If you're resistant to the idea of working with a ghostwriter, you're not alone. But ask yourself: do you change your own oil, balance your own tires, or butcher your own meat? You likely hire someone with specific expertise.
If you’re the CEO, you know having employees gives you more time to do the things only you can do.
In publishing, that kind of executive delegation includes working with a ghostwriter. Collaboration is how the world works best. We share our talents and pull together to make the world a better place.
Hiring a ghostwriter rarely has anything to do with writing abilities. Here are just a few of the many reasons why working with a ghostwriter might be the right decision for you:
Regardless of your motivation, what's important is that you have an idea and you have wisdom and experience to share with the world. Working with a ghostwriter means you’re simply finding a way to make it happen.
Working with a #ghostwriter lets you share your wisdom with the world faster #amwriting
There are a number of ways you can find a ghostwriter. Referrals from your personal network, online searches, LinkedIn, and freelance work sites like Upwork. I’ve been discovered and hired from my Twitter account: one of my clients liked my content and “just had a feeling”. We both discovered synergies and similarities that were impossible to predict at the start but it was a very good fit. And of course, we are ghostwriters at Ingenium Books.
Working with a ghostwriter does not mean you don’t have work to do. It’s really helpful when you are clear about what you want to accomplish, what you want to say, and often how you want to say it.
Be prepared to let the ghostwriter “interview” you to get what’s in your head into their head to they can get it onto paper. You’ll also want to provide research sources, relevant content, and sometimes even other people to “interview.” They may be quoted in the book or used in the background.
Absolutely. Any ghostwriters worth their salt will respect and protect your ownership of the work you produce together. They know that remaining a “ghost” with respect to the project is part of the job.
However, it never hurts to clarify that you, as the author, owns the international (or whatever jurisdiction you deem appropriate) copyright for your completed work. Having your ghostwriter sign an Assignment of Copyright Agreement is the best way to protect yourself.
We always recommend a contract or statement of work between an author and ghostwriter that includes the following:
Why you should always have a contract or SOW when working with a #ghostwriter #amwriting
Ghostwriters are business people like any other. Having published testimonials from satisfied clients is really important. How do you handle that in a ghostwriting scenario, when you don’t want anyone to know all that prose didn’t spring from your pen? Agree in advance on what sort of “credit” the ghostwriter may receive. Here are a few ideas:
There are myriad ways to make your experience working with a ghostwriter a win-win for both of you. There’s absolutely no shame in doing whatever you need to do in order to get your message—and your book—out into the world. Your audience is waiting.
If you'd like to know more about how a book might benefit your business, check out this post.
Boni is co-founder of Ingenium Books. She's author of One Million Readers: The Definitive Strategy to a Nonfiction Book Marketing Strategy that Saves Time, Money, and Sells More Books. Boni is an author coach, editor, and ghostwriter. As an award-winning former Canadian television reporter, news anchor, producer, and talk show host, working under the names Boni Fox and Boni Fox Gray (it's a long story), Boni covered politics, government, the economy, health, First Nations, and crime. She won several Canadian Association of Broadcaster (CAB) awards and a Jack Webster Award for best documentary. Boni also held senior management roles in government, leading teams responsible for editorial, issues management, media relations, and strategic communications planning. Boni is co-author of Rock Your Business: 26 Essential Lessons to Start, Run, and Grow Your New Business From the Ground Up and, like any good author, has several books in progress.
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