He even asked me to send him one of my books. I have learned much from him. I love writing and write something everyday. This is a great website, thanks for sharing the information. Blake, thanks for this great post. He was taking on a new client for a set of ghostwritten articles, and asked if I would take on a few of the articles.
But prospective clients normally understand that, too. Great points Jessie, and thanks for sharing part of your story here. I struggled with marketing myself as a ghostwriter early on. Ghostwriting is a venue that has also fallen into my lap. I just finished a book and someone has inquired about me ghostwriting their story.
I am so honored with the opportunity, however do not have any resources on how to jumpstart GW as a career path. Since this event I was approached to ghost write a book for an author who wrote a book that has a translation problem. She is an immigrant and her grammar etc. They pay her to speak on the subject She wants me to ghost write her book and is offering me half her speaking income.
Can you cast any light on this for me? Pricing is often challenging. If she approached you, ask upfront what half of her speaking income is. You will have to weigh the benefits of what ghostwriting this first book could do for you. Do you want to charge less so you can gain the experience? I often refer to the Editorial Freelancers Rates page for help: I broke into ghostwriting by offering to ghostwrite a book for someone for free.
It was a huge investment of time and energy, Butit also got me the experience and the testimonial I needed to launch my ghost writing business. Hi Blake, great post! Also, is it possible to break into ghostwriting more intentionally than a stroke of luck with a big-name connection? Ghostwriters for celebrities and well-known figures can earn much more. The rates are maddeningly variable though, as you said.
Thank you for your thoughtful and thorough response, Blake. I will check out those books you listed. While I have always had a passion for writing and many have told me as far back as I can recall, to write, as I capture others hearts through my writting; I am, well, I guess intimidated.
I had previously gathered contact information on greeting card companies, however, with my own whirl pool of life changing experiences, it set me back on pursuing this avenue as a stepping stone. Everyone has a story!
Everyone has written a book! Everyone has similar or same occurrences that took place! So, how would one make their story, thoughts or outlook on life at various levels shine above others?
Is it in the content itself, the words used to express, the title, what? What makes one story better then the other? What suggestions can you provide, that will give me a better insight on how to become a successful writer? I wish there were an easy answer to your question JoAnne. About 50, copies of that book are still sold every year. He had to become a disciple of the craft of writing.
Even then, there was no assurance of success. So whatever you do and whatever you write, just keep writing. Listen to what people say, but listen to what your heart says more.
Find your unique voice, or keep writing until you do. Then tell your story the way only you can tell it. So I put an ad in a local paper to ghostwrite and copyedit, realizing I could make more money writing for others than myself. Very quickly I got my first ghostwriting job and the book won an award, so I was encouraged. Of my three major ghostwriting projects to date, all three were referrals and, as far as I know, never posted online.
Thanks for an interesting post. I ghostwrite fiction and have done for around a year and a half. I never was that cheap! Thanks for sharing part of your story Shah.
Are you working with self-publishing authors who have an idea for a story and want you to turn it into something worth reading? Pricing is often a pain, and much of it depends on what your client has allotted to spend, what they think it should cost, and how well you sell yourself.
Yes, my clients are mostly self-publishers who need a quick turnaround and high output. Sometimes they provide a very basic outline, other times they provide just a genre, a word count, and I do the rest. This work teaches me about writing, specifically about planning ahead and outlining with story beats, and to write fast while avoiding redundancies and fluff.
In many ways, this is a great area to begin ghostwriting. But of course, I do want to move on to better things. Thanks Blake for sharing this post with us. I am just starting out in the world of freelancing. I recently did a small ghost writing job for a client on Elance and at the end of it I had conflicting thoughts. For a while I felt like a surrogate mother who had carried a baby throughout the nine months gestation only to hand it over to another woman and earn no credit for her effort.
What is your experience with search conflicts and what do others say? Nice metaphor, and true. I tend to look at it as pure business. I stand to make more from ghostwriting than I do from royalties off my own books. Now, that may not always be the case, as you never know when a book may go big. Plus, for me, ghostwriting keeps me on my toes and keeps me writing consistently and with high standards.
I enjoy the process and consider myself fortunate to be in such a position. When their book does well whether in sales or in helping others , I celebrate with them, albeit quietly and in the shadows.
Thanks for this article, Blake. Always great to hear how others are breaking into such fields. I, myself, have been freelancing editing for the past decade or so, probably much longer really, and have recently expanded my business to include writing content and communications materials.
I have also been lucky to have been ghostwriting several blog posts for local marketing companies. Would you mind sharing how you landed those gigs for other people that might be reading these comments? Getting serious about writing at age Writing fiction for years and freelanced for local newspaper but never considered ghostwriting.
Maybe good writing is good writing. And how much research is necessary for either genre? Is the ghostwriter ultimately responsible for factual content?
Interested in your thoughts. I do think you need particular talents and experience to write for each. Today I teach other writers how to be ghostwriters as well.
Your mind and your heart will be stretched, and your tolerance and compassion will grow. In order to write as someone else, you must understand them on a deep level. You will learn how others think — even others radically different than you. Like actors, ghostwriters play many roles, just on the page instead of the stage. Unlike an actor, a ghostwriter is not constrained by their gender, age, race or culture.
I am a middle-aged white American woman from the West Coast. And guess what I discovered? Could you share some insight, re: By the word, or hour or? I tend to bid on projects, I get them, and the work takes much longer than expected.
Quoting is always a challenge. Use a tool like Toggl. Build in checkpoints in your contract, i. The client owes so much after three chapters have been written, etc. This could help prevent scope creep. Either way, you should know that these speed bumps are more than likely going to happen—so build in time for that and be sure you get paid for that time.
Excellent article and equally excellent responses to those who commented. I do some ghostwriting as a secondary function of my main writing job. I write for a non-profit — copy, position papers, board presentation, fundraising letters, etc.
But the fun part is ghosting editorial pieces for legislators who wish to support the cause. I look up voting records, newspaper articles, etc. To me, the best part of ghostwriting is the chance to get completely out of yourself — forget about yourself and help someone else shine.
Then you have to have enough skill to write in the voice of the person your ghosting for. And THEN you have to get out of your comfort zone and make those connections.
All salient points Brian. Yet I also think that a lot of the writing life is spent in that purgatory between deep pride and utter self-loathing: Like many others, I fell into it by accident.
I lost my job, unemployment ran out and I needed to make money fast. I applied to a ghostwriting gig on Elance. Thanks for sharing your story, Kristen. There are few success stories quite like being able to do what you love and being able to support yourself while doing it. It was really thought-provoking to me. Thanks for that and for the useful tips. I appreciate the help! A Lucrative Niche for Writers: How to Become a Ghostwriter by Blake Atwood. No more waiting on royalties like you would for writing your own books!
With the right clients, you can earn substantially more than other writing services you provide. No need for marketing. You can keep emotional distance. The subject matter is fascinating. When you choose the right clients, you learn as you write: It will make you a better writer. But the ghostwriting world is broader and deeper than memoirs and celebrities.
The deeper you dig, the more opportunities you find. Even fiction publishers use ghostwriters. Funnily enough, people are surprised to hear this. Neither can many of the people whose names go on novels. There are other advantages besides money. Ghostwritten books are quicker to research than your own work. The client is your walking, talking source.
You get to work with others instead of totally solo—although that can have mixed blessings and sometimes you have to be a diplomat. Quite frequently, in fact. Ghostwriting can make a refreshing breather. My own books are literary, and take a lot of slow-burn development. And I can finish in a matter of months—instead of years. You might spruce up an existing manuscript or write the book from scratch. Ghostwriters are also needed by literary and entertainment agents.
A client might have a book idea and need to get a writer on board to sell it to a publisher. You also need a cast-iron deadline ethic. Often a book has to be written in a screaming hurry. I once ghostwrote four novels in one year while dodging around illness in the family and a separate and unexpected funeral.
You need to be good at interviewing and earning the trust of the subject. You have to be willing to respect their work, their achievements and their goals. But sometimes you have to use ingenious wiles to get enough good book material.
You need business survival instincts. You have to learn when to work on spec and when to charge, what your time is worth, and how to manage the demands and give your best while guarding your energy. And you need to abandon your identity. And at the end you hand it over and slip away—with your haul of secrets and your lips sealed.
This is the website of Jacquie Buttriss, a bestselling ghostwriter who spends most of her time writing autobiographies and memoirs for other people. She is also happy to consider other genres. ghostwriter-uk.
UK-based Ghostwriter. About Me. and that to listen carefully is the greatest asset a writer can have. Melanie Greenwood. He not only has the ability to write well, but is able to form a good relationship with the person he is ghost writing for, which in turn means he is able to tease out those interesting anecdotes which turn a good.
Ghostwriter Need one? You should write a book, but Unless you’re a professional writer you probably don’t have time. I may be able to write it for you. I don’t yet know who you are or whether you want a book, blogposts or an article, and you probably don’t know much about what a ghostwriter does, Continue reading "Home". London-based Ghostwriter with a journalism background. Projects include autobiographies, business books and copywriting. Do you have a story? Get in touch.
Ghost writing is a method of collaboration used to create written material that would not have been made possible without the recruitment of a professional writer/author. This written material normally takes the form of a book, which has subsequently been created largely by someone who is un-credited. Although a person would normally employ a ghostwriter . The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say. ~Anaïs Nin.