Ghost Writer & Content Development Advisor
5 Tips For Selecting a Ghost Writer
Categories: From Pete's Desk

You’ve got a book to write.  Or, maybe a white paper, or article… a PowerPoint presentation.  Perhaps it’s a blog post you just don’t have time to get to.  Deciding to work with a ghost writer, no matter how you got there, is kind of a big deal.

I’ve read large handfuls articles and white papers on this subject.  Most of them are by other ghost writers who are focusing on why you should choose them over another ghost writer.  Choosing one writer over another is never about them.

Ghost Writing Is All About You

It's All About You!

Here’s the thing folks, choosing a ghost writer is all about you.  It’s about you, and nobody else but you.

I’m going to share a few tips on selecting a ghost writer that other ghost writers might not dig so much…

It’s all about your voice.  When you speak, people you know recognize your voice.  They understand your communication style and are comfortable with the way you express yourself.  The ghost writer you select must be able to write in your voice, communicate in and adapt to your style of thinking.  You might want them to polish things a bit for you, but still, present your thoughts, ideas and words in your voice.

Personalities must mesh.  From short projects that require very little research to extensive book projects, you’re going to be working very closely with your ghost writer.  You need to have share a solid, candid report with quality communication.  Your ghost writer is there to support you no matter how big or small your project.

Ghost Writers Provide Confidentiality

Confidentiality Is A Must!

Confidentiality is crucial.  Your ghost writer should be able to give you a sample confidentiality agreement to review upon request.  Your ghost writer should NOT be able to give you client references or writing samples from previous ghosted projects.  If he/she does, run in the other direction as fast as you can!  Be sure that your ghost writer can provide the level of confidentiality required for your project.  Ghost writers should have writing samples of their own or otherwise publicly available work to provide.

Ghost writers are not here to get you published.  No, no, no, no, no… Did I say no?  Often I’ll take on projects assigned by publishers or agents.  My relationship with them is as a ghost.  If I refer you or present your project to them, it’s no longer ghosted.  My relationships with publishers and agents are just as confidential as with authors.  If your ghost writer says they can help get you published via their relationships, they’re basically offering to violate the confidentiality of your project.

Rates and fees.  There are basically two types of ghost writing fee structures.  Type one is a set project fee that is paid either up front or through periodic installments.  Type two is a speculative rate based on the percentage of the sales of your project once it goes to market.  It is very rare that ghost writers will offer to work on straight spec.  Working on spec usually requires that your project has already been sold to a publisher or that it at least carries the weight of a highly nationally marketable celebrity author.  Even then, the project must carry content that people want to read. 

If you have any questions about how to select a ghost writer, just ask.  I’ll answer openly and objectively.  I’m not the right match for every project.  Every project isn’t the right match for me.  If it turns out we’re not a match, I know several writers and will be happy to help you make the right connection.

If we are a match, fantastic!  Let’s get started on your project!

Peter Gault dba Topical Content© 2011 All Rights Reserved

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