The Write Stuff: How to Find the Right Ghostwriter
So you’ve decided to work with a ghostwriter to bring your book idea to life. First off, congratulations! You’ve taken the first step to transform a career’s—and in some cases, a lifetime’s—worth of knowledge into powerful messaging that has the potential to be of enormous benefit to readers and your bottom line.
The next order of business? Choosing the ghostwriter who is right for you. You’re going to be creating something important together, and that means you should mesh on a number of different levels. Fortunately, you can tell a lot about how that collaboration might unfold up front—if you know what to look for, that is. Here are some things to keep in mind as you consider your options.
There are many advantages to working with a ghostwriter, one of them being efficiency—particularly on your end. While bringing a writer on board to translate your thoughts and insights into an organized, engaging and cohesive read will save you a lot of time, you’ll still be spending many hours—usually at least twelve of them—talking through the book’s content with your ghost. Thus, having a strong connection will make the process far more enjoyable and productive. The bond between you and your writer will also help ensure that they understand where you are coming from and what your ultimate goals are, allowing them to transform your musings into impactful messaging.
With this in mind, think of the interview process as being akin to speed dating. In this situation, though, rather determining whether coffee, dinner, or even sharing a life may be in your future, you’re trying to figure out whether you’d be open to writing a book with them. While it may seem like a tall order, first impressions are quite telling. Does this seem like a person you’d be interested in chatting with long-term? If the answer is yes, you may be on the fast track to making something great together.
When it comes to expertise, think broad rather than specific.
When looking for a ghostwriter, you may be thinking you need someone who knows just as much about your field as you do. But while a general understanding of the topic at hand is always helpful, often, it’s not essential for your writer to have specific knowledge on your book’s subject matter. After all, that’s where you come in.
Meanwhile, a good ghost’s expertise should lie in the writing itself: crafting an effective book out of the content you provide. They will be able to digest the material you’re sharing and present it appropriately for your readership. That’s their job. In fact, if you’re writing for a lay audience, a ghostwriter who is less familiar with the inner-workings of your field may be a real boon, helping you identify what readers want and need to know.
What really matters when it comes to evaluating a potential writing partner’s background? A strong set of samples that display their skill across a variety of areas. If they can write as compellingly about orthodontics as they can about investing, chances are they will be able to capture your topic beautifully, too.
The same goes for tone. Whether you’re picturing pages that have readers in stitches; ones that strike a serious, professional note; or a gripping, visceral read, writers who have hit a range of tonal notes in their work will be able to take on your voice with ease.
Nothing matters more than trust.
What’s the key to any good business relationship? You likely know this already. When it comes to most connections in life, nothing matters more than trust. Each party has to be comfortable relying on the other to provide what they need. A good author-ghostwriter relationship is no different. Your writer should be able to count on you to give them the information they need to get the job done, and you should be able to do the same, believing that they are willing and able to deliver a high quality product that meets—or exceeds—your expectations.
While it can be challenging to determine whether you’ll be able to build trust immediately, sussing out whether you have that strong connection during that first call, speaking to those who have worked with the candidate before, and reviewing a series of samples should go far in helping you determine whether you can be confident that you have met your match.
Ready to get started with a ghostwriter of your own? Contact us to get the process going!