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Should I employ a ghostwriter to write my book?

There are a few reasons why you may decide to employ a ghostwriter to write your book instead of writing it yourself. This blog outlines five of those (very valid!) reasons.

Should I employ a ghostwriter to write my book?

1) Not Enough Time/Inclination to Write

One of the main reasons for employing a ghostwriter is not having either enough time to write a book or not having enough inclination to write a book yourself. Or maybe both! Finding regular time to write around work, family and other commitments can be difficult. An experienced ghostwriter is used to the discipline of writing and working to deadlines, and because of that, can write quickly and cleanly. It’s their job, their main focus, and they’re able to treat it as such, more so than you may be able to yourself. This means more books will be written, which means more books will be ready to publish!

Employing a ghostwriter is also a form of accountability. If you want to be an author/publisher but suspect you lack the discipline to write (or finish) books yourself, entrust your project(s) to a ghostwriter. A ghostwriter will work to a set timeframe which means you don’t have to, and you’re guaranteed a high quality, publishable product at the end of it.

3) Gaps in Writing Skillset

Perhaps you feel you have gaps in your skillset that are preventing you or discouraging you from writing a book yourself. This is an extremely common feeling! Writing a book takes commitment and determination and if you don’t feel as confident when it comes to writing as you do in other areas/skills/subjects, then a ghostwriter who does feel confident can help. Just as you wouldn’t fix your own car or groom your own dog if you aren’t qualified enough to do so, you don’t need to write your own book if you can employ a professional ghostwriter to write it for you!

2) Gaps in Market Knowledge

When writing a book to market, you have to know the market! This means having a good understanding of genre conventions, hot tropes, book trends, comparison authors, reader expectations and possible gaps in the market. It also means knowing which points of view (POVs) and story structures work well for those genres. For example, using first person POV if you want your romance readers to be fully immersed in your heroine’s experiences. Or using multiple third person POVs in a twisty psychological thriller to really ramp up the tension.

A professional ghostwriter already has excellent market and story structure knowledge for their genre specialism(s), which saves you having to do all that research yourself.

4) Desire to Launch and/or Expand an Author Business

A desire to launch and/or expand a publishing business is another good reason for employing a ghostwriter. Books are permanent assets and if they’re well written and marketed effectively, they have the potential to generate an excellent income. And obviously, the more books you publish, the greater the chance of achieving that bestseller status! But as mentioned earlier in this post – writing good books takes time, energy, effort and skill, and you may prefer to hand the writing responsibility over to a ghostwriter while you oversee all the other elements of running a publishing business.

Maybe you’ve written, or are currently writing, books of your own but want to scale your author business. A skilled ghostwriter can either mirror your style of writing to complement your existing books, or write other books for you to publish under a new or different pen name (perhaps in a different genre or nonfiction as opposed to fiction?). Before long you could have a thriving publishing empire!

5) Preference to Remain an Anonymous Author

The final reason in this blog post for employing a ghostwriter to write your book for you is to protect your anonymity. This may be particularly relevant if you want your author business to operate under a pen name (perhaps you’d like to publish in a niche erotica subgenre, for example) or several pen names (if you want to publish under several specific genres, for example), and wish to remain completely anonymous for personal and/or professional reasons.

Frequently Asked Ghostwriting Questions

What other services does a ghostwriter offer?

Ghostwriters often help with book outlines, blurbs and sales descriptions, and not just for books they’ve written, but for other books too!

How much does a ghostwriter charge?

This is very much an ‘it depends’ answer! Although ghostwriters can often write fast and produce clean first drafts, each story still takes up a lot of their time (both writing and thinking time) and creativity – it’s a job and should be compensated as such.

For example, I charge £12 per 1,000 words to ghostwrite a book once a solid outline has been agreed. So for a 50,000 word novel (classed as a full length book), the total cost would be £600. If a ghostwriter writes a 50,000 word book in 30 days, that cost equates to just £20 per day. It would then take approx. 302 sales at £1.99, approx. 201 sales at £2.99, or approx. 151 sales at £3.99 to make your money back (depending on the % taken by wherever you choose to sell your book) and build a reputable readership. Anything beyond that would be profit! It’s a simple business investment.

Do ghostwriters sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs)?

Yes! A ghostwriter writes all the content but takes none of the credit. Once the book is finished (and you have paid the ghostwriter for their service) it will wholly belong to you. The ghostwriter has no claim to it whatsoever, and can never refer to it as their book or tell anyone they wrote it.

How do I choose a ghostwriter?

A successful ghostwriting collaboration very much depends on what type or genre of book you want to publish, and what types or genres of books particular ghostwriters write. Once you have selected a few possible ghostwriters for your project, it’s advisable to do a bit more research, for example:

  • Do they have a professional website and/or social media account and/or author platform showcasing their writing talents?
  • Are they able to provide a range of relevant writing samples (and links to their own published books, if applicable) so you can get a feel for their writing style?
  • Do those writing samples inspire confidence in their writing ability – would you trust them to write a quality book for you that could offer a return on your investment?
  • Are those writing samples professionally presented and showcase an excellent grasp of the English language in terms of spelling, grammar and punctuation?
  • Are they willing to explain/discuss the ghostwriting process in more depth, without obligation on your part or expectation on their part?

However, due to the confidential nature of ghostwriting, testimonials and evidence of previous books written may not be available! Therefore, answering yes to all the above questions is a great start when it comes to finding the right ghostwriter for you!

Should I employ a ghostwriter to write my book?

This is a question only you can answer! As detailed in this post, there are a few factors to consider before you decide. However, if you would like to work with me as a ghostwriter, I would love to have a chat about writing a book for you! The genres I am most experienced in writing are:

  • Romantic suspense
  • Domestic suspense
  • Psychological thriller
  • Contemporary romance
  • Dark and steamy romance (including but not exclusive to the following tropes: Mafia / age gap / erotica / alpha male / billionaire / second chance / fake relationship / nanny romance / forced proximity / forbidden romance / friends to lovers / enemies to lovers)

Please contact me to ask any questions about ghostwriting, or to request a quote for your project.

C. L. Jennison books

If you’ve found ‘Should I employ a ghostwriter to write my book?’ helpful, check out these other posts:

Should I outsource my writing?

How to easily write a nonfiction synopsis

How to write a compelling tagline for a self published book

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