What must you do when you know a book can help you advance your business? You have already tried to write a book by yourself, but you realize you are not a writer.
Fortunately for you, there exist ghost writer whose prime responsibility is to write books on your behalf. This is how athletes, actors, and other celebrities, find time in their busy schedules to also write bestselling books. So, your sole responsibility is no longer to write your book by yourself but to hire the best ghostwriter in the town. But, how can you hire the eminent ghostwriters in the town?
As a ghost writer of nearly twenty-five books, I get often asked what exactly my job is. To which I give a brief and polite reply: “I get paid to write other people’s stories, and they get the credit for my work”. Most of my clients are pretty decent writers, but their incredibly hectic schedules don’t allow them to write books, speeches, or magazine columns.
If you are also one of those who is considering hiring a ghost writer for the first time, you will want to keep the below-enlisted secrets in your mind-
- Secret 1: Consider The Chemistry
Before you hire a business ghostwriter, it is essential to figure out whether he/she gets you and the team you are working with. Simply put, ‘get it’ implies that they completely understand the cultural fit and work well with a team. There has to be a brilliant fit and personal chemistry so that they capture your ideas and voice completely.
This can be an incredibly challenging skill to master. Thus, you need to ensure to test-drive your ghostwriter with some short-form assignments before committing to a long-term project.
- Secret 2: Trust Someone with a Business Background
Ghostwriters come in all shapes and sizes, just like normal people do. However, a significant difference exists between ghostwriters. Generalist ghostwriters handle everything ranging from novels to family histories to memoirs and everything in between. On the contrary, business ghostwriters specialize only in one area- business.
Well-experienced business ghostwriters know how to channel the client’s business story or expertise into informative, articulate, and compelling page-turners, while still maintaining the authentic voice of the client. Furthermore, business ghostwriters bring prior knowledge and business perspective to the process. They know how to connect the dots that bring the most value.
- Secret 3: Consider If They Are Hungry Enough
Steve Jobs once famously said, “Stay hungry”. Before you hire a business ghostwriter, always make sure to evaluate whether he is hungry enough to want the job. Try to determine whether he/she is excited to be working for you and on your topic. One of my client’s companies works with a number of ghostwriters, including me, who have demonstrated they are excited to be working with the team. When they onboard a new client, they make sure that they assign the hungriest writer to their project. This is why it is crucial to make sure beforehand that your ghostwriter just loves the topic.
- Secret 4: It Is Important To Dig Deep Enough
Every subject matter experts need an extra set of eyes. Business ghostwriters always use their creative flair to craft exemplary books. They take the client interviews, transcribe the contents and convert it into exemplary prose. However, to craft an incredible business book takes more than a creative flair. It needs the willingness on behalf of ghostwriter to dig deeper and conduct intensive research. Furthermore, the research should never contradict but rather complement and deepen the client’s ability to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise.
- Secret 5: Evaluate If They Get Things Done On Time
I worked with a company that had project managers especially responsible for the client’s projects. They make sure that multiple deliverables get done on time as per the timeline. Remember, if you are working on your book with only one person (the ghostwriter), the chances are that they could get a tad bit too relaxed with their timing. The reason is, they are only accountable to you, as opposed to their project manager and other team members, as well. Sometimes your attempt at working with such ghostwriters can turn out to be a complete failure as they may simply suffer through writer’s block. Therefore, ensure to ask for references and call them to find out if your ghost writer can truly get things done on time.
- Secret 6: See If They Communicate Well
This is one of the essential attributes you must look for in your business ghostwriter before hiring them. Figure out if your ghostwriter is communicating with you frequently and clearly. Always remember, honesty and transparency are of paramount importance, and you can ascertain them only if you are able to communicate clearly.
- Secret 7: Choose One with Undivided Loyalties
If your aim is to write a full-length business book and there is an impending deadline, make sure to hire a business ghostwriter who is singularly focused on your book. They should not focus anywhere else. Of course, this does not imply that your writer can’t be engaged in consulting, blogging, or small projects. But, writing more than one world class book simultaneously is a seldom feasible or professional task. Moreover, in such a situation, when your deadline approaches, there is no guarantee that your book will get top priority.
Therefore, it is crucial to make sure that your ghostwriter’s attention is focused on your book and no one else’s. It is quite apt to ask if they are going to devote the vast majority of their time to your book solely when interviewing a ghost writer.
- Secret 8: Know the Rates Well
Most ghostwriters, especially those who have earned a stellar reputation in the business, charge a flat fee. This generally incorporates the gathering of material, writing the manuscript, and a set number of revisions. Some like me also charge hourly rates.
It is crucial to remember that ghostwriting rates vary just as much as rates for freelance writers but are often higher because the writer doesn’t get credit for all the hard labor he does. This means they can’t use it in their portfolio or even as a confidential sample of their work for future clients. Most seasoned ghostwriters who bill flat rates charge a minimum of $25,000 for a 200-page book. Again, someone who has written a couple of books now charges a minimum of six figures. Furthermore, the most sought-after ghostwriters in the industry can command three times than that. Hourly rates range from $50 to $400+. All these aspects depend on the experience of the writer and how in-demand they are.
While hiring a business ghost writer, it always pays to find someone with a singular focus, business expertise, and the ability to ask the right questions. Collaborating with a remarkable ghostwriter is a good business as the book you develop together will build your brand and surely other lucrative opportunities for the years to come. Check professional sites like LinkedIn and look for in-depth profiles that show a real commitment to the process. The time you spend looking will pay off in spades.
Go through these 9 secrets to choose experienced business ghostwriters. They are always worth every penny as they hit the ground running, dig deeper, and offer relevant insights that make the book richer.