Many people want to write a book, but either do not have the time or writing skills to go about it themselves. This may describe you. How do you do it? Hire a ghostwriter. It may sound easy because there are many to choose from these days. However, to successfully fulfill the vision you have for your book means finding the right ghostwriter for you and your particular project. Here are five important tips for selecting the right ghostwriter:
1. The ghostwriter sees the “macro” picture.
The macro picture is the vision for your book. A good ghostwriter has the ability to “get” your project in the bigger picture. S/he will truly understand and be behind your ultimate goals.
2. The ghostwriter has the goods to do “micro” work.
Micro work means the detailed work, which often includes having excellent research skills. The ghostwriter also has to have the ability to take all the research and information and figure out the best manuscript organization and structure.
3. The ghostwriter has proven writing abilities in the general area of your project.
Of course the ghostwriter has to have exceptional writing skills, but it works best if s/he has experience with projects that are similar to yours. Would you hire a ghostwriter who has done ten romance novels if you wanted to create a non-fiction self-help book? Not likely. In screening ghostwriters, ask for samples of their published work that are in a similar bandwidth to your project.
4. The ghostwriter has excellent interpersonal and communications skills.
Not all writers are the best communicators. Using a ghostwriter means a lot of communication between the two of you, and that communication needs to work and be productive. Ask for contact information on past clients, and speak with them about their interpersonal and communications experience with the ghostwriter you are considering.
5. You and the ghostwriter have compatibility.
Compatibility is one step beyond having good communication. In order to find the best ghostwriter for you, it is important to find someone you, in a word, you enjoy working with! In screening ghostwriters, if they have the qualifications outlined in items one through four, this is the factor to sift the winner to the top. Ask yourself, Who do you believe you will enjoy working with the most?
Creating a book is a big endeavor, and finding the right partner is critical to loving the process as much as possible, and to achieving a manuscript that manifests the vision you have for your book.
Once you have a draft you are happy with, it is time for the editing phase, and time to find the right editor (ahem 🙂 ) to refine and sculpt it into being the best it can be.
Updated post~original 2014