There are so many ghostwriters, how can you possibly sort through them all and hire a ghostwriter who’s perfect for you? Who’s the best? Who’s the easiest to work with? Who has the greatest track record? Who will make the process interesting, challenging, and fun?
There is a perfect ghostwriter out there just waiting for your call. Here are a few ideas to help you find exactly the person you need.
Learn About Ghostwriters and Ghostwriting
The best and easiest thing to do when you want to hire a ghostwriter is go online and search for “bestselling memoir ghostwriter,” “business memoir ghostwriter,” “art book ghostwriter” or another phrase that spells out exactly who you’re looking for. Just searching for “ghostwriter” or “writer” isn’t a good idea because you’ll get far too many results.
Then click on the links that seem interesting and read each ghostwriter’s website. Look for items such as experience, the kinds of clients she’s had, and her fees (if listed). Read what she says about her ability to handle different genres, how she interacts with clients and her approach to the creation of the kind of book you want to write.
Do this with 20 or 30 writer’s websites, learning all you can about these candidates. You can consider this a learning stage. The more you know about them and the business of ghostwriting, the better you’ll be at selecting the right one when it’s time to hire a ghostwriter.
Make a Short List and Start Talking!
Now that you’ve read through numerous ghostwriter’s websites, make a short list of five or six who have the experience, working style, credits, and other attributes that are important to you.
Then call them and ask them to tell you about themselves. Ask about:
- their approaches to writing
- how they handle difficulties that may arise between ghostwriter and client
- whether or not they are available
- their fees and how they are paid
It’s also a good idea to ask for a copy of the contract, so you can read it through carefully before making your final decision.
Many would-be clients ask for samples of previous work before they hire a ghostwriter. This may seem like a reasonable request, but don’t be surprised if the ghostwriter turns you down. Ghostwriting is a secretive business, as many clients don’t want anyone to know that their work was ghosted. As a result, ghostwriters are often contractually prohibited from talking about or showing samples of their best work.
Even if you do get samples from a ghostwriter, it’s important to remember that the style of your book has not yet been created. So unless you want a cookie-cutter book, its tone will be unique and will probably emerge during the writing process. A prospective ghostwriter may not immediately produce a sample that has the exact tone you want for your book, but that doesn’t mean he or she will be unable to do your book justice.
Instead, hire a ghostwriter who is adept at handling a variety of styles. It’s a safe bet she will be able to write well in the style selected for your book, too.
Wait for the “Click” Before You Hire a Ghostwriter
You’ve narrowed your list to a small group of talented ghostwriters, all of whom are viable candidates. But how do you choose?
Go for the person you feel most comfortable with, the one who really seems to “get” you, the one with whom you feel a personality “click.”
You’re entrusting your story and your thoughts to a person you have only recently met, who is going to be working closely with you for quite a while. Make sure you see eye-to-eye and respect each other’s ideas and approaches. You don’t have to become best buddies, but the more you can trust and respect your ghostwriter and the more comfortable you feel with her, the better!
To Learn More About Ghostwriting…
See my “What Is A Nonfiction Ghostwriter” page.