How to Hire a Ghostwriter for Your eBook

Perhaps you’ve had an idea rolling around in your head for a long time for an epic work of fiction. Or, you are a busy professional looking to add another media form to your marketing materials in order to build your credibility. Whether the book tells the story of characters you’ve made up, the characters of your life, or the story of your special knowledge and expertise in a particular field, getting an eBook down on the page is the most important step towards publishing it. Many people don’t even start, or taper off partway through.

If this description sounds like you, it might be time to consider hiring a ghostwriter. A good ghostwriter ends up more than covering the cost of hiring him or her with the quality of the work produced and the likelihood of better ratings than if you decided to write the piece yourself in your sparse free time.

Photo from Walt Stoneburner under Creative Commons license

Photo from Walt Stoneburner under Creative Commons license

Hiring a ghostwriter is a bit like hiring an employee, but the process is unique as well, in that the work they do has to be adapted to your personal preferences to be successful. While the ghostwriting process is probably faster than writing the book yourself, you still have some work to do in terms of monitoring progress, giving feedback on tone and style, and providing the important information and highlights you want covered. Expect to spend some time working on the book to make sure it’s what you want. Having a clear outline is one of the best things to do to expedite the writing process.

It’s important for someone hiring a ghostwriter to determine the answers to a few questions right up front: will this be a long-term engagement or a one-book deal? How long do you want the book to be? When should it be completed? And what’s the budget? Keep in mind any publishing cost you are going to have to cover for yourself.

A common mistake is to hire a ghostwriter, receive a first draft that is not exactly on-target, and to fire the ghostwriter right away. This mistake is costly both in terms of time and money; often, the fired ghostwriter has a right to some compensation. A new ghostwriter will take time to find and will have to spend time re-doing the work. They might also not get it right on the first try either. Rather, the expectation from the outset is that the client will need to collaborate to get the tone just right. Even talented ghostwriters are not mind readers. Leave enough time for editing.

Another thing to do in advance is to research the market for your eBook. While a ghostwriter will often know some of the trends happening at the time, it is up to you to select a topic and subject matter for the ghostwriter that you believe will ultimately sell and be a winner. Working with you, a great ghostwriter can turn your vision of publishing your own successful eBook someday into a reality.

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