Tips to Ghostwrite as a Freelance Writer
Serious freelance writers know their income may come from other sources, not just
writing articles for magazines or clients. Ultimately, their freelance writing
leads to writing books or e-books for themselves or as ghostwriters. If you decide
to ghostwrite e-books and trade paperbacks for clients, consider the following:
If a client hires you as a "work-for-hire" ghostwriter, then the client pays you
for your work, and he owns all rights. Make sure: 1. You receive a 50 percent
retainer before you begin the work; and 2. You receive the balance at or right
before delivery. That's it. If the book turns out to be a great success, great!
That's wonderful! You should be extremely proud - but from a distance! To be a
successful ghostwriter, you must enjoy your glory as a ghostwriter in the shadows.
Many ghostwriters prefer it that way.
I know a great speaker in the industry who commands $10,000 or more per speaking
engagement. He is phenomenal to listen to and even more dynamite to read. However,
he doesn't write his books alone. He contributes to them but he never writes any
of them himself. His ghostwriter, Shelly, is known only to a few writers in a
close-knit writer's group.
Why does Shelly let this speaker take all the glory for her work? She is painfully
shy and exceedingly talented as a writer. She once said, "I am where I need to be
and he is where he should be." If you are going to ghostwrite, stay where you belong
(invisible) and accept payment for the job as payment enough.
Tip Number 1: As a ghostwriter, you should always try to meet the needs
of the true "author" of the work. Cover the content they want and do your best to
make the client happy.
Tip Number 2: As with writing any book, ghostwriting involves lot of
revisions and changes as far out as two months, especially if the book needs to
go through an editor or publisher. You should make changes as needed. However,
don't wait on final payment if your client hasn't received final approval from
Tip Number 3: Always write your ghostwrites as if they are your own. Write
with quality and professionalism in mind.
Tip Number 4: Never sign a non-compete contract on the subject of the book.
It is crazy for the client to ask but crazier for you to do it. If a client asks
for one, walk away. You have your own work to protect as well as the client's work.
Remember the saying, "to thine own self be true"? Well, in writing, there's no truer statement.
Tip Number 5: You owe the client exceptional work and the client you work for
owes you money for a job well done.
Tip Number 6: If your client is dissatisfied with the end result, even after
he's paid you, make it right for the client. Satisfied clients usually become repeat
clients; they will bring you steady work and referrals.
Tip Number 7: Consider using a pen name as a ghostwriter. Jeanine Anne, a
freelance writer and ghostwriter, said she uses a pen name when she ghostwrites. She
said, "I've written most of my ghostwrites and presented them to my clients under
my pen name, Jeanine Anne. First, if someone decides to spam me, there's no harm
done to the name for which I write my own work under.