Write a Book Without Lifting a Finger
What do Madeleine Albright, Billy Graham, Dr. Atkins and 43% of the authors whose books
you find in your bookstores have in common?
They all employed a ghostwriter to help them write their books.
What's a ghostwriter? A ghostwriter is someone who writes all or part of a book without
getting credit for being the author. Depending on the circumstances, the person who is
named as the author contributes anything from all the information, as in an autobiography,
to practically none of it, as occasionally occurs with diet and exercise books.
Sometimes the ghostwriter's name is on the cover or the title page in small letters.
Sometimes she's thanked in the acknowledgements section of the book. And sometimes her
name isn't mentioned at all.
But she is the one who actually takes the information that the author wants conveyed and
turns it into a book.
Why would you want to hire a ghostwriter, rather than write a book by yourself?
Maybe you don't have the time to write a book. Maybe you're not quite Shakespeare when it
comes to writing. Or maybe you're more of a people person, and you don't want to spend
your life alone in front of a laptop.
Whatever the reason, hiring a ghostwriter is a legitimate way to take what you know and
turn it into a publishable manuscript. And in many cases, you can actually write a book
without lifting a finger.
How Do You Work With A Ghostwriter?
There are many of ways to have someone write a book for you. Here are a few:
Let the ghostwriter
interview you for an hour a week over the phone until she has enough information to finish
your book. Or meet in person for a massive three-day interview and let the ghostwriter
create the book from that.
Give the writer
whatever material you already have, whether it be a manuscript, videos, tapes or CDs, and
let him turn it into a book. He can interview you as needed to fill in the blanks.
Have your ghostwriter
do library work as well as interview your clients and other experts in your field. He can
then add your comments to create your book.
You can mix and match any of the above, or find another way to work together.
What Does It Cost?
The price you pay for a ghostwriter depends on:
a. what you want them to do
b. how much experience they have
c. how much credit you plan on giving them and
d. whether you are offering them a percentage of what you will earn from the sale of each book.
If you plan to sell your book to a traditional publisher like HarperCollins, Penguin, etc.,
you need to submit a sample of your work, called a book proposal, first. A book proposal
consists of an outline of your book, a sample chapter or two, some marketing material and your bio.
Most experienced ghostwriters will charge between $3000 and $7500 to write one. And if the
ghostwriter has written a bestseller or two, she might charge as much as $15,000.
Generally, the more you pay, the more confident you can be that you will receive a high-quality
product. This is what you need if you want to impress a publisher. Not only that, but
higher-priced writers will usually have connections to literary agents and editors that they
will share with you when your proposal is complete.