How to write a book with a ghostwriter.
By- Michael McKown
Usually, there are two reasons someone would seek to hire a ghostwriter to write a book. Either they don’t have the time to write whatever project they have in mind, or they don’t have the skill. Some who contact us are embarrassed because they can’t write well. We usually reply that they no doubt can do things that we can’t, so don’t worry about it.
We’re here to help and we’re happy to talk about your project free of charge. During that conversation, we’ll describe how the process works.
Many who call us are at the exploratory stage. They’ve got an idea and are curious how to develop it. Others have been writing down thoughts, experiences, plot points, character details and more for years; they call to initiate the ghostwriting process.
Here’s an overview of how this works:
1. We need to know what you know. We need to know the substance of your story or project. If you’ve got a pile of notes or recordings that we can use as source material, great! If the project idea is still in your head, we can work with that, too. We need to transfer the knowledge in your head into ours. We can interview you by phone or by Skype for as long as it takes to obtain the raw material that we need. Or, we can provide advice on how to quickly create the notes we need. One speedy technique we recommend is: Develop an outline. Using your smartphone or a digital voice recorder, pick a topic from the outline and simply talk about it until you’ve got nothing more to say on the subject, then scratch off that outline item. When all the items are scratched off, send us the recording. That’s a really quick way to get through the note-taking process.
2. Once we have the source material, we start to organize it then we tackle the writing process. Writing a book with a ghostwriter seldom involves you handing us a pile of notes then us handing you back a finished manuscript. Collaboration is normally required. You and the writer will be in touch throughout the process. But there have been occasions when it isn’t necessary. Some clients are professional speakers. They deliver lectures on business, religion or self-help matters. They’ve got the speeches recorded. These people just hand us the recordings and say: “Write me a book.” And we do. Then they sell the book at their events! Some clients want us to do research in addition to the writing, a service we are happy to provide, but research is not covered in the writing fee; it is billed separately.
3. The writer may have you approve the manuscript in stages, and upon final approval, turn the finished manuscript over to you. At this point, the work is finished. You will not have the opportunity to make changes. Later on, if you wish to make changes, we will be happy to accommodate but an hourly rate will apply. Alternatively, the writer may deliver a completed draft of the work at the end of the editing process. Writing and editing are like two different gears in a car, and call upon different compartments of thought and talent. Only once the work product has been revised to the client’s approval (using the contractually-allotted number of edits) can the work product be considered “complete.” We will consult with you to choose the specific process that applies to your book, and it will be described in the contract.
4. Our writing fee schedule can be found on our ghostwriting rates page. With large projects, we normally work out a payment schedule, which will be described in the contract. As a hypothetical example, if the price for ghostwriting your book is $12,000, we can break the fee into several similar payments. In this example, if we are talking about five payments, then $2,400 is due when we begin, $2,400 when we finish, and three other pay points of the same amount in between. We accept PayPal, bank checks and money orders. You should also know that we take no author credit, no percentage of a sale to a publisher and no royalties. You will have no long-term financial obligation to us whatsoever. (If you’re talking with other writers, we suggest you ask about those things).
And that’s it! If you’ve got questions, just call, text, email or fax. We’re here to help you along the path to success.