isn’t the only way to find a ghostwriter for your book. Here are a few more.
2. Look at other books
Check the author credit on books you like, or books in the same genre as the one you’d like to write. If it says “with” or “and” before one of the names, there’s a chance that person is a ghostwriter.
If you identify a likely candidate, you can probably find the writer on line. Failing that, contact the publisher and ask for contact information for that writer.
3. Check with writers’ organizations
A great way to find a ghostwriter is to contact a writers’ association, or check its website to see if they publish a list of ghostwriters. There are many general and specialized writers’ associations, including the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Horror Writers Association, the National Writers Union, and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
4. Contact literary agencies
Contact a literary agency and ask for recommendations. Most agencies have contacts with ghostwriters and at least one, 2M Communications, specializes in ghostwriters and editors.
5. Ask your author friends
If a friend or colleague has written a book, ask if he or she used a ghostwriter.
If you’re worried this might offend someone who wouldn’t want to admit to using a ghostwriter, ask if he or she used an “editor.”
6. Post an ad
A quick way to find a ghostwriter is to post an ad on Guru.com or another website where people bid for jobs. You’ll get a lot of responses and the bids can be quite low, but remember: You get what you pay for.
7. Check with your local university
This is a long shot, but if you’re on a budget, you might consider looking for a student in a university’s graduate writing program to ghost your book. I wrote my very first published book while in the graduate writing program at U.S.C.
Contact the university and ask to speak with a professor who is familiar with the writing students and their levels of ability.
Looking for a ghostwriter is a process
But it’s doable! And when you find just the right ghostwriter, you know it was worth the effort.
And if you’d like to learn more about the ghostwriting process, see my “What Is a Professional Ghostwriter?” page.
If you’d like help writing your book…
Contact ghostwriters Barry Fox and Nadine Taylor. Use the contact form on this page to send us a message, or call us at 818-917-5362.