DSR Ghostwriting
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DSR Ghostwriting

How Do You Hire A Ghostwriter?

Interested in finding and hiring a ghostwriter but not quite sure how it “works”? Here’s a guide to get you started.

Ghostwriters: how do you go about actually hiring one?

Are you interested in working with a ghostwriter to help bring your literary dreams to reality?

A lot of authors considering hiring a ghostwriter aren’t quite sure how the process might work from start to finish.

Naturally, each ghostwriter will have their preferred means of working.

But if you’re interested in knowing what to expect in general, then this short guide should help prepare you.

Decide What You Need A Ghostwriter For

Traditionally, ghostwriters were the “book shepherds” of the literary world, helping clients take book ideas from ideation through to publication.

When many think about the work that ghostwriters do, they automatically envision them working on book projects.

These days, however, ghostwriters can be found helping clients with a wider variety of projects ranging from simple blog posts through to … books and e-books.

You can hire a ghostwriter to write:

  • Your book
  • Your social media posts
  • Your articles and blogs
  • Your upcoming thought leadership article

Ghostwriters are used by aspiring book authors but also by busy social media stars who need a helping hand with their writing.

If you subscribe to the belief that speechwriters are effectively ghostwriters — I do! — then add folks like politicians and diplomats to the list of busy people who rely upon hired wordsmiths in order to make their busy day to day lives that little bit easier.

Where To Find A Ghostwriter

You may be able to get more of your writing needs fulfilled through a ghostwriter than you may initially have thought.

Or perhaps you’ll need several writers in order get your speeches written, your blog posts published in time, and your magnum opus book project out the door.

Hiring somebody that you know can be trusted — for instance via a referral from a professional you hold in high regard— is one effective way to make the hiring process more streamlined.

If you have to turn to the open market in order to hire your ghostwriter — or a team of them — then consider some of the more popular avenues to explore.

Google’s Your Friend — How To Search For Ghostwriters

Ghostwriting is a relatively niche pursuit even within writing and ghostwriters — including this one! — usually go to pains to try to stand out from the crowd.

Consider asking whether it’s important to you that your ghostwriter will be locally based.

If so consider combining keywords, for instance:

  • ghostwriter + New York City
  • ghostwriter + Dublin

Alternatively try finding a ghostwriter who specializes in the type of project that you’re thinking about bringing to market. Some more search term recommendations:

  • history ghostwriter
  • non-fiction ghostwrier

My specialty — besides thought leadership — is in helping non-fiction authors through the book-writing process. I specialize in non-fiction because that’s what I personally read. Feel free to check out my site below if you’re looking for a ghostwriter with a specialty in this area:

However, some ghostwriters specialize even more narrowly than I do.

Looking for a ghostwriter who specializes in working with history authors?

I’m willing to bet if you spent enough time searching you would hit upon such a talent!

Check Out The Association of Ghostwriters (AoG)

If you don’t feel like screening ghostwriters one-by-one, then consider finding a place they congregate.

Perhaps somewhere like …. a ghostwriting association!?

The Association of Ghostwriters (AoG) is one such association and its website contains a listing filled with ghostwriters from around the world.

Check out the member directory in order to find ghostwriters from around the world.

Sort Out All The Contractual Details

Ghostwriters tend to be engaged by their clients for the larger projects …. again think books (just don’t think only books!)

However, irrespective of whether your ghostwriter is producing a blog or a 500-pager, it’s a smart idea to insist on working with a contract. In fact, more experienced writers will likely insist on it as a term of doing business together.

Many writers use boilerplate type contracts while others have legal counsel write them from scratch.

Irrespective of what your writer’s preference is, keep one eye open for the following terms and conditions which should indicate that you’re dealing with a professional:

  • A commitment to avoid plagiarism. Good writers don’t plagiarize and many will state that in their contracts
  • Details about what happens to the intellectual property (IP) rights in the work that the ghostwriter will create. Typically these vest to the client upon payment
  • Payment terms. Like other businesspeople, ghostwriters are ultimately doing what they do in order to make a living. Does the contract spell out important details about the payment process such as how long you’ll have to pay and any late or rush fees that the writers may levy?

Brief Your Ghostwriter

I’m a huge believer in the extreme importance of preparing a well-written brief to help streamline the writing process.

While it’s certainly possible for clients to divulge too much information (in this writer’s opinion, at least) equally a well-written brief and/or a detailed phone call can make the difference between a project that gets derailed in a seemingly never-ending set of revisions and one which …. goes off without a hitch.

Here’s my guide to how to brief writers effectively:

If you’d like your project to be in the latter rather than former category (who wouldn’t?) then my top suggestion is that you put effort into preparing a detailed brief to help your contract writer do the best possible job at preparing effective writing on your behalf.

Keep In Touch

Ghostwriters are contracted to produce written products. But that doesn’t mean that your communication with them should stop the moment you’ve furnished them with a good brief.

Stay with your writer throughout the drafting process and make sure that you’re available to answer any questions they may have.

If you’re responsive, then your timely responses could make the difference between a project that goes askew and one which is finished before the deadline comes breathing down anybody’s neck.

Keep in touch with your writer throughout the writing process to ensure the most successful outcome.

Daniel Rosehill is a ghostwriter and marketing consultant who has spent the last 5 years helping clients ranging from entrepreneurs to marketing agencies with thought leadership and non-fiction book ghostwriting. Interested in learning what Daniel could bring to your project? Visit his writing website at DSRGhostwriting.com.



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Daniel Rosehill

Daniel Rosehill

Daytime: writing for other people. Nighttime: writing for me. Or the other way round. Enjoys: Linux, tech, beer, random things. https://www.danielrosehill.com