This is a good question – and an important one. Although there are a lot of ghostwriters out there (according to Google, there were 5,390,000 sites listed just for the term ‘ghostwriter’), you want to find a ghostwriter who’s right for your and your project.
Now it’s true you some ghostwriters are a dime a dozen… Check out sites like ‘guru.com’, ‘elance’, etc. – and you’ll find scores of people who claim to be ghostwriters and have turned it into a commodity-based production. What I mean is, if money is your only concern, you can post a project on any of these sites and within 24 hours or less, have dozens – to hundreds of people all trying to underbid each other, to get your money – um, project.
And that may be fine, if all you’re looking for are some articles, or a special report or something that won’t hurt you or your reputation if it doesn’t work out, or you have to do a bunch of editing on their stuff.
But if you’ve got a book in your head – and you want to end up with a commercially-viable, well-written and publishable manuscript… A book that’s going to build – or cement your reputation in your field… A book that’s going to have your name on it as the author – and be read by your friends, family, colleagues – and hopefully lots and lots of fans… Then you don’t want just anyone off the streets working on your project.
Here are a few reasons why:
1. You want someone who is a good writer. (Okay, maybe that one goes without saying!)
But it’s important that the ghostwriter you choose understands how to make your book flow smoothly. That they have an excellent grasp of grammar, speech and spelling. They need to be able to take even the most complicated ideas and break them down so your readers ‘get it’.
2. You need someone who can get inside your head – and write in your ‘voice’. This is very important, because, after all, it’s your book. So you want a writer who can write like you (and even a little bit better – after all, that’s why you’re hiring a professional writer!) Your book shouldn’t sound like them, it should sound like you.
3. You want a ghostwriter who can work with you the way it’s most comfortable for you. Here’s what I mean: Some of my clients like to work over the phone. They don’t feel comfortable writing, but they’re great at talking and being ‘interviewed’. I’ve had other clients who needed to be able to create an outline for each chapter, and write out notes and ideas and have me work off of them. I’ve even had a couple of ‘VIP’ clients whose schedules were really tight and were up against a deadline, pay me to be at their location, and work exclusively with them for a set period of time, so we could hammer out their book at their convenience. And I’ve had other clients (often doctors) who preferred a monthly schedule, so we could work on their books as they could carve out time from their schedules. So however writing your book works for you, you want a ghostwriter who can accommodate your schedule, deadlines and needs.
4. You want a ghostwriter who understands promotional strategy too. The traditional publishing world has been turned on its ear in the last several years – thanks to self-publishing, e-books and e-book readers, not to mention the general state of the economy. And these days, unless you’re someone who’s already written a bestseller or two, or you’re a household name, or someone who’s enjoying their ‘fifteen minutes of fame’ – you’re going to be largely responsible for marketing your book. Which means you need a ‘platform’ (who you are and what you stand for and why ‘this book, now’). It also means you need to start promoting your book before it’s published – in fact, you need to start promoting your book BEFORE it’s even WRITTEN. So working with a professional ghostwriter who can drop some ideas and strategies in your ear to help you build a hungry market – is definitely a plus.
5. And finally, you want to find a ghostwriter you’re comfortable with. Because writing a book takes a lot of work. And it means you’re going to be spending a lot of time with your ghostwriter – it’s a very intimate relationship. Depending on the subject of your book, your ghostwriter is going to be asking you a lot of questions, getting inside your head, talking about your experiences, your thoughts, your emotions. So it’s important that you work with someone you like and trust, and who is, above all, completely professional – like a doctor, or lawyer.
And because of all the ‘generalists’ out there, it’s sometimes a good idea to find a ghostwriter who specializes. (For example, I work with a lot of doctors who want to become authors – and I have a Website that’s devoted to helping them answer their questions about working with a ghostwriter. If you’d like to see what I mean, it’s at: Www.ghostwriterfordoctors.com ).
So if you’re looking for a ghostwriter to help you write your next book, you probably don’t want a ghostwriter whose background and experience is in writing articles. Or, another way to put it is, if your book is in the health-wellness, weight-loss or fitness industries, you don’t want a technical writer who specializes in working in the technology field.
Above all, the best way to find the right ghostwriter for you, is to do your research. (A good way to start is online.) And then, as you narrow it down, get in touch with them, and set up an interview. Because you’re really not going to know who’s the best ghostwriter for you until you’ve had a chance to read their work – (yes, you can ask for samples), and talk to them.
If you’re still on the fence, maybe I can help. Check out my Website – http://www.ghostwriterfordoctors.com – and look in the top, right-hand corner. You’ll find a tiny little sentence that reads, ‘click below to download the flowchart’ – it’s a .pdf file, and it can help you figure out if you’re really ready to start your book project now!