Here are some tips for hiring the right ghostwriter for your writing project.
Budgeting for a writer
The costs of a ghostwriter depend on what you’re after. A ghostwriter could be hired to write a single book or help you write a series, for example. Expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $10,000 (or more) per finished project and have that price include editorial services, marketing assistance and other benefits. Whatever your budget, know what it is beforehand and don’t deviate from it — otherwise you may find yourself with a writer who isn’t willing to work within your established parameters. Also remember that whatever type of writing you require (be it fiction or nonfiction), there are many variables in pricing. Always ask how much something will cost and then make sure that fits within your established budget.
When referrals fail, you may want to do your research about certain ghostwriters. A lot of times when people ask around, they’ll get a variety of opinions and some opinions may seem to contradict each other. Do your own research — it will help you keep an open mind as you continue interviewing different ghostwriters. You should have a clear idea of what skills or experiences you need in order to complete your project, so use that knowledge when deciding on a ghostwriter. Make sure they have the writing background necessary for the type of content you are looking to write and if they offer services like editing, fact-checking, formatting, etc., make sure those services align with your needs. Find out how much experience they have and find out if there are any ghostwriters who work with them that might be able to share their experience with you. Once you decide on a few finalists, ask for testimonials from previous clients or look at websites where writers can list their work history — this will give you insight into their quality and professionalism level.
Know where to look
When it comes to ghostwriters, there are tons of options. The majority of writers out there should be able to deliver a high-quality product. If you’re looking to hire someone, look on social media or in your community. It’s also a good idea to ask friends or family members who they know that is a writer — they may be able to point you in the right direction. However, if getting a recommendation from a friend or others doesn't pan out, find the ghostwriters online by looking at well-known industry websites and figuring out who works in your genre. Some really good writers can be found on sourcing platforms like Upwork and Fivver, however, keep in mind you're getting what you pay for or the lack thereof...
A ghostwriting contract is an agreement, negotiated between you and your writer, that details what you need from your writer and what you’re willing to provide. Consider having a lawyer look over any writing contract before signing it, to make sure everything is in order. It’s also important to find a writer who’s willing to meet face-to-face with you about how you want your work written. Any good ghostwriter should be comfortable discussing his or her outline or notes in person and explaining why he or she needs certain information. If a writer isn't willing to outline what you need in a contract, hard pass — your relationship with that person will likely lead to disappointment.
If you’re going to hire a ghostwriter, you need to be sure that their writing style will match your intended audience. To ensure a good fit, ask for samples of their work in your genre. If they haven’t written in your genre before, find out what kind of writing they have done and make sure their style fits with your brand and intended audience. Also, keep in mind that not all writers are created equal — the same writer may write differently depending on which genre they are working with. What might be the perfect tone for a non-fiction memoir could seem too formal or off-putting when it comes to fiction. Make sure you can see how they would handle your project in advance by requesting samples of their previous work in both genres so you can get an idea of how they handle different styles.
There are a number of factors to keep in mind when hiring a ghostwriter. A wrong hire could cost you time and money, but there are ways to protect yourself. Careful planning and research is the best possible way to hire a ghostwriter. Remember that the writer you hire will have access to your personal information and voice. It’s important that you take the time to make sure the person you choose is professional and will represent your brand as an expert in their field. When you’re deciding on whether or not hiring a ghostwriter is right for your business, it’s important to consider how much work they do on their own projects (and what they get done) versus how much work they do as part of someone else's project.
Make sure you build a strong relationship with a good ghostwriter when you find one. This will save you both time and money in the long run. Once you find someone great, don't let them go! Keep them coming back! A lot of writers work with the same ghostwriters over and over again because they like their writing style. When they have a new project, they know who to call without having to search around again.