If you have never before hired a ghostwriter for a project that you are working on, then the idea of doing so can be quite daunting. The process of working on a book with someone else sharing your thoughts and ideas with them, can be quite an intimate experience that could potentially be uncomfortable if you do not hire the right person for the job. In order to avoid this from happening and to ensure that you do employ the right ghostwriter for your project, there are a number of steps that you can follow during the hiring process. Each of these steps will be discussed below in more detail.
However, it is important to have an understanding of what you can expect to receive from a ghostwriter. For nonfiction type projects, a ghostwriter will heavily rely on you to provide information in the form of materials like research, case studies, and stories. The ghostwriter may also partake in interviews with you and any other contacts in order to gather information.
Set the goals of the project
Before committing any time and effort into a project, you need to firstly set some clear and definable goals and outcomes of what you want to achieve. Doing this will help later on down the line with other parts of the process, such as when you need to explain them to the ghost writer.
As part of defining the goals of the project, you should ask yourself what it will do for consumers and what the project will do for you. If the project that you are working on is a book then it is important to have an idea of whether you want agency representation or if you plan to publish it yourself.
Know where to look for a ghostwriter
The task of actually finding a ghostwriter can be a difficult one, especially if it is not something that you have done before and so do not know where to look. There are actually a number of different places where you can find ghostwriters for hire. When looking on ghostwriting platforms and marketplaces, make sure that you read the profiles carefully and put together a list of your top 3 to 5 choices.
Read out to each of these choices and provide them with some insight into what it is that you want and need from the project. Do allow for some back and forth at this stage so that they have a good idea of what the project involves so that they can quote you accurately.
Assess their skill level
The best ghostwriters will, of course, have really strong storytelling and writing skills. They will also be good problem solvers and have the ability to organize and process large amounts of information. The very best ghostwriters will also be able to capture the true voice of the author. The goals of your project will determine what level of ghostwriter you require.
If you know or use a literary agent or an editor, it can be beneficial to get their opinion of a particular ghostwriter. They will be able to use their year of expertise to separate a really good ghostwriter from an OK one. Those ghostwriters that have a traditional publishing track record are highly sought after and so you may struggle to secure their services or be forced to pay alot for them.
Review their previous work
Take a look at what they have previously written and for how many years they have been ghostwriting for. That will provide you with a good level of insight into what they are capable of producing. However, obtaining this information may not be quite as easy as you think. Particularly because lots of authors that use ghostwriters do not allow them to openly discuss their work.
That being said, there are still some ways that you can obtain this information. To begin with, you can check out their website. You want to make sure that their repertoire of works aligns closely to your own project.
Let them know what you want
Once you have done all of the aforementioned things and identified a ghostwriter that you want to work with, it is now time to let them know exactly what you want from them and how the project will work. For example, be clear with them about how hands off or hands on you plan to be with the project.
Advise them if you intend to meet up with them in person to discuss the project or if virtual online meetings (via Zoom or Skype) will suffice. Online working relationships work well for the great majority of ghostwriters that typically work with clients long distance so do not worry about this. That being said, wherever you can, you should meet them in person to discuss the project.
Understand that availability is not everything
Lots of people miss out on working with better ghostwriters simply due to the fact that they are in a rush and do not want to wait around for someone that is better suited to their project. This is not the best way to approach a project and is similar to choosing a restaurant to eat in that has fewer diners because you will get served sooner.
It is highly unlikely that a skilled or experienced ghostwriter will be immediately available to work on your project. The best ones are usually busy and always in demand. This is important to remember when planning your project. The speciality of a ghostwriter may also determine their availability. For example, those ones that focus more on shorter type projects are more likely to be available when you need them.
Hiring a good quality ghostwriter is not a quick or easy thing and as you can see from above, there are many different steps to the process and lots of different things to consider along the way. However, it is important that you hire the right person for the job as this is critical to the success of your project.