A bright morning, you are prepping for work. While brushing your teeth or in the shower, you feel something pop in your mind, completely out of the blue, and your eyes widen instantly. Or perhaps you’re doing something mundane your boss assigned you to do and you wander off in your trail of thoughts. And bam! It throws its trump card and you know what it is. It is an idea! An idea that you think is going to change the world. An idea that, if you didn’t work upon it immediately, the human race will suffer. But is it that great? Think about it, then think about it more. Then some more at lunch or during the drive back home. If it still doesn’t leave your mind, this is it!
Gather your tools and resources because you are going to be a part of something really, really great and incredible.
But wait. You can’t write. You have never written in your life before. How are you going to convince anyone else about your great idea?
Well, there is some good news and bad news. The good news is you don’t have to. It’s okay if you feel like you don’t possess the creativity necessary to keep the reader on his toes, turning one page after another. Do you really think that Pamela Anderson, Beyoncé, Sarah Palin or Nichole Richie wrote their books themselves? Think again! Most of the celebrities and big shots hire ghostwriters to have their books written from their perspective. Since they don’t have the time, these unsung heroes without capes (some might wear one but we can’t confirm) come in and work their magic. The majority of the bestsellers you find don’t come from the brain of just one person. Of course, the idea might theirs but the writing isn’t. Many collaborators or ghostwriters are working behind the scenes to create a high-quality best seller. And then it goes through a round of hefty editing and proofreading before finally coming to publication. The bad news, however, is that you will have to hire someone to do it for you. Again, don’t start panicking yet. We have got it covered for you. In this article, we are going to be learning about the hiring process from A to Z to help you find that perfect match!
How to Hire an eBook Ghostwriter
First things first... before you get that search warrant for an ideal ghostwriter online, you need to clarify a few things with yourself. Is it any ghostwriter that you want or is it someone special? Someone who has an idea and experience in the niche your book falls into, someone who will be able to capture your essence and voice, and someone who can tell the story exactly as it is happening in your mind?
Did you know there are over 32.8 million eBooks on Amazon? Imagine how many people must have been behind the scenes to create that many books? The point is, ghostwriters are everywhere. But who is the right one for you? Only you can determine that. Here’s how to make that judgment:
- What is the style of your book? (Narrative, third-person, fiction/non-fiction, etc.)
- What is the goal of the book? (Do you want to become a bestseller or convert your story into a feature film?)
- What is the size of the book? (Word count and style formatting)
- Who is the audience (Children, teenagers, young adults, middle-aged or seniors?)
- How much input do you want from the ghostwriter (Research from scratch or follow your guidelines)
Where to Find One
Once you have sorted that out, you can begin your search. You can either:
- Ask your friends who have written before
- You may hire a ghostwriting agency or firm to have your content written.
Numerous well-renowned companies are dealing with eBook writing and house some of the best ghostwriters and editors, promising you a print-ready version of your book.
- Post a job on ghostwriting firms working online like Upwork, Fiverr, Guru, Toptal, and Freelancer, etc.
You simply go online, create a client profile, post a job, set up a payment mode and wait for bids and proposals on your job. Then you look up profiles of the freelancers who bid or sent in a proposal, get in touch with them and you hire the best one. Here’s a great basic tutorial on how to create a profile.
- Find writing groups on social media like Facebook or LinkedIn. It works similarly. You post a job, people comment on them and then you shortlist a candidate for the job.
Evaluate the Candidates
Once you are successful in finding ghostwriters that check all the boxes in the first section above, you need to start evaluating your options.
First, you need to shortlist one or two ghostwriters from the proposals or bids you got. Shortlisting is an important process, as it involves you listing down all the pros and cons of each writer and later deciding which one to pick. Still can’t choose? Keep reading.
You can always ask for a one-on-one interview so that you and your ghostwriter candidate can be on the same page with expectations—what you expect of them and what they expect of you. Having this conversation will allow you to know the person and see if they will be able to accomplish your vision or not. Also, are they rude, stubborn, and sluggish? You will have all your answers after the interview.
Now that you have a ghostwriter shortlisted before you hand them the contract, there are a few things you need to consider. Any professional eBook ghostwriter has a set of qualities. These include:
A professional ghostwriter who claims to be in the writing business for any length of time should have at least one published book they can show. If they don’t have any published work, you might want to reconsider your choice. The publishing world is changing at a fast pace. If they haven’t published any work recently or in the last five years, how would they know of those changing trends and be able create something that is up to date with the set standards?
However, if they have published work but have signed a non-disclosure agreement, then you can ask to see a few samples of their writing. Many professional eBook ghostwriters have websites with sample writings to showcase their skills and creativity. You can check out these websites or profiles and see if they make for a high-quality ghostwriter or not. If they suffice, follow on. If they don’t, start with your hunt again.
Ask if they can give you some references of clients they have worked with before. Contact those references in person and see if everything they claim to be checks out. Most importantly, ask the client about their communication. Were they on point with the deadlines, did they value commitments, did they respect the NDA, were they good with following instructions, was their writing high-quality, did they perform the requested revisions, were they good with researching and finding the best information for their book?
Discussing expectations is another crucial step once you have found the ideal ghostwriter for your project. Talk with the writer about how you envision your idea transforming into words, how you want the book to develop from chapter one, what you are trying to achieve with it, what timetable of deliveries suits you the best, when they would like to be paid, etc. Also, discuss NDAs and any privacy concerns you have with the work. This will eliminate the element of surprise once you receive the draft at your end and also eradicate the need for revisions.
Since the relationship goes two ways, you also need to know of any expectations the writer may have for you. For instance, the ghostwriter may expect a part of the promised payment in advance, he/she may have a set of needs or requests like questionnaires, video chats or feedback on their drafts, etc. Be open to answering all the questions your ghostwriter has so that he/she knows you are supporting them.
Prepare the Contract
Now, you need a contract. It should list all the things you expect your ghostwriter to deliver, such as quality content, revisions, disclosures, privacy, plagiarism penalties, etc. It will also specify the payment options. Have your ghostwriter take a look at it so that you two can mutually agree or disagree on the draft. Once you both are okay with the way it looks, finalize it. The key is to keep it as detail-oriented as possible so that you minimize the possibility of any grey areas, problems and misunderstandings later.
Lastly, after you have worked out the intricacies of the contract, sign it and ask the ghostwriter to do the same. Now you two will be in a legally binding contract, which means that in case some issue arises, you can always go back and highlight the clauses in your contract to make sure your writer does what you need.