How to Hire a Ghostwriter For a Business Book

January 17, 2019

Many successful business people have extensive knowledge to share, but just don't have the time or skill to write their own books. Writing can be difficult if you don't have the proper training. So what's the best way to share your expertise in book form? Hire a ghostwriter.

Whether your excuse is that you just don't have the time or you feel insecure about your writing abilities, hiring a ghostwriter can make the process of writing a book simpler and more efficient.

What Is a Ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter is a person who writes material, but then gives the credit of author to another person. Here's how it works: you hire a ghostwriter to write your business book, but you get to have your name listed as the author. Celebrities, thought leaders, executives, and politicians frequently use ghostwriters to draft book projects such as memoirs and autobiographies. Musicians also use ghostwriters to pen lyrics while screenwriters use professional ghostwriters to write scripts. You can hire a full-time ghostwriter or a freelancer depending on your preferences.

Benefits Of Using a Ghostwriter

1. Time Savings

There are dozens of benefits to hiring a ghostwriter. First and foremost, hiring a ghostwriter can save you a lot of time. Some of the best ghostwriters can hammer out business books and professional memoirs in a matter of days rather than the months it may take you to write it yourself.

2. Higher Likelihood of Finishing the Book

Many people start out writing a book and find that the process is too overwhelming or demanding and they end up never finishing the book. Others spend hours thinking about writing a business book, but just never find time to do it. The benefit of hiring a professional ghostwriter is that you're guaranteed to have a finished product.

3. Ghostwriters Are Professionally Trained

Writing a book is much different than writing a blog post or marketing ad campaign. Even if you're a rockstar at copy or content writing, you may not have the right skills and frame of mind to write a book. First off, books are much longer than most other forms of writing. Second, to write a successful book, you need to have a good grasp of organization as well as spelling and grammar. A professional ghostwriter is trained to create business books so you don't have to spend time learning these skills.

Downsides of Hiring A Ghostwriter

1. It's Not Really Your Work

The main downside to hiring a ghostwriter is that the book is not technically written in your words. You may be able to share your ideas and expertise, but at the end of the day, someone else is writing your book. This can cause problems when it comes to trust and transparency. Many people use ghostwriters to fill in gaps in knowledge, creating a false perception that the writer is an expert in the subject.

If you are concerned about your personal brand and using a ghostwriter, you can opt to use a writing coach instead. Book coaches help guide you through the process so that you can do all the work yourself. Book coaches are essentially consultants and they are often more affordable than full ghostwriters. Book coaches are a good compromise between self-publishing and using a ghostwriter.

Another alternative is to give the ghostwriter co-author credit. That way you can both take responsibility for your part in the process and you can improve transparency.

2. It's More Expensive

The main drawback to hiring a ghostwriter is that you'll pay more than if you were to write it yourself. For many small business owners, hiring a ghostwriter may be cost-prohibitive.  Ghostwriters can cost anywhere from $1,000 to over $100,000. Quality varies dramatically at the price range with most professional writers charging over $15,000 per book.

3. It Can Be Hard to Find Great Ghostwriters

All of the benefits of hiring a ghostwriter are canceled out if you hire a sub-par writer. Finding high-quality ghostwriters can be difficult since there aren't many centralized marketplaces for these positions. Once you do find ghostwriters, it can be hard to verify the quality of their works since most of them are published under another person's name. Below, we'll show you where you can find professional business ghostwriters and how to pick the best ones.

4. Managing the Ghostwriting Process Can Be Difficult

Once you select a ghostwriter, you have to manage the writing process and decide how to communicate effectively. Many ghostwriters work as freelance writers so they may not be located in your city. You'll need to stay on top of communication to ensure any deadlines are met and that your expectations are clear. Legal aspects such as non-disclosure agreements can also be difficult for business people who don't have access to a law department.

Resources For Hiring a Ghostwriter

Unfortunately, there are no existing job boards specifically for ghostwriters. You can, however, use several tools to find ghostwriters. Here are some of the best:

1. Freelance Writer Job Boards

As mentioned, most ghostwriters are freelance writers. That means you can use sites such as Upwork, Guru, and ProBlogger to hire freelance writers that can help you ghostwrite your new book. You need to be diligent when it comes to evaluating potential ghostwriters as quality can vary dramatically on these sites.

2. Agencies

Ghostwriting agencies connect potential ghostwriters with business people who are looking for someone to write a book. These services are similar to our freelance writer offerings at The Writer Finder.

You can try Reedsy, a small company that sources editors, marketers, and designers to help you draft your book. As of publishing, Reedsy boasts a database of 121 ghostwriters consisting of the industry’s top professionals.

One of the leading agencies in the industry is 2M Communications LTD. The company has a database of around 100 exceptional ghostwriters who have penned more than 50 New York Times Best Sellers. Their writers have experience in everything from psychology and business to politics and crime.

The Ghostwriting Agency offers an author package that is designed for businesspersons looking to create a book with the same quality as traditional books from publishing houses such as Random House. The package also includes proofreaders and up to two major rewriters to ensure your satisfaction.

Another alternative is the Association of Ghostwriters. Ghostwriters pay either $69 for an associate membership or $99 for a professional membership. Associate membership is for ghostwriters who have not yet completed two ghostwriting projects. The professional membership is for experienced ghostwriters and membership is granted only on an application basis. That means these ghostwriters are vetted to meet certain quality thresholds. This site can help you find the ghostwriter with the skill level to suit your budget.

3. Ghostwriter Personal Websites

Most professional ghostwriters maintain websites listing their education, experience, and previous works. You can do some research and find critically acclaimed ghostwriters and contact them directly via their websites. You can also search through LinkedIn to find ghostwriters you may not be familiar with, but who are well-known in the industry.

How to Pick the Right Ghostwriter

Of course, finding ghostwriters is only the beginning of the journey. Choosing the right one requires attention to detail and an awareness of your own expectations. Some ghostwriters insist on being paid up front while others are willing to deliver the work before payment. Aside from looking for a previously published author, it's important to examine the ghostwriters track record and skills including writing style and proofreading abilities. Here are some things to keep in mind when evaluating a potential ghostwriter.

1. Evaluate Previous Works

It is essential to examine previous works. This will give you an idea of the writer's style and voice and how well they convey complex ideas. Some ghostwriters may not be able to share previous works— because of non-disclosure agreements for example. In this case, you can request writing samples that show the ghostwriters abilities.

Most ghostwriters will have written their own books as well. Be wary of any ghostwriters that claim they have no previous books to share. They may not have the experience or may have produced low-quality pieces. Read as many books from the ghostwriter as you can. See how well they organize thoughts and explain ideas.

Pay attention to style to make sure the book is entertaining and readable. You also want to focus on finding an author that best fits your own voice and style. This will ensure your book sounds like it would if you wrote it yourself. Make sure to draft a book proposal outlining all of your expectations to start the project ff on the right foot.

2. Be Realistic When It Comes to Price

A good ghostwriter will cost a pretty penny. These writers are professionals and have a lot of know-how required to produce a successful book. Evaluate the hourly rates of all potential ghostwriters to estimate how much money the book will cost you. You can also choose to pay a flat fee for the ghostwriting services on a per-project basis.

3. Conduct Face-to-Face Interviews

If possible, meet the ghostwriter in person to interview them. If not, try arranging a video interview so you can get a feel for the ghostwriter's personality. You're going to be working with this person closely for months so it's a good idea to make sure you work well together. These writers may learn intimate details about your life if you're writing a memoir so you'll want to feel comfortable enough to trust each other.

A great ghostwriter will have some knowledge in the industry you're writing a book on. They don't need to know everything, but they should be able to respond to your ideas and add new angles and dimensions to your knowledge. This is also a good time to determine how much support the author will need during the writing process.

Using a Ghostwriter

Book writing is a complicated and involved task that can take months or years if you do it all yourself. Hiring a ghostwriter can make the process shorter and easier if you have the funds to hire a professional. In fact, hiring a ghostwriter can save valuable time so you can focus on other aspects of your business.

Quality is essential to your success whether you hire a great ghostwriter to draft a non-fiction book or an industry guide. If you want to produce a good book, you'll need to work with someone who has industry knowledge and years of experience writing books. Some ghostwriters also have SEO and social media skills and can help you promote your book on Google, Amazon, and Kindle when they're finished writing it.

Find a ghostwriter using personal websites or contracting through an agency. Whichever method you decide works best for you, make sure to evaluate potential ghostwriting clients. Read their previous works and meet face-to-face to determine if you can develop a good working relationship. Writing a book doesn’t have to be impossible. Hiring a ghostwriter can help you get the job done without the headaches.