Can I Hire Someone to Write My Book? A Ghostwriter Guide

It has been said many times there is a book inside everyone and writing a book is a dream of many who enjoy reading. Unfortunately, the process seems very daunting, and few, if any, start the process, and still fewer finish. If you are convinced you have a good story but hesitate due to the writing commitment, to tell you may ask, can I hire someone to write my book?

Indeed, you can hire someone to write a book for you using something called ghostwriting. You hire a professional, known as a ghostwriter, who has the knowledge and experience to produce a finished manuscript based on thorough conversations and interviews with you that you publish under your name.

Let’s discuss some of the Pros and Cons of hiring someone to write your book for you along with some tips to help you hire the right person.

Once Upon a Time Quote written on paper

Why Hire a Ghostwriter

Hiring a ghostwriter is a very effective shortcut to go from the dream of writing a book to actually having a finished ready to publish manuscript. There are plenty of people who have interesting stories to tell, careers worth sharing and expertise that others are looking for, but most people would find it difficult to craft into a readable book.

Let’s take a look at a few of the main pros and cons of hiring a ghostwriter.

Pros of Hiring a Ghostwriter

Professional Quality Writing

Although it is perfectly reasonable to sit down, craft your own outline and write a book yourself, this process is obviously quite long for a beginner. It can take a lot of practice with much trial and error to learn the craft of writing interestingly and enjoyably for the reader.

It takes a lot of skill to write an engaging book that gets good reviews and sells well, and hiring an experienced writer who was already successfully written several books gives you a huge advantage.

Saving Time

Hiring a ghostwriter can save you a lot of time. This option gets you past the long learning stage you would normally have to go through and gets you to professional writer quality immediately. This means you can get to work right away on writing your novel by proxy rather than spending far more time learning than writing.

The biggest timesaver in this is that you will typically only have to chat with the writer through some interviews for a few hours compared to the hundreds of hours that they will spend on sleep crafting your book for you.

It Will Actually Be Finished

Most beginning authors, no matter how big their dreams are and energetic they may be to start, will find that the long, arduous learning process can sap the energy of all but the most determined.

Finding and paying for a writing service instead means that you are virtually guaranteed to get your book completed.  As long as you provide your writer with the information they need and are available to answer questions and give feedback, you will get a completed manuscript after a few months.

Cons of Hiring a Ghostwriter

Price: Not cheap

The first major downside of not writing your book yourself is that a good quality professional will not be cheap. Although you can get writers at reasonable rates, generally, if you want a high-quality manuscript, unfortunately, you will have to pay accordingly.

The Time to Find Someone

Although you saved a lot of time not having to learn how to write yourself, you will need to invest a good amount of time in the process of finding and hiring a writer.

This process can be extensive as your trust and relationship with this writer are particularly important if you are to get a final book that meets what you planned and are happy to put your name on.

Not in Your Voice

As you are not the book’s writer, the phrasing used in the book and the general language will obviously not match the way you would likely write. For the most part, with a professional writer, this will not be a huge issue, but you may have to pay attention to get this written in your style or “voice.”

You also need to make sure that you spend plenty of time familiarizing yourself with the book, so you know the contents, particularly if it is in your name only and not published in a co-writer deal.

The Rest of The Process is Up to You

If you’ve got this far, the good news is you now have a written manuscript. The bad news is that writing is just one of many tasks in the publishing process.

The rest of them will still be up to you, such as finding an agent, working on getting a publisher, the whole marketing plan and efforts of the book, and all the other jobs may still be for you to complete.

Legalities of Ghostwriting

Hiring a ghostwriter to write your book for you is perfectly legal. There are very different laws in different countries that can affect long-term ownership copyright control over a book, such as in some countries laws are controlling how the rights of the author are surrendered.

To protect yourself, it is essential to hire a lawyer familiar with the publishing industry to work on the legal agreement between you and your writer. Getting this all written as part of the contract negotiations will protect both of you if you negotiate and agree on everything upfront.

Ethical Considerations

Depending on the type of book you are writing, you may also need to take a few moments to consider the ethical issues. As long as the writer is just translating your thoughts and words into a written manuscript, you should not have any issue.

However, if you are relying on the expertise of the author you hired to actually use their own knowledge to cover gaps in your knowledge on the subject, then you may potentially be getting into ethical issues.

Representing a Work as Your Own.

There are some clear limits on what works should not be ghostwritten. You cannot represent somebody else’s work as your own for projects such as schoolwork, University papers, or a doctoral thesis. You are not replacing your lack of writing skills; you are cheating. Do not do this!

How to Hire a Ghostwriter

Unfortunately, finding a ghostwriter is one of the more difficult pieces. The problem is that ghostwriting is not controlled or certified in any manner, so anybody could set themselves up and claim to be ghostwriters. That means you must be especially careful in your process to find a good quality writer.

Where to Find Ghostwriters

To find candidates, reach out to anybody you know already in the business to see if they can give you contacts. For example, if you are in a writing group, they may know ghostwriters so ask around.

LinkedIn is an excellent contact site for all kinds of professionals. You can do some searches to find experienced ghostwriters in your area and reach out to a few of them via the messaging system to see if any are interested.  It also makes it extremely easy to narrow your search down to a local area.

Hiring someone reasonably local to you is an excellent idea so you could meet face to face, which will always make for a better working relationship.

You can also find a writer on some of the work-for-hire sites such as Upwork and Fiverr. You are likely to find plenty of candidates to choose from, which is good, but the problem is the most experienced professionals will not use these sites.

You are likely to find a wide skill range on these sites, so be diligent and make sure to get writing samples before agreeing to contract someone on these sites.

There are also plenty of professional sites around; one of the best known is Reedsy who has all kinds of services for writers, including ghostwriters for hire.

Selection criteria

Glad a few key things to do to make sure you get the right person:

Personality

Finding someone with a personality that matches yours will make the whole process smoother and far more pleasurable. Remember you may have to work with this person for many months, so make sure it’s someone you are happy with.

Experience in Niche

Just as with any other job, writers specialize in different genres. Although some write in multiple genres, they generally have the best experience in one or two.

When narrowing down your choices, make sure you work with writers who have experience in your genre. It does not make any sense to hire a highly experienced romance writer to write your science fiction space opera if they have never done one before.

Get Writing Samples

A quick and easy way to find out if you are getting what you need is to get some writing samples and make sure you like the writing style, language use, and overall feeling. This is a great opportunity to make sure your writer fits in well with your personal style, as this will make it easier during the later editing stage to put the book more into your words instead of the ghostwriters.

Don’t Cheap Out! Quality is Important.

Lastly, one of the most important things is not going too cheap. Nobody likes to overpay for any service, but this is definitely one occasion where you generally get what you pay for. The best of the best will charge a lot because they are worth every penny and will give you a product to match.  

There are definitely some writers out there who are not as good as their fees would suggest but don’t try to hire writers for very low fees and expect to get the best quality.

If you feel the urge to write a book but maybe don’t have the skills or time to do it yourself, a ghostwriter can definitely be an excellent option. Just make sure you take your time going through the search process, and you could end up with the next bestseller.

Good luck!

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