Traditionally we write about pros and cons of any topic. I don’t like ending on negative notes, so I am switching the order of pros and cons of working with a ghostwriter.
First, let’s start with the cons. A ghostwriter, by the way, is a person who works with you to help you write something – a book, a blog post, an article. I’ll focus in this post on having a ghostwriter help you with a book.
Cons of Working with a Ghostwriter
1. You need to make an investment, which can range from $20,000 or more.
According to Writer’s Market, hiring a ghostwriter for a book that includes the writer’s name on the cover ranges from $22,800 to $80,000. If no credit is given, that range jumps from $36,200 to $100,000. These estimates can vary based on the complexity and length of the book.
Hourly rates are around $100 an hour for researching, writing, emails, phone calls, and so on.
In calculating what your return will be, don’t count on huge sales unless you’re a celebrity or for other reasons have a large following.
Think of how having a published book can enhance your business in terms of getting public speaker offers, being seen as an expert, and drawing new clients to yourself. The rewards can be great. And how much is your time worth if you spent it writing a book instead of generating income?
2. It can take up to six months to write your book. Great ghostwriters dedicate a lot of their time to your book. It is not easy to be a great ghostwriter. Those with skill who can write well and in another person’s voice are at the top of the game.
Of course, it could take a lot longer than that if you tried to write the book yourself rather than working with a ghostwriter.
3. You must choose the right ghostwriter. This means no only one who is highly rated and recommended but who is right for you. A sound decision can make the difference between a fantastic or a mediocre book.
You’re making a big investment, and it does have its risks—even if you choose a good ghostwriter.
Ghostwriters cannot offer a money-back guarantee because they’d be setting themselves up for endless revisions from the people who are never satisfied. You pay for the ghostwriter’s time.
4. You will need to be involved to a degree. It is a fantasy to think you can hire a person, have a conversation with her, and then walk away from the project with expectations that the book will get written without further involvement on your part.
The ghostwriter will need to ask you questions in structured interviews. You will be supplying your knowledge as content, reviewing and proofreading drafts of content while you are working with a ghostwriter.
Remember, it’s your book. Ideally, you want this involvement. Even if you’re not doing the actual writing, the content is yours. If you fully own it, you’ll make a big contribution to the quality of the end product.
5. Creating the manuscript is the first step in your book production. Ghostwriters typically do not create covers, print or market your book. You may need an editor or proofreader to have another set of eyes on the manuscript. And you’ll need to manage the book launch (which you’d need to do if you wrote the book.)
Pros of Having a Ghostwriter
1. The ghostwriter helps to provide you with clarification. You may have a lot of ideas but are unsure about how to organize them. You might overlook important elements of the story you want to tell.
2. By asking questions, the ghostwriter can stimulate your thinking so that you can expand on your original ideas. Through this deep level of engagement, you and the ghostwriter get to know each other, which helps to provide the basis for a strong collaboration.
3. In these conversations, the ghostwriter learns your voice. The transcripts provide further information in that they demonstrate your phrasing, ideas, and mannerisms. A skilled ghostwriter will weave these into the finished product.
4. The ghostwriter saves you a huge amount of time, which is the primary reason for hiring one. For example, I recorded 90 mins of answers to questions with one author, which resulted in 14-16 hours of editing work for me. Imagine what you can do with that time when you invest it into your business while working with a ghostwriter.
5. You don’t have to learn how to write a book. Many books and courses have been created about how to write a book for an excellent reason. No one was born with this skill. Those who acquire it are often long-time and enthusiastic readers. Not only do they love a great story, they love language. They are readers, and they bring their love of reading to writing. This is a description of the best ghostwriters.
6. You will get your book done – that book may be sitting in your head for years. “One day I’ll write my book…” 81% of Americans want to write a book, some will start it, and less than 1% will get it completed.
Often it is because they lack the time, discipline or knowledge of how to write a book. One of the most frustrating experiences is the regret over a dream unfulfilled.
7. Your book will get done faster than if you tried to write it. Experienced ghostwriters have systems that streamline the process.
8. Your ghostwriter enjoys writing and editing. You may not. You might rather do something else than sit at a keyboard. Your ghostwriter likes that space.
If you have a book trapped in your head, I’d love to talk to you about whether I am a good fit to be your ghostwriter. Use the contact form to set up a request to chat with me.