Hiring a ghostwriter is a big step. You are trusting them with a lot, and making a financial investment as well. Finding the right person is important, so here are 3 things to look for when you hire your new ghostwriter.
1. They do the writing themselves
Having gone to all the trouble of carefully choosing a writer, you want to be sure they will actually be doing the work!
Some big companies work with teams, which means you have no idea who will actually be working on your book. They may even use AI technology for part of the process. Even with small businesses, the person you have hired could outsource to a less skilled writer.
Your book is going to be representing you and your business. Make sure you know who will be writing it, and that you are happy with the quality of that person’s work.
2. There Should be a Contract
This is a long term project and a big commitment on both sides, so a contract is vital. There are a few things that should definitely be included:
- Who will be writing the book.
- A timeframe with deadline for completing the work.
- What payments are due when.
- The provision for making edits (there is always going to be something you want to change, it’s all part of the process!)
- Who holds copyright of the book.
- Any recognition for the ghostwriter (eg listed as co-author or editor)
- What happens if you change your mind and want to end the contract.
- A confidentiality clause.
Having a contract isn’t just about clear communication, vital as that is. It also shows that your writer takes their work seriously and aims to behave professionally.
3. They don’t promise what they can’t deliver
No writer can guarantee you a bestseller, or that a big publisher will want your book.
It doesn’t matter who they are, even if every single book they have ever written was number 1 in the New York Times. They still cannot promise that yours will be successful. All any writer can promise is that they will deliver a good quality manuscript within the timeframe outlined in the contract.
Speaking of which, the deadline must be reasonable as well. You can’t write a good book in two weeks! Considering the time it takes to research a topic, plan the structure, write and edit the book, this is a long term project. Several months at the very least. Personally, I take over a year to write a typical book since that allows my clients to spread out their payments. Win-win!