Besides my freelance SEO copywriting, I have ghostwritten a book, which is awaiting publication (more on that soon!). Anyone interested in this line of work should send their potential clients to this article to ensure a good collaboration. Written from the point of view of the client, I list here some things I discovered in the process, like when you need a ghostwriter and how to choose the right one for you.
How to Make the Best Choice of Ghostwriting Services
Do you wish to summarize your life into a short biography? Are you perhaps interested in writing about your family history? Do you have a great idea for a novel?
Since not everyone is skilled enough to transfer their creative thoughts to a piece of paper, ghostwriters are the right professionals for the job.
These non-official authors write both fiction and non-fiction content on behalf of clients by trying to capture their voice in the best way possible. Collaborating with a ghostwriter can be a challenging experience due to the never-ending exchange of opinions, ideas, and solutions, related to the project. They are expected to be flexible, punctual, problem-solvers, and proficient at story-telling.
Set your goals
The basic step of your ghostwriting journey is setting clear project goals. Only then can you explain your requirements to the ghostwriter you hire. Some individuals hire these professionals for doing creative work, while others use their services for business projects. For instance, ghostwriters are proficient at writing autobiographies, family histories, memoirs, fiction, screenplays, and scripts.
Usually, you don’t expect the ghostwriter to come up with the idea of the project, such as creating the characters or the plot of the story (unless that’s part of the agreement). Their job is to use your idea in order to develop the story but not create the plot from scratch. Therefore, ghostwriting services are the perfect solution for people gifted with coming up with great stories, but who lack the skills to transfer their thoughts to paper.
Apart from creative work, ghostwriters are experts in writing business reports, speeches, manuals, blogs, newsletters, and other types of documents. These services are particularly beneficial for busy businessmen who can’t afford to waste time on writing tedious reports or blog entries.
Regardless of the type of services you need, make sure you define the approximate word count of the project, as well as the deadline. The professional you hire is also supposed to know the way in which you would benefit from the project so as to assess its value.
Look for ghostwriter candidates
After defining your project goals, look for promising candidates. However, you might face difficulties in the process of finding ghostwriters, due to the low-key character of their profession. How do you find a ghostwriter, when most ghostwriting contracts include a Non-Disclosure Agreement?
The fastest way to find prospective candidates is to hire a matchmaking company to assist with your search. These companies are known for collaborating with the most prominent ghostwriters in the market, thus being able to immediately provide you with a list of authors.
Moreover, you’re encouraged to look for such professionals on freelance sites by creating a job posting. The job advertisement is supposed to include the project details and budget in order for candidates to check your requirements. Click here for some useful tips about writing an ad for a job.
In addition, compose a shortlist of up to five candidates so as to compare the skills, experience, and professionalism of multiple ghostwriters. Take a detailed look at their profiles and get an insight into their listed projects to narrow down the choices even further.
Assess the ghostwriting skill level of the candidates
In order for a ghostwriter to thrive in their profession, they are expected to have remarkable writing skills, particularly in the field of storytelling. Although ghostwriters aren’t required to be creative, their story-telling skills are considered essential when developing the provided plot and characters of clients’ stories.
Furthermore, ghostwriting experts are supposed to be armed with impeccable organizing and problem-solving skills, which are vital in the process of organizing tons of information. For instance, when clients provide them with piles of meeting notes, these professionals need to transform the myriad of notes into a useful business report.
The most effective method of assessing the skill level of your candidates is by asking for the assistance of a qualified editor. Editors not only discern between good and bad writing but also look for nuances that define the writing style of your candidates. Keep in mind that only the most talented ghostwriters are capable of capturing the client’s voice.
This is important not just for fiction but for businesses as well. You can learn more about the importance of storytelling skills for business success here.
Check previous projects
The following step of your quest to hire the right ghostwriter is checking some of the candidates’ previous projects. Familiarize yourself with the books they’ve written as well as their overall ghostwriting experience. Learning about their experience record can be as simple as paying a visit to their website, but the former task may prove harder.
Owing to the low-key nature of this profession, most clients oblige ghostwriters not to mention their role in the work they’ve done for them to potential customers. Consequently, most ghostwriters can’t provide any proof of their previous work to clients, apart from listing some books they’ve worked on, without mentioning their role.
Nevertheless, when looking to hire ghostwriting services for the purpose of business growth, make sure the author you hire has traditionally published a minimum of two books. Checking the rankings of these books will be beneficial for learning more about the author’s skills. The word “bestseller,” may not mean much nowadays, as most of the published books are classified as such by publishing agencies. Trust the bestseller status of a book when the status is given by a credible source.
Check whether the candidates are capable of capturing your voice
The most significant thing to consider when hiring a ghostwriter is the ability to capture the client’s voice. These professionals have to be chameleons in order to succeed, capable of altering their writing style to fit the voice of each client. Using attentively selected words and rhythms is what helps ghostwriting experts adapt their writing style to various voices.
Therefore, it’s vital to ask for a writing sample prior to trusting your entire project in the hands of a ghostwriter. Paying for such a sample lets you assess the ability of the author to capture your voice, which is particularly important in the non-fiction field. Anyhow, keep in mind that authors perfect their style throughout the writing process, depending on the type of communication both parties have. The better the communication, the greater the ability of the writer to imitate your voice.
Be clear about your requirements
Once you’ve found the right person for the job, be absolutely clear about your requirements. You need to specify whether the professional has the right to be creative, or they have to abide by strict guidelines. Also, it’s your job to decide whether you’ll be open to feedback from the ghostwriter, as some clients prefer the content to be written without any alterations to the idea.
Regarding your meetings with the author, make sure you decide between in-person and virtual meetings. Some clients prefer the author to be available at all times, while others are fond of long-distance work relations.
In the former case, the ghostwriter is supposed to be involved in every stage of the project by gathering useful information, making inquiries, conducting interviews, doing research, and other essential tasks. After gathering everything they find indispensable for the writing process, the author will disappear for a particular time period to work on the book.
In contrast, other people may be reluctant to any kind of close collaboration, wishing instead for ghostwriting experts to work independently. These writers usually send a couple of chapters at a time to the clients, instead of asking for feedback on each chapter.
Ultimately, hiring a skilled ghostwriter who’s available to start working on your projects right away is often impossible. Most of the gifted authors are most likely to be unavailable, as these professionals book the projects ahead of time.
So, when hiring a ghostwriter, make sure they are skilled enough to develop your story and present it in the best light. Whether you’re looking for a professional ghostwriter in Brisbane or preparing your Upwork ad for a ghostwriter, I hope the tips listed here help you make the right choice!